Hardware design & development

In-depth knowledge of both hardware development as software development is vital for realizing practical embedded systems where it is nearly always a matter of optimally combining hardware and software. In hardware development the price performance ratio is important. By utilizing our combined knowledge, we achieve optimal functional partitioning between hardware and software, which has a positive effect on the hardware price of ownership. The result of optimal tuning is a smooth development process and a usable product for our customers.

MCS is specialized in complex hardware projects, with tough design demands. Our hardware development methods assume a "worst case design". When designing the system we take into account the most critical qualities of a component and the defined environment in which the system is placed. This approach is typical for MCS, it produces robust and reliable systems with a long life span.

When developing hardware, "Design For Manufacturing" and tuning with producers is a standard way of working. Requirements are fitted in for CE standards in the field of EMC and low voltage guidelines.

Analog, digital, and programmable logic

The boundary between analog and digital is not a sharp line. In digital systems, a lot of analog theory is involved, and analog signals are digitally processed. MCS' knowledge and experience in the hardware discipline is broad and deep. We roughly divide our hardware development scope into three parts, namely: digital, programmable logic, and analog.

For these activities, we have an extensive collection of design tools, measurement and test equipment at our disposal.

Examples of technical applications we developed are listed here

Digital

Our digital activities relate to: microprocessor systems, systems for digital signal manipulation, system busses, wireless and communication interfaces. More and more high-speed circuits are applied, so our knowledge of high-frequency design techniques is essential in designing circuits and making printed circuit board layouts. We have designed components/boards for parallel bus-systems like miniPCI and high speed serial busses like LVDS and TMDS. For lower speed communication we are experienced in using the chip-to-chip busses like SMbus and I2C.

Analog

With analog, we mean the electronics part where data processing is composed of analog components. Even in a digital world the interface to the environment is always analog: sound, vision, touch, smell. Examples of analog circuits are adaptations for sensors, switching power supplies, display drivers and circuits that appear in different configurations in all systems including high bandwidth analog to digital front-ends for LCD monitors.

The partners in MCS have over 20 years of knowledge and experience with analog techniques therefore we can guarantee our customers reliable and robust systems.

Our experience:
Platforms & Components Various, depending on requirements
Tools Cadence Orcad Capture CIS, Layout
Simulation (Cadence) PSpice


Programmable logic

Applying configurable hardware is getting more important in hardware development. For MCS this technology is a highly demanded competence. Specially in portable equipment the ability to implement functionality in digital hardware is crucial for low power design. As such the demand for configurable systems will only increase and is supported by an extensive availability of components and development tools.

The software for these systems is created by means of the VHDL programming language .

Also, separate software IP blocks are created, which can in turn be used to implement communication protocols, CPU replacements, and MP3 decoders into configurable hardware. Another important application of programmable logic is that it is used to replace obsolete components.

Our experience:
Platforms & Components Altera:
Xilinx:
Various FPGA's and CPLD's
Various FPGA's and CPLD's
Tools

Altera:

Mentor:

Synplicity:

MaxPlus, Quartus, FPGA express

Fpga Advantage, including Modelsim & Leonardo
Synplify, Certify

Programming VHDL