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CASE STUDIES
Hardware Design
Embedded Software
Application Software

Hardware Design

Development of Mini-ITX form factor Intel Pentium M processor (855GME chipset) Industrial motherboard

Customer

An Industrial motherboard designer and manufacturer in USA

Business challenge

To design and build a prototype of Mini-ITX form factor motherboard using Intel Pentium M processor and 855GME + ICH4 chipset

Solution

Caravel designed and built a prototype of the motherboard using Intel Pentium M processor and 855GME chipset. It has standard features such as dual SATA, LVDS for flat panel display, dual Ethernet, PCI riser and mini PCI slots etc along with standard motherboard interfaces.

Caravel carried out the design of the board, layout in 10 layer PCB, prototype board bring-up, validating the board for various standard operating systems. Caravel transferred all the production documents to the customer for carrying out the production at their Contract Manufacturer’s facility.


Development of EPIC form factor Intel LV Pentium M processor (855GME chipset) Industrial motherboard

Customer

An Industrial motherboard designer and manufacturer in USA

Business challenge

To design and build a prototype EPIC form factor motherboard using Intel LV Pentium M / ULV Celeron M processor and 855GME + ICH4 chipset

Solution

Caravel designed and built a prototype of the motherboard using Intel LV Pentium M / ULV Celeron processor and 855GME chipset. It has standard features such as dual SATA, LVDS for flat panel display, Giga Ethernet, PC/104-plus and mini PCI slots, SODIMM slot for memory etc along with standard motherboard interfaces.

Caravel carried out the design of the board, layout in 10 layer PCB, prototype board bring-up, validating the board for various standard operating systems. Caravel transferred all the production documents to the customer for carrying out the production at their Contract Manufacturer’s facility.


Development of Baby-AT form factor Intel Pentium M processor (855GME chipset) Industrial motherboard with legacy ISA slots

Customer

An Industrial motherboard designer and manufacturer in USA

Business challenge

To design and build a prototype of Baby-AT form factor motherboard using Intel Pentium M processor and 855GME chipset with support for legacy ISA slots

Solution

Caravel designed and built a prototype of the motherboard using Intel Pentium M processor and 855GME chipset. It has standard features such as dual SATA, LVDS for flat panel display, dual Ethernet, 4 PCI slots and 4 legacy ISA slots along with 2 SODIMM slots for upto 2GB memory etc along with standard motherboard interfaces.

Caravel carried out the design of the board, layout in 6 layer PCB, prototype board bring-up, validating the board for various standard operating systems. Caravel transferred all the production documents to the customer for carrying out the production at their Contract Manufacturer’s facility.


Development of a reference motherboard to validate a proprietary 32 bit RISC processor

Customer

A leading research house

Business Challenge

To develop a reference motherboard on the lines of industry standard PC architecture to validate a 32-bit RISC processor based on proprietary architecture with instruction set. The developed platform should easy porting of LINUX operating system to prove that this processor can be used for workstation application

Solution

Caravel designed the motherboard using industry standard PC architecture using Northbridge (Motorola MPC107), Southbridge ( Winbond ), super I/O ( National ) and 4 PCI slots for inserting off-the-shelf VGA, SCSI and Ethernet cards to make it a standard workstation.

Caravel developed BIOS for this processor and chipset on the lines of industry standard PC BIOS using cross platform tools available for this processor. Caravel also developed LINUX drivers for some peripherals on the board.

The customer first synthesized the RISC processor in a Xilinx Virtex II FPGA in low speed mode. First prototype is developed to support this FPGA and processor functionality was proven.

Later the customer converted this into an ASIC working at higher speeds and Caravel modified the board to support this ASIC and full functionality was proven.

Caravel carried out the design of the board, layout in 12 layer PCB, Assembly, prototype board bring-up using the BIOS developed. Caravel also helped the customer at various stages in porting the Operating System. After successful testing of prototype Caravel carried out production of 8 numbers of these workstations.

Caravel worked closely with the customer processor development team to come out with a time bound solution.


Development of a Ruggedized Freescale PowerQUICC MPC860 processor based Encoder / Decoder board

Customer

A leading Defense research Laboratory

Business Challenge

To develop and manufacture a Ruggedized qualified Encoder / Decoder subsystem board using Freescale MPC860:PowerQUICC Integrated Communication processor

Solution

Caravel designed and built the prototype board based on MPC860 processor with 4 MB SRAM, 4 MB Flash and 10mbps Ethernet channel. The board also had two channels of 64KB dual port RAM channels for communication with other subsystems. The card has 32 channel 12bit A/D converter, 2 channel 12 bit D/A converter, 32 channels of Digital IO and PCM stream generator and bit synchronizer to decode the command PCM data. The card also has 4 RS422 channels for communication with other systems.

Caravel carried out the design of the board, layout in 10layer PCB, Assembly, prototype board bring-up using the board bring-up routines developed. Later Caravel also developed built-in self test, driver routines for all peripherals onboard.

The manufactured board was put through various ESS tests such as Vibration, low and High temperature operation, shock tests etc to qualify the board to mil standards.

Later Caravel carried out the production of 6 boards to customer’s requirement.


Development of a Ruggedized Freescale HCS12 CPU based PCM Encoder system

Customer

A leading Defense research Laboratory

Business Challenge

To develop and manufacture a Ruggedized qualified PCM Encoder system Freescale MC9S12DP256BMPV Microcontroller

Solution

Caravel designed and built the system containing two cards. Main encoder card is based on prototype board is based on MC9S12DP256BMPV Microcontroller with 32 analog input channels ( 14bit A/D converter ), 32 bit digital I/O channels, Bi-phase PCM data output channel and multiple RS232 ports. The second card is power supply card with DC-DC converter with associated EMI filters working on an input of 28V DC.

Caravel carried out the design of the board, layout in 6 layer PCB, Assembly, prototype board bring-up using the board bring-up routines developed. Later Caravel also developed built-in self test, driver routines for all peripherals onboard.

Caravel also carried out the milgrade qualified mechanical enclosure design with D38999 circular connectors in aerospace grade aluminum.

The manufactured system was put through various ESS tests such as Vibration, low and High temperature operation, shock tests etc to qualify the system to mil standards.

Later Caravel carried out the production of 12 systems to customer’s requirement.


Development of a Ruggedizedd Analog Devices Micro converter ADuC 834 based Error Generation Card

Customer

A leading Defense research Laboratory

Business Challenge

To develop and manufacture a Ruggedized qualified error generation card based on Analog Devices AduC 834 based micro converter.

Solution

Caravel designed and built the board based on ADuC micro converter ADuC 834 with an additional high speed 12 bit ADC ( 130 kSPS ) and serial ports. The card is designed with Stachup connectors to stack this card with other associated cards in the system.

Caravel carried out the design of this circular shaped board, layout in 6 layer PCB, Assembly, prototype board bring-up using the board bring-up routines developed. Later Caravel also developed built-in self test, driver routines for all peripherals onboard.

The manufactured system was put through various ESS tests such as Vibration, low and High temperature operation, shock tests etc to qualify the system to mil standards.

Later Caravel carried out the production of 10 cards to customer’s requirement.


DUAL TI TMS 320LF2407 DSP based Variable Frequency Converter Board Bring-up

Customer

A leading provider of distributed power systems related products and solutions in Canada.

Business Challenge

The customer designed a board for Variable frequency converter application and needed a outsourced partner bring-up the board by writing necessary FPGA code, DSP code and drivers to test the functionality of various peripherals on the board. Carryout modifications on the board to correct the mistakes identified.

Solution

The board was based on two TI DSPs TMS 320LF2407 connected to other peripherals on the board using Altera Cyclone FPGA EP1C6Q240 . The board has peripherals such as 32 optically isolated Digital I/Os, 16 Analog input channels along with Analog Devices Isolation amplifiers, 16 fibre out PWM channels and 16 fibre input feedback channels.

Caravel developed the necessary boot-up code DSPs using TI Code composer studio, code for Altera Cyclone FPGA in AHDL using Quartus II design software, developed driver routines to check and validate the functionality of each onboard peripheral. The mistakes and corrections required on the board were noted and modifications were carried out on the board file of the PCB and modified PCB files were sent to the customer.

Caravel got involved in board bring-up stage of the development and offered a significant cost reduction to the customer.


Re-engineering of a legacy hand held calibration terminal to take care of component obsolescence and cost reduction

Customer

Manufacturer of a broad portfolio of liquid level, flow, and pressure sensors in USA.

Business Challenge

The customer had a legacy handheld calibration terminal designed using the good old intel 8085 microprocessor and related peripherals. These components are not readily available in the market and the BOM cost is also very high. The customer was looking for a partner who can redesign this terminal to take care of obsolescence of components keeping the functionality, user interface etc as it is.

Solution

Caravel carried out the study of firmware in detail and prepared the documentation. Caravel redesigned the circuit board using 8051 micro-controller. The firmware was rewritten / ported to 8051 from 8085 code. The redesigned system was thoroughly tested with end equipment for complete functionality.

The component count (ICs) is reduced to 3 nos from original component count of 16 nos and the cost BOM was brought down to 30% of original BOM cost. The reliability of the system also increased due to reduced number of components.

The customer gained in terms of reduced cost of BOM, less component inventory, less manufacturing cost and improved reliability.

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