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Electronics

The power behind intelligent systems.

Challenges

The last ten years have witnessed significant developments in electronics technology, with a consequent impact on the power and complexity of electronics-based intelligent systems solutions available to industrials and the developers of consumer devices.

For example:

  • FPGA technologies now provide the equivalent of 20 million ASIC gates for hardware implementation of complex algorithms such as FFT (Fast Fourier Transforms) or very complex state machines 
  • Real time video streaming decoding can be implemented using the engine of a multicore processor based on a DSP and 4 ARM core with 60 GFLOPS (Giga Flops), 1000 times more powerful than the Intel 486
  • Small devices can be embedded with multiple connections such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 4G, with space remaining for touchscreen and a variety of sensors
  • System on Chip (SoC) is now widespread, with diverse intelligent systems applications such as car wing mirror automation, infotainment, mobile phones and washing machine control. SoC now includes all of the major electronics technologies, comprising digital, analog, RF and optical-Signal or video processing applications were classically based on an architecture with a uProcessor for the high-level application, and an FPGA for high speed processing. Today multicore, FPGA with embedded soft-core and DSP can be used to create new architectures increasing both complexity and computational capability

The challenge for industry and business is to:

  • Exploit advances in electronics technology such as multicore, power management, miniaturisation, SoC, simulation and model-based design 
  • Move from a developer to an integrator role, while retaining product design control and IP
  • Maintain competitiveness by addressing commoditisation, reducing costs and reducing time-to-market
  • Ensure the safety of products and compliance with safety standards, for example DO-254 
  • Rapidly develop electronic board solutions to take advantage of a new service trend, technology or connectivity protocol

Offer Description

Intelligent Systems / Altran provides a set of packaged offers to:

  • integrate and deploy the latest electronics technologies in the context of clients’ solutions
  • make electronics a better value for clients’ business
  • ensure safety critical aspects are addressed, including fulfilling regulatory requirements 

Intelligent Systems / Altran accompanies its clients at each step of the electronics innovation lifecycle, from idea to production of the electronics boards:

  • Feasibility: selection of the most appropriate technologies from silicon vendors and tool suppliers
  • Architecture definition: identification of the best solution to satisfy client’s product requirement in terms of cost, computing power, technical requirements, modularity, reliability and maintainability
  • Design: delivery from requirements to working prototype, including:
    • analog board design for power supply or signal acquisition
    • board design for signal processing based on DSP and FPGA
    • complete hardware and firmware platforms (including drivers & BSPs) to develop software applications
    • complete custom solution design for fast prototyping and HIL or COTS solution such as MUXlab4
    • test benches for unit or system test
  • Validation and Verification: assuring the complete satisfaction of requirements and safety standards with requirements traceability and testing automation
  • Qualification: verification of regulatory compliance including EMC and environmental certification
  • Engineering: supporting the production phases through design review for cost reduction, test equipment development, boards redesign for legacy maintenance, manufacturer qualification and start of production.

 

 

Packaged Offers List

High-Speed Digital Design

High speed board design for signal processing with FPGA and DSP.
Hardware and Firmware platform for enhanced software application based on major CPU architectures such as ARM, Cortex, PowerPC, x86.


Analog Design & Power Management

Design and delivery of Power Supply High Power units for safety and mission critical applications.
Project engineering according to the Regulatory expectations of Aerospace, Avionics and Railway’s industries such as DO-160, ECSS-Q20, CENELEC 50126. Services include Parts Stress Analysis, Worst Case Analysis, Fault Tree Analysis.


Safety Critical FPGA Design
Complete design from requirements analysis to board integration of safety critical FPGA (up to 2MGate on Rad-Hard Actel Device) with Verification and Validation process compliant to DO-254 DAL A, ECSS-Q60, CENELEC 50129 SIL4.


FPGA Design
Design, validation and integration of complex FPGA (up to Virtex and Stratix) with high speed interfaces such as Gigabit Ethernet PCI-E, memory controllers such as DDR3 and multiclock domains, Mathematic IP.


Model-Based Electronic Design
Industrialization and porting of models and algorithms implemented in high-level languages (mainly Matlab and Simulink) to code generation for the final target (C for uC or DSP and VHDL for FPGA). This offer takes advantage of the newest methodologies for Model Based design.


Electronics Test Automation
Architecture design, development, integration and delivery of complete Test Equipment for test automation based on COTS and custom Hardware.
This is a vendor-independent offer based on the main technology solutions such as LabView, TestStand and VisualStudio.


Hardware-In-the-Loop
Design and delivery of custom solutions for Diagnostic and HIL, starting from COTS solutions or combining HW design, FPGA development with firmware engineering.


Firmware Design
Design, development and validation of low-level firmware for a wide range of uControllers with several RTOS for mass production applications.
Taking hardware schematics and requirements as inputs we develop  BSP (Board Support Package), Bootloader and Drivers for OS (e.g. Linux , Windows , VxWorks , QNX) to turn on digital boards based on uProcessors.


Multicore Firmware Design
Architecture definition to take advantage of multicore’s concurrent processing to enable the development of hard real time systems
BSP development within the context of multicore new generation microprocessors.


Cross-Innovation
Intelligent Systems / Altran provides electronics technology transfer across industry sectors, enabling innovative problem solving. For example, the reuse of a design methodology for a satellite system to improve the calculation of the reliability of a water heater.


TIGER - Rapid FPGA Verification
An Intelligent Systems / Altran proprietary tool to reduce time and costs of the Verification and Validation phase of Safety Critical FPGA. The tool is based on VHDL test bench framework and supported by a graphical interface.
The tool fully supports requirement traceability and automatic generation of test reports.


MUXlab4 – Rapid Protyping
Intelligent Systems / Altran MUXlab4 and MUXlink offer a complete hardware and software solution for the prototyping of embedded applications on real-time targets (up to 1ms guaranteed) using Simulink® and Stateflow®.

Image Electronics

Case Reference

Objective

Intelligent Systems / Altran was contracted to deliver the FPGAs for the REcovery and COntrol system, key elements of the on-board computer for a new solar system discovery space mission. Safety requirements demanded that the satellite be controlled with logic implemented in hardware, the logic providing alarm monitoring and system reconfiguration.

Results

Intelligent Systems / Altran completely designed, validated and verified the two complex safety-critical FPGAs, which comprised 2 Million Gates implemented using RadHard technology (RTAX2000). The FPGAs were developed in compliance with the ECSS Q60 standard, verified using Intelligent Systems / Altran’s propriety TIGER tool, and delivered and approved for Flight Model Qualification test with ESA (European Space Agency).