A range of electronic design services to meet the needs of a wide range of customers from development houses to major international OEMs is provided by LDD Technology. Two key elements of any new design are PCB design and device programming. As this expertise may not be required by OEMs on a regular basis it is common to outsource these functions to an external development house. Established for over 25 years LDD Technology has a wealth of expertise and experience in fulfilling these types of requirements.
LDD's PCB layout service builds on their understanding of high speed digital electronic design and their appreciation of design-for-manufacture requirements is reflected in the quality of their PCB layouts. LDD have the depth of knowledge to produce robust and reliable layouts that ensure smooth manufacturing and reliable operation.
LDD primarily use Altium Designer layout software, a proven and powerful tool with 3D capabilities which are increasingly useful both for design visualisation and mechanical integration. LDD can accept inputs and produce outputs in a wide range of formats to meet customer’s requirements.
Malcolm Locke, Managing Director of LDD Technologies, commented: “We are just as happy to work autonomously as we are to work interactively with our customers design staff and are happy to provide exactly the service required.”
Most, even moderately complex, designs now feature programmable devices which can require specialist knowledge and design tools. Rather than employing a software designer and providing a suite of programming tools, which may not be cost effective, LDD can provide extensive FPGA and programmable logic design expertise and in-depth knowledge of devices from major semiconductor manufacturers including Altera and Xilinx.
LDD is very experienced in the use of Quartus II, Vivado and ModelSim design tools and the development of designs using VHDL and are always happy to recommend tools and silicon to suit specific customer requirements. LDD are familiar with many older programming tools and so are well placed to provide support for customer’s ongoing legacy projects.
Many of the solutions developed by LDD involve the use of NIOS II embedded processors and/or IP cores. Recent designs delivered by LDD include, a multi-processor, Compact PCI board containing six Statix IV devices, a multiple FPGA Board performing complex real time processing, memory card interfaces for SD card and CompactFlash and a Gigabit Ethernet Switch.
System designers are increasing their use of FPGAs and other complex processors to multiply the activities being carried out by individual devices. This can simplify and reduce costs manufacture and reduce the size of end products. The use of FPGAs is growing rapidly as costs reduce and power requirements decrease.
“Programming in VHDL, where many processes are happening in parallel, is significantly more complex as the time “dimension” needs to be carefully managed to ensure operations are completed in the correct sequence.” continues Locke. “Many software designers are only familiar with programming in straight-forward “linear” languages such as C and we can assist with more complex requirements.”
When a hardware manufacturer selects an FPGA for a design by a hardware manufacturer they will require experienced programming expertise or run the risk of in-house trial-and-error programming which can be costly and delay end product introduction. LDD has the experience to provide extensive knowledge of programmable logic, input into design for manufacture, cost effective programming and long term support.