Analog, Digital, Mixed Signal Design & Development & Engineering

Xilinx ISE, ModelSim, Cadence Allegro, Mentor Graphics and more...

Analog, Digital, Mixed Signal Design & Development & Engineering

ANALOG

Analog electronics are those electronic systems with a continuously variable signal. In contrast, in digital electronics signals usually take only two different levels. The term "analog" describes the proportional relationship between a signal and a voltage or current that represents the signal. An analog signal uses some attribute of the medium to convey the signal's information. For example, a barometer uses the angular position of a needle as the signal to convey the information of changes in atmospheric pressure. Electrical signals may represent information by changing their voltage, current, frequency, or total charge. Information is converted from some other physical form ( such as sound, light, temperature, pressure, position) to an electrical signal by a transducer which converts one type of energy into another. A microphone is an example transducer. Analog systems invariably include noise; that is, random disturbances or variations. Since all variations of an analog signal are significant, any disturbance is equivalent to a change in the original signal and so appears as noise. As the signal is copied and re-copied, or transmitted over long distances, these random variations become more significant and lead to signal degradation. Other sources of noise may come from external electrical signals, or poorly designed components. These disturbances are reduced by shielding, and using low-noise amplifiers (LNA). In spite of its advantage in design and economics, once a digital electronic device has to interface with the real world, it needs an analog electronic device.

Analog electronics design & development and engineering has been a major playing field for us for a long time.  Some examples of analog systems we have worked on are:

  • Interface circuitry, multi-stage amplifiers and filtering for optimal signal quality

  • Sensor selection and interfacing

  • Control electronics for electromechanical systems

  • Power supplies of various types

  • Oscillators, clocks and timing circuits

  • Signal conversion circuitry, such as frequency to voltage

  • Electromagnetic Interference control

 

DIGITAL

Digital electronics are systems that represent signals as discrete levels, rather than as a continuous range. In most cases the number of states is two, and these states are represented by two voltage levels: one near to zero volts and one at a higher level depending on the supply voltage in use. These two levels are often represented as "Low" and "High." The fundamental advantage of digital techniques stem from the fact that it is easier to get an electronic device to switch into one of a number of known states than to accurately reproduce a continuous range of values. Digital electronics are usually made from large assemblies of logic gates, simple electronic representations of Boolean logic functions. One advantage of digital circuits when compared to analog circuits is that signals represented digitally can be transmitted without degradation due to noise. In a digital system, a more precise representation of a signal can be obtained by using more binary digits to represent it. While this requires more digital circuits to process the signals, each digit is handled by the same kind of hardware. Computer-controlled digital systems can be controlled by software, allowing new functions to be added without changing hardware. Often this can be done outside of the factory by updating the product's software. So, the product's design errors can be corrected after the product is in a customer's hands. Information storage can be easier in digital systems than in analog ones. The noise-immunity of digital systems permits data to be stored and retrieved without degradation. In an analog system, noise from aging and wear degrade the information stored. In a digital system, as long as the total noise is below a certain level, the information can be recovered perfectly. In some cases, digital circuits use more energy than analog circuits to accomplish the same tasks, thus producing more heat. In portable or battery-powered systems this can limit use of digital systems. Also digital circuits are sometimes more expensive, especially in small quantities. Let us reemphasize this point: The sensed world is analog, and signals from this world are analog quantities. For example, light, temperature, sound, electrical conductivity, electric and magnetic fields are analog. Most useful digital systems must translate from continuous analog signals to discrete digital signals. This causes quantization errors. 

We can offer our customers targeted recruitment to solve short and long term needs, and consulting engineers with specific domain expertise. As Digital Electronics specialists, depending on your needs, we can cover areas as implementation, system architecture, testing, specification and documentation. Besides technical competence, hardware design requires also the ability to execute development projects in a short period of time and at high quality for which we are well known. Modern electronic design requires also good knowledge of regulatory requirements regarding EMC, RoHS and safety. AGS-Enginering has access to specialized labs and design tools, so we can develop products from specification to finished product. We offer specialists in the following areas:

  • Analog and digital design

  • Radio design

  • ASIC/FPGA design

  • System design

  • Smart sensors

  • Space technology

  • Motion control/robotics

  • Broadband

  • Medical- and IVD-standards

  • EMC and safety

  • LVD

 

Some of the major technologies and platforms used are:

  • Communication interfaces (Ethernet, USB, IrDA etc)

  • Radio technology (GPS, BT, WLAN etc)

  • Power supply and management

  • Motor control and drive

  • High-speed digital design

  • FPGA, VHDL programming

  • LCD graphic display

  • Processors and MCU

  • ASIC

  • ARM, DSP

 

Major Tools:

  • Xilinx ISE

  • ModelSim

  • Leonardo

  • Synplify

  • Cadence Allegro

  • HyperLynx

  • Quartus

  • JTAG

  • OrCAD Capture

  • PSpice

  • Mentor Graphics

  • Expedition

 

MIXED SIGNAL

A mixed-signal integrated circuit is any integrated circuit that has both analog circuits and digital circuits on a single semiconductor die. Typically, mixed-signal chips (dies) perform some whole function or sub-function in a larger assembly. They often contain an entire system-on-a-chip. Because of the use of both digital signal processing and analog circuitry, mixed-signal ICs are usually designed for a very specific purpose and their design requires a high level of expertise and careful use of computer aided design (CAD) tools. Automated testing of the finished chips can also be challenging. Mixed-signal applications are among the fastest growing market segments in the electronics industry. Examination of any recent device like a smart phone, tablet computer, digital camera or 3D TV indicates us very high integration of analog and digital functionality at system, SoC and silicon levels. Our team of senior analog designers, utilizing the latest design techniques and design tools are ready to undertake the most challenging analog and mixed signal challenges. AGS-Engineering has the domain experience to handle the most complex and challenging analog circuit requirements.

  • High speed serial interfaces, data converters, power management modules, low power RF, high value analog IP macros. We have expertise in the integration of analog macros into mixed signal and analog-only devices

  • High-speed IO design

    • DDR1 through DDR4

    • LVDS

  • IO libraries

  • Power management units

  • Low power custom circuit design

  • Custom SRAM, DRAM, TCAM design

  • PLLs, DLLs, Oscillators

  • DACs and ADCs

  • IP conversion: new process nodes and technologies

  • SerDes PHYs

    • USB 2.0/3.0

    • PCI Express

    • 10GE

  • Switching and linear regulators

  • Charge pump regulators

  • Discrete op-amps

 

We have Verilog-AMS experts who can build state of the art mixed signal verification environments for sophisticated mixed signal ICs. Our team of engineers have built complex verification environments from scratch, written self-checking assertion checks, created randomization test cases, helped clients get up and running on the latest verification methodologies including Verilog-A/AMS modeling as well as RNM.. When working with design verification teams, the AMS coverage can be merged with the digital verification environment to ensure that interfaces have been covered in either environment. Our design modeling experts have supported the architecture and specification phase by building models that work in conjunction with the system model. Once the system model is found to meet the objective then the specification is generated from the Verilog-A/AMS model.

 

We can help our clients convert their Verilog-A models into RNM models. RNM allows the digital verification engineers to verify the design to the same level as the AMS engineers but getting the results much faster than the AMS.

Below are some typical applications for our mixed-signal design & development and engineering team:

  • Smart Sensor Applications: Consumer Mobile, Data Acquisition and Processing, MEMS & other Emerging Sensors, Integrated Sensor Fusion, Sensors providing Information instead of Data, Wireless Sensing in the Internet of Things…etc.

 

  • RF Applications: Design of Receivers, Transmitters and Synthesizers, ISM bands from 38MHz to 6GHz, GPS receivers, Bluetooth…etc.

 

  • Consumer Mobile Applications: Audio & Human Interface, Display Controllers, System Controllers, Mobile Battery Management

 

  • Smart Power Applications: Power Conversion, Digital Power Supplies, LED Lighting Applications

 

  • Industrial Applications: Motor Control, Automotion, Test and Measurement

PCB & PCBA DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT

A printed circuit board, or briefly denoted as PCB, is used to mechanically support and electrically connect electronic components using conductive pathways, tracks, or traces, etched commonly from copper sheets laminated onto a non-conductive substrate. A PCB populated with electronic components is a printed circuit assembly (PCA), also known as a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA). The term PCB is often used informally for both bare and assembled boards. PCBs are sometimes single sided (meaning they have one conductive layer), sometimes double sided (meaning they have two conductive layers) and sometimes they come as multi-layer structures (with outer and inner layers of conductive paths). To be more explicit, in these multi-layer printed circuit boards, multiple layers of material are laminated together. PCBs are inexpensive, and can be highly reliable. They require much more layout effort and higher initial cost than either wire-wrapped or point-to-point constructed circuits, but are much cheaper and faster for high-volume production. Much of the electronics industry's PCB design, assembly, and quality control needs are set by standards that are published by the IPC organization.

We have engineers specialized in PCB & PCBA design & development and testing. If you have a project you would like us to evaluate, contact us. We will take into consideration available space in your electronic system and use the most suitable EDA (Electronic Design Automation) tools available to create the schematic capture. Our experienced designers will place the components and heat sinks in the most suitable locations on your PCB. We can either create board from schematic and then create the GERBER FILES for you or we can use your Gerber files to manufacture the PCB boards and verify their operation. We are flexible, so depending on what you have available and what you need done by us, we will do it accordingly. As some manufacturers require it, we create the Excellon file format too for specifying drill holes. Some of the EDA tools we use are:

  • EAGLE PCB design software

  • KiCad

  • Protel

 

AGS-Engineering has the tools and knowledge to design your PCB no matter how large or small.

We use the industry’s top tier design tools and are driven to be the best.

  • HDI Designs with micro vias and advanced materials - Via-in-Pad, laser micro vias.

  • High speed, multi layer digital PCB designs - Bus routing, differential pairs, matched lengths.

  • PCB Designs for space, military, medical and commercial applications

  • Extensive RF and analog design experience (printed antennas, guard rings , RF shields...)

  • Signal integrity issues to meet your digital design needs (tuned traces, diff pairs...)

  • PCB Layer management for signal integrity and impedance control

  • DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, SAS and differential pair routing expertise

  • High density SMT designs (BGA, uBGA, PCI, PCIE, CPCI...)

  • Flex PCB designs of all types

  • Low level analog PCB designs for metering

  • Ultra low EMI designs for MRI applications

  • Complete assembly drawings

  • In-Circuit Test data generation (ICT)

  • Drill, panel and cutout drawings designed

  • Professional fabrication documents created

  • Autorouting for dense PCB designs

 

Other examples of PCB & PCA related services we offer are

  • ODB++ Valor review for a complete DFT / DFT design verification.

  • Full DFM review for manufacturing

  • Full DFT review for testing

  • Part database management

  • Component replacement and substitution

  • Signal integrity analysis

 

If you are not yet at the PCB & PCBA design phase, but need the schematics of the electronic circuits, we are here to help you. See our other menus such as analog and digital design to learn more about what we can do for you. So, if you need the schematics first, we can prepare them and then transfer your schematic diagram into a drawing of your printed circuit board and subsequently create the Gerber files.

If you would like to explore our manufacturing capabilities along with our engineering capabilities, we recommend you to visit our custom manufacturing site http://www.agstech.net where you will also find details of our PCB & PCBA prototyping and manufacturing capabilities.

AGS-ENGINEERING

Fax: (505) 814-5778 (USA)

Physical Address: 6565 Americas Parkway NE, Suite 200, Albuquerque, NM 87110, USA

Mailing Address: PO Box 4457, Albuquerque, NM 87196 USA

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©2018 BY AGS-ENGINEERING

If you would like to offer us engineering services, please visit http://www.agsoutsourcing.com and fill out the ONLINE SUPPLIER APPLICATION FORM.

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