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Electronic Design
Embedded Software
Product Engineering
June 2012 / Issue #3  
From the MD’s desk
Altogether it has been a very exciting month at Ascenten with test success in achieving accuracy and repeatability of test results of one of our development projects. Our design has surpassed customer expectation of staying within a maximum permissible error band by not exceeding more than 70% of the allowable error band. The results are encouraging.

We found during tests that our prototype showed large random spikes in several tests at times. This was certainly not normal. The spikes occurred at roughly 5 to 10 minute random interval. This was perplexing as we had over the past six months thoroughly checked and re-checked the design and the measurement algorithm. It was a while since we had been scratching our heads on this. It was only while on my way back from the test lab, did it occur to me that the spikes may have been air pressure waves caused due to swinging of the laboratory twin-doors. A closer look at the spikes, thanks to the meticulous effort of our team, showed they were 4 Hz dampening waves, occurring twice quickly, possibly once for each door. Our prototype design may have been extremely sensitive and was perhaps picking up pressure waves caused due to door movement. Upon our return we quickly replicated and confirmed this cause. Amazing, I thought... now I know how precisely to build a sensitive room motion detector or a pressure wave profiler!

Here we zoom into the pressure waves.

Precision instrumentation and signal processing are fascinating subjects – beautiful in their own right. A thorough understanding of orthogonality, general transform theory (Laplace, Fourier, Z), basic probability theory, noise, errors and accuracies, digital resolution, analog amplifier design, analog filter design, field isolation techniques and digital filter design are key to building reliable and dependable measurement instruments.
Meet Kumar
FPGA Bridge
FPGA as a Bridge between 400 MSPS ADC & 10 MHz Throughput DSP
Mufaddal Saifee (FPGA Design Engineer, Ascenten)
When we talk of precision instrumentation, we are looking at a system that can manage highly complex math-intensive tasks, since the data collected from the physical sensors need intensive calculations in order to be measured. FPGA overcomes the disadvantages of ASIC and DSP for implementing data formatting, timing, and specialized glue logic needed to connect real-time peripherals like modems, A/D converters and digital receivers to programmable processors.
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X-Ray Inspection of a BGA
Ease or Dis-Ease of Miniaturization
Bhavin Vora (Electrical Engineer, Ascenten)
In today’s world, miniaturization may be the holy grail of success in designing and building certain portable electronic equipment. A mobile phone is expected to substitute a laptop in functionality without growing a bit in size and weight. Many times design engineers can face an arduous task of increasing product features while reducing form factor and may need to use miniaturized BGA packages when available. However, with very high pin count BGAs, there is always that lingering doubt of whether all the pins are in proper contact with the PCB.
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Success Story: Automotive Data Acquisition System
Ascenten's turnkey design win of a rugged 32-channel automotive data acquisition system that measures and records data from various P, T, AFR, RPM, MPH sensors. It also features CAN bus communication and offline performance analysis PC application software.

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News from the Industry
Sub-metering made easy using Texas Instruments energy measurement ICs
Prasad Dhond, Marketing Manager, Smart Grid, Texas Instruments
Sub-metering applications such as smart plugs and appliance energy meters enable consumers to understand and control their energy-usage patterns. When designing a sub-meter, considerations such as choice of sensors, analog front-end (AFE) components, and microcontrollers (MCUs) play an important role in determining the overall system cost and complexity. This white paper discusses features and benefits of the MSP430AFE2xx IC in energy measurement applications.
Read More..
Ascenten is a global ISO 9001:2008 Electronic R&D Services company providing a broad spectrum of services such as Technology Research, New Product Development, Product Sustenance and Manufacturing to a number of industry verticals such as Metering, Automotive, Telecom NetworksMedical DevicesIndustrial SystemsConsumer Electronics, Security and Surveillance.
301 3rd Eye Complex
Panchvati Cross Roads
Ahmedabad 380006
Gujarat, India.
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