Electronic Design: AMPIC – Public demonstration design

AMPIC software stack

Public design?

In a bid to prove our design process expertise (always difficult when often heavily under NDA) DSL have taken the unprecedented step of publishing all stages of one of our internal product development designs. The AMPIC.

Background

The concept that originally spawned the “Functional Building Block” approach to electronic design, the AMPIC was conceptualised in reaction to feedback from DSL’s client base; craving the benefit from emerging ARM technology but without the necessary in-house expertise to develop a solution from an off-the-shelf development board.

Those same customers, desperate to get their product to market ahead of their competitors, were less keen on ‘from scratch’ design time-scales, risk and of course, cost.

The “Functional Building Block” approach was born. Simplistically translating to DSL ‘pre-designing’ a fully functional development board, designed from the ground up to be fully featured yet segmented easily into its functional parts, from schematics through to circuitry. Any client specific design derived from this starting platform then effectively starts near the end, with the risk, cost and design time-scales long behind us.

Challenge

The challenge of course was to create a development platform that whilst feature rich, wasn’t unnecessarily complex and could be used in parallel to support a client’s software development (further expediting overall completion time) whilst their specific derivative is being built.

The second challenge was to incorporate relevant functionality for the target industries, which not only covered multiple industries but also multiple applications within, including Remote Sensors, Standalone Control Systems and Industrial I/O conversion, though of course equally not restricted to them.

ampic

Solution

DSL’s internal engineering, sales and marketing teams collaborated throughout the project, the result – the AMPIC ‘Functional Building Block’.

Process

The AMPIC development was undertaken rigidly inline with DSL’s standard design process. Click each hyperlinked section for the applicable document.

Step 1 – Requirements Definition – Requirements definition compiled via multiple internal departmental input.
Step 2 – Design Proposal (Outline)
Step 3 – Design Proposal: Quotation (Costs/Time-scales)
Step 4 – Dynamic Project Plan
Step 5 – Design Specification
Step 6 – Schematic Design
Step 7 – PCB Design – (3D PCB Layout. Note: requires Adobe PDF reader only)
Step 8 – Prototypes – (links to product datasheet, though feel free to come and view the prototypes!)