Analogue, Mixed Signal, LSI


Programmable analog ICs used in steering system

6 October 2004 Analogue, Mixed Signal, LSI

Field programmable analog arrays (FPAAs) from Anadigm are being used in watercraft steering modules manufactured by Teleflex Canada, where the configurable device helps to reduce component count while providing a high level of design flexibility.

In the Teleflex Canada Seastar steering system, Anadigm's AN121E04 FPAA interfaces to a linear variable distance transducer (LVDT) to sense the position of an hydraulic spool. The implementation provides a highly accurate synchronised demodulator for the steering application while performing offset and phase adjustments for which external components were previously needed.

Part of the Anadigmvortex product family, the 44-pin AN121E04 FPAA works with AnadigmDesigner2 and software configurable analog modules (CAMs) to allow users to greatly reduce the time required to design, simulate, and implement complex analog functions. FPAA technology has the ability to dynamically reprogram the analog functions while the end application is running. This gives the designer the flexibility to implement new features such as auto-ranging and auto-calibration, and also to have the device change functionality sequentially over time to support multiple operating modes. Another way this can benefit the designer is to use the FPAA to connect to multiple analog sensors and provide the appropriate interface circuit using one integrated device.

In the Teleflex application, the FPAA provides a robust analog implementation that avoids the temperature and process drift common to discrete solutions and the up-front costs associated with ASICs. The AN121E04 features include a 100 dB narrowband signal-to-noise ratio as well as an extended bandwidth of DC to 2 MHz, depending on the application. An advanced I/O structure, with four configurable I/O cells and two dedicated output cells, allows the device to be programmed with up to six outputs. For I/O-intensive applications, this means a single FPAA can be used to process multiple channels of analog signals where two or more such devices were previously needed.

With the AN121E04, designers can also implement an integrated 8 bit A/D convertor on the FPAA, and route the digital output off-chip using one of the dedicated output cells.

The FPAA can be programmed using AnadigmDesigner2, a drag-and-drop EDA tool.





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