Analog Devices and Spoerle: Working Together to Accelerate Development Processes via New Embedded Platform Concept
For some years now, sales distribution in electronic components has already been experiencing structural upheavals. Given that the volume of the components on which all types of industrial applications are based is continually growing at the rate of around 300 new products per day, and therefore becoming more complex and increasingly difficult to monitor, there has also been a marked rise in the technical consultancy aspect of the services offered by distributors. Many distributors are experiencing a process of transformation where they are moving from just dealing in components to becoming total solution or solution proposal providers, with all the consultancy support involving engineers and other technical experts that this entails. As for the customers, they are under extreme pressure from their competitors, and this has a particular bearing on the time-consuming stages involving research and development. Put simply, there is a requirement for faster development times at a time when the complexity of applications and their components is increasing.
The Embedded Platform Concept:
Market requirements have led to the development of the Spoerle Embedded Platform Concept (EPC) system solution concept which leverages advanced technology from companies like Analog Devices to assist embedded developers with the creation of innovative new applications and expedite development processes. The focus is on the development of ideas (intellectual property) for industrial applications, their realization and their lifetime management –so-called customer application management. These systems are developed by highly trained technical experts with the aim of providing customers with a turnkey application and thereby bridging the existing gulf between complexity and fast lead times to market. Everything is directed at creating a clear competitive edge for Spoerle customers in their target markets. Spoerle demonstrates to its customers fully operating and tested systems that show them what an application might look like. Modular reference boards, along with suitably matched IP and service modules, form the basis of the EPC.
In technical terms, the concept addresses four areas of technology that are fundamental for the development of electronic systems:
- Microprocessor units (MPUs), microcontroller units (MCUs) and digital signal processors (DSPs)
- High performance analog
- High performance electronics & power management
- Programmable logic (FPGAs)
The total solutions envisage various CPU architectures and processor speeds, depending on customer requirements. Any type of interface may be incorporated, including USB, Ethernet, UART, SPI, 12C, 12S, CAN, RS485 and Audio. The systems are of modular design. There is a baseboard that can be configured via various CPU and power modules to provide whatever features are required. In terms of hardware, high-speed and low-end extensions add the final touches to the total system. Spoerle has developed reference boards for the most important industrial applications.
Spoerle offers three separate ADI-based modules:
- Analog Devices Blackfin ADSP-BF527 Complete Kit consisting of Analog Devices Blackfin ADSP-BF527 Processor module and ADI
- Analog Devices Blackfin ADSP-BF527 Processor Module
- Analog Devices DC/DC Board 1 Featuring the ADP1829 DC-to-DC buck controller and ADP2107step-down converter
In addition to Spoerle’s EPC support, developers choosing to design on Analog Devices-based components are also able to take advantage of Analog Devices’ extensive design support ecosystem of development tools, software and third-party offerings. Application development time is significantly reduced due to the convergent Blackfin processor’s integration of DSP and microcontroller functionality onto a unified single-processor architecture.
ADSP-BF527 is powered by Analog Devices’ ADP1829 buck controller and ADP2107 step-down converter, a power management solution that offers an optimal combination of efficient high current conversion (ADP1829) and compact integrated solution (ADP2107), enabling the processor to perform at its best with optimal efficiency from the power supply.
As an additional service in association with the conceptual development of the customer application and its realization during the design stage and application management, Spoerle customers can access all the engineering services they require, at any time from the initial idea through to ongoing servicing of their target markets. These services comprise the following items, among others:
This means that companies that opt for these services can have access to extensive documentation material. The material includes, for instance, extensive user and design guides that explain and illustrate the application in detail in the style of a conventional technical data sheet or white paper. For all the manufacturers involved, Spoerle has access to the latest technologies available on the market, meeting current and future requirements relating to energy efficiency, for instance. Spoerle customers receive technical product information before it is published, thereby obtaining an advantage over others in the market in terms of the information at their disposal. Their own development department is reinforced by Spoerle staff, and customers can focus their energies more on their core business. Their core competence remains in their development department, but they no longer have to engage in the time-consuming quest for components.
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Spoerle Embedded Platform Concept based on ADI Blackfin® Processor