- Posted by Mario Rueda Aguilocho
- On March 31, 2022
Depending on the electronic design services required (Power, RF, Digital…), specific knowledge about those fields is necessary. Therefore, in this article, we want to explain technical design capabilities within the electronic circuit design comprising a series of processes and generic knowledge common to any design.
ALTER provides electronics design services, from concept design to manufacturing. Our team is formed by highly experienced engineers in the different fields of electronics design, constantly updated on the latest technologies and engineering processes to offer best design practices, from initial requirements to final design, prototype, test a validation. Manufacturing partners can provide low, mid, or high-volume batches or series. Together will facilitate getting your product from the initial concept to the market.
During the initial requirements phase, we can help customers to improve the design functionality by proposing ideas and design techniques from our lessons-learned database towards a better cost and timing balance of the design. Our main advantage is to have an engineering team with a wide a diverse background coming from different fields of electronics design, including Analog, Mixed signal, and Digital Design, Power Electronics, Optoelectronics, RF PCB layout, and FPGA covering application fields like aerospace, automotive and industrial. Design techniques such as DFM and Design for EMC are core parts of our design processes. Libraries management and footprint generation based on our experience in electronics manufacturing. Electronics Manufacturing knowledge is key to providing successful designs in time and cost-related efficiency.
EMC expertise at component, PCB, and Systems levels knowledge also adds outstanding value to our projects. Together with our EMC lab engineers in Alter Madrid, we can understand the EMC requirements and design to pass those requirements.
Lessons learned processes applied to all our projects, together with Technical Design Reviews and Checklists to ensure the final design is according to all requirements from customers.
Electronic design services
Highly experienced engineering in Electronics and Mechanical design. Our expertise covers Analog Mixed signals, Digital and Power Electronics, FPGA, and RF Design. Microcontroller programming. PCB layout. Mechanical design for housing, heatsinks, etc. For Space applications, Automotive, and Big Science Fields.
Alter technology has an experimented design team with extensive experience in the industrial, automotive, aerospace & defense, and communications sectors. We offer a complete service oriented to design manufacturing which includes all chains from product conception to industrialization. We take part in areas as different as:
- Hardware electronic design. We have PCB design and electronics simulation tools. This allows us to simulate the proper functionality of the plans before hardware design.
- Software and firmware development. We have extensive experience in software and firmware development for monitoring and process control.
- FPGA design. We have a complete design team with a deep knowledge of hardware description for computation and data processing.
- All this know-how allows us to offer high reliability and performance designs with all certified needed.
GET IN TOUCH TODAY!
Need to contract any of these services? Contact us!
Other characteristics that can be found in ALTER’s electronic design service are Prototyping Service, Electronic Product testing, Electronic Assembly Procurement, and Design Project Management.
Electronic design capabilities
Depending on the type of electronics required (Power, RF, Digital…), specific knowledge about those fields is necessary. Therefore, in this article, we want to explain the Technical Design Capabilities within the electronic circuit design comprises a series of processes and generic knowledge that are common to any design.
Design for Manufacturing
The objective of any design is finally to be built as an assembled part. The manufacturing supplier needs the Fabrication files (to build the PCB) and the manufacturing files to be manufactured. The manufacturing files needed by the EMS supplier are the XY location files (to program the pick and place equipment), the EBoM, and gerbers (or ODB++) to order the stencils.
Design for Manufacturing is based on design rules from Manufacturing processes for PCB and Electronics assemblers. ALTER design rules are based on knowledge gained with years of experience in different manufacturing companies. Processes are kept up to date with the latest processes in electronics manufacturing to guarantee a flawless manufacturing assembly of the designs done by us.
FPGA is an integrated circuit designed to be configured by a customer or a designer after manufacturing, hence the term field-programmable. FPGAs offer various functions, such as networking and routing processors, communication processors, and image and video processors.
At ALTER, we have a design area with extensive experience in this technical design capability, providing high-performance customized solutions for all kinds of needs. Our know-how includes designs for Rad-Hard environments such as the automotive and aerospace sectors.
The Printed Circuit Board PCB is the substrate where all the components and connections of our design are laid out. It is unique for each design and needs to be redesigned (most of the time) if any change in the schematics occurs.
It plays the most important role in any given design. It is not only the part holding the components and connections among them but also directly relates to the cost of the design, manufacturability, testability, functionality, and design qualification.
There are many PCBs, but common ones are CEM1, CEM3, FR4, Flex, IMS, and Rigid-Flex. It can be constructed from one to several copper layers, with different thicknesses of substrates and copper.
PCB design is one of the technical design capabilities within electronic design services. Our team in ALTER has a vast experience in PCB layout according to the latest DFM and EMC rules, library management, and design rules based on PCB types.
Analog, Mixed Signal, and Digital Design
Electronic design definition is very generic, covering different fields such as Analog, Mixed-signal, or Digital Design.
Analog design is quite challenging; design engineers need to know the function of the different devices needed to build the circuit and a deep knowledge of PCB layout, impedances, and noise filtering… as any detail will change the expected results.
Digital Design deals with circuits from basic combinatorial circuits to complex designs formed by thousands of devices connected via transmission lines. PCB layout and parasitic impedance calculations are key factors to keeping the signal integrity.
Mixed-signal design deals with analog and digital design, taking part in one single circuit, printed Circuit board-based or Integrated Circuit.
Design for EMC
EMC Electromagnetic Compatibility is the ability of the assembly to not create any electromagnetics perturbation to the equipment surrounded or connected to it and the ability to not be disturbed or affected by any other fields that it may be exposed to.
Special care needs to be taken when doing a design at both the schematics and PCB levels. Although there are well-known design rules for EMC Electromagnetic Compatibility, the level of success of the EMC performance of the design is mainly based on the designer’s experience. All our designers have years of experience at PCB and systems levels in Alter.
This technical design capability requires skilled engineers and engineers with deep knowledge of the electronics hardware connected to the microcontroller at schematics and system levels.
ALTER team is experienced with programming different microcontroller families using C++, Java, Python, and some specific assembler codes for other platforms.
RF design is a very particular field when speaking about electronics design. Amplifiers, frequency converters, mixers, oscillators, filters, and antennas… are basic function blocks in RF systems. An excellent understanding of material properties and parasitic elements is key to designing an RF circuit properly. At High Frequencies, any component or piece of copper parasitic characteristic will affect the circuit performance.
Low and mid-Power Electronics Design
Alter has a work team with extensive experience in low and mid-Power Electronics design for power conversion and motor control. This know-how includes DC/DC converters and DC/AC single-phase and three-phase converters. We manage various topologies depending on needs, such as Buck, Boost, Flyback, and H-Bridge converters with high-frequency planar transformers. We engineer resonant topologies, too, such as ZVS and ZCS.
Our knowledge lets us advise our customers and offer customized solutions to meet their needs.
CAE / Simulation
Simulation is a very important step in any design process. The objective of the simulation process is to test a circuit or mechanical part before it is built to ensure it will function appropriately according to the specifications. For circuits simulation, we can perform it at the schematics level so that we can check circuit behavior regarding input and output conditions (voltage, frequency, load power…) and at the PCB level where the physical connection between components and location is considered; thus, allowing to check not only electrical performance but also thermal behavior, Electromagnetic compatibility, etc.
Regarding mechanical simulation, we can do mechanical stress analysis where the material used and the geometry designed is simulated to certain conditions to make sure the material can keep the mechanical properties after the stress.