RF Protocol Analyser

Software development with Petalinux

Our customer designed a protocol analyser using a Zynq 7000 series processor, containing an FPGA and two ARM Cortex-A9 cores. The ARM cores ran embedded Linux.

We designed and implemented the code running under Linux, including:

  • Device drivers to handle high speed data interfaces
  • Device drivers for a range of other peripherals
  • Interface specifications for data transport through the system
  • Application code to control the system and transfer data at high speed to an external host

Bootloader for ARM core in an ASIC

Silicon wafer before dicing

Our client developed an ASIC in which the functions were controlled by an ARM Cortex-M0 core.

We wrote the initial bootloader for the ARM core, in a mixture of C and assembler. It initialises the CPU and its communication interfaces when the chip powers up, enabling application-specific code to be downloaded and run.

Custom Processor Card

OMAP-L138 CPU Board

Our customer designed a processor card based on an OMAP-L138 processor (a dual core ARM926 and C674x chip), and we provided the expertise to port Linux to the card.

We were contracted to:

  • Bring up the board and debug hardware problems with the prototype
  • Port Linux to the board, including a bootloader
  • Write device drivers to support peripherals on the board, including user-facing communication interfaces and a touchscreen LCD
  • Port existing code to the new platform

Moisture Monitor Development

M50 Handset in use

We developed a hand-held moisture monitor for our client, for use in non-destructive testing of moisture penetration in aircraft components. We were responsible for the mechanical, electronic, and software engineering on the project.

The moisture probe is based around a Microchip PIC18 SoC. It connects to a battery-powered handset, also based on a PIC18, which displays the moisture value on an LCD screen and allows the user to configure the system.

Maintaining Vintage Electronics

Aston Martin Virage trip computer

Aston Martin Virage cars, made in the early 1990s, contain electronic dashboards. Our customer wanted to maintain these dashboards as part of its business, but there was no available documentation on how they work.

We reverse-engineered the dashboards to enable them to be maintained. We:

  • Generated schematics for the hardware
  • Disassembled the firmware (running on an Intel MCS-96 CPU) to understand how the programming works
  • Identified weaknesses in the firmware that can trigger a well-known fault that corrupts the electronic odometer (and patched the firmware to work around these issues)
  • Identified modern replacements for obsolete components