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Orchid Technologies Completes Redesign of a Precision LCR Instrument - Orchid Technologies Engineering and Consulting, Inc., recently completed the redesign of the precision LCR instrument
Orchid Technologies Completes Redesign of a Precision LCR Instrument

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Maynard, MA, United States, 2008/10/07 - Orchid Technologies Engineering and Consulting, Inc., recently completed the redesign of the precision LCR instrument.

   
 
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Accurate to 0.05% of full scale, the original 1988 instrument design was very well executed. However vintage 1980’s state of the art electronic components were going end-of-life at an alarming rate.

"Our first step was to study the existing design," says Paul Nickelsberg, President and Senior Engineer with Orchid Technologies. "We worked to put ourselves into the minds of the original designers." "Through a process of study and review we identified a redesign approach." "We generated a detailed development plan proposing significant technical improvements and cost reductions." "Then we set to work."

Chief among the technical improvements and costs reductions were i) reduce circuit board count from two to one board, ii) simplify external connection method, iii) simplify complex shielding methods, iv) remove requirement for SRAM battery backup with FRAM, v) replace floppy drive with USB stick, vi) replace obsolete TMS320C31 DSP with new TMS320C6713 and port firmware accordingly, vii) replace obsolete Analog Devices 32 bit DDS circuitry with new 48 bit DDS circuitry improving sine wave spectral purity thereby, viii) replace obsolete Burr Brown (TI) Analog to Digital Converters with new Analog Devices SAR converters, ix) reduce most digital logic to a single Altera Cyclone FPGA, x) replace through hole components with SMT parts. Our new instrument is form, fit, and function compatible with the old, while achieving improved accuracy to 0.01% with a 3x increase in measurement speed.

Integration of digital circuitry onto a single Altera FPGA both saves space and reduces overall digital system signal noise. Taking care to energize digital busses only when required, the new design greatly reduces digital signal noise in the precision analog circuitry. Modern FPGA technology allows us to replace an entire circuit board with a single high density component.

"Re-design of this precision LCR instrument was one of the more challenging re-design efforts we at Orchid Technologies have undertaken," explained Nickelsberg. "It required a multidisciplinary approach involving mechanical packaging, shielding, precision analog design, integrated digital design, firmware and software development talent." "Our ability to put all those pieces into play has resulting in the successful redesign of this product giving our client another profitable decade of production."

 
 
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Written by / Agency / Source: Orchid Technologies Engineering & Consulting

 
 

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Orchid Technologies Completes Redesign of a Precision LCR Instrument

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Publisher Contact: Paul Nickelsberg - Orchid-Tech.com 
978-461-2000 x111 info[.]orchid-tech.com
 
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