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Five Reasons to Use System on Modules (SoM) in Embedded System Design

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Time is money, and it must never be wasted. This aphorism applies to everything, including embedded system technology. For this reason, System-on-Modules are so popular right now since they provide all the capabilities you need without requiring you to design, locate, and assemble the components yourself. If this is something new for you, don’t worry. At Tessolve, our team of embedded system development experts are here to help you with the essential guide to understanding SoMs.

What is a System on Modules?

Before delving into any other details, let’s start from the beginning. A module system comprises a small package with all the significant elements of an integrated processing system. This includes everything from processor cores, communication configurations, and memory blocks on a small, production-ready Printed Circuit Board (PCB). A System on Modules is a complete CPU architecture in one tiny container. This approach allows SoM to be embedded in end systems ranging from complicated robots to simple home security cameras.

However, a System on Module should not be confused with a System on a Chip (SoC). An SoC includes a series of crucial compute components, all assembled on one chip. On the contrary, an SoM is based on a board and can include multiple components, and an SoC can be one of these. So, one should keep this in mind while choosing what to incorporate into their technologies.

Blade servers initially led to the development of the system on modules. These small servers were developed to conserve energy use and save storage space. The SOM assembly has been designed in the same sleek style as blade servers, and only the elements necessary for operation are all together in one tiny package. However, this does not prevent them from being used in multiple applications, most of which we will discuss in a moment.

Tessolve provides an extremely integrated software and hardware platform developed for quick advancement and marketing time, along with an assortment of resources and tools for ease of maintenance and scalability of design.

Five Reasons to Use System on Modules (SoM) in Embedded System Design

Now that you understand what system on modules is, let’s start discussing why they must be used in embedded systems:

1. Saves time

The primary reason behind the usage of the system on modules for the embedded device is the time-saving aspect. It takes far less time to build a product based on an SoM than to design a complete system from the start. Creating the CPU infrastructure often takes the most effort when it comes to embedded systems. Instead, one can take advantage of an SoM to save time and effort that could be better spent anywhere else. Tessolve provides the best in class, reliable and secure, embedded SOM solution with integrated wireless connectivity.

2. Customization

System on Modules provides a wide range of features and processor speeds in the same packages. This allows businesses to provide the same carrier board with variable speeds. Customers can easily design custom carrier boards that meet all their requirements without individually thinking about the processor and memory. The issue related to complicated custom cables is also eliminated since most businesses will provide pre-wired connectors that match standard cables. With the help of simple process upgrades and downgrades, anyone can create their dream system without spending their entire budget and a lot of time.

3. Simplicity

Another significant reason is the advancement of semiconductor technologies. Designing an embedded system using a SoC or FPGA requires a significant amount of time and care. Since semiconductors are becoming more and more advanced, there is a lot of information and little nuances to consider during the design process. Instead, one can use an SoM and spend the rest of the time focusing on the personality of your product and taking advantage of the complexity.

4. Development cost

A system on module significantly reduces the development cost of developing an embedded system. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, time is money, and by spending much less time on development work, most of the engineering expense is minimized.

5. Risk at the end of its useful life

The complications related to the end-of-life product based on a flash chipset or an end-of-life CPU are minimized by using a system of modules. The system may be brought back to life with a simple switch without significant carrier board changes. In addition, customers won’t have to worry about spending a lot of money on boards every year since most SoMs have a lifespan of more than five years.

You can obtain reliable SoMs from Tessolve as we also provide evaluation boards for SoM. Tessolve allows faster time to market for customers by offering a seamless shift from development to production and more.

Software and hardware development

Systems on modules can help achieve edge computing and local data processing without latency. This eliminates the requirement for expert hardware knowledge and experience by providing an intuitive design that anyone can apply. In addition, software developers who interfere with vision applications will appreciate the easily configurable sensors provided by SOMs.

Any hardware developer knows that production needs to be completed as quickly as possible, so limited resources should be focused on the highest-impact tasks. A system on modules provides field-programmable gate array (FPGA) performance and flexibility without all the hassle of PCB design and integration. With a powerful and innovative industrial System-on-Modules, integrated security, sophisticated device management tools and systems software, Tessolve’s embedded solutions minimize the expense of ownership and aid propel OEMs to success in the market.

Security cameras

One of the most common applications of SoMs is security cameras. Many system-on-modules provide 4K vision and video processing capabilities, which makes them ideal for such types of applications. These security cameras not only record videos but also use machine learning to categorize and analyze what they see, consistently delivering accurate real-time data.

Wrapping Up

System-on-Modules are the future of embedded systems development. Some of the examples listed above are just a few of hundreds of applications. Especially during the pandemic, home automation is high on people’s priority list, and most of these embedded devices are made with SoM.

Tessolve has its independent SOM Module Family, MAGIK-2 models, depending on the SMARC/Q7 standard, consisting of an entire software suite involving Device Drivers, assistance for different operating systems permitting efficient productization. SoM by Tessolve supports standard Android SDK that can be personalized for product development needs. Our System-on-Modules solutions and services permit customers to initiate their software development before manufacturing and assists in quick marketing.

Head over to Tessolve and check out our SoMs to start building your dream system today! For better assistance from our experienced engineers, email us today sales@tessolve.com

PCB Stackup Design

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As the name implies, stackup refers to the process of collection of copper and insulation layers that form the PCB before finalizing the board design. With the advent of modern technologies, compact electronics are more than a necessity, and therefore PCB layer stacking is crucial in electronics. For compact design for electronics products, designers believe it is necessary to mount PCBs with multi-layer designs and a 3D appearance. Multilayer hardware design helps to: improve the PCB board’s ability to distribute energy properly, eliminate electromagnetic interference, minimize cross-interference, and support signals at high speeds.

Stackup technologies

With the advent of precision manufacturing, Engineers have options to choose a stackup technology suitable to their requirements. The following factors are considered for a good stackup design: the number of layers, the frequency of the circuit, the Signal and Power Integrity specs and Emission requirements. Different stackup options arise by using combinations of Plated thru vias, Blind & Buried vias and Micro (HDI) vias. Most used stackup technologies are Standard stacking with Plated Thru vias and HDI.

Standard stacking connects Multiple copper layers by Plated Thru vias. The advantage of Standard stacking is it’s straightforward and easier to design and manufacture. The fab yield is more compared to any other stackup technology. Although, designing a dense board with smaller ICs is impossible with Standard stacking.

HDI (High Density Interconnect) stackup, as the name suggests, is best suited for High-Density boards. In a smartphone or tablet, the area is compact, but the PCB must accommodate a lot of circuits in it. HDI stackups are sequentially laminated, multi-layer structures, which help to build such compact boards with components packed on both sides. The laser drilled Micro vias, that connect the layers, are smaller compared to mechanically drilled vias thus helping the compact design. Compared to standard stacking, HDI stacks will consume lesser layers and provide better electrical performance.

Blind vias start from the external layer and end in any internal layer. Buried vias, as the name suggests, start from an inner layer and end in another inner layer. These vias are used when the via stub must be limited or eliminated. Also, they are used when the drill aspect ratio must be lower. The disadvantage is having a greater number of blind vias adds up lamination cycles resulting in higher cost, longer fab lead time, and increased plating thickness on the external layer.

Rules for Proper PCB Stackup Design

Like any other design or product manufacturing, designers need to follow some rules to produce the highest quality products. As you already know, electronics go through several processes which involve different components before producing the final product. Therefore, designers must ensure they identify and follow proven design PCB stack-up best practices. For PCB stack-up design, some rules should be followed to get the best results.

  1. The first and foremost rule is the use of ground planes. They are the best choice due to their ability to route signals in strip lines. In addition, it also plays a vital role in reducing ground noise. Ground noise gets significantly reduced because of the reduced ground impedance.
  2. When it comes to high-speed signals, they must be routed to an intermediate layer that sits between different levels. In this manner, the ground plane acts as a shield and suppresses the radiation emanating from the orbit at maximum speed.
  3. Signal layers must be close to the plane.
  4. Mass planes and power should be carefully connected.
  5. It is necessary to ensure that the configuration is symmetrical.
  6. Signal impedance requirements are met.
  7. It is necessary to consider the thickness of each signal layer.
  8. Moreover, it is also essential to consider the properties of the desired material. Also, pay special attention to such materials’ thermal, electrical, chemical and mechanical properties.

Great PCB hardware design means a great deal. Businesses must have quality products and results. As you already know, circuits today operate at extremely high operating speeds, making it extremely necessary to optimize your PCB design. Comprehensive PCB design needs to make this craft an art. The reason for this is that you can have a good design or a bad design. However, a poorly designed product can seriously degrade or affect the performance of an electronic product. Some of the effects of poor PCB design include poor signal submission, low-quality power output, and reduced durability of electronics. To avoid such occurrences, it is recommended to ensure that the PCB is of high-quality design.

Conclusion

PCB stack-up design is essential for both designers and electronic engineers. The ability to come up with high-quality electronics requires several considerations. Without a high-quality PCB design, the product’s quality and performance can be significantly affected. Therefore, designers must ensure the right stackup construction and PCB materials are selected to obtain a high-quality product. A high-quality PCB stack-up goes a long way in getting the highest quality PCB yield and productivity.

Stackups designed for High-speed designs are costlier than those used for non-high-speed applications. Compensating the stackup quality for cost can result in poor signal integrity which makes the PCB unsuitable for High-speed application.

Usually, designers use standard and HDI stack-ups while designing PCB stack-ups since both provide unique features and benefits that appeal to designers and engineers. Businesses can select the most suitable one based on the design and performance they expect from the PCB.

Tessolve PCB team has rich experience in designing complex Stackups. Be it high layer count (60+), Multi-laminate or HDI stackups, Tessolve can support designing a manufacturable, cost-efficient stackup that still meets all the Electrical requirements.

Tessolve works closely with Fabrication shops to create the right stackup at the design stage and run DFM checks in-house which allows us to achieve an incredibly high first-pass acceptance rate and eliminates delays getting designs onto the production floor.

For better assistance from our experienced engineers, email us today sales@tessolve.com

Increased Importance of VLSI Design Ecosystem in India for Worldwide Semiconductor Industry

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In today’s world, semiconductor technologies have the most significant impact on our daily lives. As with engineering products, semiconductors have two parts: the designing aspect and the manufacturing or production part. Both the aspects are coordinated, planned, and organized by VLSI & Embedded engineers all across the industrialized countries in different time zones of the globe for making rapid progress in the field throughout the day.

Likely, India is not an essential contributor to the semiconductor manufacturing sector, but on the other hand, India contributes significantly to the VLSI design sector across the globe. Indian VLSI & Embedded engineers play an essential role in designing VLSI systems for the semiconductor industry.

One of the major factors leading to the remarkable development in the VLSI design sector is the establishment of higher education institutions, including IITs/IISC and other premier institutions, imparting knowledge across the country’s different states. Investing in education will significantly pay off in the future.

Many of them devote themselves to developments in the semiconductor sector, leading to significant advancements in the industry. During the 1980s, most electronics engineers joined premier companies and labs such as Bharat Electronics Ltd, Semiconductor Complex Ltd, the Indian Telephone Industries, etc. They were active in the VLSI design and manufacture in India. Many important private and government companies also marked the industry by planning remarkable strategies and meeting core industry needs while manufacturing indigenous computer systems. Many highly-skilled engineers migrated to foreign countries such as the United States and reached positions of prominence in leading tech companies. The first foreign semiconductor operations center in India was established in Bengaluru in the year 1984 and is known as Texas Instruments. In the following years, multiple talents came together to build a robust infrastructure in the semiconductor industry, VLSI design or silicon design industry, and Indian VLSI & Embedded engineers played a significant part.

What is VLSI?

VLSI or very-large-scale integration is the process of embedding or integrating millions of transistors on a single microchip of silicon semiconductors. The process is of much importance in the contemporary world as it helps build big, more complex chips and memory devices and is utilized in microprocessors and microcontrollers.

The global revenue in the semiconductor sector had crossed USD 440 in 2020, and there has been an increasing demand for producing highly efficient chips that can run advanced modern-day technologies, such as IoT, AR/VR, Cloud, AI/ML, and so on, which are becoming important with every passing day. Growth in consumer electronics, smartphones, computing devices, and other devices has enhanced demand.

Importance of VLSI in Modern Days

VLSI is significant because it is convenient for compact design. It consumes lesser power when compared to a discrete parts circuit, and VLSI can be used for different functions.

Uses of VLSI

  • Sophisticated algorithms can be performed with very little energy by personal entertainment systems.
  • High-definition data videos can be compressed and decompressed smoothly in consumer electronics.
  • Despite a specified function, low-cost terminals require complicated electronics for web browsing.
  • Personal computers and workstations need central processing units and specialized hardware for financial analysis, word-processing, and games.
  • Body functions and other complicated algorithms can be measured through electronic medical systems, and problems can be detected. To identify these complex algorithms, more sophisticated systems are required.

Advantages of VLSI

  1. Minimizes the size of the chips and products.
  2. Enhances the performance and speed of circuits.
  3. Makes the devices cost-effective.
  4. More reliable.
  5. Consumes less power than Discrete components.
  6. Consumes little space.

Contributing Factors to the Improvement in the VLSI Design Sector

  1. Rise of MNCs
  2. The establishment and expansion of multinational companies increased India’s importance in engineering operations. The list of industries is long, and VLSI & Embedded engineers significantly contribute to the brands.

  3. Strong Engineering Services Sector
  4. The business solutions offered by the engineering industry has provided immense flexibility in designing VLSI embedded systems. Although it began as staffing in T&M mode, most successful companies initiated outcome-based project execution, thus sharing greater product design and operation authority.

  5. Expansion of VLSI Education
  6. Many universities have introduced VLSI in the curriculum of fresh graduates. Though the quality of graduates varies, they become productive in a short duration with proper training in the industry to be inducted into the workforce.

  7. A Wide Range of Companies
  8. Many companies have established their design and development centers in India. Intel, Texas Instruments, NXP, Rambus, Qualcomm, Cadence, Synopsys, Mentor Graphics, and Siemens. They have contributed significantly to developing a wide range of products, and their application engineering services improved their competency.

  9. Training Centers
  10. These centers are run by professionals with experience and impart knowledge and skill to passionate engineers who are eager to grab the lucrative opportunities of VLSI design.

  11. Expansion of Operations Across Countries
  12. A lot of work in the semiconductor industry is happening across Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Delhi-NCR region. There are high chances that the activity may spread to the other regions.

  13. Final Words
  14. The impact of the VLSI Design ecosystem has been experienced in the past few years. The resonance in hardware design establishments has noted that the proposals of businesses without an engineering design operation were given no consideration. VLSI will continue to power electronic advancement with the endless demand for devices with compact sizes, high performance and functionality, and reliability. The number of job opportunities in India is also expanding rapidly, making designing VLSI embedded systems an attractive career.

Tessolve actively contributes to the global semiconductor industries by efficiently designing and testing VLSI embedded systems. Our experts can resolve all your queries related to VLSI or embedded systems. Visit our website to know more.

For better assistance from our experienced engineers, email us today sales@tessolve.com

Automated Routing for PCB

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Each electronic device comprises several meters of wires and multiple small copper parts. These parts work in unison to run an electronic device successfully, regardless of whether it is a television, smartphone, or remote control. All the wires and parts are attached to a thin-layered board perfectly, also known as a PCB or printed circuit board. Engineers assemble all the components on the surface to provide an organized infrastructure for all the small and separate components to interact and work together.

About PCB Designing

PCBs are made up of conductive material mounted on the insulating material. When PCBs are divided, you get two classes: the single-layer PCB and the double-layer PCB. The difference is that the single-layer PCB has a one-sided conductive coating, and the double layer is coated on both sides.

One way to lessen the heating up of PCB designs is to broaden the traces on the board. It is one of the many routing rules manufacturers follow when developing a PCB design. The more is the distance between the traces; the lesser is the resistance of the current flowing.

Hardware design engineers can introduce advanced technology through automated trace routing in an electronic device.

What Is Automated Routing?

Automated trace routing is a way of designing for the PCB and the integrated circuits. The process of placement is automated by integrating with a PCB. The proper placement for each component of a PCB is identified through the dynamic method.

The automated trace routing method permits you to sanction an automatic routing system that makes all the placements systematically. With the assistance of automated trace routers, the productivity of encoders can increase as they do not have to waste time providing manual routing solutions.

How to Efficiently Achieve PCB Automated Routing

  1. Identify the Number of Layers of PCB
  2. Board size and the amount of routing layers should be considered early during the design process. Suppose the design needs the utilization of high-density ball grid array components. In that case, you must consider the minimum number of routing layers desired for routing the devices—the board size assists in determining the stacking and line width for achieving the required design.

    At the initial stages of designing, it is good to use more layers of the circuit and distribute the copper in an even way to prevent a certain number of signals not abiding by the set rules and requirements at the end and thereby being compelled to add more layers. Careful planning is needed before designing, which helps to minimize many troubles in routing. Hardware design engineers fabricate a design for optimum efficiency.

  3. Design Rules and Restrictions
  4. The routing tool must work as per the proper rules and constraints. Various signal lines have various routing needs, and such memorable signal lines have different classifications. Every signal class has a priority with strict rules, and the rules have a significant impact on the routing tool performance.

  5. The Layout of the Components
  6. For optimizing the assembling process, design for manufacturability regulations put restrictions on the layout of components. If the components are allowed to move by the assembly department, it allows for proper optimization for automated routing. One should consider routing channels and via areas while laying out, and the automatic routing tool can consider only a single signal at a time.

  7. Fan-Out Design
  8. In this phase, every pin of the surface-mount device must have a minimum of one via for the board to perform the circuit reprocessing, inner layer connectivity, and online testing if more connections are required. The routing tool can be made more efficient by using the largest via size and printed routing with the interval set to 50 mils. While performing a fan-out design, you should consider the online test of the circuit.

    After that, the circuit online test design can be done at the beginning of the design and executed afterward in the production process. The kind of via fan-out is selected through the circuit online test and routing path.

  9. Automatic Routing
  10. Routing crucial signals need to consider managing specific electrical parameters while routing, such as minimized distributed inductance and EMC. The input parameters of the automatic routing tool and the effect of the input variables on the routing have to be understood to guarantee the quality of the automatic routing by the printed circuit board manufacturers.

    Generic rules have to be used for automatically routing signals. By putting constraints and prohibiting the routing area from explaining the layers used for a particular signal and the number of vias used, the routing tool can be routed automatically according to the design philosophy of the engineer. If there are no restrictions, every layer can be used for automatic routing, and multiple vias would be created. Some work in terms of finishing may be needed along with other network and signal routing space. When a fraction of the design is completed, the routing process is fixed to prevent it from being altered.

Design Considerations for Automatic Routing Include

  • Modify the settings a little and try different path routing.
  • Keep the fundamental rules unaltered, try various routing layers, different spacing, line widths and printed lines, various kinds of vias such as buried holes, blind holes, and so on to observe how they influence the design results.
  • Allow the routing tools to manage the default networks as required.
  • The less significant the signal, the more the privilege for the automatic routing tool.

Tessolve is one of the best professional printed circuit board manufacturers who excel in the process of automatic routing. They ensure that maximum proficiency is perpetrated through automatic routing. Are you seeking the best-in-class PCBs? Get in touch with us right away!

Ultimate Guide to PCB Layout Design Consideration

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Can you imagine a world without technologies wherein there are no computers, mobile phones, television, automobiles, AC, and airplanes?

Without a proper PCB layout, a device cannot function properly. Creating a PCB board design is the same as completing a piece of art wherein a team of engineers spend weeks or months creating the patterns. Developing a PCB layout is not a cakewalk, but anyone with proper guidance and knowledge can also do it.

With this article, we’ll help you understand a few things that let you design the PCB layout process. Take a look!

What is a PCB Layout?

A layout is characterized by the pattern of laying out parts of a particular item or arranging them meaningfully. In the same way, the PCB layout indicates several processes that are required in designing the printed circuit board. It involves creating traces, mounting holes cutouts, putting labels, specifying locations of various components, etc.

A significant concept in PCB design is wire routing, which is one of the most daunting tasks. Routing is the subsequent step once the placement is done. In the placement part, engineers determine the location of different components on the PCB. In routing, wires are added to connect the components as per the design rules.

PCB designing is done manually & automatically. However, to eliminate human errors these days, the designing is done using various PCB designing software having the auto-router feature. This saves time as well as effort and makes the process even simpler. However, it’s not the best option as the designs are not always precise and symmetrical as they should be.

Elements of PCB Layout

Creating & manufacturing the PCB layout involves some of the following elements:-

  1. Schematics–
  2. It is a diagram of components, connections, and circuits that are laid out in an easy-to-understand way. It’s essential while designing a PCB layout as it helps engineers understand & construct the system of the circuit.

  3. High-Frequency Signals –
  4. The PCBs that support higher frequencies have special requirements. Most of the interfaces used today operate at more than 50 MHz, making it essential to have some knowledge of frequencies to avoid issues with high signals.

    With the advancement in technology, the frequency of signals has become significantly high. Therefore, there is a need to understand signal propagation. Also, it would help if you bridged the gap between analog & digital design.

  5. Routing Signal & Placement of Components –
  6. When it comes to the placement of components & signal routing, one needs to follow the direction in which the signal & current flow in the PCB board design.

    Make sure that you maintain a distance between the digital and analog signals. The analog circuits are sensitive to a digital signal and can even lead to disruptions on the analog side.

Steps Involved in PCB Designing

PCB designing plays a quintessential role at every point of the printed circuit board production process. Creating a PCB design includes six basic steps:

  1. Concept
  2. Once you have identified the need for a PCB, the next step is to conceptualize the board. The initial phase involves defining the PCB’s functions and interconnection with other circuits, features, placements at the final product, and dimensions. Also, one needs to consider the approximate range of temperature and other environmental factors in which it will operate.

  3. Schematic
  4. Once you’re done with the concept, the next step is to draw the circuit schematic based on the finalized concept. It includes all the information needed for the board’s electrical components to function appropriately. Not only this, but it must also include the details, such as component name, rating, value, and manufacturer part number.

    When creating a schematic, don’t forget to create a bill of materials containing information on all the components you need for the PCB.

  5. PCB Mechanical Constraints
  6. You need to define Mechanical constraints such as Board dimension, thickness, cutouts, Mounting holes, Keepout regions, Mating and I/O connector locations.

  7. Component Placement
  8. The next and very critical step in designing a PCB layout is the component’s placement. A proper component placement ensures good electrical connection between Circuits and as well enabling the PCB to be assembled and tested efficiently.

  9. Routing
  10. The next important and tedious task in PCB layout is routing. The performance of High speed interfaces, RF, Analog and High power signals is determined by the routing. A good routing between circuits improves the Signal and Power Integrity of the PCB. While the electrical requirements are taken care, all Manufacturing related constraints to be addressed to improve PCB fab yield.

  11. Validation
  12. This is the final step; after you’ve completed the design, you must run a series of Quality and Manufacturing (DRC) checks to meet all the requirements. The design gets completed once the checks are passed, but if not, you have to go back to the previous phases, where you need to make changes and adjustments.

How Tessolve Provides Turnkey Solutions for PCB Design?

As the leading semiconductor engineering solution provider, Tessolve is determined to serve clients and meet their needs. We develop ATE, system and the evaluation boards that help our customers evaluate their product functionality before mass production. We provide the board developments with a team of experts in High-Speed Processors, Analog, RF domains, and Mixed signals. So, make sure to get the perfect design with a combination of hardware engineering with Tessolve and get the best PCB design that you want.

For better assistance from our experienced engineers, email us today sales@tessolve.com