Special Action in Microelectronics for Italy


I SMILE - 5085

Keywords technology transfer, SMEs, silicon technologies, circuit design


Start Date: 01-FEB-92 / Duration: 24 months

[ contact / participants ]


Objectives and Approach

The main objective of the Italian Special Action is to promote the development of local R&D capabilities open to international contacts and cooperation. In support of the pursuance of this objective, the Action is also enhancing the cooperation of academia and research centres with SMEs through the joint design and testing of circuit prototypes of concrete interest to SMEs. This is contributing both to the dissemination of the "microelectronics culture", even in small companies, and to raise academia's awareness of industrial problems.

A cluster of more general activities has also been pursued, including the development of a knowledge network in microelectronics (mainly through existing design and testing service centres), increasing awareness of microelectronics capabilities amongst SMEs, and the general dissemination of know-how on ASIC design (for example, through workshops, training courses and publications).

The Special Action has been implemented, as a priority, in industrial and academic contexts of less advanced technological development. Efforts are focused in particular on southern Italy. However, in the light of the quite low usage of ASICs by Italian SMEs in general, and the need to carry out an effective integration of efforts between the different geographical areas, the association has been welcomed of northern organisations that could act as a bridge towards other European institutes or firms, or that could provide complementary know-how.

Progress and Results

The major result of the first phase of work has been the design, processing and testing of 11 ASIC prototypes proposed by SMEs. To promote useful exchanges, the design and testing of each circuit has been be carried out by mixed university/SME design teams. The prototypes include: a programmable delay control and phase generator to be used in echotomographs (which was awarded the first prize as the best industrial chip at EDAC EUROASIC '93); a control system for robotics; an ASIC for active defence for banks; a charge-to-digital converter for high energy physics experiments; an ASIC to drive and control test equipment; a pre-processor for laser beam bar code scanners; an ASIC for the control of diesel engines; an ASIC for tele-measurement and tele-control systems (eg in agriculture), a sea-keeping augmentation controller; a controller for industrial brushless motors and a microprocessor didactic console.

Further to a recent call for proposals for demonstrators, the design of new ASICs by other SMEs has now started.


CONTACT POINT

Mr B. Bonati
Tecnopolis CSATA Novus Ortus
Strade Provinciale per Casamassima n.3
I - 70010 Valenzano (Bari)
tel: + 39 / 80-8770346
fax: + 39 / 80-6951868

Participants

TECNOPOLIS CSATA NOVUS ORTUS - I - C
UNIVERSITA PALERMO - I - A
SCEL ELETTRONICA - I - A
POLITECNICO BARI - I - A
NEP - I - A
TEICOM SISTEMI - I - A
COREP TORINO - I - A
SPEA - I - A
UNIVERSITA PAVIA - I - A
SIMEPRO - I - A
UNIVERSITA BOLOGNA - I - A
DATALOGIC - I - A
UNIVERSITA AQUILA - I - A
ELITAL - I - A
UNIVERSITA CATANIA - I - A
RODRIGUEZ CANTIERI NAVALI - I - A
UNIVERSITA GENOVA - I - A
ESAOTE BIOMEDICA - I - A
ROMA RICERCHE - I - A
TEA - I - A
INDEL - I - A


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I SMILE - 5085, December 1993


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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook