End of Life Redesign for Home Backup Power System

The customer was using a PLC (Power Line Control) chip in their system for communication between the Solar Panels, Inverter, Control Panel and Lithium Ion Batteries in the backup system. The supplier ceased production in that process node and the customer had a limited supply of devices for production. The original design was created over 20 years prior and the design database was not complete. There was limited documentation on the device and engineers at the company did not understand the complete operation of the device.

iSine engineers took the existing database and were able to create an FPGA version of the design that was provided to the customer to use in a daughter board on the original system to verify the functionality of the device. It worked out-of-the-box.

As a separate sub-project, iSine engineers cleaned up the VHDL code and provided an optimized FPGA design that was used as an interim solution until the new ASIC was available.

iSine engineers worked with the customer to understand better the operation in the system and learned that in manufacturing, the customer needed to make changes on the manufacturing floor to tune the filters used in the PLC module. iSine engineers redesigned the filter sections to remove the requirement to tune the filters on the manufacturing line. Those filters were added to the chip to provide a more integrated solution.

When the ASIC was delivered, it worked first time and is in production today. The customer is able to ship their product with a reduced cost (due to the changes made to the filter designs) and the device is at X-Fab in a process node that will have at least a 10 year lifetime.