Modular Design Feature Options
Once a core module has been chosen for a design (typically a Snapper Single Board Computer Module from DesignARM), a range of product features can be added to the product design from existing and proven feature elements. These are typically existing components and associated circuits that can be `dropped' into the overall product design. Feature Elements currently offered by Bluewater include:
- Ethernet - Auto-sensing 10/100 MBit Ethernet is available for tethered applications, along with TCP/IP stack, web server and many other protocol stacks.
- 802.11b/g networking - Wireless 802.11b or g - support can be added via a tiny on-board module or via Mini PCI. This can offer Bluetooth co-existence support and connectivity with a range of external antennae options.
- LCD (RGB, analogue, LVDS) - Virtually any LCD type can be driven by our LCD technology, including digital RGB, LVDS and low cost analogue displays as used in the automotive industry. Sizes range from 1 inch to 30 inches and resolution from 128x128 to 1024x768.
- Digital Cameras (up to 3MP) - A CMOS sensor, firmware and software offering either high frame rate VGA/SVGA resolution, or up to 15 frames per second 3 Megapixel imaging. Full frame rate support for Bayer filter, multiple image buffer, colour correction, image enhancement and automatic exposure.
- Buttons, LEDs - Single colour or tri-colour LEDs, various button and switch types can be added to your design.
- Flash Memory - NAND flash offers low cost, high performance non-volatile storage, up to 4 GB per card/chip. We support SD and MMC, xD, Compact Flash, and Memory Stick cards.
- USB (host and device) -Both USB device (full speed and high speed) and USB 2.0 host (full speed only) are available, allowing a vast array of peripherals to be added. Mass storage and serial emulation allows connection to a desktop PC using standard software to communicate.
- PCMCIA - PCMCIA port allows connection of network cards, wireless cards, SCSI and many other options, as well as Compact Flash through a suitable low cost adapter.
- Compact Flash - Compact Flash supports data storage up to 4GB as well as Ethernet, wireless 802.11 and various other options. This is a useful expansion connector where the product must be general purpose.
- Memory Card storage (SD/MMC) - Add up to 4GB of removable storage to your product. An SDIO variant allows connection of I/O cards such as wireless network and Bluetooth, with suitable drivers.
- GPS - A tiny GPS module with a suitable surface mount antennae can provide location awareness for your device. Used in conjunction with data storage for logging the movement of items. Use with 2G mobile data for on-line item tracking.
- 2G or 3G mobile data transfer. (GSM, GPRS, CDMA) - Remote data transfer can be achieved through the integration of GPS or CDMA functionality.
- Audio - Headphone, speaker or line output is available with volume control and pop/glitch filtering and removal. Microphone input supports VOIP applications as well as speech recognition. Audio recording with data storage provides dictaphone functionality.
- Battery charging and monitoring - High efficiency (over 95%) power supplies reduce power wastage when on battery power. Intelligent charging algorithms preserve battery capacity over many charge/discharge cycles. Large capacity, yet small, Li-Ion batteries provide portable power for electronics including LCD displays, back-lights and wireless networking.
- Bluetooth - This low cost and high functionality short range (up to 10m or 100m) wireless technology allows connection to cellphones, headsets, desktop PCs and other portable electronic devices. It can also be used to communicate between two parts of the same system, as with wearable computing used by emergency response personnel.
- High speed Digital I/O - All Snapper products feature large numbers of digital I/O pins for buttons, LEDs and general system control. Snapper 255's FPGA allows a wide range of high frequency digital capture and generation, for custom interfacing to legacy equipment, image scanner capture and processing, driving up to 50 serial ports and many other applications.
- Analogue I/O - Temperature, pressure, humidity, force and light sensors add intelligence and fail-safe features to your product. We have experience with a wide range of sensors for industrial and consumer applications.
- Serial - A range of serial interfaces are available including RS232, RS485, SPI, I2C, I2S and Dallas 1-wire. These allow connection to a vast range of legacy devices as well as sensors, analogue inputs and battery control.
- Power Management - Automatic power down of unused peripherals saves considerable power in a real-world system. Controlling processor power state (run verses idle) and support for sleep mode allows devices to run for weeks without charging, depending on usage patterns.
- IDE - An IDE interface offers access to massive local storage for video security and capture applications. From tiny 25mm 6-12GB models to desktop 500GB 3.5 inch IDE drives, we can support high speed access and either DOS-compatibility or an ext3 reliable journaled filing system.
- Data Encryption -Software or FPGA based data encryption includes public key cryptography using SSL Internet communcations, or high speed DES, 3DES or AES stream-based encryption for general data transfer, video encoding and filing system security.
The modular design process can be used to develop an endless range of custom electronic products. Some samples of the type of products possible include:
- Car navigation systems
- Wireless security
- Handheld PDAs
- Data logging units
- Data storage
- Digital video display
- Medical devices
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