Networking

Communication channels are a key component of nearly all modern embedded computers. Inexpensive single chip CPUs often feature Ethernet, USB, CAN bus, I2S and SPI communication channels. Presco offers extensive knowledge of the industry standard networking protocols, along with the expertise to develop custom protocols when necessary.

Presco’s experience with different system architectures and communication standards makes us a great choice to solve your interconnectivity problems. Our projects include custom protocol development for print heads, CAN bus networks for power control and experience in all the major Ethernet protocols. In addition, Presco has recently been involved in the development of RF networks for sensor measurement and control. Such designs have timing and FCC regulatory characteristics that need be understood in addition to the low-level protocol communication. Our experience in cross-protocol translation is a valuable asset.

Many communication channels operate in less than ideal environments. Different noise considerations come into play for wired transmission vs. wireless RF vs. fiber optic channels. In each case, the designer needs to understand the noise properties of the channel and choose a coding mechanism that yields best throughput for a specified level of reliability. Data compression, error tolerant packet encoding, redundant transmission, and re-transmit on error can all be used in improve the integrity of data transfers. In some cases, Presco has designed customer-specific data compression engines to meet challenging requirements. For instance, we’ve implemented a modified Huffman encoder (often used for FAX transmission) to solve a problem in high speed laser plotters. For this customer, the 320 MBits/sec transmission rate dictated a hardware based encoder/decoder built in an FPGA. For another client using an optical transmission link, we designed a modified signaling method that doubled the bandwidth of his channel.

Networking of devices and enabling reliable and fast data communication is the basis of many projects. Presco is experienced at designing the entire solution, from device drivers to inter-processor communication to terminal consoles using RS-232. With our experience in everything from Ethernet and PCI to I2C, SPI, and CAN Bus, networking problems can be solved with ease.