Specialties

In the process of building a broad experience with electronics design, we have developed certain specialties that allow us to add even more value to a design. Listed below are some examples.

 

Specialty - Tiny Designs in Tight Places

When space is at a premium yet functionality cannot be compromised, Odic puts its extensive miniaturization experience to work. Using such packages as micro-BGA and 0201 components, Odic has shrunk considerable functionality into very small places. As a result, the work we put into tiny designs is often hard to see, so to speak.

Case study – Audio “Patch”

Odic was asked to design a small adhesive patch that captures audio sounds emanating from the body and sends them elsewhere for further processing. The result was a circuit board no larger than the center pad of a band-aid that contains a DSP, memory, radio transceiver, and a tiny rechargeable battery.

 

Specialty - Very Low Power Electronics

Designing power efficient electronics is much like constructing the lightest and most fuel-efficient car. If the materials are lightweight, the engine can be smaller and the mileage will increase without compromising performance. For us, lightweight materials translates to low power components and resourceful use of power management that is implemented both in hardware and firmware.

Odic employs a variety of strategies when designing very low power electronics. Methods include using processors that draw microamps when awake (sub-microamp when sleeping), powering up specific sections of circuitry only when needed, periodically putting a processor to sleep while giving the impression the circuit is always awake, and adjusting clock frequencies to meet the current need of the design, even if that need is reassessed multiple times a second.

Case study – Digital Security Token

When asked to re-design a battery powered digital security device, Odic proposed a solution based on an extremely low power processor, a power misery algorithm and strategic use of on-chip resources. The security token, running on a digital watch processor, ran for over 6 years on a small cell battery. Since the product was made in the millions of units per year, and the processor cost 60 cents less than its predecessor, our customer saved over $1M per year because of the new design.

 

Specialty - Sensor Integration

Virtually everything we design involves sensors to some degree. The trick is to choose the best type of sensors, and then to be creative with the algorithms that make real world judgments from sensor inputs. In a sense, there is little difference between measuring ECG, acceleration, audio in a certain band, air pressure, or distance across a small gap. Odic’s value lies in our ability to measure the world through the innovative combination of electronic transducers and firmware algorithms.

Case study - Physiological status monitor

This small, body worn battery powered device includes an ECG front end that senses heart rate, a proprietary sensor that determines respiration rate, an accelerometer used to measure activity level, orientation, and pace, and a temperature sensor that helps approximate body core temperature. All of this is contained in a very small wear-and-forget package.

 

Specialty - Embedded Wireless Communication

Odic is busily contributing to the ubiquity of wireless communication. We have integrated Bluetooth, WiFi, cellular (CDMA), and short and long range 2.4GHz and 915MHz proprietary radio transceivers into a wide range of applications, most being battery powered. We help customers choose the best wireless technology for their application, and then we pull in the pieces needed to achieve the required data rate, range, bandwidth and power consumption.

Case study - Wireless Concentrator and Relay

This piece of a medical monitoring system gathers data from several local sensors using Nordic short-range low-power transceivers, and then sends the concentrated data to a PDA using a Bluetooth.

 

Specialty - Quick Prototype Design & Build

The quicker a prototype can be developed, the sooner it can be used for demonstrations, internal or customer evaluation, to prove out certain performance characteristics such as battery life, help raise venture capital, be appraised for manufactured cost, or for determining if it makes sense to commit the resources required to fully fund a complete product development cycle. Odic’s fast response time and organized approach to project definition and prototype design helps customers prove out an idea and create a working model of a system sometimes in as little as a few weeks. Dozens of times we have breadboarded a circuit, grabbed processor and peripheral eval boards, or fabricated and assembled a quick-turn PCB, all while writing firmware in parallel.

Case study – Home/Hospital Air Cleaner

A start-up company looking for venture funding needed a prototype to confirm expected performance as well as to raise interest in the venture finance community. Odic designed a two-board solution and had a small number of PCBs made. The firmware was ready to test by the time the PCBs came, allowing for a short integration and test cycle.