Embedded System Electronics Design

Our customers have shipped hundreds of thousands of units based on our hardware designs. Tier One has developed strong expertise and competence in digital and analog design specialties, broadly grouped into four distinct areas:

   System cores
   Peripheral subsystems
   Programmable logic
   Power supplies

Taken together, these engineering skills provide Tier One the capability to rapidly succeed with the overwhelming majority of embedded design needs.

From Simple to Complex

Our design portfolio ranges from low-cost 8-bit programmable microcontroller designs to feature-rich 32-bit SoC systems. Our experience also includes designs with low and high external peripheral integration requirements, and virtually every class of embedded software support. We utilize all major component package types, including surface mount, through hole, and ball grid array.

Product Driven, not Engineer Driven

For the electronic components used in these categories, we have experience with a diversity of component manufacturers. This avoids over-reliance on a narrow set of favored devices that would cause tunnel vision or premature obsolescence risks when creating new designs. Our deep system architecture and debug experience ensures that we can choose the best components for the design, focusing on function, suitability, cost, and availability - not the "comfort zone" of parts used in unrelated prior work.

System Cores

Tier One has design experience with dozens of system cores across many manufacturers. A partial list includes:

  • x86
  • Geode
  • MIPS
  • ARM
  • XScale
  • SH3
  • ST7
  • ST10
  • 80186
  • 8051
  • PIC
  • AVR
  • 6811

In some cases we have utilized many distinct part numbers within these families.

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Peripheral Subsystems

We bring to the table a rich background in peripheral subsystem integration. Our expertise covers a variety of busses, such as:

  • PCI
  • PCMCIA
  • CardBus
  • USB
  • ISA
  • ITU-656
  • I2C
  • SPI

We also are proficient in more general analog subsystems, such as environmental A/D (temperature, pressure, anemometer), audio amps, op-amp filters, etc. Tier One also has excellent experience integrating and developing networking subsystems

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Programmable Logic

Tier One has a varied and thorough background in programmable logic. Our skills cover low end PLDs such as 22V10s, CPLDs such as Xilinx Coolrunners, and high-powered Vertex III FPGAs. We have competence in VHDL, ABEL, and schematic-based design tools. Some of our FPGA designs include a network MAC for a 200Mb/s network and an arbitrary real time video scaler for high data-rates.

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Power Supplies

We have outstanding capabilities in power supply design that are not usually found in an embedded design firm. We have designed flyback, forward, boost/buck, SEPIC, and switching supplies of other topologies. Power supply projects have included 100W DC/DC supplies, off-line supplies, and several LCD backlight inverter sources. We also can create highly custom supplies for niche applications, such as a 2000V supply with only 100ppm noise.

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