Solutions

Design and Engineering Strategy

The strategy that Micro-Key applies during the development trajectory can be stated as a four steps strategy:

1. Project qualifications
In a technical sense Micro-Key applies three project qualifications in order to fully use the in-house know-how and expertise in product development:

  • To analyze, recognize and understand the exact customer's problem to be solved
  • To apply the correct technology and design methods
  • To design the correct functionality, exactly according to the required function specifications; nothing more, nothing less

2. Project Conditions
A set of project conditions are part of the development trajectory. Micro-Key inherently fits these conditions in:

  • Flexibility: Hardware and software designs have to be flexible in terms of simple system configuration, transparent system modularity and effortless re-use of building blocks.
  • Maintainability: Hardware and software designs must allow easy modification in order to simply add new functions or repair deviations. Software-updates have to be easy (remotely) uploadable.
  • Reproducibility: Product designs have to be Designed for Manufacturability (DFM) and Designed for Testability (DFT) in order to reproduce the designed products in a reliable and cost-effective manner.

3. Project Phasing
In order to execute a project correctly – e.g. within time, within costs and according to the required functionality and quality – Micro-Key manages five project phases, including for each phase one or more project milestones. These milestones have to be authorized by the customer.

These five phases are:

  • Requirements Phase
    During this phase the actual requirement engineering is performed. All the compulsory and non-compulsory requirements the product/system to be developed has to comply with from a user's point of view are determined in close cooperation with the customer. The output of this phase is a system requirements document and if so wished accompanied with a detailed project plan document.
  • Functional Design Phase
    During this phase the requirements are converted into a functional design (i.e. architectural model) for the hardware and/or software specifying what the system should accomplish from a developer's point of view. The architectural model consists of a decomposition of the (hardware and/or software) design into distinct functional blocks. For all these blocks the exact function(s) and interface(s) are specified. The output of this phase is a hardware and/or a software specification document.
  • Technical Design Phase
    During this phase the functional design is converted into a technical design for the hardware and/or software specifying how the system should be implemented and tested. The functional design is thus to be made ready for capturing into hardware schematics & PCB layouts and software source code. Furthermore, the design validation tests and factory acceptance tests are specified. The output of this phase is a hardware and/or a software design document and a hardware and/or a software test document.
  • Implementation and Integration Phase
    During this phase the technical design is actually implemented, integrated and tested. The software is coded and debugged (on evaluation boards), PLDs and FPGAs are coded, fitted and simulated, schematics are captured, PCBs are placed and routed, prototypes are manufactured, hardware and software are integrated and finally hardware and software designs are formally validated (including EMC pre-compliance testing). All non-compliances with the specifications are repaired in the software design and/or patched on the hardware prototypes. The prototypes are guaranteed 100% functional, however they may contain patches. (The hardware non-compliances will be repaired in the hardware design as part of the production engineering of the initial production.) The output of this phase is the prototype source code (C, VHDL, etc.), schematics, bill of materials, PCB layouts and gerber files.
  • Deliverance and Acceptance Phase
    This phase contains two stages: Firstly, the prototype series is delivered through factory acceptance testing in close cooperation with the customer. All non-compliances with the specifications will be registered and repaired in the software design and/or patched on the hardware prototypes. (The hardware non-compliances will be repaired in the hardware design as part of the production engineering of the initial production.) Secondly, the null series (output of the initial production) is delivered through factory acceptance testing in close cooperation with the customer. The project will be delivered and completed when all defined project deliverables are transferred and all defined acceptance tests are successfully executed. The output of this phase is the matured and qualified source code (C, VHDL, etc.), schematics, bill of materials, PCB layouts and gerber files.

project_phasing

In case the development costs are for account of the customer, all documents, reports, source code, schematics, bill of materials, PCB files, gerber files, drawings, manufacturing files, etc. are made available to the customer without any restriction. The customer is free to select any manufacturing partner in preference to Micro-Key.

4. Micro-Key service and support

  • Warranty Service
    After the product/system acceptance the warranty period commences. During this period all non-compliances with respect to the specifications or obsolete components are reported, registered and repaired in the designs.
  • Maintenance Service
    Subsequently the warranty period, Micro-Key gladly offers you (e.g. in service contracts) to sustain the lifetime of your product/system. During the product-life-cylce, product modification are inevitable; e.g. portduct part-list modifications or product design and configuration modifications due to component lead-time problems, obsolete components or additional required product functions. Micro-Key sustains the lifetime of your current products by intelligent product part-list management and effective product design maintenance.

Design and Engineering Examples

More information will be provided in due course. Meanwhile please contact our Sales Manager for project references: