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Success Stories



Platforms for System-Level Test

System-Level Test requires compute architectures that combine high IO flexibility with fast processing for short time-to-test.

Missing Link Electronics has been providing Advantest with Configurable System components based on Open Source Linux software and FPGA technology for hardware acceleration.

Advantest Corporation, the world’s largest provider of automatic test equipment (ATE) to the semiconductor industry, has for over five decades led the way in developing new and innovative test and handling solutions for the global electronics industry.

IO-Link integration for a commercial sensor product

IO-Link is the new IEC 61131-9 communication standard for connecting automation systems with smart sensors and actuators. It enables device configuration over the product life cycle and adds powerful failure detection and diagnostic methods.

Missing Link Electronics has developed an IO-Link device stack, optimized for portability to a variety of microcontroller architectures. This IO-Link device stack has been extensively tested for IO-Link standard compliance v1.1 with protocol, physical interface and EMC test routines.

Missing Link Electronics is our technology partner for IO-Link. Relying on their expert know-how in both the IO-Link software stack and microcontroller integration matters, we ended up with a new smart sensor that went into production in March 2013, says Thomas Schorpp, project manager at ifm electronic GmbH.

Since the foundation of the company in 1969 ifm has shaped industrial automation by continuous new developments in the field of sensors, controllers and systems. ifm is meanwhile one of the world's leading manufacturers in the automation industry.acturers in the automation industry.


Storage Solution with ASICS World Services

ASICS World Services and Missing Link Electronics have teamed up to address the growing cost and risk of integrating high-functionality IP cores into FPGA-based systems. Missing Link Electronics has developed a completely integrated, pre-validated Linux reference design for Asics World Services SATA Host IP for:

  • Stratix-IV (on Terasic DE-4),
  • Virtex-5FXT (on ML507) and
  • Zynq (available soon).

Missing Link Electronics Linux for NIOS-II and PowerPC are accompanied by ASICS World Services SATA Host IP. Spinning disks or SSD attached to the SATA-Ports show up and are accessible as standard Linux block devices.

Missing Link Electronics provides configurable Single Board Computer platforms where the microcontroller can be optimized towards the Open Source software that runs on it – and the particular application the system serves. These platforms come with a full GNU/Linux software stack pre-installed which comprises kernel, drivers and a root filesystem of many hundred application software packages. This creates an environment similar to an industrial PC with full TCP/IP networking via Ethernet, WiFi, or UMTS/GSM, for example. Also included are many options of adaptable I/O interfaces such as USB, Bluetooth, DVI, Audio, SPI, IIC, CAN, analog I/O, LVDS, GPIO, and – the ASICS World Sevices’ SATA Host IP core.

This SATA Host IP core has been certified for Serial ATA Revision 3.0 compliance on a Xilinx Virtex-6 FPGA by the UNH IOL SATA Consortium in May 2010.

Rudolf Usselmann, CTO and Founder of ASICS World Services says: “Missing Link Electronics is our partner to provide our customers the Asics World Services SATA Host IP with completely integrated and pre-validated Linux reference design for Stratix-IV (on Terasic DE-4), Virtex-5FXT (on ML507) and Zynq (available soon) as well as for NIOS-II and PowerPC.

Since 2010, Missing Link Electronics is working with ASICS World Services on FPGA-based Storage IP core integration. ASICS World Services, also a Xilinx Alliance Partner, provides a broad line of general-purpose IP cores for ASIC & FPGA.

ASICS World Services provides a broad line of general-purpose IP cores, including a variety of USB related products such as USB 2.0 OTG IP Cores as well as various others such as SATA I/II IP Core, encryption (AES), error correction (Reed Solomon), and many other functions.

ASICS World Services was conceived and founded in 1999, immediately starting to offer various products and services. Since then ASICS World Services has established a world wide reputation for professional highest-quality IP Cores with flexible licensing at a low cost. The engineering team is made up of highly experienced senior engineers who have been in the digital design environment for 12-25 years prior to joining ASICS World Services. Rapidly expanding customer base is quickly promoting ASICS World services to one of leading IP providers in the world.


Android-based Multi-Media System for Electric Vehicles

Missing Link Electronics and Tieto collaborated to deliver a proof-of-concept for an Android-based automotive multi-media system for StreetScooter's new electric vehicle. This was presented at the IAA car show in Frankfurt, Germany in 2011.

Key was the demonstration of connectivity of the vehicle with the outside world and the availability of mobile services within the car, all combined with defacto standard audio/video and Google Maps navigation.

Android's ergonomic contextual user interface is controlled by a multi-touch screen. The underlying OMAP-4 hardware platform from Texas Instruments is characterized by a 1 GHz Dual Core processor which has enough computing power for modern demanding multi-media tasks, supports Wifi, Bluetooth, USB and SD connectivity, and is able to handle common file formats like MP3, WAV and MPEG4.


Functional Safety design and verification for programmable logic devices

Functional Safety is a growing concern, especially for industrial systems. To meet Functional Safety standards according to IEC 61508, systems must be designed for Safety Integrity Levels (SIL). Developing programmable devices such as Complex Programmable Logic Devices (CPLD) or Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) under SIL, however, is a very young discipline.

For the time period of 05/2011 to 02/2012 Missing Link Electronics (MLE) was a key contributor for a CPLD-based product development under SIL-2. The product was an optical distance sensor for operation in industrial environment conditions. Throughout the product development Missing Link Electronics was responsible for the CPLD design in VHDL to enable synchronous, multi-phase modulation of the sensor's laser diode at 250 Mhz as well as the verification of both hardware and software characteristics of programmable logic to meet the given SIL standard.

Missing Link Electronics brought in a unique combination of expert application support for both programmable logic design as well as Functional Safety matters. Their CPLD components are now part of a new ifm sensor product”, says Guntram Rundel, project manager at ifm electronic GmbH.

Since the foundation of the company in 1969 ifm has shaped industrial automation by continuous new developments in the field of sensors, controllers and systems. ifm is meanwhile one of the world's leading manufacturers in the automation industry.