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Success Stories



PCIe Gen5 and NVMe in Automatic Test Equipment

Advantest is a world-class manufacturer of advanced automatic test equipment (ATE) for the semiconductor industry. Missing Link Electronics (MLE) has been involved in Advantest's advanced FPGA design efforts over several different tester models. In 2021 and 2022 we engaged MLE to help in supporting the development of PCIe Gen 5 and NVMe interface on our ATE systems. The MLE engineers that were assigned to work with us were experienced and very knowledgeable. They coordinated with our internal team extremely well and were able to deliver working designs on-time and within budget.

Multi-Gigabit Ethernet TCP/IP Stack for High-Speed Camera Transport

     Machine vision has been driving the requirements for industrial cameras towards higher resolutions and faster frame rates. The side effect is that standards such as the UDP based GigE Vision reach their limits regarding throughput beyond 1 Gbps.

For example, artificial intelligence (AI) inference works best, if image data is transported without corrupted images or lost frames. UDP based transports, which focus on simplicity of data transmission and cannot guarantee correct delivery, must achieve reliability at higher protocol layers (such as GigE Vision does), at the expense of adding more burden to the CPUs.

Allied Vision has expanded its portfolio with a 5GigE based camera family – the Alvium G5. For this, Allied Vision reached out to Missing Link Electronics to license NPAP, the TCP/IP Full Accelerator based on technology from Fraunhofer HHI, and to optimize NPAP for the PolarFire MPF100T fabric and tool chain.

PolarFire FPGAs are the fifth generation of non-volatile FPGA devices from Microchip. They are cost-optimized and deliver the lowest power at mid-range densities, integrate 12.7 Gbps transceiver lanes along with built-in low-power dual PCI Express Gen2.

The result is an IETF compliant TCP/IP stack running in FPGA logic (hence without creating any computational burden on embedded CPUs) integrated with other key camera functionality to deliver a single-chip solution for high-throughput machine vision. On the host side the TCP protocol allows to utilize off-the-shelf network adapter offloading features like Large Receive Offload (a.k.a. Receive Segment Coalescing) to reduce CPU load.

About Allied Vision: For more than 30 years, Allied Vision has been helping people to reach their imaging goals. Allied Vision supplies camera technology and image capture solutions for industrial inspection, medical and scientific imaging, traffic monitoring and many more application areas in digital imaging. With a deep understanding of customers’ needs, Allied Vision finds individual solutions for every application, a practice which has made Allied Vision one of the leading camera manufacturers worldwide in the machine vision market. The company has nine locations in Germany, Canada, the United States, Singapore and China and is represented by a network of sales partners in over 30 countries.
Allied Vision is a TKH Technology Company.

Future-proof PCI Express Card With Microchip PolarFire FPGA

To future-proof an FPGA-based PCI controller card, Mattson Thermal Products GmbH in Ulm, Germany, worked with Elemaster and Missing Link Electronics (MLE) to re-design the card for PCI Express (PCIe).

Using MLE's PCIe Connectivity subsystem for Microchip PolarFire FPGA, the former PCI card implemented in Xilinx Spartan 2 FPGA could be replaced without changes to the operating system PCI/PCIe device drivers.

Mattson Technology, Inc. designs, manufactures, markets and globally supports semiconductor wafer processing equipment used in the fabrication of integrated circuits.

Microchip PolarFire FPGA deliver the industry’s lowest power at mid-range densities with exceptional security and reliability and are ideal for a wide range of applications such as industrial automation. MLE is a Premier Design Partner of the Microchip Ecosystem.

Multi-RAID SSD NVMe Streamer System

Collaboration to develop a high performance, Multi-RAID SSD Streaming System to incorporate into high performance data recording systems for the US Defense Dept.

"DEC is a Government Contractor working with the US Defense Dept. When we needed to develop a fast, SSD multi-RAID NVMe streamer for one of our projects, we became aware of Missing Link Electronics by way of Xilinx’s Premier Partners Program. This project required advanced knowledge of both specialized hardware and communication protocols to meet our customers exacting requirements. MLE came in, evaluated our needs, and developed the technical design using their own NVMe IP and in-depth hardware and software expertise to provide, on time and on budget, a board level solution to integrate into our system design. MLE provided unique benefit by having great access to our supplier’s technology, advanced IP, and specialized, hands-on expertise. I recommend MLE to others needing advanced expertise in programmable hardware and software design. Working with them is a pleasure and produces excellent results,” says Dan Whitehead, Electrical Engineer at DEC.

DEC specializes in advanced sensor and processing technologies for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), Unmanned Systems, and Self-Protection applications for the defense industry.

High-Speed Camera Interfaces with Fraunhofer HHI TCP/IP

Excelitas PCO GmbH has licensed MLE NPAP, the TCP/UDP/IP Full Accelerator originally invented by Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI).

Martin Schwarzbauer, Product Development Manager Camera Systems at PCO, says: "We rely on the TCP protocol because we need reliable data without a backup layer for lost data at the application level. TCP takes place at the center protocol layer of the OSI model and is implemented as an IP core in FPGA logic. This results in significantly shorter latency, avoiding costly external DRAM buffers. Plus, due to the flow-control mechanism of TCP, the transmission bandwidth can be much higher between the between the camera and subsequent processing in a PC."

Alexander Grünig, CTO of PCO, adds: "The IP core from Missing Link Electronics fits perfectly our streaming concept, because it operates in programmable logic without the need for a CPU core. During our benchmarking and evaluation phase we clearly saw the advantages of this technology."

PCO, an Excelitas Technologies® Corp. brand, is a leading specialist and Pioneer in Cameras and Optoelectronics with more than 30 years of expert knowledge and experience of developing and manufacturing high-end imaging systems. The company’s cutting edge sCMOS and high-speed cameras are used in scientific and industrial research, automotive testing, quality control, metrology and a large variety of other applications all over the world.

The PCO® advanced imaging concept was conceived in the early 1980s by imaging pioneer, Dr. Emil Ott, who was conducting research at the Technical University of Munich for the Chair of Technical Electrophysics. His work there led to the establishment of PCO AG in 1987 with the introduction of the first image-intensified camera followed by the development of its proprietary Advanced Core technologies which greatly surpassed the imaging performance standards of the day.

Today, PCO continues to innovate, offering a wide range of high-performance camera technologies covering scientific, high-speed, intensified and FLIM imaging applications across the scientific research, industrial and automotive sectors.

Acquired by Excelitas Technologies in 2021, PCO represents a world renowned brand of high-performance scientific CMOS, sCMOS, CCD and high-speed cameras that complement Excelitas’ expansive range of illumination, optical and sensor technologies and extend the bounds of our end-to-end photonic solutions capabilities.