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Thankfully our business has not been overly impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak. However due to factors outside our control delivery times may be extended slightly.

 

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You may have heard, but there is a world shortage of integrated circuits at the moment. A combination of Covid factory closures, a recent drop in demand, and a nasty fire in a fabrication factory have left the automotive industry starved of the chips they need.

You may not think that really affects me or you, but you'd be wrong. The IC world is now struggling to catch up with demand. And that means that most of the fabrication plants are working flat out to create the chips that the automotive industry (and similar large industries) needs. And that comes at the expense of us smaller customers that want other chips.

You see, as existing stocks of other chips start to run out there's now no capacity in the factories to make more. We have to wait until they've stopped making automotive chips in such large numbers before we get our chips.

We're seeing lead times of about a year on some chips, which is somewhat impacting to the business - we can't get the chips, we can't make our products, we can't sell our products, we can't pay our bills.

But fortunately as a small company we're far more flexible than someone like JLR, who have just announced temporary factory closures until they can get their chips. We have the ability to adapt and survive. So for the next few weeks we are undergoing a major program of redesigning all our products to use components that we can get hold of (at least for the time being).

So please be patient as we work through these trying times.

From Concept to Manufacture We Have You Covered.

We like to think our project design policy is unique. You come to us with your ideas and requirements, and we take it and run with it. And we run miles. The first draft of any project will be massively over-engineered. We let our imaginations run wild and come up with things you may never have even dreamed of. From there we take away the parts you don't want leaving us with a design we can both be proud of.

This policy means that you get the design that you want and possibly quite a lot more.

Our extensive in-house experience and knowledge means we can instantly get an insight into the project and dream up what it could become rather than just what it set out to be.

Advanced 3D rendering and visualisation facilities mean we can show you how a design will look without having to wait for prototypes to be produced. Ideal for when the shape and size of a board is critical so it fits in an existing enclosure or to see exactly how different parts of a project will fit together.

Rest assured, though, we will always keep your goals in mind.

Prototyping

Our skilled engineers are able to hand-prototype your design for rapid turnaround and testing. Surface mount components down to 0402 size don't present a problem at all for us.

With both local and global partners to draw upon we can tailor our service to suit your needs - be it low cost off-shore manufacture, or very fast fabrication services, we can mesh with them all.

Wide Skill Range

Many hardware companies seem to lack programming skills, and many software companies don't always have the hardware skills you need. We, though, have both sets of skills in one. With professional programming experience and techniques we can offer not only high quality in your product but also reliability and security.

Not only that but we have developed our own open-source development environment with which to program microcontrollers. Supporting most of the more common development boards it is extensible to also easily support your own products.

Open-Source Hardware

All our own, and many commissioned, designs are created under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 license. This allows you to take our board designs and expand upon them. All we ask in return is a nod in our direction as the original designers.

Open-Source Software

Not only is the majority of the software we write open-source (released under the BSD 3-clause license) but in-house we only use open-source software. That includes all our EDA tools, such as the gEDA suite.

Arduino and chipKIT™

One of the biggest movements in the open-source hardware field is the Arduino environment. We are heavily involved with a sister system, chipKIT, which aims to bring the power of Microchip's PIC32 microcontrollers to Arduino. As part of that we are constantly writing and improving libraries to support both the PIC32 chips and their peripherals, but also for supporting third party hardware connected to chipKIT boards. All our libraries are open-source and published on Github.

UECIDE

We have developed our own open-source IDE for programming many popular development boards and also our own products. Providing many improvements over the Arduino IDE it also boasts a host of advanced development facilities, whilst still retaining the simplicity of use of the original Arduino IDE.

Read more on the UECIDE website: UECIDE.org

Cariad Display Library

By far the biggest library (rather a suite of libraries) we have created is the Cariad system for chipKIT. This is a professional grade object-oriented graphics programming environment for TFT and other displays attached to chipKIT boards. Boasting over 70 fonts and a fully event-driven GUI system Cariad allows you to easily and rapidly create professional and functional user interfaces for your projects.

Partners

When you're using products or services provided by a third party it is vitally important that you forge good strong links with those partners. Good communication channels lead to good results. Here are a selection of the partners we have teamed up with for projects and have fantastic links with.

  • MICROCHIP TECHNOLOGY INC

Microchip are one of the leading manufacturers of microcontrollers. From small low-power (and energy efficient) 8-bit chips through to very powerful 32-bit microcontrollers, they have a chip to suit every need. Through the chipKIT™ open-source hardware platform we have become intermeshed with the Microchip Dev Tools Third-Party Group.

  • 4D SYSTEMS

4D Systems, based in Australia, are manufacturers of high quality embedded display systems. Not only do we use their products in our designs, but we are also proud to be involved in the actual design and implementation of some of those products.

  • MIKROELEKTRONIKA

MikroElektronika not only produce good quality development boards but also a huge ecosystem of add-on boards called Clicks. These are the perfect rapid prototyping solution and are often integrated into customer designs for both speed of production and flexibility of operation.

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