Obsolescence Redesign

Extending the operational life of government military systems offers substantial savings to taxpayers. But test and auxiliary equipment often get left behind, creating serious logistics problems. Very often, as these systems age, some of their component IC's become obsolete and unavailable. This causes difficulty in maintaining the system. Those systems that have no complete data package or which have control specification drawings held by defunct businesses pose a different problem. In these cases it is necessary to reverse engineer to determine the operational parameters of the LRUs and design a replacement.

The engineers at Alpha Beta are expert at using Xilinx Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and other hardware to integrate existing schematics and firmware so that the new design exactly matches the obsolete unit's form, fit and function, and provides years of new life for the system.

Many obsolete processors can be emulated using Intellectual Property (IP), incorporated into an FPGA. This eliminates any problems in obtaining the hardware processor and allows for unlimited production capability. Ideally, the original software is used verbatim, running on the emulated processor, so that only minimal software testing has to be performed. A processor different from the original can be used with "Code Morphing," where original code is translated into compatible instructions by FPGA hardware, typically at boot time, then stored in RAM and run. Code Morphing minimizes software risk, since the Code Morph operation is easily tested and characterized.

Very often, the FPGA can even include whatever RAM; EEPROM and/or Flash functionality was provided in the original design. This furthers reduces parts count, obsolescence issues and cost, and increases reliability.

ABT has the logic analyzers, protocol analyzers and Xilinx design seats necessary to accomplish almost any FPGA-based digital conversion.

Our years in business have given us a broad spectrum of work experience. Our staff of engineers has both breadth and depth of work experience.