This page gives you a summary of our hardware expertise. You may want to use a convenient jump table if you want to directly jump to a topic of your interest.
ARM7: NXP micro controller (lpc series)
ARM9: TI DM355, DM365, DM368, Samsung S3C
Intel: Atom, XScale PXA, IXP
TI: DaVinci DM355, DM365, OMAP, L1xx, Piccolo
Microchip: PIC18, PIC24, PIC32, dsPIC
SDR, DDR, DDR-II
Skytraq Venus, LeadTek, SiRF star, ublox
Analog video: VGA, S-Video, Component (RGB Interfaces or YPbPr), CVBS, HDMI, CCIR-656,
Digital video:OSD, TFT / STN LCD interface
Encoding formats: MPEG2/4, H.264
PCM, I2S, AC97
OneNAND, NAND, NOR
Simcom, Cinterion, Motorola
MI-II, RMI-II, 10/100 Mbps, 1 Gbps
MeshConnect, TI CC2420, CC2430
UART, SPI, I2C, CAN
USB 1.1 / 2.0, OTG, PCI, mPCI, SDIO, PCMCIA/CF-II, ATAPI, SATA
Yitran (HomePlug CC), Intellon / Atheros (HomePlug AV / 1.0)
802.11 a/b/g/n, Marvel
Processors: Among various factors that go into processor selection, a few critical are performance, power consumption, memory, cost per unit and ease of upgrade. At Maven we keep in mind these parameters to select most suitable processor for any product.
Processor selection for power starved devices: While designing battery operated devices (with time between battery charging of 2-4 days) we have chosen processors that require minimum power and small form-factors. These are primarily used in logistics management, location identification and asset tracking applications. Typical processors include Microchip PIC18 and PIC24 series
Processor selection for industrial applications: Selection of processors from a range of 8-bit to 32-bit processors depends on considerations such as continuous power, 24 x 7 operations in rugged environment, built-in ADCs, requirements of math co-processor for PID algorithms and connectivity options such as RS485, Ethernet and RF. Typical applications include universal DIO controllers, data loggers, chiller controllers, DDC and protocol converters. Typically Microchip PIC24 and NXP LPC series are used
Processor selection for high end devices: 32-bit processors are used for different requirements such as support for video cameras (hardware based real-time compression and decompression), streaming applications, Wi-Fi, storage requirements, HMI displays and small form-factors. Dual core processors with DSP and ARM core are used extensively for such applications. Applications like bus consoles with cameras, video based security surveillance systems, Wireless DVR solutions are developed using Texas Instrument's DM365, and DM368, OMAP series and NXP LPC series
SMPS and power: SMPS for various applications with input voltage requirements from 90V to 270V and output from 5V to 24V to support device functioning in all the continents across the globe. Special considerations for spike, surge / high current protection, ripple, noise and short circuit are made to ensure device operations during irregular power supplies and device 'power-on' conditions. Typical applications include industrial automation devices, access control systems and home automation devices.
Power management: Efficient battery usage is one of the critical parameters for success of a product. Along with primary battery, a secondary battery is provided to safeguard contents on Flash memory and to avoid memory corruption. A fine level of power consumption control is provided over individual devices such as displays, disks, modems, Wi-Fi, processor, etc . One can also put to sleep almost all devices except RAM and timer. A device comes out of sleep mode either on 'power-on' key press or alarm event or timer event or peripheral interrupt or when any other type of wake-up event occurs.
Mobile communications: Mobile solutions have become an integral part of all the devices used in real-time tracking, monitoring and control. To ensure fail safe communication, dual SIM card facility is provided. Internal antennas are used for portable devices carried by individuals with small form-factors. External antennas are used for devices installed in vehicles / homes / offices etc where range can be an issue. Integrated audio support with audio amplifiers for voice calls is provided. GSM, GPRS and 3G based communication mechanisms are used to support different application needs such as only data transfer or supporting multimedia steaming protocols. Modems from Simcom, Centerion, Telit and Wavecom are supported.
GPS solutions: GPS solutions are used for fleet management and individual / logistics / asset tracking requirements. Internal antennas are used for portable devices carried by individuals with small form-factors. External antennas are used for devices installed in vehicles / homes / offices etc where range can be an issue. Interfacing of GPS modules from Skytraq, Venus, LeadTek - SiRF STAR III/LP, Ublox 5 has been successfully done at Maven.
MEMs device/ accelerometer: MEMs sensor based devices / accelerometers are used in various solutions which need sensing of directions using 'dead reckoning' techniques in absence of GPS. Vertical falls or crash can be determined using these devices. These prove extremely useful for devices used in monitoring old people or patients.
Wi-Fi solutions: Wi-Fi solutions with support for 802.11 b / g / n are designed considering factors such as range, number of nodes / traffic and type of data to be transferred. Use of appropriate antennas and input power helps to increase the range. Support for Marvel core is provided.
Displays: Display options such as LED, character LCD, graphics LCD and TFT LCD display are used to suit product requirements. High end devices with TFT color LCD with touch screen are used with applications such as video streaming and audio-video communication with VGA and QVGA resolutions. Industrial HMI's / MMI's, security solutions and bus / driver consoles are developed using high resolution - industrial grade displays.
ADCs: Internal and external ADCs are used in solutions for industrial and home automation. If the resolution supported by internal ADCs is not sufficient, higher resolution external ADCs (16, 18 or 22 bits) are used. Architectures such as 'Delta sigma' and 'SAR' are supported depending on internal or application level sampling. Wide range of sensors such as thermistors, thermocouples Pt100 / Pt1000, voltage, current, etc are supported for data acquisition systems and other industrial controls.
PLC: Maven provides advanced 'Power Line Communication' solutions for retrofit solutions. RF or WiFi based networks have penetration problems through concrete walls or have issues over long distances. Sometimes wiring infrastructure becomes a problem as adding new communication back-bone to already available concealed wiring is near to impossible and a costly affair. These issues are tackled with PLC based solutions. These types of problems are typically observed in cold storage plants or existing facilities which need BMS solutions or places where industrial automation needs to be implemented. Maven's PLC to Wireless gateways proves to be a great advantage in such situations. PLC to RF, PLC to Ethernet and PLC to serial gateways are developed by Maven. Homeplug CC from Yitran is integrated with applications for low data rates with distance up to 500 meters. Homeplug AV from Intellon (Atheros) is used for supporting high data rate applications with distance up to 700 meters. Refrigeration controls for cold storages and energy monitoring solutions use PLC technologies.
RF solutions: Support for low and high frequency RF modules is made available for different applications. 2.4Ghz, 433Mhz, licensed and open frequencies are used for applications needing wireless communication with different range requirements. RF repeater modules are designed for signal amplification to cover long distance communication and RF mesh solutions. RF to PLC and RF to serial gateways are developed for communication between different mediums.
RF based networks have penetration problems through concrete walls or have issues over long distances. Sometimes wiring infrastructure becomes a problem as adding new communication back-bone to already available concealed wiring is near to impossible and a costly affair. These issues are tackled with PLC based solutions. These types of problems are typically observed in cold storage plants or existing facilities which need BMS solutions or places where industrial automation needs to be implemented. Maven's PLC to Wireless gateways proves to be a great advantage in such situations.
Bluetooth / Zigbee: Bluetooth based solutions are used for connecting mobile phone applications for quick display and easy access of data from controllers. This becomes a great advantage as data can be analyzed immediately without any assistance of PC based applications. One can also check real-time trends and historical trends depending upon the capability of device. Bluetooth modules from CSR are integrated with solutions for data centric or device controlling industrial applications with support for services such as file-transfer and Obex.
Zigbee modules are integrated in solutions needing interface with Zigbee protocol support for home / office / industrial automation. Zigbee sensors and mesh networks are created for long range wireless networks.
RFID solutions: RFID based solutions are developed for reading active and passive RFID tags. On board RFID (TRF79xx ISO 14443 A/B, ISO 15693, ISO 18000-3) readers are used for location tracking along with GPS. Microcontroller based solutions with extremely small form factors are used with internal antennas achieving range up to 5cm.
Hardware gateways: Devices communicate on multiple communication mediums and thus need gateways to ensure seamless and reliable end-to-end communication. Maven has developed several hardware gateways for ensuring this. Following gateways are developed.
Storage: Every type of application requires storage, but there are numerous constraints such as cost, processor, reliability, write-cycles, portability, etc. For ultra-low cost applications, we use internal flash, EEPROM. For midrange applications, we use external data flash, microSD card, standard SD card or USB mass storage. For high-end applications, USB SATA harddisk and USB mass-storage devices are used.
USB: USB 1.1, 2.0 and OTG support are interfaced with various microcontrollers and processors. USB host support is provided for connectivity with mass storage devices, printers, etc. USB device support is provided for debugging and device charging. Solutions with multiple USBs with and without DMA support are integrated.
Audio / video: Maven has integrated CCD cameras in high end security solutions with video surveillance. We have used TVP5158 as a 4 channel NTSC / PAL video decoder. Hardware encoding and decoding of up to four cameras is done using DaVicni DM368 processor. Single camera is displayed using VGA resolution on LCD monitor and multiple cameras using QVGA resolution. DM365 based processor is used for a solution to capture streams from a CCD camera with VGA resolution and transferring streams over Wi-Fi. Two-way audio support is made possible using audio amplifiers and external microphone and speaker.