Rail control embedded system development

Since 2005 we have provided embedded software solutions for a range of industry sectors including military and aerospace, industrial automation and telecommunications. From embedded software and system development, to software porting and software optimisation, we can satisfy most requirements.

The following project showcases part of our extensive capabilities:

Customer need

Existing control unit used in rail and utilities industries was reaching end of useful life due to hardware component obsolescence.

Control unit acted as a communications gateway, implementing many industrial field-bus protocols, Ethernet-based network interfaces, and a proprietary synchronous serial bus.

A replacement unit was needed to be more capable, at lower cost and with a service life of at least ten years.

The challenge

Proprietary synchronous serial bus was not supported by off-the-shelf hardware.

Timescales for introduction of new unit were tight and the customer needed continuity of supply when limited stock of existing hardware ran out.

Hardware and software design carried out in parallel to minimise overall development time.

Replacement unit had to be a drop-in replacement for existing units.

Our solution

Selected highly-integrated Freescale microprocessor to act as the core of the control unit.

Designed and developed new hardware for control unit.

Developed VxWorks Board Support Package and all necessary device drivers for the new hardware.

Helped client port existing application software to the new platform.

The outcome

Proprietary serial bus was implemented using a combination of discrete logic (use of programmable logic was discouraged) and innovative use of on-chip facilities of the chosen microprocessor.

New unit entered service on schedule and with no known problems.