FPGA Design background

FPGA Design

for industrial automation and robotics

FPGA for Industrial Automation and Robotics

Our engineering team makes the most of FPGA for robotics, the energy sector, and industrial automation to empower our clients to meet the growing demands of their businesses and adapt to changing requirements.

Let’s push the performance boundaries with industrial-level FPGA solutions together with our global partners. Explore our case studies and tech stack to ensure that we can leverage the full computing power of FPGAs. 

Our Official Partner Vendors

As an authorised design house, we enjoy priority support and access to the latest designs.

 

Lattice
Lattice Semiconductor
  1. FPGAs iCE40 series for a small form factor.
  2. MachXO3 FPGA family for control and security applications.
  3. ECP5.
Xilinx
Xilinx
  1. FPGAs with CPU: Zynq Ultrascale+, Zynq-7000 series, and Versal.
  2. FPGAs without CPU: Kintex, Spartan, Artix, XC series, and Virtex.
  3. Vivado Design Suit and Vitis AI.
Intel
Intel
  1. Agilex, Arria, Cyclone, Stratix, and Max series.
  2. IP & logic blocks, high-speed transceivers & I/Os, and configurable embedded SRAM.
  3. Intel software tools to optimise development time, costs, and power.
Microchip
Microchip
  1. FPGAs: PolarFire Mid-Range, IGLOO 1/2, ProASIC 3, Fusion Mixed-Signal FPGAs.
  2. SoC FPGAs: PolarFire, SmartFusion 1/2 SoC FPGAs.
  3. Radiant-tolerant and anti-fuse FPGAs.

Our Tech Map in FPGA

Specialised tools

Vitis/Vivado, Quartus Prime, Diamond, Libero, Matlab

Software platforms

NVidia Jetson, Alveo, OpenVINO, TensorFlow, Keras, Caffe

Tools & Languages

Verilog, VHDL, System Verilog, VivadoHLS, Simulink/HDL Coder, С/C++, Python

Hardware design

High-speed PCBs, Power electronics PCBs, DDR4, JESD204b, SDI, SI, PI, thermo modelling

Platforms

Zynq/Zynq US+, Cyclone V SoC, Cyclone10, ECP5, MPF500

EtherCAT, PROFINET, EtherNet/IP, DeviceNet

Soft CPU

Nios, Nios II, RISC-V, VexRiscv, MicroBlaze, MIPS, OpenRISC

Networking

10/100/1000, 10G

Our Case Studies

Explore our FPGA-based solutions for industrial automation, energy and robotics.

 

AC/DC converters with PFC IP core

IP cores: ADC_RX, PI/PID controller, PWM, 2p2z compensator, 3p3z compensator, LPF, power calculation

We develop advanced AC/DC converters for a wide range of power applications by leveraging the power of FPGAs to create cascaded, high-power, and robust solutions beyond traditional microcontrollers' capabilities.

Our solution includes the essential building blocks for the operation of AC/DC converters, such as an ADC IP core for receiving data from electrical circuits, a circuit for precise current and voltage control, and an IP core for generating PWM signals.

Additionally, we employ a PFC IP core for power factor correction, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency. By utilising FPGAs, our AC/DC converters provide a level of precision and performance that is unmatched by traditional solutions, allowing businesses to achieve greater efficiency and cost savings.

 
AC/DC converters with PFC IP core

DC/DC for solar power systems

IP cores: ADC_RX, PI/PID controller, PWM, 2p2z compensator, 3p3z compensator, MPPT

We develop cutting-edge DC/DC converters for a wide range of power applications, focusing on industrial automation and electric power systems.

We create cascaded high-power and reliable solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of solar power systems. Our FPGA-powered designs provide a level of precision and reliability, allowing businesses to achieve greater efficiency and cost savings.

Our solution includes essential building blocks such as an ADC IP core for receiving data from electrical circuits, a circuit for precise current and voltage control, and an IP core for generating PWM signals.

Also, we take a unique approach by incorporating advanced control techniques such as 2p2z and 3p3z compensators as an alternative to traditional PI/PID controllers, resulting in enhanced performance and efficiency.

 
DC/DC for solar power systems

DC/AC for power applications

IP cores: ADC_RX, PI/PID controller, PWM, Notch filter, Sin/Cos generator, current calculation, GPIO

We design high-power FPGA solutions for DC/AC converters for our clients and go beyond the capabilities of traditional microcontrollers and DSPs.

Our solution includes essential building blocks such as an ADC IP core for receiving data from electrical circuits, a circuit for precise current and voltage control, and an IP core for generating PWM signals.

We incorporate advanced features such as a Sin/Cos generator, which sets the desired output voltage profile, and a variety of additional IP cores to optimise the performance and efficiency of our converters.

 
DC/AC for power applications

PFC, four-phase interleaved boost converter

IP cores: ADC_RX, PI/PID controller, LFD, current ref calculation, power calculation, PWM

The four-phase interleaved boost converter (PFC) is a cutting-edge circuit design that builds upon traditional boost converters. Unlike the original design, which operates in parallel, the PFC utilises an interleaved approach, where the number of parallel boost converters depends on the circuit load.

This innovative design addresses the issue of overload burden faced by the traditional boost converter, which often requires larger equipment and increased switch operation as the circuit load increases. The PFC ensures improved performance and efficiency, as well as reduced equipment size and switch operation load.

This innovative circuit design is an effective solution for businesses looking to improve their power systems and increase their competitiveness.

 
PFC, four-phase interleaved boost converter

Three-phase active power filter (APF) with first harmonic detectors (FHD) control circuit

IP cores: PI/PID controller, first harmonic detector, ADC_RX, PWM

The three-phase active power filter (APF) is an advanced technology for compensating for higher harmonics in electrical systems.

This compensator utilises three first harmonic detectors (FHDs) to calculate the compensation currents (Ic). The compensation process involves subtracting the first harmonic component (IH1) from the load current (IL) to achieve a cleaner and more stable output.

The compensation reference signal (ICr) is a reference for the output current controller, which controls the output inverter transistors in conjunction with pulse width modulation (PWM).

This innovative technology is an effective solution for businesses looking to improve the quality of their power systems and eliminate the negative effects of harmonic distortion, such as decreased efficiency, increased equipment wear and tear, and power quality issues.

 

 

Three-phase active power filter (APF) with first harmonic detectors (FHD) control circuit

PQ algorithm for active power filter (APF)

IP cores: Clark, park, high-pass filter, park inverse, Clark inverse, ADC_RX

The p-q algorithm is based on a set of instantaneous powers that can be calculated from voltage and current waveforms without restrictions on their shape or amplitude. This makes it a versatile solution for businesses looking to improve the performance and efficiency of their power systems. It can be applied to three-phase systems regardless of whether they have a neutral wire or not.

Furthermore, the p-q algorithm is not only effective in steady-state conditions but also in transient states, making it a suitable choice for a wide range of power systems applications. This algorithm can be implemented using digital controllers such as FPGA and DSP, which provides high-performance and efficient control of power systems.

 
PQ algorithm for active power filter (APF)

Motor control for BLDC/PMSM/ACIM (sensored)

IP cores: PID, ADC_RX, encoder, SVPWM, PWM, Clark, park, high-pass filter, park inverse, Clark inverse

We designed a sensored motor control for brushless DC (BLDC), permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) and AC induction motors (ACIM) for real-time monitoring of the motor's position and speed, providing a high level of control and accuracy through sensors. It enables improved product quality, increased productivity and reduced downtime in the manufacturing processes.

Sensored motor control provide greater flexibility and scalability, allowing businesses to adapt to changing requirements, implement new technologies, and improve product quality. Such systems can be integrated with PLCs and FPGAs allowing for more efficient and cost-effective control solutions.

 
Motor control for BLDC/PMSM/ACIM (sensored)

Motor control for BLDC/PMSM/ACIM (sensorless)

IP cores: PID, ADC_RX, SVPWM, PWM, Clark, Park, high-pass filter, Park inverse, Clark inverse

Sensorless control of brushless DC (BLDC), permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) and AC induction motors (ACIM) can provide significant cost savings for businesses by eliminating the need for physical sensors. This technology uses advanced algorithms to estimate the position and speed of the motor based on its electrical signals.

This can improve performance and efficiency in applications such as electric vehicles, drones, and industrial automation. Sensorless control can be integrated into a wide range of applications and be easily adapted to changing requirements.

Motor control for BLDC/PMSM/ACIM (sensorless)

Motor control for BLDC/PMSM/ACIM (sensored), TLI (three-level inverter)

IP cores: PID, ADC_RX, encoder, SVPWM, PWM, Clark, Park, high-pass filter, Park inverse, Clark inverse

Sensored motor control for brushless DC (BLDC), permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM), and AC induction motors (ACIM) allow for real-time monitoring of the motor's position and speed, providing a high level of control for robotics, automation, and transportation.

Such systems enable high-performance and high-precision motion control. By incorporating three-level inverters (TLI) into the control system, businesses can achieve a high level of power conversion efficiency, reducing energy costs and increasing the overall efficiency of the control system.

Sensored motor control with a TLI can also increase the power density of the motor, allowing for more compact designs.

Motor control for BLDC/PMSM/ACIM (sensored), TLI (three-level inverter)

FPGA-based servo drive for industrial applications

IP cores: PID, ADC_RX, encoder, SVPWM, PWM, clark, Park, high-pass filter, park inverse, Clark Inverse

We design servo drives based on FPGA to change the way businesses approach motion control. FPGAs are highly customisable integrated circuits that can be programmed to perform digital signal processing, control logic, data storage, and other functions.

FPGA in servo drives allows implementing advanced control algorithms for improved precision and stability in motion control systems leading to greater efficiency. Also, FPGA in servo drives can handle high-speed data acquisition and processing, which can be used for real-time control, resulting in faster production cycles and increased throughput.

FPGA-based servo drives are also more flexible, scalable, and programmable, making them suitable for various industrial and robotics applications and allowing future upgrades and adjustments.

FPGA-based servo drive for industrial applications

Back-electromotive force (BEMF) observer for permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM)

IP cores: PI/PID, Park inverse, Clark inverse, Sin/Cos

A BEMF observer is a sensorless control algorithm that estimates the rotor position of the PMSM, eliminating the need for physical sensors. The BEMF observer for PMSM on FPGA technology can be used in robotics, automation, and transportation.  

By implementing this algorithm on an FPGA, businesses can achieve real-time control and high-performance motion control. It helps reduce energy costs, as FPGA-based BEMF observer can improve power conversion efficiency.  

Additionally, the flexibility and scalability of FPGA technology allows for easy updates and upgrades, making it a cost-effective solution in the long run.  

 

 

Back-electromotive force (BEMF) observer

Inkjet printer controller

IP cores: sensored FOC BLDC, inkjet printer controller, PCIe

Single-pass inkjet printing systems require specialised logic to form images on paper accurately. To achieve this, our engineering team used separate IP cores to control the paper feed speed and the transfer of RAW images from memory.

The print controller utilises the speed setting provided by the IP core responsible for controlling the paper feed speed. This separation of functionality allows for easy updates and upgrades to the system.

Additionally, single-pass inkjet printing systems with specialised logic and IP cores provide a powerful and cost-effective solution for the printing industry.

 
Inkjet printer controller

Multi-encoder master IP core interface

IP cores: EnDat 3, HIPERFACE DSL, SCS open link

We designed an IP core for the multi-protocol position encoder interface to simplify the integration of fully digital encoder interfaces such as EnDat 3, Single Cable Solution (SCS) Open Link, and HIPERFACE DSL into industrial systems. This IP core is a part of a black channel, meaning it does not require examination from a safety perspective, which greatly simplifies system integration.   

The IP core includes Safe 1 and Safe 2 interfaces to connect the safety part of the motor feedback system.

Safe 1 interface is used for configuration and reading a primary safety-related position and is structured as an array of 128 8-bit wide registers for memory-mapped read and write access.

Safe 2 interface is used for reading a secondary safety-related position, and it is structured as an array of 64 8-bit wide registers for memory-mapped read-only access.

Multi-encoder master IP core interface

6-axis robot controller

IP cores: PCIe, 6 servo drive

Integrating servo drive IP cores on an FPGA is one of the most powerful robotic solutions to achieve optimal performance. We used this technology to integrate up to 6 servo drive IP cores per FPGA, enabling high precision and control.   

With new AI-powered hardware platforms such as Nvidia Jetson Orin and NVIDIA Jetson Xavier, we can solve dynamic and spatial orientation problems for 6-axis robots intelligently. These platforms are used to create an entirely new level of hardware solutions for robotics.  

If you would like to learn more about taking your robotics solutions to the next level, please feel free to reach out to us; we would be happy to help. 

 
6-axis robot controller

EtherCAT slave

IP cores: RGMII controller, loopback functions, asynchronous FIFO, AXIS switch, EtherCAT FMMU, SM, DPRAM, time module, memory controller

EtherCAT is an Ethernet-based fieldbus system for industrial automation. It ensures fast and precise communication between devices.

By integrating EtherCAT slave on FPGA, businesses can achieve real-time communication, high-performance motion control, and efficient data processing.

Our engineers can integrate this solution with other systems, such as PLCs and HMIs, reducing system costs and increasing the overall system's efficiency.

 
EtherCAT slave

Design of 3D lidar

IP cores: register file, AXI DMA, CPACK, RX JESD TPL, RX JESD LINK, JESD PHY, SYNC, TIA channel sequencer, PWM, motor control, laser driver IP, memory interconnect, PCIe

High-level specification

  • horizontal resolution of 16 pixels;
  • data sampling up to 1GSPS on 4 separate channels;
  • design is verified to comply with class I laser safety;
  • standardised FMC connector plugs into the FPGA board of choice;
  • out of box demo for target range measurement;
  • complete open-source software framework;
  • licensable JESD204B interface framework for deterministic data delivery to host wrappers for Matlab, Python LiDAR-specific API for system control and data acquisition.

Platform development environment supports industry standard Linux Industrial I/O (IIO) applications, MATLAB, Simulink, custom C/C+, Python, and C# applications, HDL reference designs and drivers to allow zero-day development.

 

 

3D lidar
DAQ and Laser Board
DAQ Board

DAQ Board

High-speed data acquisition board containing the AD9094 quad-channel ADC and clocking control for the full system. The FMC-compliant connector interface means that this board can be connected to the user’s preferred FPGA development board. The laser board and AFE board connect directly to this board.

Laser Board

The laser board is mated to the AFE board for mechanical mounting on an optional tripod stand. Then it is connected electrically to the DAQ board using the cable provided. It contains 4 individual lasers with an appropriate precision driver and power components for the accurate firing of the lasers. To alter the laser field-of-view, custom fast axis collimator optics are available from specialist optics suppliers.

AFE Board

The AFE board contains a 16-channel APD from the first sensor and 4 ADI LTC6561 Quad channel TIA's with necessary power and timing signal chains. Custom optics can be fitted to the board using industry-standard mounting adapters based on individual use cases.

The real-time processing capabilities of FPGA allow for the fast and accurate acquisition of 3D data, providing a high level of precision in navigation and object detection. This can improve safety, efficiency, and productivity in various applications. 

The integration of 3D lidar on FPGA technology also enables businesses to reduce the size, cost and power consumption of their systems. 

AFE board

Design of automatic transfer switch (ATS)

IP cores: RMS, SAG, SWELL, power factor, apparent power, reactive power, real power, period and phase angle detector, timer, prediction control, FFT, filter, interrupt controller, memory controller, ADC_RX, logic ATS, ZCR detector

An automatic transfer switch (ATS) is an essential technology for ensuring the uninterrupted operation of network equipment. ATS solutions can be implemented using microcontrollers or DSPs, but FPGA-based implementation provides greater flexibility and reliability.

Utilizing FPGA technology, our engineers integrated RISC-V soft CPUs that enhanced the performance of the entire system. This approach not only improved the reliability of ATS but also allowed easy updates and upgrades to the system.

Overall, FPGA-based automatic transfer switch solutions provide a powerful, reliable, and flexible solution for businesses looking to ensure the uninterrupted operation of their network equipment.

 
Design of automatic transfer switch (ATS)

Three-phase electrical network analyser

IP cores: RMS, SAG, SWELL, power factor, apparent power, reactive power, real power, period and phase angle detector, FFT, filter, interrupt controller, memory controller, ADC_RX, ZCR detector, register file

We used FPGA to develop an advanced solution for power quality analysis. This new three-phase network analyser can be implemented using various hardware platforms.

The FPGA technology allows for a new level of quality in the data provided on currents, voltages, frequency, parasitic harmonics, etc.

 

 
Three-phase electrical network analyser

Mass flow metering

IP cores: ADC_RX, low-pass filter, Fourier analysis, register file, PID/PI controller, sine wave synthesis, SUM, zero-crossing detection (ZCR), drive synthesis control, DAC_TX, memory controller, calculate sine wave synthesis parameters, calculate balance terms

Coriolis mass flow measurement technology is the most accurate and reliable method for direct mass flow measurement. This technology utilises the Coriolis effect, where the oscillation of a vibrating tube is distorted by the flow of fluid passing through it, to measure the mass flow of fluids.

The designed flow meter is highly versatile and capable of operating under challenging process conditions, including two-phase flow. The technology is successfully implemented in commercial meters and is widely used in various industrial applications.

 
Mass flow metering

HSR/PRP protocols

IP cores: servo clocks, MAX, IEEE 1588 MAC, DEMUX, untagger, tagger, mux, queue, interconnection, 3x PDelay response, timestamp, frame parsing, timestamp buffer, correction TX, correction RX

IEC 61850-90-4, a standard for communication networks and systems in power automation. It uses Ethernet with the PRP and HSR protocols defined in IEC 62439-3 as a global standard for bus systems and process buses in substations.

PRP and HSR protocols involve zero-recovery time, which means that in the event of a network failure, communication does not stop, and there is no frame loss. This feature allows for the seamless connection and disconnection of devices without interrupting the network's workflow or other devices, which is critical for businesses that require high availability, reliability, and robustness in their industrial automation networks.

HSR/PRP protocols

C37.94 transceiver IP core for teleprotection equipment

Our engineering team developed the C37.94 transceiver IP core for teleprotection equipment with full test coverage. This design is available for sale to companies that want to significantly reduce the time required to implement FPGA-based projects.

  • Error injection for standalone IP core simulation. 
  • Fully compatible with standard IEEE Std C37.94™-2017;
  • Support 1 to 12 time slots;
  • Master and slave modules available;
  • Internal clock data recovery;
  • Status flags:

Read more

C37.94 transceiver IP core for teleprotection equipment

Safety PLC

IP cores: input driver, comparators, register, output block 

FPGA-based safety PLCs process complex safety-critical control algorithms in real-time, providing high protection for personnel and equipment. This can improve safety, efficiency, and productivity in various applications.

Integrating safety PLC on FPGA technology can help businesses meet the newest safety standards and compliance requirements. It also allows for integrating several safety functions on a single platform.

Safety PLC
Roman Shulenkov, Head of Industrial Automation & Robotics

"FPGAs provide the versatility and flexibility needed to meet the ever-evolving demands of industrial automation, robotics, and energy. The programmability of FPGAs enables us to design highly efficient and reliable real-time systems that can adapt to changing requirements and push the boundaries of performance. This makes FPGAs a powerful tool for addressing the most challenging problems in these industries."

— Roman Shulenkov, Head of Industrial Automation & Robotics

Do you need a quote for your FPGA design services for industrial automation and robotics?

Drop us a line about your project! We will contact you today or the next business day. All submitted information will be kept confidential.

FAQ

What are the advantages of using FPGAs in industrial automation?

 

  • High-performance and real-time processing.
  • Flexibility and reconfigurability.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • Improved reliability and ruggedness.
  • Short time-to-market for new products.
  • Cost savings compared to custom ASICs.
  • Support for multiple standards.
  • Industrial Networks (EtherCAT, PROFINET IRT).
  • Support for absolute and incremental encoders (BISS, SSI, EnDat).

How do FPGAs improve the performance of robotics systems?

 

  • Real-time processing.
  • Parallel processing of multiple tasks.
  • Low-latency communication.
  • Improved accuracy and control.
  • Enhanced signal processing capabilities.
  • Increased system efficiency and reduced power consumption.
  • Оne FPGA for 6, 10 or more axes.
  • Industrial Networks (EtherCAT, PROFINET IRT).
  • Support for absolute and incremental encoders (BISS, SSI, EnDat).

What are the benefits of using FPGAs in motion control systems for industrial automation?

 

  • Real-time control and fast response times.
  • Improved accuracy and precision.
  • High-speed digital signal processing.
  • Customizable and flexible hardware.
  • Reduced system latency and jitter.
  • Cost savings compared to custom ASICs.
  • Оne FPGA for 6, 10 or more axes.
  • Industrial Networks (EtherCAT, PROFINET IRT, etc.).
  • Support for absolute and incremental encoders (BISS, SSI, EnDat).

What are the benefits of using FPGAs in industrial networking and communication systems?

 

  • High-speed data processing and low-latency communication.
  • Flexible and reconfigurable hardware design.
  • Support for multiple protocols and standards.
  • Improved security and data encryption.
  • Reduced power consumption and improved reliability.
  • Cost savings compared to custom ASICs.