Innovation competition

To inspire new ideas and promote innovation. That is the aim of Syntronic’s annual Innovation Competition. This fall, Syntronic China kicked-started the third edition of the popular in-house competition.

“Looking back at the previous two innovation competitions, we think of all the original ideas and inspiring projects that came out of them,” Zinser Zhao, General Manager of Syntronic Asia, said in his opening address.

"Many of the solutions that were presented in the competitions have now been used in real commercial projects. The concept has also earned our customers’ recognition and support."

Zinser Zhao, General Manager of Syntronic Asia.

Fifty ideas for the future

“Exploring New Opportunities in the New Era” is the theme of this year’s edition. In the call for contributions, the competition’s organizers welcomed a wide variety of project suggestions. Team members could submit suggestions related to software and hardware development, but also to new business models and operational solutions.

The interest in Syntronic’s Innovation Competition has been strong since the start. Team members at the company’s sites in Beijing, Tianjin, Chengdu, Nanjing, Guangzhou, and other regions submitted approximately 50 projects suggestions for the 2022 edition.

After two months of project auditions and reviews, the organizers shortlisted 19 projects that will get the opportunity to run in the competition.

The shortlist includes interesting projects related to 5G, the Internet of Things, power drive, radio frequency, software platform development, and thermal testing. The projects cover fields such as telecom, smart transportation, industrial solutions, robotics, and digitalization.

 

"Looking back at the previous two innovation competitions, we think of all the original ideas and inspiring projects that came out of them."

Zinser Zhao, General Manager of Syntronic Asia.

Scores and assessment

In the competition’s next stage, representatives from each participating team will present the project’s creative background, main idea, application field, market analysis, technical implementation method, and general feasibility.

A jury will assess the projects according to a set of criteria. The jury will evaluate each contribution’s applicability, feasibility, technical innovation degree, market size, business growth, program integrity and sustainability.

Innovation competition

Participating projects: A sneak peak

1: A Motor Feed Energy Relief Module

Intelligent robot technology is in the stage of rapid development and its application fields are becoming more and more extensive.

Syntronic’s power supply engineers found in their daily work that the feedback energy generated during the motor's forward and reverse rotation, start-stop, and deceleration caused the power supply voltage to rise, which would cause circuit overvoltage protection action, causing the system to oscillate, unable to work normally or even damage equipment.

Faced with this problem, the motor energy-feeding discharge module came into being. This module can prevent the feedback energy from flowing back into the power supply to protect the normal operation of the system.

2: A RPAD CaC Integration Test Platform

When 5G RRU equipment is developed, manufactured, and tested, external DU equipment, a series of spectrum analyzers and corresponding software solutions are required. The test wiring and test positioning in the whole system are more complicated. Therefore, it is urgent to develop a system for RRU production calibration test and R&D test.

Syntronic's digital engineering team suggest developing an RPAD + Linux CAC (Common & Control) general software and hardware control platform, which can be applied to various hardware and software products at the same time. The platform can be configured, debugged, and tested during its entire production cycle.

3: A Power Amplifier Customized Module

The application scenarios of power amplifier technology are very broad and include 6G wireless communication equipment, medical instruments, EMC electromagnetic compatibility, power tolerance testing of electronic devices, wireless communication interference and countermeasure systems, and space exploration high-energy physics etc.

Almost every complete electronic product is inseparable from the power amplifier at this stage. The performance of the amplifier plays an important role in the function of the electronic product. Syntronic power amplifier engineers propose to design customized power amplifier modules according to the current market conditions.

4: Smart Shared Parking Space

In the past five years, the number of newly registered new energy vehicles has shown a rapid growth, while the proportion of parking spaces has remained low in China. At the same time, because the parking lot is subject to the traditional operation mode, the management is relatively backward and many parking spaces are left idle.

The main idea of this scheme is to apply the existing Internet of Things technology and cloud computing technology, through the large-scale deployment of ground locks and related applications to realize the automatic allocation of supply and demand information of parking space resources, rationally distribute profits, and efficiently and accurately realize parking space resources.

5: A Switch Box Online Support System

This online support system will cover the entire life cycle of a RF switch box project, from design to production and maintenance. In the design phase, it supports online release.

During production, it supports materials trace, test automation, and collection of test data. In the maintenance phase, it supports online user manuals and online firmware upgrading. More functions will be planned later.

6: A Multiport Calibration Unit

Syntronic’s engineers found two problems when testing multi-port products with 2-port or 4-port network analyzers: (1) multi-port switching problems and (2) multi-port calibration problems.

Usually, the multi-port switching problem can be solved by using a multi-channel switch matrix, but there is no well-functioning solution for the multi-port calibration problem at present. To solve the calibration problem, this scheme proposes to design a multi-port calibration unit, which cooperates with the multi-channel switch matrix to perform multi-port automatic calibration.

7: Standardized RISC-V kernel in FPGA

The domestic FPGA market has grown rapidly but at present, domestic FPGA chips are still lacking in software development ecology and lack certain core design capabilities. To solve this problem, Syntronic’s FPGA development engineers proposed a solution to design a universal and portable RISC-V system-on-chip on domestic FPGAs. RISC-V is a fully open-source embedded processor architecture, whose flexibility fits well with the reconfigurable nature of FPGAs.

With the improvement and improvement of domestic FPGA manufacturers in chip performance and EDA tool chain, the RISC-V sopc independently developed and maintained by Syntronic is expected to be deployed in the FPGA market in the domestic consumer electronics, industry, communications, automotive and other fields.

8: A Production test development problem analysis system

As a company grows, so does its business scale and number of employees. To better manage the problems encountered in the process of production test development, Syntronic has designed a production test development problem analysis system.

The system can quickly locate error points, summarize, and report errors through the accumulation and sorting of experience from historical cases. It can analyze the types of errors reported and provide solution suggestions, which can effectively improve the efficiency of problem solving and promote the smooth progress of production testing, avoid problems in the project process caused by individual differences and prevent the loss of knowledge wealth caused by personnel flow.

9: An Intelligent guide terminal

To solve the problem of inconvenient travel for people with visual impairments, this scheme proposes the concept of an “intelligent blind guidance terminal + platform".

When the intelligent terminal is installed on wearable devices such as glasses, helmets, and canes, it provides voice navigation and navigation for blind people in their daily travels.

10: A new Radio Amplifier Linearization Tool

The Radio Power Amplifier Linearization Tool improves the OBUE RF performance of the product by adjusting the lookup table configuration parameters of the DP in the DPD. The digital algorithm based on the Radio Power Amplifier Linearization Tool can improve the linearity of the PA.

It thereby improves the in-band RF spurious performance of the product. At present, the operation of the Radio power amplifier linearization tool is relatively complicated and requires a high license cost. The new tool produced in this project makes it possible to completely avoid the license cost and improve work efficiency by about 25%.

11: Research on Millimeter Wave Hybrid Beamforming

Hybrid beamforming technology was created to solve the problem of increasing transmission loss of millimeter waves.

By optimizing the amplitude and phase of each transceiver channel signal, the formed beam pattern has the largest gain in the desired signal direction and the smallest gain in other interference directions. This makes up for the problem that the transmission loss of millimeter waves increases in space and improves the signal-to-interference ratio.

12: A Thermal test system

Thermal testing is one of the most important test items for electronic products before they leave the factory. For radio and air products, the level of heat dissipation capacity directly affects the performance indicators of the product.

Targeting the issues of difficult operation, intense human resource requirements, and poor stability of heat dissipation test, Syntronic’s thermal engineer improved the heat dissipation test system. Through the integration of temperature sensor test tooling, temperature acquisition communication module, and automatic data acquisition software integration, data acquisition, analysis and storage are efficiently carried out.

13: A 5G mmWave OTA test MINI darkroom

With the gradual development of 5G technology, major RF manufacturers have stepped up their deployment of 5G FR2 millimeter wave technology. Compared with traditional sub-6G, millimeter wave has unique advantages such as large bandwidth, low air interface delay, and flexible and flexible air interface configuration, which can meet the needs of future wireless communication in terms of system capacity, transmission rate, and differentiated applications.

Because 5G millimeter wave technology relies on Massive MIMO technology, traditional conduction test systems cannot cope with such complex system cable connections, and OTA testing in traditional large-scale microwave anechoic chambers has a higher cost and space for construction. Based on the above technical application characteristics of 5G millimeter wave, it is expected that the market demand for micro-anechoic chambers will continue to increase. Therefore, Syntronic’s engineers designed a small, mobile, and capable of full-temperature OTA measurement through simulation.

14: Syntronic’s Constellation Process Tool

Since ORAN standard has spawned the development of 5G equipment, Syntronic’s engineers effectuated a value analysis of R&D tools and software and uses the baseband signal constellation diagram analysis tool as the entry point.

Contrary to the traditional way of manually viewing the constellation diagram, engineers propose to use image algorithms and pattern recognition technology, develop a constellation diagram automatic analysis system solution, and do preliminary experiments. The program describes the technical potential and value analysis in terms of efficiency improvement, standardization, case accumulation and comprehensive expansion.

15: 5G mmWave Phase Antenna Array Module design, Substrate Integrated Waveguide

The advent of the 5G era has put forward higher requirements for the performance of high-speed, low-latency, and high-reliability communication systems. The millimeter-wave frequency band has the advantages of large bandwidth, good directionality, high transmission efficiency, and strong reliability. It provides the possibility for 5G to expand VR/AR, autonomous driving, telemedicine, and other services.

This project is committed to designing a phased array antenna module for 5G millimeter wave frequency band, using the advantages of low loss, high power capacity and miniaturization of SIW (substrate integrated waveguide) technology in high frequency band to design millimeter wave filter RF devices such as radiators.

16: Digital Self Interference Cancelling Algorithm in Full-duplex Radio Systems

As spectrum resources become increasingly scarce and expensive, it is imperative to improve their utilization. The full-duplex technology, which has attracted widespread attention in recent years, can in principle improve spectral efficiency, solve hidden terminal problems, and enhance communication security. However, the linear and nonlinear self-interference caused by synchronous transmission and reception brings great challenges to full duplex.

In the processing of digital interference algorithms, traditional polynomial models and linearization methods have the risk of mismatch deterioration and overfitting. With the development of AI and computer image processing algorithms based on the existing processing model, Syntronic’s R&D team has developed a self-interference cancellation algorithm that can further suppress the nonlinearity, IQ imbalance and in-band phase noise of the radio power amplifier and can reduce the digital residual interference. The suppression reaches about a maximum of 50dB; the robustness and applicability of the digital cancellation are improved, and the calculation efficiency is increased.

17: A Programmable Switchbox Debugging Platform Tool

The programmable switch box test platform tool adopts distributed application development mode and net reflection service to dynamically realize programmable design and service/database realizes resource sharing. This tool can solve issues such as software configuration problems and test station occupation, quickly build a test environment, reduce test difficulty, and improve mass production efficiency.

18: Platform Update Automation Tools

To solve the issue of time-consuming, labor-intensive, and repetitive work in platform upgrade in production test development, this project proposes to develop an automated tool to automatically upgrade platform software and improve work efficiency. The tool integrates one-click upgrade of tp, tc and software packages, automatic generation of configuration files, automatic import of configuration files and automatic download of software packages.

19: A Laboratory management platform

Laboratory management is an important part of improving R&D productivity. To solve the problems of low degree of laboratory management informatization, limitations in terms of physical space for storage equipment, and low resource sharing, this project proposes to design a laboratory management platform, which realizes the informatization, processing, and specialization of laboratory lean management, resulting in improved experiments.

About us

Syntronic is a Tier 1 design house specializing in advanced product and systems development, production, and aftermarket services. Among our customers and partners are some of the world’s most technology intensive businesses and organizations in sectors such as telecom, automotive, industrial and MedTech.

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