Application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design is central to all forms of security device, from airport scanners to CCTV cameras, to RFID tagging. The latter is a particularly exciting area, with many uses in industry and medicine.
The miniaturisation of complex RFID devices (some are smaller than a grain of sand) has made microchipping of live animals commonplace, and since they do not have to be invasive to be secure, these microchips are now being widely considered for human use. Advances in PCB design and digital signal processing has led to a new generation of low-cost mobile hand scanners, such as pet microchip scanners.
Mobile microchip scanners are based on DSP programming technology. Newer hardware designs have improved reading distance (i.e. the distance from the scanner to the microchip) and screen out interference from other digital technology such as TVs and computers. Since the scanner is a detection device, it needs to be compatible with as many microchips on the market as possible. This is made easier by the fact that that these have become largely standardised. Two of the best known component manufacturers of microtags are Trovan and Avid.
RFID tagging technology today is compact and flexible, with low-power reconfigurable system designs, which utilise FPGA programming in place of earlier ASIC technology. Clinically, it isn’t limited to animals; recently, a new ‘Smart Sponge’ tagging system was developed to safeguard against medical swabs being left inside human patients. If you have an idea for an FPGA design or DSP programming device, we at Enventure Technologies can help bring it to fruition.