MTSI was asked to perform a technical audit of a new generation automotive burglar alarm for the Ford Taurus automobile. The client was behind schedule after a year of development, and could not meet their customers requirements.
The client had already promised the Ford Motor Company that the new product would be available in only sixty days. A major contract could be lost if the product was not ready.
The gate array that had been designed was not working, and it could not be made to work without a major re-design effort taking many months. Also, the design was intended to fit completely within a single housing, and there was no room for all of the circuits.
MTSI proposed a redesigned automotive burglar alarm that would use a one-time programmable microcomputer instead of a gate array. The long lead time for parts was eliminated, and the software could be easily modified after testing without waiting for new mask parts.
A high temperature plastic housing was needed to hold the electronics between the firewall and exhaust pipe. By working closely with a local plastics prototype house, we were able to modify the tooling drawings to allow the necessary electronics to fit.
The electronics for the relays, horn, vibration sensors, battery backup, radio receiver and hand-held two-transistor key ring radio transmitter were completely redesigned. A printed circuit card was designed to fit the new plastics housings.
Software was developed using assemblers and simulators on our local area network. A key ring demodulator circuit was eliminated by careful software code writing.
After many hours of hard work, the design was proven. A completely functional system was shipped to Ford for testing on the 60th day of the project.