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Everything should be made as simple
as possible, but no simpler.

--Albert Einstein

Example Projects

Optical Data Link

Omniware participated in a joint effort to access high-speed beam-summed RF data from a premium performance ultrasound system in order to enable medical research for imaging algorithm development and advanced beamforming. Utilizing commercial off-the-shelf hardware, Omniware developed the hardware and software architectures that would enable real-time capture and storage of an internal bus transporting 18Gbps of RF sampled acoustic lines.
GSE Application

GSE Block Diagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utilizing an Altera Stratix V development kit with a QSFP+ port, a Fiberblaze PCIx8 10GBase-R capture card and a Mellanox ConnectX optical Ethernet adapter an end-to-end capture of 2.25GB/s to an HP Z440 workstation equipped with PCIx SSDs  was accomplished. Omniware developed the XGMII MAC interface to the Altera 10GBase-R PHY hard IP in the Stratix V, including a 256-Bit burst-read state machine running at 156.25MHz for accessing packets in DDR3. The MAC handled bidirectional variable length UDP traffic at 40Gbps.

Additionally, Omniware developed the FPGA framework using the NIOS II soft-processor and a service oriented architecture design pattern for component interaction which extended to the workstation. A Visual Studio C/C++ MFC based windows application was also developed for access to hardware and streaming storage to SSD.

Rapid Prototyping for Electrophysiological Monitoring

Omniware developed a rapid prototype for an electrophysiological monitoring application from concept to fruition in 10 weeks. The application utilized commercial off-the-shelf reference designs from Texas Instruments, Altera (now Intel) and Omniware.EEG Aplication

EEG Block Diagram

 

 

 

 

 

The block diagram depicts the ADS1299, an 8-channel, simultaneously sampling 24-Bit, integrated front-end designed for an electroencephalography (EEG) application. The TLV320 is a 96 kHz stereo audio CODEC using multibit sigma-delta technology. The DE0-nano is an Altera reference design utilizing a Cyclone IV FPGA, and finally the OPTO245, a bidirectional 12Mbps data stream is optically coupled over USB to a laptop.

Omniware provided the entire design including the SPI and I2S interfaces to the analog converters, the FPGA VHDL firmware that handled careful synchronization between the data streams and the interface to the laptop. Also provided was a laboratory windows application that handled simultaneous plotting and signal processing of all eight channels in aggregate and individually. The samples were updated every 100 milliseconds, approximately a quarter-million points were plotted per second.

New Medical Ultrasound Modality

mitral valveOmniware collaborated closely with scientists and engineers at Philips Research facility in New York on a new ultrasound imaging modality. Utilizing an existing iU22 premium performance ultrasound system, additional hardware and software was developed in order to image with two matrix probes simultaneously per acoustic line, frame and volume.

Omniware was directly responsible for the software architecture, including the main control application, embedded ARM9 and NIOS II firmware, and all communication layers. A USB 3.0 implementation was also developed using the Cypress SuperSpeed FX3 controller in conjunction with an Altera Stratix IV FPGA, in order to transport real-time RF acoustic data from the iU22 to the Windows control application, where the data was decoded, time-domain processed and sent to the Medisys visualization software for volumetric imaging. Additionally, acoustic beam selection was manipulated and remotely updated on the running iU22 ultrasound hardware.

The principal investigator for the project, Emil Radulescu, Ph.D. and Sr. Scientist at Philips Research, offered these words regarding his relationship with Omniware, "I've had the pleasure to work with Omniware across multiple projects over several years. One of Omniware's strengths is to enthusiastically embark on unique, one-of-a-kind projects, and deliver outstanding turn-key solutions. Through their key contribution, Omniware translates impeccably the requirements and existing software and hardware into working prototypes and demonstrators -- they always go 'the extra mile'."

Remote Maternal Fetal Monitoring

Sense-4-BabyAssisting the West Health Institute in developing wireless health solutions to dramatically lower the cost of health care, Omniware participated in West Health's first experimental medical device, a wirelessly-enabled monitor of fetal and maternal wellness, allowing doctors to monitor mother and child remotely. Omniware developed the firmware and hardware for communications and control of the ultrasound and tocodynamometer sensors. The product is based on two Microchip PIC18 MCUs with nanoWatt XLP technology and a Bluetooth wireless link to an Android smartphone. One 8-Bit MCU was dedicated to measuring both sensors while the other was responsible for heart rate audio, wireless communications and power conservation. The device achieved 510(k) clearance November 2013.

Additionally, a 10 week curriculum of "Hands on FPGA Development" was taught onsite to West Health engineers and scientists using Terasic's DE0-Nano Cyclone IV reference design and Altera's Quartus II FPGA development tools including Qsys, Eclipse for NIOS II, and SignalTap.

The West Health Institute's Director of Research and Development, Freeman Rose, had these words to say about his experience with Omniware, "Omniware's extensive background in signal processing, software development and physics makes them an ideal resource for developing mixed technology systems. We can highly recommend Omniware for your most challenging projects."

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

NMR PCBWorking closely with One Resonance Sensors' chief scientist, Omniware participated in the design of our third generation spectrometer. We were responsible for the main RF control circuit and digital downconverter for an NMR spectroscopy application. The circuit is built around Xilinx's 45nm low power Spartan-6 FPGA and data transport is accomplished using Cypress' EZ-USB FX2 high-speed peripheral controller.

The Microblaze 32-Bit RISC CPU ORS Mobillab120firmware was developed using Xilinx's Software Development Kit (an Eclipse based IDE) along with the Platform Studio to develop the VHDL code. Aldec's Active-HDL was also used for FPGA design creation and simulation. A windows application was developed for laboratory testing and parameter tuning. The application was written using Microsoft's Visual Studio C/C++ 2010 development environment; also incorporating the Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) library for the graphical user interface. In an excerpt from a recent email, Chief Scientist and Director of Systems Development, James F. Chepin, Ph.D. had this to say, "For more than 10 years and across three companies I have relied on Omniware’s exceptional technical knowledge and dedication on our most complex digital hardware and software designs. Their work always exceeded our expectations in terms of commitment, proficiency, and expertise. I wholeheartedly recommend Omniware for your most difficult technical challenges."

Backscatter and Transmission X-Ray

AIT84 Body ScannerWorking with Tek84 and Dr. Steven W. Smith (the foremost technical expert on airport x-ray body scanners and inventor of the technology) Omniware designed the main data acquisition and machine control circuit for the AIT84 Body Scanner. The circuit utilized an Analog Devices Blackfin digital signal processor (DSP) in unison with a Xilinx Spartan-3 Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA).

Tek84 PCBThe DSP handled machine communications, command and control and data formatting. The FPGA provided high-speed multi-channel analog-to-digital conversion and time-critical machine control including x-ray motion and synchronization. Omniware developed the firmware for both the DSP and FPGA in addition to schematic capture and PCB layout. The layout was done using the Mentor Graphics PADS design tools.

Additionally, Omniware worked on the FPGA Intellectual Property (IP) for the passenger vehicle low-dosage x-ray scanning system that was ultimately sold to SAIC (services business spin-off to Leidos). This included data acquisition for the solid-state x-ray detectors, data formatting, combining and communications.

A few words from Dr. Smith, "Omniware has completed two major projects for us, both involving the design of high performance digital electronics and associated firmware. Their knowledge of the field is exceptional and their execution rapid and confident. I would highly recommend Omniware for the most challenging projects."

Medical Device RF Generation

Minnow ZCathOmniware worked with Minnow Medical engineers (now Vessix Vascular, recently acquired by Boston Scientific for $425 million) to develop the ZCath Peripheral Vascular System. A transluminal angioplasty catheter with RF electrodes that provide controlled energy for plaque volume reduction. We developed the main digital electronics and firmware for measuring and controlling the RF generation at the catheter tip. The circuit was built around a Xilinx Virtex-4 FPGA which contained a single PowerPC 405 embedded processor.

ZCath PCBThe FPGA handled the multi-channel analog-to-digital conversion, RF synthesis and downconverter. The PowerPC managed data collection, formatting and the graphical user interface. A windows application was written using Microsoft’s Visual Studio C/C++ to provide laboratory control, data analysis and visualization.

The product has achieved the European CE Mark and is currently pending 510(k) approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States to treat de novo lesions in the peripheral arteries and renal denervation..

The Xilinx Software Development Kit (SDK) and Platform Studio (XPS) was used to develop the VHDL code and C/C++ PowerPC firmware for the ZCath product. The PCB design flow and schematic capture used Altium's legacy software product P-CAD.

A testimonial from Minnow Medical's Chief Technical Officer Michael Perry, "Omniware’s technical service enabled Minnow Medical to produce a top quality RF generator for medical use. Given a set of high level system requirements, Omniware produced a fully functional operating product as a turnkey service with a minimum of overhead. We look forward to utilizing Omniware’s prompt services in the future."

Electromagnetic Poynting Vector

Quasar PCBOmniware developed a 6-channel RF data acquisition controller for Quasar Federal Systems. Working closely with Quasar’s science and engineering team, a system architecture was created that could simultaneously sense the full electric and magnetic field vectors from a proprietary antenna array in the LF and HF frequency ranges for the purpose of direction finding of electromagnetic radio sources.

The traveling EM wave is sensed by two sets of three co-located field sensors, one set for the E-Field the other for the B-Field. Each set is mutually orthogonal and the cross product between the E-Field and B-Field may be used to calculate the Poynting vector. The Poynting vector points along the EM wave directionWB57 Patch of travel, hence reversing the sign points back to the source. Direction finding of airborne and earth-based electromagnetic sources can be done with a single measurement.

The design incorporated a Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA and the Microblaze embedded soft processor. The FPGA provided simultaneous RF downconversion of six analog-to-digital converters and streamed the result to a solid-state hard drive or ethernet interface. The Microblaze CPU handled control, communications and file system management. A Windows application was written that gathered data from the embedded processor for analysis and visualization. Product brochure.

Omniware has completed many other electromagnetic sensing projects with Quasar Federal Systems over the past six years, many have flown on NASA's WB-57F Long Wing aircraft. In an excerpt from a recent email, Dr. Lowell Burnett, the President of QFS had this to say, "In our work to develop advanced sensing systems, Omniware has led some of the most demanding digital hardware and software design tasks from concept to final testing. They have never fallen short of our high expectations, even under very demanding circumstances."

Medical Ultrasound

Philips iU33Omniware provided multiple software modules to Philips Research North America for controlling a per-channel data acquisition system which simultaneously sampled 128 ultrasound channels and stored the resultant 8 second acquisition into 64 gigabytes of DDR2 memory. A direct memory access (DMA) hardware driver for compactPCI and acquisition control user interface was written using Jungo’s WinDriver connectivity product and Microsoft’s Visual Studio C/C++ integrated development environment (IDE). Two-dimensional imaging and RF data visualization was also provided. Omniware worked closely with Philips engineers during final integration assisting in hardware and software debugging. The product was delivered to research staff where it is currently being used for photoacoustic tomography, adaptive imaging, high-intensity focused ultrasound, molecular imaging and elastography.

Additionally, Omniware provided software enhancements to the original acquisition product in order to stream the Ultrasound RF channels through dual 1 gigabit Ethernet interfaces by incorporating Pleora Technology’s iPort video transmitter software; each channel achieved nearly 95 megabytes per second of data throughput.

GVAC ScreenJohn Dean, Senior Member Research Staff: Prototyping Group of Philips Research North America, wrote the following about his experience with our company, “Omniware not only was able to deliver the software we needed, but in addition improved our software drivers, helped isolate difficult to detect hardware problems, made suggestions to improve the hardware architecture, and even worked with our engineers to solve problems with power distribution. In summary, Omniware delivered beyond the scope of the original task and was instrumental in helping us deliver a quality system to our customer.”


Over the past three decades Omniware has been involved in many hardware and software design projects in the medical ultrasound industry with companies such as Philips Ultrasound, Acoustic Imaging, CooperVision and Alliance Medical. We participated in several Ultrasound related U.S. patents, namely:

Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance (NQR) Spectroscopy

MINEPAK PCBOmniware developed two generations of NQR spectrometers for Quantum Magnetics (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Morpho Detection). The first generation was proof-of-concept for a portable land-mine detector and used Motorola’s (now freescale's) DSP56K and a Xilinx Spartan-II FPGA. Omniware developed the data acquisition hardware, firmware and Windows software application for control and data visualization. The Spartan-II handled the CPMG NQR pulse sequences and other RF timing. The DSP56K dealt with command and control, communications, and data formatting. The spectrometer successfully detected TNT, PETN and RDX explosives at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona.

MAAC PCBThe second generation NQR spectrometer utilized a single Xilinx Virtex-II Pro FPGA with dual embedded PowerPC 405s. Two variations on time-critical operating systems were ported to the PowerPC 405, namely, Micrium’s uC/OS-II and QNX Software System’s Neutrino RTOS. This implementation used high-speed ADCs and a digital downconverter for data acquisition. In addition to NQR spectroscopy the hardware also implemented advanced metal detection. The base hardware was ultimately used in Morpho's implementation of the shoe scanner.

GE Shoe ScannerDirector of Advanced Development at Quantum Magnetics, Pablo Prado, Ph.D. had this to say, “Omniware was a vital contributor during the Advanced Mine Detector project with the Office of Naval Research. They led software and firmware development tasks and contributed to the design and testing of a process intensive FPGA-based radio-frequency control board. Omniware's high quality deliverables enabled the engineering team to produce a state-of-the-art instrument which demonstrated high detection performance.”

 

Communications

Nokia 6185Omniware worked with Nokia Mobile Phone engineers as principal architect and lead developer for a CDMA High-Speed Packet Data design and implementation (IS-707.5,12) using TI's TMS470 microcontroller, TMS320C54 DSP and Nokia's proprietary real-time operating system. Furthermore, Omniware developed a software object model for managing data bearer services with multiple contexts.

Iridium GlobeAt Motorola’s Satellite division in Chandler Arizona, Omniware provided advanced development and rapid prototyping of the L-Band Physical Layer for the Iridium Satellite Vehicle PowerPC 603e Antenna Computer, using Greenhills C/C++ compiler and pSOS embedded real-time operating system with a development environment hosted by Sun Microsystems SunOS (UNIX). Also, we implemented a Power-On Self Test (POST) software module for the Antenna Computer while on orbit to detect and correct single event upsets and provide confidence testing of communications hardware. Computed beam-to-beam distance tables of earth surface illumination for overlap and interference control, and the software module for one-time pad calculations and command & control encryption.

Additionally, Omniware developed an OPNET model to simulate hand-off between the satellite vehicle and subscriber unit.  The model involved orbital parameters of the satellite, differential Doppler and time-of-arrival computations, profile of phased-array beam and kalman filter tracking of the satellite vehicle.

Superconducting Magnets

Facility #1Omniware led a team of scientists, engineers and technicians in the creation and operation of two premiere cold test facilities for superconducting accelerator magnet and cable research. The facilities were constructed under the auspices of the Department of Energy at the Superconducting Supercollider Laboratory in Texas. The facilities were used to test model superconducting magnets at temperature and current of the full collider ring. Ultimately 18 one meter model dipole and quadrupole superconducting magnets were tested along with wire strands and cable. Each test facility was situated in a high-bay with overhead crane access and consisted of a 2K liter helium cryostat, 15K ampere power supply, data acquisition and storage, and control instrumentation. Magnets were cooled to a temperature of 4.2K with liquid helium and energized with 10-15K amperes of current to determine the mechanical strain due to Lorentz forces, the quench properties and magnet field homogeneity.

Facility #2Utilizing Sun Microsystems workstations and VME based SPARC embedded controllers in a distributed processor architecture of high-speed data collection and real-time analysis the facility was able to acquire critical magnet data used by scientists and engineers to characterize the performance of new accelerator magnet designs. Data was made available to laboratory personnel and magnet vendors using the relational database Sybase SQL Server.

Here are a few selected papers relating to this facility from the fifth anual Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Super Collider:

The president of EG&G Science Support Corporation had this to say about Omniware, “… they successfully brought to fruition a comprehensive, well-performing test facility. In accomplishing this goal, Omniware put in effort above and beyond that expected.” Also, the SSCL Quadrupole Magnet Product Manager, Dave Fortunato wrote these words, “Omniware’s broad background in signal processing, software development and physics made them an ideal choice for developing systems with complex physical interactions.”