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pYr0

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Joined: 10 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:11 pm    Post subject: Custom ICs Reply with quote

Hello

I was wondering if there was a company that made custom ICs for a resonable cost. For example, I would send them a schematic for a certain board that I'd want to be built, and they'd send me a completed board in a few days. A quick google search led to companies that had solutions for many boards, but are there companies out there that can produce only single boards?

-pYr0
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albertsm

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Joined: 09 Apr 2004
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Location: Holland

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you mean custom IC or custom board?
there are companies enough, but it depends on what you find 'reasonable'.
it depends if you use standard parts or that they need to put in some lib. And if you need software as part of it.
we do custom boards. but 'few days' is not doable: boards need to be made and assembled and tested.
What you want is probably possible, but it will not be cheap. if you do find a chip solution let me know Smile

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pYr0

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, maybe a bit of background will give you a better idea of where I'm coming from...

I am just about to start my freshman year at college, majoring in electrical engineering. I have just started to play around with hardware electronics on my own, and find it much more interesting than the straight computer programming classes I've taken. I have built a little walker robot out of scraps and stuck a bunch of breadboards on the top of it (a la boebot style). The thing is that some parts I want to use either don't fit into a breadboard, or are surface mount and need to be soldered onto a breadboard.

The circuit board in question would have a (fairly) common ultrasonic sensor (...at least one of the more popular ones on digikey), an op-amp, and a few capacitors. I would only need ~2 of them.

Would getting an integrated circuit be a reasonable solution for this cheap-o project, or is there a better way to go about this?

-pYr0
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mattcro

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Joined: 03 Oct 2007
Posts: 324
Location: Scotland

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the components you're thinking of can be soldered by hand, then a good addition to this project would be to design your own circuit board layout and fabricate a few boards yourself. It's very likely that your college/uni has the equipment/software to design and make a couple of small circuit boards that you can then assemble.

Not only will this save you some money if you ask nicely, but you'll get the bonus of some real PCB design practice too.

There are plenty of companies that will do the board fabrication for you at reasonable rates if you can give them a set of suitable CAD files from PCB design software, but getting the components fitted too will push up the cost a lot unless you're making hundreds.

PS "integrated circuit" normally refers to a semiconductor chip. There's no point even thinking about fabricating a couple of chips as it's hugely expensive and complex. A Printed Circuit Board is a single board with circuit tracks etched in copper on one or both sides, that you solder components onto to create an electronic circuit.

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albertsm

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you need such simple boards, i would use a test board : one with only holes. you can then insert chips and components and solder them. then use some thin laminated copper wire to make the connections. or use the old wire wrap method.
making a pcb is only economical when you have a lot of connections or when you have smd parts.

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rileyesi

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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm not sure if this will help you, but you might want to do an internet search for "SBC AVR". SBC stands for (as far as I know) single board computers. Here is an example:

http://www.bipom.com/boards_cat/us/3.html

They are more expensive than what Mark suggested, but it might work for you.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Pete
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