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Overview

Since 1994, EnTegra have supplied Data Acquisition and Digital Signal Processing Solutions to UK companies and across Europe. Our products from ourselves and our suppliers are often leading edge products combined with first class technical support.

Our current emphasis is in supplying leading data acquisition units combined with signal conditioning and processing using either a DSP Processor, FPGA, Windows Processor or a combination of these.

Our major supplier, since 1999, is Innovative Integration Inc who are based in California. Innovative Integration provide board-level hardware products that integrate the best analogue I/O and reconfigurable FPGAs to provide cost-effective solutions for challenging data acquisition and signal processing applications. We are distributors for their products in the UK.

We are pleased to represent United Electronic Industries since August 2016. Their products compliment Innovative’s by providing quality industrial IO for thermocouples, strain gauges, serial, position transducers etc upto a few hundred kilosamples per second. The IO boards have many novel features such as current and voltage monitoring and loop back test. The chassis options are standalone, racks and flat racks with optional MIL 38999 connectors. All chassis include a controller with dual ethernet and a software support suite for C, C++, LabVIEW, Matlab, Java, .NET, C# and many more.

Often we meet customers project requirements simply by supplying off-the-shelf products, but if you need a custom solution, be that custom hardware, logic or software, please call us with your requirements.

History

Founding

The Entegra company was formed in 1994 by Timothy Bigg and Kathy Ollington. The operation began as a sales only company, marketing an emerging Digital Signal Processing simulation tool called SystemView from California and selling it across Europe and later on to Japan. In 2010 the company was renamed Entegra DSP.

SystemView

DSPShow1996

SystemView was a software tool which ran on Windows PC’s but competed with much more expensive Workstation based tools and initially cost only £500 a licence. Version 1.x could be installed from 3 floppy disks! SystemView was developed by a team of engineers and scientists at Elanix Inc in Thousand Oaks, California. They originally developed it for their own use as a discrete time simulation tool that modelled both the distortion of the RF amplifiers and mixers used in transmit and receivers, as well as the modulation and demodulation stages that were digital.

Entegra sold hundreds of licences across Europe to both large and small companies. These included large Telecom companies such as Nortel and Nokia, and to military suppliers and Universities.

As sales increased in the UK and across Europe the focus was on the local UK market, and distributors were appointed in key european countries. John Owen joined the company in 1996 as the Applications Engineer. The company then began a journey back to the founders routes in hardware. Elanix was acquired by Eagleware to compliment their range of simulators and then in 2005 Eagleware was purchased by Agilent (EEsof) which was the end of sales of SystemView.

The photograph shows our booth at the DSP Show 1996, held at London Heathrow.

Hardware

Supplying the Simulation tool into Signal Processing projects became a stepping stone to providing the hardware development platform as well. In 1996 Entegra was signed as the UK distributor for Pentek Inc, a manufacturer of DSP and Data Acquisition boards on VME (and later cPCI). Pentek were famous in the signal processing industry for supplying Digital Receiver boards with multiple channels of downconversion, which coupled with their high speed Adc boards and multiple Texas Instrument C4x and C6x DSP boards made a popular platform for developing receivers for Radar, Sonar and Radio. One of the biggest projects undertaken in the UK with this equipment was the UMTS development which later became part of the 3GPP FDD telecoms standard.

With a growing expertise in putting together Signal Processing Systems, Entegra was then approached by Innovative Integration Inc to represent their products in the UK. Innovative have been a leading integrator of the latest Adcs, Dacs, and signal processing devices on a PC platform. At the time, the core processing device was the Texas Instruments C6701, which has upto 1GFlops performance. Innovative’s choice of using the PC as a platform rather than VME kept the cards in higher volume markets at a lower cost. They were experts at getting the most performance out of the PCI bus and later the PCIe lanes to make it possible to stream MB/s and now GB/s under a Windows based software environment.

In 2010, Innovative Integration Inc were purchased by ISI Pkg.

DSP Courses

The third strategic business development of Entegra was to partner with Dr Bob Stewart of the University of Strathclyde. Bob was teaching DSP to electronic engineering students and found that SystemView provided an easy to use simulation tool to show DSP techniques such as sampling theorem, filtering, discrete fourier transforms, FFT, convolutional coding, viterbi coding etc. Bob built a training package called DSPedia around SystemView and used SystemView in the classroom. The training material was of commercial quality and soon Entegra was marketing and organising Bob’s training to industry in both public and privately run courses.

Bob developed a training product called DSPedia which was a CDROM that was the basis for his training courses. Bob founded Steepest Ascent Ltd with Tim, which provided DSP Training Courses and Algorithm Development. This company was purchased by MathWorks in 2013.

Products Today

siteheaderThe FPGA has now taken over as the choice of signal processing platform for highly parallel and simple tasks, with the host processor for more complex open loop processing. All of Innovative’s products are centred around an FPGA which contains factory logic and spare resources that the user can configure to perform other tasks as required. Innovative use the Xilinx family of FPGA’s, including the Spartan3, Virtex5, Virtex6 and Kintex7.

The boards use the latest high speed Adcs and Dacs, usually made by Analog Devices Inc and Texas Instruments. Samplerates from a few 100ksps to 3.6GSPS are covered. These get used in many demanding applications such as Medical, Wireless, RADAR, SONAR and testing. One of the highly successful applications in the UK has been Jet Engine Vibration monitoring for all the worlds major jet engine manufacturers. This requires hundreds of high dynamic range analogue to digital conversion channels all accurately synchronised and clocked together. In these applications, Sigma Delta converters are used to achieve 24 bit quantisation. Other UK applications include Weather RADAR, servo loop controllers in laser equipment and GPS signal generation test equipment.

Developments

Entegra has always been more than just a reseller. All of the products require technical expertise to ensure that the right product fits to the application requirements before items are manufactured and shipped to the end user. As well as technical sales support, Entegra has also developed example programs and full application suites to meet customer needs. These have included:

  • 96 channel audio acquisition system for an aeronautical wind tunnel.
  • Chassis and gearbox test equipment for a formula 1 team.
  • Accurate pulse generator and capture for security systems.
  • Fast waveform replay from disk for GPS equipment testing.
  • Multiple channel 10MSPS acquisition system with triggering, logging and real time processing for laboratory seismic experiments.
  • Radio signal logging and spectral display for AIS with GPS logging as well.
  • Serial Interface Recording.
  • Sonar algorithm coding and simulation.
  • The company has also developed bespoke hardware for customers including a TLK2711 WizardLink transceiver for XMC, and an 8 channel signal conditioning module with programmable gain, constant voltage, constant current and filtering.

Solutions

In 2015, the founders Tim Bigg and Kathy Ollington retired and Entegra Solutions was formed with Dr Lewis Williams and John Owen as the Directors.

August 2016.

Entegra Solutions is pleased to announce that we have been appointed UK distributor for United Electronic Industries Inc. http://www.ueidaq.com/. UEI have 25 years experience supplying rugged acquisition and control systems used in many high performance engineering applications.

United Electronic Industries is a leader in the PC/Ethernet data acquisition and control, Data Logger/Recorder and Programmable Automation Controller (PAC) and Modbus TCP markets.

The UEI system of modular COTS products allows the customer to select from a range of over 60 different I/O cards in 8 different chassis configurations. The common software tools allow customers a modular design approach through prototyping to production. UEI guarantees the availability of all products for a minimum of 10 years. Unless you are specifically notified at the time of purchase, all DNA and DNR products will be available for repurchase for at least 10 years.

The products are modular and suit many different deployment methods. First the system engineer can select which I/O boards to use from the range (analogue input, analogue output, digital). Secondly choose the chassis type from standalone cubes, rack mount and thin rack mount or MIL-38999 style. Third choose the deployment mode of operation, whether the chassis runs standalone, or tethered to a networked host for real time control or just monitoring. Most languages and tools are support such as C++, LabView, Matlab, Simulink, Linux, VxWorks, .NET, Java, Visual Basic and more.

These products are complimentary to our existing range. If you have interest in them please contact us and we will circulate product news on UEI. UEI have a great list of application stories including controlling and monitoring Tim Peake’s treadmill in the NASA International Space Station.