Design of an ASIC Evaluation Kit - Conceptualization, schematic design, PCB layout and preliminary testing of a mixed-signal board
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The development of an upcoming ASIC by the company IDEAS calls for the design of an accompanying evaluation kit so that it may be accessible for testing in a laboratory setting. In addition to supporting the ASIC in question, the kit was decided to be made general purpose, leading to the support of various other ASICs from IDEAS, both future and existing ones. This thesis focuses on the creation of the primary board in the evaluation kit, named the Galao board. The project work included conceptualization, schematic design and PCB design of the Galao board, as well as producing relevant documentation for IDEAS. Being a mixed-signal general purpose board, effort has been made to include a high number of features and connectivity options: Galao holds specialized analog circuits for receiving differential signals, transmitting fast pulses of adjustable amplitude, registering trigger signals for readout synchronization as well as containing a broad assortment of both voltage and current bias generators. On the digital side, a System on Module solution has been incorporated, serving as a control unit for all the analog circuitry while providing a large amount of digital I/Os. The board has been made so that it may be accessed through Ethernet, USB and JTAG interfaces. Furthermore, the Galao board has several power rails, both for the analog and digital domain, with the PCB designed so that digital switching has a minimal impact the analog signals. The Galao board was finally produced, allowing for some initial testing. The results of the conducted tests are positive, as the board powers up and is operational with its digital logic being fully controllable. Some faults in the schematic have been discovered after the manufacturing of the Galao board, but these have all been readily fixable. The board is hence in a working condition, and ready to be interfaced towards an ASIC with an ASIC test board that is to be designed.