Herrmanns Laundry Service AG operates dry cleaners and laundries both in Switzerland and elsewhere. As is customary in many dry cleaners, customers receive a discount/clothes passport, which they don’t have to take home with them – instead it is stored on-site in a card index file. Due to large customer lists, there can be long delays until the customer card is found in the card index file, particularly when many customer names begin with the same letter.

Solution

In order to shorten the time taken to find the clothes passports, SCS developed a graphical application software for clothes passports which functions on an iPad. It uses the following services from Apple: the well established and easy to use address book and the cloud service for data back-up.

Clothes Passport on the iPad – Characteristics

  • Manual input, search and management of customer surnames and other data such as addresses and notes via the iPad touch screen
  • Manual management of the individual stamps on the graphically visualised clothes passport.

Customer Benefits

The iPad is installed into the business in such a way that it is clearly visible. This way, the customer can see clearly how their passport is found quickly via an address search, and the discount fields are clearly visible when they are being filled out. This creates customer confidence, reduces waiting times and confirms Herrmanns Laundry Service’s status as a thoroughly modern company.

Further Uses

The clothes passport on the iPad has all-purpose functionality (bonus card) and can be adapted to similar needs, for example as a menu passport for restaurants.

Modern cars are using more and more cameras in order to provide a better and more comprehensive display of their surroundings. Camera manufacturers need reliable measurement technology to design such systems. The SCS measurement technology box makes it possible to record and play back up to six LVDS cameras. The ‘Recorder System’ developed by SCS has been adopted by automobile OEMs and tier 1 companies for the development of cameras and surround systems.

Filters for EB Assist ADTF for recording and playing back are available, as well as a stand-alone GUI developed by SCS.

The system consists of the Spartan 6 FPGA card developed by SCS and a customised adapter card for the corresponding camera system. This allows precise hardware timestamps to be recorded and multiple cameras to be synchronised with each other. Furthermore, algorithms can be calculated directly on the FPGA in order to relieve the measurement technology computer. The data is transferred to the measurement technology PC via Ethernet connections.

Thanks to its system structure, SCS can adapt it very quickly to your Maxim, TI or National Semiconductor serialiser.

A German OEM commissioned us to make a high-resolution and exact calculation of the 3D structure of a vehicle using video images of two cameras. Vehicles built in the future will be able to assess events in their immediate vicinity with the help of such information, because they will be able to calculate and determine the position of vehicles, pedestrians and all types of obstacles in advance.

Pentium4-PC is slower by a factor of 50

The complex image processing software was developed on a Pentium Dual PC by our client.  The objective of the project was to clarify, in terms of the pre-production, whether the algorithm is suitable for implementation on an automotive-compliant FPGA.

The Intelligent Solution

SCS opted for a development board with a Xilinx Virtex4 FPGA which exchanges the image data via a PCIe. After analysing the algorithm, the following development steps took place: Design, implementation and testing on the FPGA. Further optimisations were carried out in order to reduce the electricity consumption and to allow for use in an automotive-compliant Xilinx Spartan 3A-DSP FPGA. The computing performance of the FPGA solution exceeds that of the PC by a factor of 50. With the prototype as a PCIe card in the test vehicle, the researchers could verify the practicability of algorithms in vehicles of the future. The FPGA solution will be employed from 2013 onwards in series production vehicles.

SCS is a member of the Xilinx Alliance Certified Third Party Program and offers SCS products and services with Xilinx FPGAs. This includes a wide range of hardware and firmware developments as well as consulting services. The development cycle for new products is significantly accelerated on account of our long-term cooperation with Xilinx.

The JPEG IP core for FPGAs, developed by SCS, allows compressed Ethernet packages to be received and then decompressed. The decoder has been optimised for low consumption of resources for a Xilinx Spartan6 or Zynq FPGA and is already in use by an OEM and a tier 1 company.

The JPEG Decoder has the following properties:

  • Processing rate of up to 140 MSamples/sec on Spartan6 FPGA
  • 12Bit / 8Bit version available
  • Four Huffmann tables (fixed or extracted from header)
  • Up to 8 quantisation tables
  • Support to decode several interleaved image stripes
  • 3 color components
  • Support 1 scan configuration and YUV 4:2:0 (Different format on request)
  • Supports any image size up to 64kx64k
  • Supports restart markers

The research team of an established automotive company in Germany is developing highly complex image processing algorithms for new driver assistance and safety systems. An example of this is the calculation in real time of several thousand displacement vectors in an image sequence (optical flow) without restrictions to vector length. With the aid of this information, vehicles will be able to assess the situation in their immediate vicinity in the future, distinguish between moving and motionless subjects, and calculate the position of other road users in advance.

“Automotive”-compliant DSP instead of the PC

The complicated image processing software has been developed on a Pentium Dual PC. The objective of the project was to clarify, in terms of the pre-production, whether the algorithm is suitable for implementation in an automotive-compliant DSP. Furthermore, an adaptor board was created which enables a camera to be connected to a DSP board.

The Optimum Solution

SCS opted for a development board with a Texas Instruments DSP (DM6437) and a plug-in adaptor board for connection with the camera. Porting the software onto the DSP was then followed by elaborate optimisation, whereby computing performance was increased by a factor of 43. With the prototype as PCI card in the test vehicle, the researchers could verify the practicability of the algorithms in vehicles of the future.

The weather forecast by MeteoSwiss and many other European meteorological services are based on COSMO, the numerical weather prediction system. The ‘dynamic core’ of this model was reprogrammed by SCS. This was done in co-operation with the following key partners: MeteoSwiss, ETH Zurich and the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano as well as Nvidia.

The new implementation is based on a Stencil Library developed by SCS. This uses ‘Domain Specific Embedded Language’ (DSEL), which allows it to use very diverse processors such as Intel and AMD x86 as well as multi-core architecture such as ‘General-Purpose Graphics Processing Units’ (GPGPU) with maximum performance (performance portability). The performance speed of the weather model could be enhanced many times over thanks to this approach. Unfortunately, this won’t make the weather better, but at least it can be forecasted with a greater degree of accuracy.

SCS has developed an open model for the simulation of different energy supply scenarios in Switzerland. The model makes it possible to calculate energy and activity balances depending on the chosen generation system, the degree of development of volatile energy sources (taking into account site and weather data), the degree of development and use of central and local storage facilities, the storage strategy etc. The model thus allows the direct comparison of various scenarios.

The model has already been presented at various public events. As part of a short presentation various scenarios are presented and subjected to technical plausibility checks. Pertinent findings for Switzerland’s future energy can be derived from this, which in turn can serve to stimulate debate.

The model is being continuously expanded and will be available to the public in the foreseeable future. It aims to set the foundation for a transparent energy debate that is as “de-emotionalised” as possible.

When the Swiss start-up company Limmex started selling the “Swiss Emergency Watch” in autumn 2011, it was the beginning of a success story. The innovative emergency watch combines various technologies to form the mobile emergency device of the future.

The availability of the switching platform and the long battery life are indispensable factors to the success of the product for Limmex’s customers.

The services provided by SCS include:

  • Advice on system architecture
  • Development of cloud-based services
  • Development of embedded software
  • Development of product test systems