The client is a leading provider pharmaceutical packaging technology to global companies.
At the time, the client acquired another company that developed a new and low-cost technique to create unique anti-counterfeit labels. However the reader to decode the anti-counterfeit labels was bulky and not practical for use in many use cases. New miniature reader hardware was required to be developed.
Challenges & Requirements:
1. The sensor assembly of the reader was the limiting factor for size.
2. The reader needed to have power management and Li-Po battery for at least 4 days of typical use
3. The reader required a reliable connection to a phone application that processed the unique identifier from the label with a remote server
4. The target form-factor was that of a sleek digital-thermometer enclosure commonly used at home to record fevers.
Thotakã designed and manufactured a six layer board with component sizes down to 0402 and 0201 complete with autonomous battery charging, I/O interrupt based sleep and wake-up for the main on-board ARM7 controller. Miniature but reliable debug interface for the firmware team was provided. Additional features required to support the proprietary sensor assembly such as 1W of start-up power as every scan begins were incorporated.
Benefits & Outcome:
1. The hardware engineering team at Thotakã and partner industrial design teams worked together to realize the product in the required form-factor in a short period of time.
2. The hardware was easy to debug and could be handled by developer with ease by mounting on a custom jig made for the product.
3. Over the air upgrade of firmware was supported via the USB device on the microcontroller.
4. A miniature Bluetooth radio with inbuilt stack was used for communication with the mobile phone.
Thotakã delivered a fully functional miniature device that satisfied the key specification criteria within the required project duration.