Hong Kong and Shenzhen trip report
Visiting the Global Sources exhibition and main production facilities in China
Few days ago group of Pascal Project visited Hong Kong and Shenzhen Global Sources exhibition and main semiconductors production facilities of our Chinese partners. There are World’s largest mobile electronics trade fair, features 2,700 booths of latest mobile devices, mobile AR/VR, wearables and mobile accessories.
China’s semiconductor consumption growth continued to far exceed worldwide semiconductor market growth for the fifth consecutive year in 2015.
China’s semiconductor consumption market continues to grow many times faster than the worldwide market as a result of two driving factors—the continuing transfer of worldwide electronic equipment production to China and the above-average semiconductor content of that equipment.
Our team successfully presented to our partners and potential customers at the Global Sources exhibition our new products, such as: smart home automation system (universal solution that works with all standard wireless and wired protocols), and concept of PASCAL A1 ASIC miner, for mining cryptocurrencies like zcash, Sia, LBC, Decred, pascalcoin, DASH, Etherium, GRS and Monero.
Distinctive feature of our Smart Home system is that it works with peripheral devices from most manufacturers in all price categories. We have tested our controller with several types of devices, such as sensors, switches and cameras from several Chinese manufacturers positioned in the least expensive price segment (cost less than $10), and confirmed that these devices with our controller can be combined into a powerful Smart Home system similar in functionality with systems costing several thousand dollars.
In other words, the advantage of our Smart Home solution is that our controller can be seamlessly connected to peripheral devices worth 1-2 dollars, or any devices in the middle price range (50-200 dollars), as well as devices costing more than 200 dollars and all of them will be functioning as one system.
This allows us to position our system as being “low cost” and, at the same time, having one of the best functionality in the Smart Home marketplace for any price range.
Other Smart Home systems on the market allow connection to a common network of devices supporting only specific protocols, such as Z-Wave only, or Zigbee only, etc. We have absolutely no restrictions on protocols and technologies.
In addition, any new protocols that may appear in the future can be integrated into our Smart Home system (including into all already sold devices) by simple update of controller's operating system.
At this time there are no efficient ASIC devices for mining alternative cryptocurrencies, such as Etherium, zCash, Ripple, and others. We are entering the market with a fundamentally new product while our main competitors are only using farms on video cards (GPU) that are much more expensive and more complicated in management and maintenance than ASIC based.
- Meet all market requirements – performance, power, area (PPA), schedule, yield and cost
- Optimize the complete design – memory as well as logic
- Analyze a very broad spectrum of variables, much broader than the solution space considered by traditional design methods
- Evaluate all possible IP configurations
Next stop on the trip was of a big semiconductors factory. There we held negotiations about the production processes of ASIC and Smart Home devices based by our drawings.
The factory was full of Surface-Mount Technology (SMT) machines which use computer programmed pneumatics to pick and place chips and other components onto circuit boards. In addition to the rows of SMT machines, there were lots of factory workers setting up the lines, programming the equipment, testing the results using x-rays, computers and eye balls and doing parts of the process that made more sense economically or technically to do by hand.
What was more impressive to Us even than the technology were the people introduced us to, such as the factory boss, project managers and engineers teams. They were clearly hard-working and experienced.
We visited few factories, which made the actual printed circuit boards (PCBs), semiconductors and chipsets. The PCB manufacturing process is a sophisticated process involving adding layers while also etching and printing all kind of materials such as solder, gold, and various chemicals involving many steps and complex controls. They were working on some very sophisticated hybrid PCBs that included ceramic layers and flexible layers -- processes that are very difficult and considered exotic anywhere else in the world, but directly accessible to us thanks to a close working relationship with the factory.
The factories we visited had a precision machine shop and the engineering expertise to design and machine our injection molding tools, but our initial production volume was too low for them to be interested in the business. They wanted orders of millions of units and we only needed thousands.