IC Evaluation Kit Design

IC Evaluation Kit Design

Soliton has extensive experience in designing and developing IC evaluation kits, which are provided by semiconductor companies to customers who want to evaluate their products. Soliton offers cutting edge, cost-effective and quick-turnaround services in developing:

  • Evaluation board design
  • Evaluation board firmware on either uC, FPGA or DSPs, and
  • ‘wow-inducing’ GUIs for the customer evaluation of a variety of devices.

Soliton teams operating in this domain can work either based on a very bare spec or preliminary datasheet (typically in time and material or fixed resource mode) or based on a detailed spec (typically in fixed price mode). Soliton’s depth of experience with different ICs allows us to develop the evaluation kit with only a preliminary datasheet and a few high level meetings to review and approve critical design decisions.


  • GUIs developed using LabVIEW, HTML5/Javascript, C#/.NET
  • IC protocol experience includes I2C,SPI, MIPI, JTAG, SDQ,SMBUS,PMBUS etc both on the firmware stack end and the GUI driver end.
  • Cutting edge SuperSpeed USB3 based designs to interface with JESD204B ADCs, DACs, RF Transceivers to showcase the full speed of your data converter using both Xilinx and Altera FPGAs. Soliton owns IP in this domain.
  • Optimized Designs for full-streaming applications involving SPI, I2C or other serial ADCs/DACs with a variety of serialization modes on both Xilinx and Altera FPGAs.

Evaluation Kit GUI Development

A well designed GUI is a most important component of the Evaluation Kit because the customer is experiencing and evaluating the product through the GUI. A poorly designed or buggy GUI can make the experience unpleasant and compromise the sale to the customer. Soliton has over a decade of experience in designing GUIs for evaluation kits for a wide range of devices.

The GUIs are developed using LabVIEW, C#, and HTML5 if cross-platform support is important. Soliton provides platform independent GUIs that leverage the feature rich HTML5 standard for the most intuitive and pleasing user experience while achieving a quick turnaround time.

GUI Development Frameworks

We have almost a decade of experience in building frameworks that enable the development of aesthetically pleasing device GUIs with virtually no coding effort (our Zero-Code GUI Framework). The objective is to provide the tools that will allow field and inside-sales application engineers to quickly showcase the relevant capabilities of their device to the customers using the most suitable GUI. Soliton can be tapped to provide super-fast turnaround for such GUIs.

Evaluation Kit Firmware Development

IC Evaluation Kits often have firmware on either the Motherboards or ‘dongles’ that can connect to individual DUT evaluation boards, or on the DUT Evaluation Boards themselves. Soliton has deep experience with firmware on different microcontroller platforms including different ARM controllers, Microcontrollers such as the MSP430, TIVA, I.MX series, Stellaris, Sitara, PIC, etc. and DSPs. Soliton can translate a high level idea or a preliminary datasheet into a robust firmware (and GUI) stack to showcase the capabilities of the Silicon.

Evaluation Kit FPGA Development

Many evaluation kit designs utilize FPGAs for high speed data processing and signal processing. Soliton has many person-years of experience with systems (especially data capture solutions and imaging solutions) based on Xilinx Virtex, Spartan, Ultrascale, Kintex series of FPGAs and based on Altera Arria, Stratix and Cyclone series of FPGAs/SOCs.

Soliton’s niches in using FPGAs lie in:

  • Medium to High Speed (10 MS/s to 16 GbPS) Data Converter Evaluation Platforms.
  • Imaging applications involving CCD arrays or CMOS chips interfaced to FPGAs.

Many Evaluation Kit Designs from Soliton have been in the form of Motherboards that can interface with a variety of Daughter cards that house the specific IC of the family of ICs.

Evaluation Kit Hardware Development

Soliton has done hardware design, schematics and board layout for EVMs for Data Converters, Sensors, Power Management ICs, Amplifiers, RFICs etc. Though Soliton works with partners to do layout and fabrication, Soliton can provide end-to-end EVM Kit Hardware development.