Berkeley Varitronics Systems
Engineers, programmers and technicians...technical strength from our diverse staffBerkeley's enthusiasm makes the difference between mediocrity and superior engineering plus manufacturing excellence. For one-quarter century, Berkeley has provided design and consulting services for the telecommunications industry. We cover a wide range of disciplines and client needs ranging from programming, DSP software, hardware production engineering to light manufacturing. Berkeley Varitronics' inter-disciplined team thrives on technical challenges and works to find creative and sometimes novel solutions. We specialize in RF, video, audio, high-speed digital, analog and signal processing technologies.
In addition to its own range of proprietary "wireless" measurement products, Berkeley has designed and manufactured over 170 different products and systems as OEM consultants to major corporations worldwide. Our staff implements innovative and practical solutions for today's engineering problems. Customers rely on our proven trust, confidentiality and company support; they like our efficient and enthusiastic commitment to their business objectives. Berkeley is a "can do organization with an open, "teamwork climate." We use each staff member's full ability, knowledge and experience to work through problems and to implement optimal solution. This attitude (when coupled with our CDMA experience in RF, FIR, code generators, correlators and ASICs) has resulted in the Company's sales growth by 100% during the last two years.
BVS manufacturing methods are designed to control quality and fast turn around for customers' products. We utilize automated surface mount (SMT) and through-hole printed circuit board assembly techniques which provide quick (sometimes in just 48 hours) delivery of prototype or small production runs. Because of our internal manufacturing experience, we are sensitive to costs, manufacturability, parts availability, testware and other critical elements. We make not just a design that works, but one that can be made efficiently and is reliable. Hardware design and prototyping are expedited through the use of in-house CAD tools, including schematic capture, PC board layout, mechanical and LSI gate array design and simulation.
Berkeley's Proprietary RF Measurement Test Equipment
Since 1988, BVS has designed and manufactured over thirty different models of propagation and transmission test instruments. These particular instruments are used for measuring and optimizing cellular performance and plotting signal coverage. Popular cellular and PCS formats include EAMPS, ETACS, NAMPS, GSM, PACS, SMR, and PAGING, as well as a variety of TDMA and CDMA forms of modulation. Berkeley manufactures and sells a broad line of transmitters and receivers which are used as stimulus signals for cell construction and maintenance. Navigational tracking systems are included in each instrument. The latest addition to Berkeley's CDMA analysis equipment is the "Super Eagle" Pilot Scanner. This portable instrument is a silicon-intensive IS-95 receiver and high speed multi-corrector system capable of scanning all 512 base stations at one-half chip intervals at a rate of thirty times per second. The device is ideal for validating "neighbor lists," identifying Rogue Pilot PNs, Island PNs, independent measurement of Ec for direct and multipath components and lo, identification of Pilot pollution as well as handoff thresholds. The system includes internal GPS phase locking circuits to synchronize the Super Eagle with other IS-95 base stations and an RSSI detector to plot RF channel signal strength.
The Pepsi-Cola Company contracted Berkeley to design the "Telelink" remote monitoring system used to monitor vending machines for consumer sales activity. This system was "plug-N-play" adaptable for 80% of existing mechanical soda machines and tracked revenue, the number and brand of beverage purchased, the technical status of the machines (such as temperature of the refrigeration compartment, motor jams, tampering, revenue in the cash box and coin tubes). These data are radioed back to the bottling plant and used to optimize route service and accounts management. The project covered the design of hardware, software, RF modulators and demodulators and included a pilot run for the first 600 systems.
Television Audience Research
Since 1992, BVS has been retained by the national television networks to research and develop a more accurate technique for audience measurement and monitoring without depending on "watched" RF channel identification to infer what people watch on TV. This funded research culminated in a patented new method of embedded codes in the active scan of a TV picture. Using a non-invasive detector (an electrostatic pickup probe located near the rear of the TV set) the encoded video is detected and decoded to identify the program title, producer and network broadcaster. This year, CBS, NBC and ABC have all evaluated Berkeley's new system which provides improved tracking of television viewing habits in households. It provides the data used by networks to determine ratings more quickly than previously used Nielsen Ratings.
CDMA and Wireless Tools
Berkeley has designed a variety of FSK (Frequency Shift Keying), BPSK (Binary Phase Shift Keying), QPSK (Quadrature Phase Shift Keying) and DAM (Differential Amplitude Modulation) frequency hopping and direct sequence spread spectrum modulation systems. We now market nineteen different test and measurement products; i.e., receivers, transmitters, simulators and channel sounders used to measure, verify and optimize wireless communications. All are provided with an open post-processing interface so users may choose from the many software packages available without licensing restrictions.
The CHAMP signal strength meter and the SPYDER portable transmitter (both "wireless" products) offer cost effective solutions for propagation challenges. The DUET system with its stimulus transmitter and CDMA receiver form a comprehensive and unequaled measurement tool, providing multi-dimensional insight into the critical parameters of signal propagation, including multipath (echoes), bit errors (BER) and signal strength (RSSI). Displayed interactively in real time, these essential RF parameters are superimposed on a VGA screen and stored or outputted for more sophisticated post-processing and analysis.
North American W-CDMA for PCS
In May of 1994, Berkeley signed a contract with OKI Electric of Japan to design both the RF and digital modules of OKI's Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA) cellular telephone system. This specification is now known as IS-665. The W-CDMA format takes advantage of the wide bandwidth (and associated high process gains) of PCS frequencies from 1850 to 1995 MHz. The key features of this system are direct sequence QPSK modulation at a chip rate of 4.096 Mbps. The current RF bandwidth is 5 MHz, with future bandwidths of 10 MHz or 15 MHz planned. The system features higher processing gain and twice (128 subscribers per channel) that of IS-95 CDMA, including a unique Interference Canceler System (ICS). The system serves both low and high tier services with robust toll quality audio using OKI's proprietary ADPCM CODEC (ITU COM.1 01) at 32 kbps.
Fifteen months from the project start, Berkeley delivered prototypes of both the W-CDMA base and personal stations for air interface PCS trials in U.S. West, in Boulder, Colorado. The first testing was supervised by NTIA and the results of this field trial indicated superior CODEC (audio fidelity) with audio sounds reported to be "better than wireline in quality." The project represented an intense international effort over a nineteen month accelerated design program. Seldom is a U.S. company contracted by the Japanese to design and develop lead technology for their market. Berkeley's unique experience and fast-turn track record won OKI's confidence.
W-CDMA for Wireless Local Loops
In May of 1997, Berkeley entered into a contract with Daewoo Telecom and Sungmi Telecom Consortium of Korea (jointly) to design both the baseband and RF elements of a Wireless Local Loop (WLL) W-CDMA system operating at 2.3 to 2.4 GHz. The first phase of prototype system development was completed and demonstrated successfully to DACOM and Korean Telecom. The contract included delivery of six base stations and eighteen portable units. The salient parameters of system functionality were 10 megachips per second, 12 MHz bandwidth, 32 kbps, ADPCM high quality voice, ISDN and 32 to 128 kbps data support. The final deliverables included ASIC forms of the design licensed to this consortium for Korean markets. Soon, Berkeley plans to license this design to other countries around the world for low-cost WLL applications.
Berkeley Varitronics Systems
Fax: (732) 548-3404.
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