FIGFI

Design Consultants

The people at FIGFI have been designing leading edge home automation, lighting, sensors, and consumer / industrial products for over 40 years.


Since the birth of the Internet we have been connecting these devices together; long before
someone coined the phrase the Internet of Things.


With more than 400 clients in 30 countries we are global experts in integrating products into the connected world, and we have already joined millions of IoT devices to the Web.

Our experience as consultants in wireless and mesh technologies covers industrial design, hardware, firmware, software, dashboards, apps, system integration, production engineering, certifications, production assistance, ATE, and on-going support.


We have extensive experience in all the leading technologies including Thread, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Mesh, BLE, Beacons, LTE-M, NB-IoT, LoRa, Sigfox, NFC, and RFID. When these are not suitable we implement proprietary protocols, such as for smoke detectors that require a 12 year battery life and an alarm latency of a few seconds.

 

A Brief History

40 years ago we started designing wireless products the hard way. Nothing digital.


In 1982 we designed for British Telecom what the Science Museum in London called the first electronic mail terminal in the world.   Aimed at replacing Telex it was called Mantis.  It had a dial-up modem, error correction, encryption, word processing, and battery back up operation.  It ran at a blistering speed of 1,200 bits per second, which was 20 times faster than Telex.


We designed parts of the original BBC microcomputer, parts of the modem in Apple’s first laptop, emergency communications in 100,000 Otis elevators, and more than 100 dial-up modems. Our designs could be found in more than 12 million fax machines from Canon, Brother, Samsung, LG, OKI, Minolta, Mita, Hewlett Packard, Jetfax, Nikon, and Xerox.
 

With an office in the ‘90s in Palo Alto in the centre of Silicon Valley, we participated in the birth of the Internet, and worked with Intel, Sun Microsystems (Oracle), United Technologies, Dell, IBM, Hitachi, Texas Instruments, AT&T, Toshiba, and again with Apple and Xerox PARC.

 

 

In the last 20 years we have returned to our roots. Designing wireless products.
 

Over 20 models of linked smoke and CO detectors; 1 million connected streetlights; millions of flashing wristbands and bottles; real time race horse monitoring; public utility data logging; energy monitoring and control; fire sprinklers; concrete analysis; sensors; alarms; office lighting and control; animal welfare; gunshot detection systems; wireless charging; long range tracking; marine beacons; smart meters; gas and water monitoring; hubs and gateways; sex toys and others too confidential to mention.


And all connected by wireless.

 

 

What makes FIGFI different ?

Three very simple things:

 

1.      We are from the “old school” where it was necessary to fully understand technology rather than just use it.  

 

2.      We provide a full consulting service from conception through feasibility studies, specification, industrial design, development, high volume production engineering, certification, tooling, manufacturing and the all important on-going support.

 

3.      Rather than employ general engineers with wide-ranging skill sets, FIGFI takes the approach of having many engineers with extensive experience in selective narrower disciplines.  These include specific engineers for high speed digital design, analogue design, RF engineering, antenna design, mains power supplies, batteries, PCB layout, mechanical, system architecture, embedded firmware, web development, apps, databases, Java, production test, approvals and industrial design.

 

Any half decent engineer can build a prototype on a bench. But to design, production engineer, test and support a high volume product is something very different.

 

This is what FIGFI does.   Day in, day out.   As confirmed by 20 million products in the field.

 

 

20 years of involvement with Silicon Labs

FIGFI have designed in every Silicon Labs wireless chip family.  This includes, but is not limited to, the Si443x, Si446x, Si100x ranges, and EFR32 variants at chip-down level and also as modules for ZigBee, Thread, Bluetooth and WiFi.   Having the experience to design at chip-down level, rather than taking the easy route of putting a module on a PCB using a reference design, reduces BOM costs and gives full flexibility on antenna design and performance. 

We use Silicon Labs wireless chips in all the ISM bands including 169MHz, 432MHz, 863 - 876MHz, 915MHz and 2.4GHz.  Over 100 designs, with worldwide approvals.   On the topic of approvals over 90% of our product designs pass all certifications first time.

We have also implemented their 8 bit 8051 MCUs, and Zero, Happy, Tiny, Leopard, Giant, Wonder and Flex Geckos with M0+, M3 and M4 ARM cores.    

And to fill in the gaps we use Silicon Labs safety isolation products, and we have designed in their FM radio solutions, capacitor barrier modems, and Hall effect sensors.

 

Contact us for more information and a free appraisal of your requirements

 

FIGFI Limited · Providence House · The Borough · Wedmore · Somerset · BS28 4EG · UK

Tel:  +44 (0) 7766 118 389  ·  Email:  sales@figfi.com