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The Future Actually Happened

When I was an undergrad I took this rather odd cross-disciplinary engineering class. I was the only EE student in the class, but I realized later I was kind of an odd EE student.

One of the topics was in simulated engineering. Super computers in the latter half of the 1980’s had just become capable enough to make Finite Element Analysis and other modelling techniques almost a practical reality for companies like Boeing and Northrop.

In theory, you could model a physical thing in a computer, include guesses at fabrication and assembly defects, and make sure your design of a turbine blade or landing gear strut would work in real life before you found out it broke in real life. If you have never designed a landing gear or a turbine blade (I certainly have not), let us assume that it’s much easier to get things correct in a computer model before you make something, assemble it, and then watch the airplane crash when you use it.

Wouldn’t that be nice? But what a bunch of mallarky. Have you ever tried to solve Maxwell’s equations for even the simplest scenario? The computing power necessary to do these simulations on real-world problems was astronomical! Maybe some secret government agency or Boeing had the means, but it was far beyond the resources of the average engineer, perhaps forever.

The professor who taught that class left CMU and helped to found ANSYS, the leading company in simulation and modeling products for engineering. Mechanical, thermal, electrical, optical, even integrated photonic circuits (which is what Voyant specializes in).

Fast forward 35 years: simulation & modeling is at the core of every engineering environment, whether focused on a fusion reactor or a toaster. You don’t need a Cray or DEC 1178 (good luck with with finding one of those in working condition). You can use a cloud server or even a laptop.

Even tiny Voyant applies this methodology. Connecting visualization software adapted from video game creation to open source tools from NVIDEA, and adding Voyant-specific models validated by many, many hours of field testing our Blue Development Kit enables us to simulate our next-generation products prior to tape out, ensuring our designs meet customer requirements beforewe deliver the first samples.

Does a 90 x 30 degree, 100 meter dark target 128 line on-chip beam steering system meet your mobility, robotic, or smart infrastructure application? Does our 200 meter Guide system find dropped stuff in the road far enough away to ensure driver safety?

Don’t ask us. See for yourself:

Over the next few weeks we will post more scenes at our Vimeo showcase for both Blue and Guide, our 200 meter sensor designed for automotive ADAS requirements. If you have an application we don’t cover well enough just ask. We can run a simulation for you, or give you the tools to verify our product performance for yourself.

Peter

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