A Solid State plc group company

Providing advanced imaging products, embedded systems and solutions

Embedded Systems – Full Custom Solutions

Full-custom embedded systems and other custom design services

Active Silicon has over 30 years’ experience developing, delivering and manufacturing custom embedded systems. Almost half of the company’s revenue comes from our custom embedded systems. Our custom products often include cutting-edge vision technology, but also integrate machine control, communications, networking and other I/O functions.

Our embedded system products are usually designed into an OEM system and include industrial computers for specific applications, optical readers and sensor systems.

Custom products – our services

As an experienced hardware designer and manufacturer, we will guide and organize your project through all stages.

  • Planning – understand the precise requirements and find the best solution for the specific application at hand
  • Designing – custom-designed hardware and software plus support during integration and beyond
  • Prototyping – fast turnaround for early product evaluation and fast product development
  • Manufacturing – high volume production of the finished product with a long product life


We can also draw on the skills of our parent group, Solid State plc, for specific design and manufacture services. For example, we partnered with Steatite Computing to develop a custom embedded system for a rail application. Using our PCB design skills and the manufacturing expertise of the Computing specialists, we created a very niche embedded computer for enhancing safety on underground platforms. Click below to find out more about the skill sets we offer on our dedicated web page:


Examples of our custom embedded system designs

ST01 Custom Carrier Board

Embedded System ST01
The ST01 Custom Carrier Board is designed for a transport application. It operates at the heart of an in-cab rail system and receives IP video sent wirelessly from the platform edge, converts it to FPD-Link III and transmits it to two displays. The robust design ensures flawless operation even under intense vibrations. For this, we partnered with our sister company, Steatite, to create the optimum rugged embedded vision system.

  • Custom designed embedded imaging system.
  • Reception of wireless IP video, conversion to FPD-Link III and display in real-time.
  • Robust design for harsh environmental conditions.

USB3 Vision Processing Unit

This COM Express embedded computer is the heart of Active Silicon's Vision Processing Unit
Embedded Vision PCs like the USB3 Vision Processing Unit (VPU, see main image), are designed to acquire and process video. This unit simultaneously captures from up to four USB3 Vision cameras, process the image stream in real-time and control the vision system. For output the unit uses 3G-SDI output channels. Originally designed for a specific medical application in the field of computer vision assisted surgery this embedded computer could also be easily adapted for other medical or industrial image applications due to its flexible modular architecture. Internally the VPU consists of:

  • COM Express processor module
  • Carrier card on which the processor module and expansion card fit
  • PCIe/104 expansion card which provides the interfaces e.g. for the USB3 cameras

CM07 COM Express Embedded System

The CM07 COM Express Embedded System is custom designed for a medical application
Similar to the VPU, the CM07 COM Express Embedded System is built around the highly integrated Computer-on-Module (COM) industrial standard and was designed for a medical application in the field of radiation therapy. Main characteristics:

  • Integrates many features and interfaces
  • Offers increased reliability
  • Complies with various medical and quality standards
  • Designed for long term use in an environment that requires high reliability and long-term product and service availability

Optical Reader Head

The optical reader custom designed by Active Silicon

Active Silicon’s Optical Reader Head is an electro-optical unit that is designed to sit on the rim of a roulette wheel and reads the winning number, the ball speed and direction, the wheel speed and direction and overall game cycle timings. The data is transferred in real time to the casino management and display systems. The Optical Reader Head demonstrates that we can develop embedded systems of all shapes and functionality and with a suitable housing when needed.

Please visit our Embedded Systems product page to see the wide range of solutions we have already developed.

Full-custom products – benefits for the customer

A custom-designed vision system has been optimized to the specific application and will cost-effectively and reliably deliver the functionality required whilst also meeting the specific demands of your particular application.

It is possible to design the system for long product life, this guarantees that form, fit and function will stay the same over the required time period. This is valuable for any complex machine, but especially crucial for devices in regulation-controlled industries, like the medical sector.

Additional functionality is built in and saves the space and costs of additional hardware.

Contact our team to learn more and visit our Embedded Systems website.