- supplier of the original equipment is longer on the market;
- documentation on equipment does not include all necessary details;
- obsolete system uses protocols that are not documented.
Complete redesign in this case could lead to significantly increased engineering costs and licensing uncertainties. To succeed in such projects, reverse engineering activities should be performed. These activities include detailed analysis of existing system behaviour with the aim of learning and reproducing its functionalities. The application of FPGAs has many advantages in these projects due to their flexibility and possibility to easily emulate the functionalities of any obsolete electronic component.
Other example where reverse engineering could be used is the field of human- machine interface. NPP operators are usually used to human-machine interface that the obsolete system provided. The “feel-and-look” of the human-machine interface can be preserved in the new systems, while providing more functionalities and improvements in the rest of the new FPGA-based systems.
During the UKTS design process, RPC Radiy had requirements of pin-to-pin compatibility with existing systems and implementing the same functionality. After developing and executing reverse engineering activities, these requirements were successfully met.
This success was repeated during the UKTS-DPI design process as well. The use of FPGAs allowed implementing the existing functionality requirements in a significantly easier way.