Stephens Micro Systems was established over 4 decades ago. I began as an electronic engineering and design service to support businesses that did not have a need for a full time Electronic Engineer.
My focus at that time was with microcontrollers. Development Systems back then were mostly dedicated to specific microcontroller brands and models. I developed my own Development System, along with the various tools required at that time, including Assembly Language Compilers, Emulators, Programmer, etc
Although at that time my focus was with microcontrollers, I did not limit myself there. I design analogue, digital, interface, power supplies circuits. Plus, user interfaces, commissioning (and service) software, etc
Early industries that I was involved with included – Telecommunications (both landline based and radio), ATE (Automatic Test Equipment), and Automation. Each of these industries had very unique techniques and algorithms. One of my biggest strengths is to cross pollinate various techniques and algorithms between industries. Over time I found myself involved in so many different industries.
Way back when whispers began about the development of the single chip DSP (Digital Signal Processor) I jumped straight in. At that time there was no design tools – so I went back to the keyboard and designed a suit of tools for myself.
When the IBM PC evolved into an Industrial PC, I found myself designing peripheral cards utilising the EISA and PCI bus. This often required the use of PLDs (Programmed Logical Devices), and writing software drivers. I am doing that less and less since Industrial PC are now their own breed.
Around this time, I was also involved in several projects in the ATE industry. This industry was heavily biased to Microsoft’s QuickBasic, and also the IEEE-488 communications interface. Although, QuickBasic was not my favourite language, it did have Library Tools that allowed me to import, much faster, Assembly Language functions. Many of these functions involved digital audio testing and analysis, which meant quite a bit of data moving around. I began getting involved in audio encoding/ decoding and successfully developed techniques that significantly improved performance.
I have been working on-and-off with Linux. In the last decade, or so, it has been interesting to watch the software for Linux evolve into some very well polished User Interfacing.
Now days USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet are common technologies used in many of my designs.
Over the years I have established links with many support services – Industrial Designers, Installers, Maintainers, Fabricators, etc