Windows CE based PCR instrument

Project Description

The Problem
A supplier of bio technology equipments based in USA was developing the next generation compact PCR instrument based on Windows CE. A software application needed to be developed on Windows CE that would interface to a 5” color touch panel LCD screen, allowed easy editing of methods, control the hardware and run the reactions on the 48 site instrument.

The Solution

Windows CE 6.0 has powerful GUI and usability features. The entire software was architected on VC++. The software controlled the hardware through the I2C bus that was internal to the instrument.

The display driver and touch panel driver was developed. The GUI was designed to utilize the touch screen and rich color depth of the 5” LCD screen. The GUI was designed for the user to efficiently specify the thermo cycling parameters and run the reactions. Each of the 48 well plate sites were monitored during the reaction and status presented to the user. Windows CE enabled real time thermo cycle control of each of the 48 units.

A serial communication protocol too was implemented for the user to connect up to the instrument through a PC to monitor and control the instrument. The software also featured diagnostics and self tests at power on. The diagnostics results were stored for easy access by maintenance engineers. The software was also easily upgradeable using a memory stick. The application was configured to boot up directly to the application starting with a splash screen.

The Windows CE instrument software was developed and released on schedule enabling the client to announce and demo the product at a trade-show.

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