Challenge: Design a PC card to implement new communications protocol with customers' new line of implantable pacemakers and defibrillators, keeping compatibility with all previous models, significantly increasing the data bandwidth, improving immunity to EMI, and improving the interface to facilitate development of application software.

Design Concept: An intelligent interface card, with the ability to access commands from a host computer containing message packets to be formatted and transmitted to the implanted device, and to receive, decode, and format the responses of the implanted devices.

Solution: An ISA bus card was developed to process the signals from an existing, handheld coil. Data bandwidth was increased an order of magnitude over existing products. Noise immunity was improved by processing the low-level pulses in the frequency domain using a digital signal processor. NextPhase engineers designed and developed the DSP based electronics circuitry, the printed circuit board layout, the firmware that was resident on the board, Microsoft Windows-based software drivers for the host computer, and a Windows-based test application suite.