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How PC/104 Reduces Risk

Scenario #1:  Complex System

Your team has developed a complex software and hardware application on a PC in the laboratory and you want to move that to a final product you can deliver to your end customers.  Further, the biggest cost in development has been software development.  Keeping the software in a Linux/Windows environment will help in easing maintenance and promote continued development as your team prefers to use the same software development tools. 

PC/104 allows you to:

  • maintain same software development flow,
  • continue to use same OS as your existing development environment,
  • shrink the overall size of the system,
  • extend production life cycle,
  • extend customer use life time,
  • expand operating environmental opportunities in terms of wider temperatures, etc.

PC/104 is an ideal fit for those low volume high complexity applications where future system needs may change and you need a long production life cycle.

In summary, here are some questions to ask to determine efficacy of adapting a PC/104 solution your target production application:

  1. Do you have a complex application developed on a PC which you want to bring out of the laboratory quickly?
  2. Do you want to continue the same software development path and maintenance flow for the target?
  3. Is your target application low volume which may not warrant full-up hardware design development?
  4. Are you looking for a long production life cycle?
  5. Do you need wide operating temperatures?
  6. Do you have other environmental factors that would preclude commercial grade products?

 

Scenario #2:   Building a quick proof of concept

There are times when you need to pull together a proof of concept fast.  Your team knows how to develop software on a PC rapidly and you need a proof of concept quickly.  You don't have a budget to explore hardware development but you do need something robust and prefer a target that can run Linux or Windows.

In this case, purchasing a target solution is the most economical.  Further, using existing software development tools means your team has few learning curves to climb and your team can focus directly on the problem at hand. 

A PC/104 solution can deliver these combinations of features.  Long term it may or may not be the ultimate solution, but it is a way to get a proof of concept into your customers hands rapidly.

In summary, here are some questions to ask to determine efficacy of adapting a PC/104 solution your proof of concept:

  1. Is your team already up to speed using software development tools on the desktop?
  2. Do you want to continue the same software development path and maintenance flow for the target?
  3. Do you need flexibility to add/remove I/O functionality?
  4. Do you want to operate the proof of concept prototype in wide environmental conditions not possible with a desktop?
  5. Is there a high probability you might need to build another prototype quickly?