Why product lifetime remains the driving factor in embedded board choice
With an estimated $100K+ of embedded boards being actively used to power industrial machinery, build consumer products and support business infrastructure, choosing the right board manufacturer should be at the top of every system engineer’s list.
In particular, designs with long validation periods such as medical equipment, require the reassurance that boards will remain available and supported.
Finding that integral parts of your system have become obsolete, have been affected by price increases or drops in production quality can cause unwanted issues for project progression, production and overall profitability. Worse still, having to compromise on board specifications such as I/O connectivity, processor speeds and power inputs can often limit the ability to future proof your systems.
This is particularly prevalent when leading companies decide to merge. Despite reassuring customers and providing optimistic projections, the underlying truth is that combining product portfolios and production facilities is incredibly challenging. Quality, lead times and costs can all be negatively impacted.
The internal conflicts caused when trying to establish whether to keep older, superior parts in favour of newer, more competitively priced models (both of which need to absorb design, development and production costs) can cause uncertainty in the market and for system integrators.
That’s why choosing a market leader like Advantech is a sensible choice. With 34% of global industrial PC market share (making them the world leader) and numerous design awards, Advantech offer one of the broadest product ranges – from embedded boards through to IoT solutions. System builders can have confidence that there is a readily available supply of supporting products designed to work seamlessly together.
Advantech’s product portfolio has a comprehensive and flexible customisation service too, including:
- BIOS/OS modification and debug
- T-P/N creation with low minimum order quantities and EAU
- Offer frozen BOM
- Product enhancements such as gold-plated connectors
These customisations can be applied to Advantech’s board-level products (SOC, ESBC and AIMB), through to subsystems and even their complete EPC and UTX systems.
Advantech’s industrial motherboard range
A case in point is Advantech’s industrial motherboard range, which has been designed to various form factors for a multitude of end applications such as vending machines, self-service kiosks, video surveillance, medical systems, gaming and factory automation. Compared to popular parts from other manufacturers, Advantech’s motherboards offer several advantages in key areas.
Chipset: Q370 Intel Coffee Lake
Form factor: Mini-ITX
Some competitor boards only offer a 12V power input, whilst Advantech’s board accommodates a wide input range of 12-24V. Advantech’s board also boasts 10 x USB 3.0 inputs and 2 x COM ports.More mini-ITX boards
Chipset: H310 Intel Coffee Lake
Form factor: Mini-ITX/Thin
Advantech’s 3 x LAN ports put boards with only 1 LAN port to shame. The addition of a PCIe slot also adds options for further system expansion which many competitor boards do not offer.More mini-ITX boards
Chipset: C246/Q370 Intel Coffee Lake
Form factor: Micro-ATX
With dual power input design (ATX or 12V DC) and 4 x LAN ports, competitors typically only offer ATX power input and only 1 x LAN port.More micro-ATX boards
AIMB -U217 and U117
Chipset: Intel Apollo Lake
Form factor: mSTX/UTX
This Advantech board is available with 3 x LAN Ports and features eMMC onboard and external temperature support – whilst popular similar boards have no eMMC, fewer LAN ports and no external temperature support.