use Embedded PC ?|
Economies of scale - low cost chipsets and peripherals.
Concurrent design - develop software on off-the-shelf boards while
hardware is designed.|
Combine custom and off-the-shelf hardware (PCI, MiniPCI, PC/104 etc).
Good design tools, open source operating systems and BIOS,
most software engineers are familiar with the PC architecture.|
Wide performance range (8088 to Pentium 4) |
Small design risk - test your configuration using evaluation boards.|
Why NOT use Embedded PC ?|
Small handheld devices - the power consumption of embedded x86 CPUs is not
competitive with CPUs optimized for handheld designs, such as various ARM
Extremely cost sensitive applications - embedded x86 CPUs start around $20.
Embedded PC Form Factors
|Cheap, but large size, not
very rugged, and questionable long term availability. BIOS usually not
optimized for embedded use. Embedded suppliers: American Predator, Micro
||Most popular versions: ISA, PICMG, PISA.
Somewhat higher cost. Available from many suppliers. Most suitable for
rackmount and wallmount applications. Many products use regular desktop
BIOS. Now a commodity market.|
|PC/104 and PC/104+
Compact package. High cost. PC/104 connectors are expensive, both for the
component and for assembly. Replacing a board in the middle of a PC/104 stack
is time-consuming. I/O cables require cabling inside your enclosure, a messy
solution at best.|
||Rugged package. High cost both for boards
and for the backplane. Most popular for telecommunication systems.|
|ETX, Dimm PC, X-Board
||Very compact module. Somewhat expensive connectors (ETX),
very low cost connectors for Kontron
Dimm PC and X-Board. Functionality and performance is limited by
small board size. Customer specific base board for streamlined
wiring. Good solution for moderate production volumes.
PC Engines can design custom base boards, and migrate your design to a
true single board design when cost requires.
|PC Engines can design custom single
for reduced unit cost at moderate to high production volumes. Customers
receive full, royalty-free manufacturing rights.
Design and mechanicals can be streamlined to meet your requirements -
minimize cabling and separate subassemblies.
Maintain control over manufacturing quality and long-term availability.
You can still use industry standard expansion such as miniPCI or PC/104
||Joint definition of product specifications.|
||Select components based on specifications, performance, pricing
and long-term availability. Assemble a test system from evaluation boards
or commercial boards using these components, and verify system performance
||PC Engines will combine all functions into an OrCAD
schematic for your design.|
||This is the most critical part of the design: the PCB layout will
determine stability, EMI, and manufacturability. PC Engines designs are
usually hand-routed using Cadence Allegro or OrCAD Layout.|
||Prototypes can be consigned by customer, or
PC Engines can handle component purchasing, PCB fabrication and assembly.
||Debug and test
||With clean schematics and layout, this stage is usually painless.
PC Engines designs always include suitable access points to simplify debug.
||With PC Engines tinyBIOS, the customer receives a low-cost solution
that is optimized for embedded applications.|
||"Trust, but verify."|
||Most EMI and safety issues can be avoided through proper PCB layout.
EMI compliance depends on the design of the enclosure, and must be tested
by the customer.|
||PC Engines can supply assembled and tested boards for small
to medium volume, or work with your contract manufacturer to bring
up volume production. PC Engines can provide functional test software
and fixtures to streamline the manufacturing test process.|
PC Engines can provide services during most stages of your
design process, ranging from limited consulting,
detailed design reviews and coaching, to full turnkey design
or even turnkey production.