Solve the Build vs. Buy Dilemma with Compact COTS Modules (.PDF Download)

May 24, 2017
Solve the Build vs. Buy Dilemma with Compact COTS Modules (.PDF Download)

In an effort to reduce costs and accelerate development cycles, the U.S. Department of Defense coined the term commercial-off-the-shelf, or COTS, for packaged technology available in the private sector. Now, in industries ranging from medical diagnostics and transportation to precision agriculture and entertainment, engineers are increasingly challenged to find new ways to design in greater intelligence, connectivity, and performance—while cutting costs, power consumption, and size. Even for companies with deep engineering expertise, many are choosing COTS solutions and reallocating those resources where they can have a greater impact.

It can be a daunting task for OEMs to determine which system elements should be designed versus those that should be purchased off-the-shelf. Although design needs will vary based on important application criteria, industry, and deployment environment, certain characteristics are consistently found across implementations. As engineers continue to refine their designs and rank their functional priorities, the following criteria can serve as a useful springboard for the consideration and evaluation of development tools that range in complexity and capabilities, including system-on-module (SoM) and single-board-computer (SBC) options.


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