Phone: 925.456.9900 Request for Quote
Events

Pioneer in Obsolescence Management and Legacy Sustainment for embedded technology

  • Vehicle Electronics and the U.S. Army’s New VICTORY Standard

    You can see in the picture of this Humvee (HMMWV), with all the bolt-on equipment there is barely room for the driver.

    Imagine, in order to do your daily job, you had Linux for email, an Apple II for web browsing, an old Windows 95 tower for excel spreadsheets, and a DOS machine for word processing. Rotary phones only work for some people you need to call, and you need a cellphone for others. Floppy drives, zip disks, punch cards, tape spools, fax machines, scanners, and a dot matrix printer… and the various hardware is all proprietary, yet necessary.  Not only is there no room for you at your desk, you seem to spend a lot of time (on your touch-tone phone) with technical support.

    Like the image above, modern combat vehicle electronics can resemble a bowl of hardware spaghetti.  Different “bolt-on” devices and adaptors are stitched together by multiple suppliers who may be using different standards and interfaces.  With barely enough room for a soldier wearing body armor, integration and interoperability have become key concerns.

  • Condition-Based-Maintenance (CBM): The leading edge of proactive sustainment

    With its first flight in 1978, the F-18 Hornet is a prime example of legacy, military applications still in use today. With a lifecycle of over 30 years, it has been the demonstration aircraft for the Blue Angels, since 1986.

    Defense Maintenance & Sustainment Summit
    (DMS 2012)
    February 27-29, 2012, | La Jolla, California

    It was my first time attending WBR’s Defense Maintenance & Sustainment Summit, and it was fascinating to hear about best practices from the many government attendees and their commercial partners.

    The focus was CBM (condition-based-maintenance), a sustainment approach that involves installing sensors onto defense equipment, and then remotely monitoring the actual performance of critical systems within a fielded craft – such as a plane or land vehicle.

    So why is this so interesting?

  • What does obsolesence, trains, and Embedded World 2012 have in common?

    The low-speed Birmingham International Airport maglev shuttle was in operation for less than eleven years before obsolescence problems made it inoperable.

    I must admit, I’m looking forward to the upcoming Embedded World 2012 presentation on Model Based Design and Testing of Embedded Systems for the Train & Transportation Industry by Franck Corbier, with Dassault Systèmes.

    Why? Because I have an old-fashioned side of me that loves nothing more than hours on a train, traveling across country.

    The first successful locomotives were built by Richard Trevithick, in 1804. Since then the train and railway systems has been an invaluable resource when it comes to transporting passengers and heavy commercial loads across towns, cities and even nations. And with the emergence of embedding computing technology, everything from train operation, to signaling, to track switching relies on ever growing embedded systems that few of us ever think about.

    In countries like France and Britain, it isn’t unusual to see 30-50 year old legacy systems that need to be maintained, being integrated with increasingly more sensitive and sophisticated systems with significantly shorter life-cycles.

  • Medical Design & Manufacturing West: The conference that was bigger than I even imagined

    Diagnostic equipment needs to pass a raft of certifications to operate in modern hospitals.  If an old board goes end-of-life, without a legacy solution, re-certification can be both time-consuming and cost prohibitive.

    As any business owner knows, you are always going to find new conferences, events, or trade shows you didn’t know about, and are really glad you discovered.

    Medical Design & Manufacturing West 2012 (affectionately known as MD&M West, or #MDMwest in twitter parlance) took place this past week in Southern California’s Anaheim Convention Center. The conference brought together an extensive variety of speakers, exhibitors, and manufacturers of medical diagnostic equipment, and medical devices.  Subjects being discussed included everything from the latest in technology, to how to extend the life-cycle of life-saving equipment, without having to re-certify every single piece of the puzzle.

  • Reflecting on VITA’s Embedded Tech Trends (ETT 2012)

    Reflecting on VITA’s Embedded Tech Trends (ETT 2012)

    Following its development in the late 1970s by Motorola, VME bus continues to see wide use across many different equipment industries today. In fact, the first COTS VME boards to enter the domestic market (c 1983) were the MVME101 CPU and MVME110 CPU, both of which are still supported by GDCA today (though no one’s asked in a while).

    Founded in 1984 from the VME Manufacturers Group, the VMEbus International Trade Association (VITA) champions working groups formed to develop specifications and standards important to designers of critical embedded systems around the world.

    Considering our VME legacy and long-standing support for the folks at VITA, you can imagine how excited we were when VITA debuted their new, member-only conference, Embedded Tech Trends, January 16th and 17th, in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

    Formerly known as the Bus and Board Conference, Embedded Tech Trends (or ETT 2012) is the “business and technology forum for critical embedded systems.” This year’s focus was VITA technology applications, and the “fruits of the spec-developer’s labor.”

Newsletter Signup