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GDCA's Critical Thoughts

Informed opinions and innovative ideas from a trusted source

Software Obsolescence: Why Modernization Doesn’t Necessarily Mean “Modern”

By GDCA | September 18, 2013
Software Obsolsecence

For players in the embedded industry it is easy to forget how large the problem of obsolescence can be, especially beyond the component level. Recently, I was talking to a software engineer who had spent a year doing software modernization, as a result of upgrading a flight navigational system from the original code to Linux. […]

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Golf: A Good Thing Never Truly Becomes Obsolete

By GDCA | September 4, 2013

Every year at National Instruments NI Week in Austin, TX the GDCA team gets to enjoy a wave of hot weather that is only overshadowed by a tide of hot technology innovation. NI Week does a wonderful job of providing a forum for education and inspiration. As one of the few conferences where GDCA has […]

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Counterfeit Mitigation: The Trouble with “Tagging”

By GDCA | August 21, 2013

When the subject of counterfeit mitigation and avoidance comes up you generally find a couple of areas that people focus on: standards, test/inspection, and tagging. Tagging can involve many things, including specially etched marks, marks that show up only under certain lights, rare earth tags, and DNA tags.  In general, these marks rely one or […]

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Are PCs becoming obsolete?

By GDCA | August 7, 2013

Recently on NPR I heard that PC sales have hit a record low.  With the growing touch screen market, even Windows is focusing their innovation and development on the tablet market and with operating systems like the recently updated Windows 8.  Bringing together the best of both worlds is the “convertible” market, where your “laptop” […]

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CALCE Counterfeit avoidance: Tags won’t fix the supply chain issue

By GDCA | July 24, 2013
Shipping Containers

When it comes to avoiding counterfeit components, the CALCE and SMTA “Counterfeit East” symposium at the University of Maryland, College Park is a conference we look forward to attending.  Counterfeit avoidance discussions continue to fall in a couple of camps: tags and tagging, test and inspection and quality/process control.  On the legal side of things, […]

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Arrow ACT Masters: An Environment of Innovation

By GDCA | July 10, 2013

GDCA enjoyed the privilege of being a part of this year’s Arrow Electronics ACT Masters 2013 in Denver CO.  Arrow’s technical sales force was trained in a centralized fashion while suppliers got a first glimpse of Arrow’s strategy and technical roadmap.  This year’s theme celebrated the spirit of innovation by acknowledging the expertise of Arrow’s […]

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Counterfeit Components: More than parts — it is about people

By GDCA | June 26, 2013

With the dialog about counterfeits in the supply chain, it is easy to lose track of what counterfeits actually mean.  Yes, they will hurt your business. Yes, they can lead to heavy penalties and jail time, but counterfeits can also lead to jeopardizing lives; a risk that could otherwise have been avoided. I am always […]

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COTS: A “reactive” good idea (continued)

By GDCA | June 11, 2013

To answer the question, we need to look at the issues of innovation from a different angle; namely economics and markets. Free markets are a wonderful concept as long as the motivation and incentives are aligned in the right way for all the players in order to achieve the set objective. So let us look […]

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COTS: A “reactive” good idea

By GDCA | May 29, 2013

Following a directive from the US military in the early 1990s, the defense industry made a shift from using custom embedded electronic components made to military specifications to commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components.  Since the overall share of the DoD as a consumer was expected to shrink over time, this move to reduce costs took a practical […]

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Refurbished Boards: What works today may not be reliable tomorrow

By GDCA | May 15, 2013

Saying that something is “good enough for government work” is often meant as a joke and the reference implies “mediocre work.” The irony is that “government work” is often highly sophisticated; systems are designed and engineered to operate in the most extreme environmental conditions for a very long period of time. I recently had the […]

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