GDCA Newsletter

January 2013

Hello from the CEO

GDCA is focused on transforming embedded computing obsolescence into an easily manageable business process, and if I could offer only one piece of advice to anyone looking to effectively manage legacy needs, it would be this: Shift from being reactive to being proactive.

Reactivity kills legacy. By their very definition, legacy systems have long life cycles that require strategic planning in order to assure their sustainability. If you act on risks only after you’re feeling their impacts, and not as soon as you identify them, you’re being reactive.

Indeed, kicking the Obsolescence management “can” down the road is a pretty typical behavior, but sooner or later everyone runs out of road…and then we call in the engineers. As a result, the same Engineering teams focused on game-changing technology that keeps the business competitive, are now solving obsolescence issues: counterfeits, redesign projects, sourcing challenges…the list goes on.

This is why we are committed to moving the dialogue from “obsolescence management” (which focuses on solving issues) to “legacy management”. Legacy is a forward-thinking approach meant to both solve obsolescence issues, and prevent them altogether.

Moving forward with this kind of thinking is where we can build the relationships and processes that move us, as an industry, from a reactive to a proactive place.

Ethan Plotkin, CEO

Legacy Support Requires Collaboration

Today the semiconductor industry supports a $1.3 trillion electronics supply chain. Solid supply chain management is critical to developing quality products and delivering them to your customers. Generally, when people think of a supply chain, we think of it from the perspective of product development and production, and not product sustainment. But when components and parts become high-risk and scarce, a “holistic” view of the supply chain is critical.

Protecting customers’ mature technology indefinitely is no small task. Having sustained embedded boards and systems for more than 25 years, we cannot stress how important supply chain collaboration is. To be effective, we rely heavily on the many relationships we nurture across the embedded industry. The collaborative nature of these partnerships provides critical resources which sustain mature and legacy products.

Longevity and experience gives us a unique understanding into the cycles, patterns and trends unique to legacy sustainment. Each new partnership solidifies our knowledge base and brings insight into the larger challenge of obsolescence prevention.

Through collaboration we are able to prevent upcoming difficulties, and it is through collaboration we can help our partners implement the processes necessary to ensure the security of their legacy. We knit together the relationships, knowledge and experience of many, to make the challenges of obsolescence a thing of the past.

To paraphrase the old adage, “It takes a village to sustain our legacy.”

Critical Thoughts

“Is that a National Instruments VXIpc-872 on the display?”

Who knew this would be the question most asked at our NI Week booth this year.

The answer is yes, because we are “IP Authorized” to produce and sustain this controller (and thousands of other COTS products)…indefinitely.

We know the challenges around sustaining long-lasting systems when you don’t have the original IP. We’ve seen what can happen when “legacy boards” are modified copies. When we talk about authenticity, it isn’t just in regards to protecting our customers from counterfeits, it’s also about ensuring our customers have access to the authentic, original designs they rely on.

So what does IP Authorized mean to your legacy boards?

Our OEM partners are invested in developing and designing new, innovative products that keep their customers competitive. However they also respect the reality that their customers sometimes need a long-term support solution.

Our role is to support that long term need, without expensive upgrades or reverse engineering. GDCA is committed to maintaining the integrity of our OEM partners’ brands and products. IP Authorized means we manufacture authentic boards and systems that match the original product specifications exactly. Because of this, our partners trust us to sustain and support their products for as long as their customers need them.

Being IP Authorized means we are proud to protect the IP of our partners, and offer their customers the peace of mind they deserve…for as long as the embedded system needs to last.

Read more critical thoughts on our website.


In our last newsletter we shared our upcoming tradeshow schedule. Today we have the opportunity to sit down and look at all the great places we’ve been. We’ve been busy (just ask Kaye, Arlin, Steve, and Ethan) meeting amazing leaders in the embedded industry; from anti-counterfeit/authentication experts and supply chain wizards to thought leaders collaborating with us in changing how we, as an industry, understand obsolescence and legacy.

Each conference has brought new relationships and deeper insights into what it means to effectively sustain legacy products in a game-changing and innovative embedded market.

We look forward to having many more opportunities in 2013. If we are in your area and you want to reach out and talk about obsolescence, legacy and/or EOL challenges and victories, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting. These conversations make us better at our job…ensuring the legacy products you have come to depend on are accessible and supported.

In This Issue

Latest Articles

“Obsolete Components: What is the COTS life cycle costing you?” – Military Embedded Magazine

“Fighting the fakes” – Micro Technology Europe Magazine

TAKE COVER! It’s about to EOL!!!

Upcoming Events

In order to stay on top of the latest information, we tend to do lots of events and meet up with people. If we are in your area and want to reach out and talk obsolescence/legacy/EOL challenges, please contact us and we can schedule a meeting. We like to share our experience, and hear more about what you’re doing to manage COTS obsolescence challenges.

Jan 21, 2013
Embedded Technologies in Action in Long Beach, CA

VITA continues to be a powerful resource for the Embedded Industry. GDCA values the information and insight VITA members bring to the discussion of innovation, sustainment, and the future of embedded platforms.

Past Events

Dec 04, 2012
SMTA/CALCE “Counterfeit West” in Anaheim, CA

We loved working with SMTA and CALCE so much for “Counterfeit East” that we presented “Cross-Industry Sustainment and Mitigating Obsolescence Counterfeit Risk” at “Counterfeit West.”

June 26-28 2012
DMSMS in Orlando, FL

We had a great time collaborating with Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions, IHS, and Rochester Electronics in presenting “Building an Integrated Supply Chain to Support Warfighter Systems”

August 6-9, 2012
NI Week in Austin, TX

We were also pleased to see NI Week’s focus on long-term sustainment when it comes to taking care of customers with long-lasting systems.

July 16-18, 2012
Performance Based Logistics Conference in Washington, DC

The PBL conference in Washington DC gave us a great opportunity to discuss the realities of what PBLs, and flat/fixed maintenance contracts are going to mean when it comes to reliably sustaining critical military systems.

June 26-28, 2012
Center for Lifecycle Management Symposium at University of Maryland, College Park, MD

We did a presentation on obsolescence management and mitigating counterfeit risk in June. In December, we discussed counterfeit avoidance and legislation in the medical and defense industries.

May 17, 2012
Global Obsolescence, Compliance & Counterfeit Risk Symposium in Las Vegas, NV
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