Embedded Technology

Pioneer in Obsolescence Management and Legacy Sustainment for embedded technology

  • What do vintage cars and embedded boards have in common?

    What do vintage cars and embedded boards have in common?

    They both get harder to maintain as they get older, and if you don’t plan for obsolescence, they can both fail.

    It’s common sense.  As things get older, they become more expensive to maintain. For example, an antique car was state-of-the art when it first came out. It performed beautifully, and the parts were easy to find. If it had any real problems, it could be taken into the dealer for repairs. However, now that the car is a classic, it requires a lot more upkeep. In the past, it only needed to be taken in for oil changes and tune ups. Now it needs a new transmission, replacement brakes, a new timing belt and a new radiator… and as time passes, the mechanic can’t even get the parts he needs to fix it.

    As the components become harder to find, the odds that your car can even feasibly be repaired get more remote.  At first, you might scour junkyards and advertise online, looking for those crucial pieces of equipment, but eventually you will probably end up having to find someone who can reverse engineer or custom build  the needed parts for you. And now a part that may have been $300 new is going to cost you hundreds more — if not thousands.

    With each transaction, that car gets more and more expensive to fix and maintain, but some cars just can’t be replaced.

  • Obsolescence and why you can’t always just make more.

    Obsolescence and why you can’t always just make more.

    When I first began my work with GDCA one of the questions I had was “Why is dealing with obsolete components not just about making more parts?”

    As I have come to learn, unfortunately, obsolescence management is not just as simple as “making more parts.”

    Imagine you manufacture various components.  In the 1960s, the computers you were making parts for were relatively simple, without many customers who could even afford computers; quantities were low, the manufacturing was relatively easy, and products generally lasted longer.

    Let’s jump forward to today. Over time, and as technology has evolved (Moore’s Law), your fabrication company’s production has also evolved. Now with each product line, you are cranking out hundreds of thousands of parts each day. Customers who need 50 parts are not happy to hear of a 5000 part minimum order quantity (MOQ).  And besides, to some the manufacturers even a 5000 MOQ on an older part can be a distraction.

  • No one wants to be left with EOL overstock

    No one wants to be left with EOL overstock

    On one of the blogs I read, someone commented: “If you’re concerned about counterfeits in obsolete components… don’t worry about to-be-discontinued components — just design them in, and buy what you need to support the product anyway.  Then you won’t have to worry about counterfeits.” On the surface and if you are only worried about […]

  • GDCA: Celebrating 25 Years of Legacy Support

    GDCA: Celebrating 25 Years of Legacy Support

    1987 takes us back: a dozen eggs were 65 cents, a gallon of gas was 89 cents, you and the family may have tuned-in to watch the premiere of a show called The Simpsons.  The last 25 years have been exciting for everyone. Technology has evolved at an amazing rate, and we are honored to […]

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

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

    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. […]

  • Could Stephen Hawking’s voice go end-of-life (EOL)?

    Could Stephen Hawking’s voice go end-of-life (EOL)?

    Whether  you’re checking out his illuminating talks on the nature of the universe, theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity; watching him play himself on Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons and Futurama; or geeking out to MC Frontalot’s rap, science, and quotations; chances are you’ve heard Stephen Hawking’s iconic voice. What most people don’t realize is that while […]

  • 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.”

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