Whitepaper provides guide to rugged embedded systems

July 21, 2020 //By Ally Winning
Recab UK has made available a free-to-download whitepaper on “Designing embedded computers for rugged applications”.
Recab UK has made available a free-to-download whitepaper on “Designing embedded computers for rugged applications”.

The paper was originally published in the US by Recab’s US partner Diamond Systems. It can be downloaded from the Recab UK website. Some manufacturers label their boards as rugged when it is not the case. The whitepaper provides engineers with the means to properly understand ruggedised electronic components.

Embedded systems are used everywhere, including in transport infrastructure and military applications — including for extreme applications. These trends are set to grow, predicts Martin Frederiksen, managing director of Recab UK: “In the coming years, Brexit, as well as COVID-19, will force the UK Government to have control of essential key infrastructure and the possibility to produce in the UK”. He continues, “I believe we’ll see a shift and companies will bring back more manufacturing to the UK, driving inward investment towards UK companies.”

Embedded computers are used in harsh environments and subjected to extremes of temperature, shock, and vibration. “Designing embedded computers for rugged applications” provides an in-depth look at the factors that make embedded computers rugged. These include how to tell if a board if truly equipped to operate within a wide temperature range; how thicker PCBs contribute towards success; and the use of heat spreaders for better heat dissipation and longer-lasting operations.

The paper also provides a practical example of how the latter company’s own Athena II board was selected for use extreme in a large volume military vehicle roof-mounted remote weapons station program.

“Diamond Systems achieved virtually 100 per cent yield from burn-in testing of the board, rated for use at temperatures of 0–70 degrees Centigrade,” said Frederiksen. “It experienced zero returns for temperature performance over the life of the program.”

Diamond Systems delivered over 18,000 units of this product over a 13-year period.

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