System Selection for Embedded Computing:

Smart Hardware Choices Enable a Cascade of Value: Cost, Performance, and Lifecycle Longevity


6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Embedded Computing Hardware:

6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Embedded Computing Hardware

Choosing the right hardware platform for a sophisticated application isn’t always part of the discussion within the product development process.

In many cases, a Bill of Materials (BOM) may have been established without insight into application specifics that are crucial to determining smart, cost effective choices.

The right methodologies for product consultation can make all the difference.

These six questions can help OEMs and ISVs select the right hardware design to best support their purpose-driven application and product.


Know Your Application Requirements

Custom versus off-the-shelf is typically the first consideration, as OEMs determine if their application requires a standard set of capabilities and compute power, or something beyond an off-the-shelf system.

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Align Your Hardware with the Application

Early discussions in the system selection process address key areas of performance, potentially challenging preconceived expectations about specific components such as processors or GPUs.

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Right-Size Your Choice of Processors

Understanding clock speed requirements is a critical consideration in choosing a CPU, along with whether or not the application demands any special type of caching. High-end processors have a variety of built-in caching capabilities, with some offering 8MB and others closer to 20MB. The difference between these two cache points impacts cost, making it worthwhile to determine what the application really requires.

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Set Memory Expectations as Your Application Evolves

OEMs planning to ship a product for 10 years or more need a memory strategy that supports application growth over time, planning ahead to avoid unplanned hardware upgrades as a result.

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Identifying Pitfalls of a Long-Term Storage Solution

Storage requirements should be based on the size of the data, as well as how quickly the application needs to access it. Access falls into two categories – writing and saving data vs reading and retrieving it. There is no one-size-fits-all for storage requirements, as each industry is different based on their unique applications.

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Does Your Support Plan Include Frequent Upgrades?

As it relates to graphic-intense applications, choosing a GPU is largely influenced by how the OEM wants to manage its product. Cards that fall within the consumer or gamer category, for example the NVIDIA GeForce®, change every 12 months or less. End-of-life (EOL) notices are not standard in this type of product environment, so OEMs must remain reactive to frequent change.

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