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Ultra Reliable Embedded Computing - The Clash between IPC Class 3 Requirements and Shrinking Geometries

Companies that purchase Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) embedded computer systems often need them to be extremely reliable. For mission critical applications, companies often specify products designed and manufactured to IPC Class 3 require- ments. The IPC Class 3 standard was developed in the 1960’s to ensure the reliability of electronic products in the most demanding environments. However, with the advent of high-density printed circuit boards, new design and manufacturing challenges arise in meeting IPC Class 3 requirements. The result is that following the current IPC Class 3 guidelines is no longer always consistent with providing the most reliable product. It’s a classic case of an important standard that hasn’t kept pace with advancements in technology.

MythBuster – “Extended Temperature” Embedded Computers

When integrating Single Board Computers (SBCs) into industrial, military, and aerospace systems, engineers typically specify an extended temperature range SBC for their embedded computing requirements. The “extended temperature” designation theoretically assures that the SBC will perform reliably in extreme temperature environments. If an SBC supplier labels their product as “extended temperature”, then it will be reliable in the field. Right?

Well, that depends. Are there commercial grade components being used on the board? Is the board 100% tested over the full temperature range? How does the SBC supplier define their extended temperature range?

Download this MythBuster technical paper to learn how to find a truly reliable solution for your extended temperature range embedded computing needs.

The Invisible Foe – Understanding and Controlling ESD Damage

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is indeed the "invisible foe" of electronic product quality and reliability. ESD includes spectacular electric sparks, but also less dramatic forms which may be neither seen nor heard, yet still are large enough to cause damage to sensitive electronic devices. These unseen events can be extremely costly. ESD damage lowers production yields, increases warranty rework, causes higher inventory requirements, and lowers customer satisfaction. According to industry experts, high tech OEMs lose at least 4% to 6% of annual gross sales due to ESD every year. Read this white paper and learn how you can help your organization identify potential sources of ESD loss, establish effective ESD controls, and improve product reliability.

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