Single-Board Computers Product Focus Study September 2003

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding Single-Board Computer Products.

By Control Engineering Staff March 29, 2004

Executive Summary

  • Among those specifying, recommending, and/or buying single-board computer products, 78% do so for in-plant requirements and 48% do so for OEM requirements.

  • Sixty-six percent of respondents chose continuous processing as their primary application for single-board computer products, while 53% chose batch processing. Twenty-eight percent of readers surveyed chose discrete products manufacturing as their primary application for single-board computer products.

  • Currently, PCI is the most commonly used bus architecture. Additionally, PCI is the bus architecture the majority of respondents are planning to use in the next 12 months. While respondents seem to be projecting a downturn or leveling in use of the majority of bus architectures mentioned, PMC and PXI stand out as architectures that are being projected at a higher usage rate for the next 12 months.

  • MS-Windows 2000 is the most commonly used operating system. MS-Windows 2000 is also the operating system the majority of respondents are planning to use in the next 12 months. While most operating systems mentioned will experience either decreased usage levels or a very slight increase over the next 12 months, both MS-Windows CE and Linux are being projected at significantly higher usage levels.

  • At present time, digital input and output are the most common I/O types, both with 94% of respondents currently using either of those types alone and 91% currently using combination digital input/output.

  • Sixty-one percent of survey participants require ruggedized board. Approximately half need harsh-temperature operation or hot-swappable configuration.

  • Two-thirds of those surveyed expect board level products to last between 5 and 10 years.

  • Intel Pentium 4 is currently the most commonly specified processor. According to results, Intel Pentium 4 will continue to be the most commonly specified processor in the next year.

  • Presently, the majority of respondents are specifying processor speeds greater than 1.0 GHz and, according to results, this trend will continue in the next year.

  • Eleven percent of respondents purchased Single-Board Computer Products from Advantech in the past year; making it the most common choice among respondents. Dell was second most common with 10% of votes.

  • Seventy-two single-board computer products were the average number each respondent purchased in the past 12 months.

  • The average single-board computer product spending per respondent in the past year was $91,983.

  • Forty-six percent of qualified respondents expect their need for single-board computer products will increase in the next 12 months, and 43% expect it to remain the same.

  • Forty-four percent of Control Engineering subscribers responding do not receive IAN. Fifty-five percent do not receive Control Design.

Single-Board Computer Product Focus Study