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Designing Embedded Computers for Rugged Applications

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Product Ruggedization

Standard Rugged Features

The following rugged features are already standard attributes of Diamond Systems' products:

Extended temperature operation: Virtually all our embedded boards are rated for extended temperature operation of -40°C to +85°C. Our designs withstand the inevitable temperature-related variation in component specifications, while still delivering rated performance. All our products are fully tested and guaranteed for proper performance over their entire rated operating temperature
Soldered-on memory: Most of our SBCs feature soldered-on memory to improve reliability by preventing memory module popout due to vibration. In addition, soldered-on memory guarantees proper performance over the entire operating temperature range and prevents possible compatibility problems that can occur when memory module suppliers change components or designs.
Autocalibration: Our analog I/O boards and SBCs with on-board data acquisition feature autocalibration of analog I/O circuitry to ensure maximum measurement accuracy over the complete operating temperature range. Autocalibration provides up to 10 times reduction in measurement error over competing boards.
Fan-less operation: Rotating parts such as fans and hard disks are one of the most common sources of failure in embedded systems. All of our SBCs are available in fan-less versions for increased reliability.
Solid state flashdisk storage: All of our SBCs are designed to work with solid state flashdisks for improved reliability and lighter weight. The solid state flashdisk acts just like a standard hard drive, except it has no moving parts. The flashdisk installs directly onto a connector on the SBC and is held in place with a mounting screw to prevent disconnection due to vibration.
Cable-free Enclosure: Our Pandora enclosure improves reliability by eliminating one of the most common sources of failure - the interconnecting cables. Custom front panels can be designed to accommodate customer-specific applications.
Soldered-on memory increases ruggedness of our embedded SBCs
Solid-state flashdisk replaces conventional hard drives and provides increased ruggedness, extended temperature range, and reduced weight
Autocalibration provides 10x error reduction in analog measurements, resulting in improved product performance
Pandora's cable-free enclosure system reduces assembly time, eliminates assembly errors, and increases ruggedness

Custom Ruggedization Services

We offer the following ruggedization services to further enhance our product reliability with the options below. These special services are available by consultation.

Extended temperature operation: Full screening is conducted across the entire rated temperature range of our embedded computer boards prior to shipment to weed out infant mortality and provide additional assurance of performance for discriminating customers. Our test fixtures and software suites exercise the board's features at incremental temperatures and record results for conclusive evidence of the board's reliable performance.
Burn-in testing: Fixed-temperature burn-in of production boards helps reduce infant mortality and provides additional confidence for critical applications. Boards are powered-on and tested during the burn-in cycle to verify proper performance.
Conformal coating: Outdoor or in-vehicle applications can benefit from conformal coating to insulate the board from the effects of moisture and fungus. See Conformal Coating Services for more information.
Hardwired configuration: Configuration jumpers are replaced with hardwired configuration. This eliminates the possibility of configuration jumpers falling out or unauthorized tampering, and helps ensure known-good board configuration. Most of our board designs provide surface mount locations dedicated for this purpose, making the process easy and reliable.
Latching connectors: We can install latching connectors in place of standard pin headers to insure reliable operation in high shock and vibration environments.
0-ohm resistors replacing configuration jumpers
I/O board with acrylic conformal coating
Environmental test chamber used for temperature validation, screening, and burn-in activities
Latching connectors provide additional protection against vibration-induced failures