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Designing Embedded Computers for Rugged Applications

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Custom Embedded Solutions

A custom embedded computing solution is a smart choice in a variety of situations if the project can be effectively tailored to the needs and size of the application without introducing extra cost, complexity, and risk. Diamond Systems has a long history of designing and manufacturing semi-custom and full-custom embedded boards and solutions that effectively address these challenges to serve customer needs in a variety of situations. See below a sample list of custom solutions we’ve provided over time.

  • For low quantity or quick time to market, consider our Standard Product Variant program. This approach involves making minor changes to existing standard products in order to fit the application better, while requiring the most minimal amount of engineering effort. Relying on a proven standard product and proven customization services reduces time, cost, and risk nearly to zero.

epsilon24000 Custom board
Standard 16-port Ethernet switch EPS-24016-104 Custom model with customer-specific modifications for connectors, conformal coating, and embedded software branding

  • For medium quantity projects, where constraints make the use of standard products undesirable, yet the quantity isn't large enough to justify a full custom design, consider our semi-custom program. This starts with a standard product and adds custom circuitry to it, giving the project a head start that significantly reduces overall engineering cost, time, and risk, while yielding a more optimized solution for the application.

helios Custom board
Standard Helios SBC with data acquisition circuit shown at left; standard board has a single Ethernet port Custom Helios with dual-port Ethernet switch installed in place of DAQ circuit (total 3 Ethernet ports on board)

  • For larger quantity projects or situations where the form factor is a key consideration, a full custom solution is the answer. This can take two main paths: The first one stitches together existing standard products, sometimes adding new circuitry to the mix, to yield a customized solution that strikes a balance between development time, development cost, and risk on the one hand and size and unit cost on the other. The second path pulls from our vast proven technology library to create a highly optimized final product suitable for high volume production or applications with unique requirements, with an associated increase in development time and cost. The distinction between these two paths is essentially the size of the building blocks used in the design, board-level or circuit-level.

Elton Custom board

In all the above cases, customers benefit from Diamond's impressive array of capabilities:

  • 3 decades of experience in the industry
  • Highly experienced engineering team knowledgeable in a wide array of applicable embedded technologies, including electronics design, driver and BSP work, enclosure and system design, and test
  • Global manufacturing and supply chain to service a variety of program sizes and bring to the table any additional capabilities that may be needed

To start a discussion about harnessing Diamond Systems' expertise to create a successful custom solution for your project, contact us.


A particularly important area of concern for many embedded computing systems users is ruggedness. Most of Diamond's products have built-in increased ruggedness over typical commercial computer boards and systems. Additional ruggedization is available to enable products to survive the most challenging conditions. To learn more about our ruggedization services, click here.

Example custom solutions from Diamond Systems

Custom Products
These products were designed from the ground up using Diamond technology library elements or standard products as building blocks to achieve a perfect fit solution for the customer’s application.

CategoryPart NumberDescription
I/O 9710230 Custom PC/104 audio module
I/O 9710250EMM-8M-XT 8 RS-232/422/485, Custom Configuration
I/O 9710259 Custom PC/104 8 serial ports with opto-isolation, TTL, and RS-232
I/O 9713170 PCIe/104 8 port gigabit Ethernet NIC with MacSec, wide temperature
I/O 9790102 Custom dual Ethernet board with PCI-104 interface and Lemo connectors
I/O 9799005 24 DPDT Relays, high power, with readback logic
I/O 9900008 AGX Xavier Carrier Board, Rugged, PCIe Expansion, Custom Form Factor
SBC 9790108 AGX Xavier Carrier Board, Rugged, PCIe Expansion, Custom Form Factor
SBC 9790113 VME SBC, Custom, E3845 CPU, 8GB, Dual CAN, MIL-STD-1553
SBC 9970555 Athena III PC/104 SBC, custom connectors and testing
SBC 9971040 Octavio PC/104 computer system, Helios SBC, custom panel I/O, conformal coating
SBC 9971556 Semicustom SBC, Helios PC/104 with custom I/O circuitry, custom BIOS and configuration
SBC 9979010 SabreCom System: Venus + I/O + Custom Relays + EPS-24026 Ethernet Switch
Switch 9710620 Custom mini Ethernet switch, 6 ports, customer miniature form factor

Standard Product Variants
These products consist of minor modifications to an existing product that helped to make it a better fit for the customer's application. Each product is controlled by a specification form that is filled out and agreed to by both Diamond and the customer to ensure all requirements are captured and fulfilled.

CategoryPart NumberDescription
I/O 910343 DMM-32X-AT PC/104 Analog I/O Module, Latching Connectors
I/O 9110193RMM-1612-XT PC/104 D/A with DAC8413 semi-custom
I/O 9110201 DMM-32-AT PC/104 analog input, no D/A
I/O 9110261 GPIO-MM-XT Non-stackthrough PC/104 connectors
I/O 9110272 DMM-16-AT PC/104 Analog I/O Module, Extra Cleaning
I/O 9110293 EMM-4M-XT w/ custom bias resistor configuration
I/O 9110326 EMM-OPT4-XT Quad Opto-Isolated Serial Port PC/104 Module, Hi-V Capacitors Installed
I/O 9110345 DMM-32X-AT PC/104 analog I/O, non-stackthrough PC/104 connectors
I/O 9110367 Janus-MM Dual CAN PC/104, custom configuration, conformal coating
I/O 9110381 EMM-8PLUS-XT PC/104-Plus 8 RS-232/422/485 Vertical I/O Connectors
I/O 9110432 MRC-424-XT Quad 10/100Mbps Ethernet PC/104-Plus Module, Vertical Connectors
SBC 9110572 RDS800-XT Rhodeus LX800 PC/10 SBC, conformal coating
SBC 9110742 ARS3845-4GN Aries PC/104-Plus SBC, Custom BIOS and heat spreader
SBC 9120650 Athena III PC/104 SBC, custom connectors and testing
SBC 9220026 Custom Hercules SBC, custom connectors and BIOS
SBC 9240899 Gemini COM Express Carrier, Custom I/O connectors, Conformal Coating
SBC 9240920 Elton BB01 Baseboard with Vertical I/O Connectors
SBC 9242502 PLT-E3845XT-8G, Pluto SBC, E3845 CPU, 8GB RAM, XT, custom heat spreader
SBC 9242502 Pluto SBC PLT-E3845-8G-XT E3845 CPU 8GB RAM Custom Heat Spreader
SBC 9970030 Athena II PC/104 SBC, ruggedized version, conformal coating, flashdisk
SBC 9970092 Athena II PC/104 SBC, Custom Configuration, with Flashdisk
SBC 9970556 Kit, Helios PC/104 SBC + FD-256R-XT Custom BIOS & Configuration
Switch 9110840 EPS-8100 8 Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch, No Heat Sink
Switch 9110842 EPS-8100 8-Port Ethernet Switch With CAT6 Cables Direct Attach
Switch 9110843 EPS-8100-XT 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch, Extended Heat Spreader
Switch 9110845 EPS-8100 Ethernet Switch, TTL Serial Port, No Heat Sink, Silicone Conformal Coating
Switch 9110859 EPS-24016-104 Ethernet switch, vertical pin headers, no LED connectors
Switch 9133901 EPSM-10GX Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module, Custom IP Address and LED Configuration

Download our white paper, Custom Embedded Computing Solutions from Diamond Systems.

Custom solution building blocks
Diamond can utilize these proven technologies and capabilities to develop a perfect-fit custom solution with high confidence.

Technology Capabilities
  • x86 CPU design
  • x86 COM carrier design
  • NVIDIA Jetson carrier design
  • ARM COM carrier design
  • PC/104 SBC and I/O design
  • PCIe, PCI, LPC, and ISA buses
  • M.2, mSATA, and SATA-DOM flash memory modules
  • Minicard design
  • Ethernet switches with management software
  • FPGA design
  • PCIe, PCI, LPC, and ISA FPGA cores
  • Power supply design – buck/boost, switching/linear
  • Power filtering – MIL-STD-461/1275/704
  • Power over Ethernet – PSE, PD, Class A and B
  • UPS circuitry
  • Battery charging
  • Microcontroller firmware development

I/O Capabilities
  • Analog input – voltage and current
  • Analog output – voltage and current
  • Autocalibration with software/hardware control
  • Serial ports – RS-232, RS-422, RS-485
  • Ethernet ports
  • USB 2.0 / 3.0
  • Display technologies – HDMI, DP, LVDS, VGA
  • Digital I/O
  • Opto-isolated digital I/O
  • Counter/timers
  • Pulse-width modulators
  • Electromechanical relays
  • CANbus
  • MIL-STD-1553
  • Computer audio
  • PC/104, PCI-104, PCIe/104 buses
  • Minicard sockets
  • M.2 sockets

Rugged Design
  • Rugged design – PCB, connectors, and wide temperature
  • Design for wide temperature operation
  • Rugged SODIMM design
  • Soldered memory
  • Soldered flash memory
  • Burn-in testing
  • Temperature testing
  • Shock / vibration testing – MIL-STD-202/810
  • Conformal coating and staking

Systems and Solutions
  • Application-specific form factors and expansion buses
  • Aluminum enclosures and heat sinks
  • Sheet metal enclosures
  • IP67 sealing with gaskets
  • Cable & harness design
  • MIL-DTL-38999 cable assemblies
  • OS board support packages

Business Support
  • Configuration control
  • Lifecycle management
  • Long life programs
  • US and international manufacturing sites