Buy vs. Build

  • Can you get it built in time?

  • Do you have the necessary experience?

  • Are you able to recognize critical design choices when they arise and choose right ones?

  • Do you know implementation minutiae involved (i.e. cabling, timing, sequencing)?

If you answered no to these questions, buying Reach Technology modules can save you time, money, and risk. If the following are true, it is likely better to build:

  • You have specific requirements not met by products on the market.
  • The production run will be sufficient to amortize development expenses.
  • The form factor or feature set mandates a custom solution.
  • Unit cost budget mandates an “in-house” design.
ConsiderationsReach Technology ModulesIn-house System


Modules come off-the-shelf. Production orders can be pulled in or pushed out. See Pricing and Availability and Long Term Supply.Putting a new LCD controller board into production carries lead time and supply risks. Accurate demand forecasts must be developed to ensure availability and minimize excess inventory.
Design CostsNoneHigh: Research includes picking the right processor, selecting the most appropriate operating system; identifying reliable sources of LCD touch screen components.
Design OverheadNoneEach new part needs an Approved Vendor List (AVL), an enormous amount of work to do correctly. Single-source parts can have high minimum buys (e.g. 3K pieces/reel).
Analysis ParalysisNoneThere are many options. It’s easy to spend more time evaluating your choices than creating the design.
Learning LCD TechnologyNone required.LCD displays are unique: Datasheet timings can be incorrect, and required signal, power sequencing, and timing can be missing altogether.
LCD System MaintenanceNot applicable.Total control of (and responsibility for) LCD touchscreen system maintenance, which includes changes in available products, supply, etc.

Other Reasons to Buy Rather Than Build

  • Time to market: If your schedule is tight, Reach Technology modules are the answer.

  • Low risk: Reach Technology modules are used by hundreds of companies worldwide and are thoroughly tested and designed by highly experienced engineers.

  • Reliability: The Reach Technology command protocol is straightforward and robust. No code added to your system that could cause problems. The hardware uses long-life components and generous operational margins.

  • Firmware version control: Reach Technology provides customers with reliable, repeatable firmware version control. You can order the same version you put into production — no upgrade surprises.Works with any processor, from small 8-bit microcontrollers to 64-bit multi-core.

Custom Modules

If our standard display modules are not a fit, we can provide custom modules if you have sufficient production volumes.

Embedded Touchscreens Made Easy:
Up in Days, Smoothly to Production. Get started with a Development Kit.

Reach Technology is now a part of Novanta.

Sales and Engineering
545 First Street
Lake Oswego, OR 97034

4600 Campus Place
Mukilteo, WA 98275

Please send payments to:
Novanta Corporation
PO Box 15905
Chicago, IL 60693