Single Board Computer Total Cost of Development Considerations
If you want an Embedded Single Board Computer (SBC) with LCD touch display. Here are some options to consider. Be sure to read the warnings.
Need the lowest production unit cost?
To get the lowest SBC unit cost, you need to own your hardware design, which typically these days means getting someone else (a Contract Manufacturer) to manufacture your SBC. This is what both the big boys like Apple and the smaller companies do. Here’s what you need:
Want to use low-cost off-the-shelf hardware?
Given the complexity and risk involved in the lowest cost single board computer model previously described, you might decide to buy an off-the-shelf processor board that has an LCD touch interface. This helps you get to market quicker. However, you still have to deal with the following issues and associated risk factors.
The Reach Technology SBC alternative: one vendor for hardware, software, and support
If you have limited engineering resources, and your competency is something other than Linux and its associated hardware, you may be happy to learn there are off-the-shelf Development Kits available. Kits start at $369 and give you a clear line of sight from development through production — one source for touch screen control hardware, software, customizations, and support.
With Reach Display Modules there is no software or hardware finger-pointing if problems appear. In providing integrated services to customers, Reach Technology has experienced many use-cases, including embedded browsers, networking (TCP/IP) over USB, video playback, X11 server, Web server, File Sharing (Samba for Windows).
Instead of starting from scratch or configuring software and finding out it won’t compile or doesn’t work, in most cases Reach Technology has already figured out the problems and can create and replicate in production a custom distribution that works for you. Reach can also answer the often asked question, “How does everyone else do this?”
Working with Reach Display Modules has many benefits:
- Modern Interface: High-end, state-of-the-art look.
- Proven Software: Easy to Learn High-level Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Modern, Open Source, drag-and-drop GUI design tools; Open Source graphics library.
- Proven Hardware: Full connectivity options, range of sizes, tested.
- Expert Support: Live technical support by a software engineer and user application support when you need and want it. Support materials including support site, manuals, videos, application notes, demo projects, and more.
- No Hidden Costs: No subscription fees, additional software costs, or support costs. Price breaks based on annual production volumes.
- Customizations: Custom designed display modules for low minimum quantities (as low as 500/year).
- Around for the Long Haul: 26 years in business; focus on non-consumer applications in medical and industrial applications.
- Products When You Need Them: Reach Technology manufactures in the USA for reliable products with short, predictable lead times.
- Smooth End-of-Life Product Transitions: Proven product longevity and support with full ECO notification. Modules in production 5 – 7 years as a minimum.
- Consistent Manufacturing: Reach Technology manages long-term exact copy. If we change one part or software code, we will let you know. This allows you to avoid unexpected operations in production (i.e. prototypes work fine, and then later you discover a problem). Get your own custom-build as long as you like.
The bottom line is that this is the lowest risk path compared to other SBC alternatives.