Maintaining a focused presence for PC/104

As I am writing this, we are entering a new year for the PC/104 Embedded Consortium. Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) West marks the beginning of our year with our annual membership meeting. The annual meeting featured a summary of the activities during the past year and the seating of the new board of directors. The directors for this year are:

  • Jeff Milde, Executive Director, PC/104 Consortium
  • Lee Foss, Advanced Micro Peripherals
  • Alexander Buravlev, Fastwel
  • Christine Van De Graaf, Kontron
  • Matthias Fellhauer, LiPPERT Embedded Computers
  • Jim Blazer, RTD Embedded Technologies

The PC/104 cocktail party at ESC is fast becoming a tradition. This casual gathering, held the evening before the show, gives members a chance to relax and get reacquainted.

The mood at ESC was much different than last year. Visitors talked about real projects needing solutions, not about employment prospects. Walking around the floor at ESC and observing all the companies building PC/104 products was good to see. PCI/104-Express, our latest specification, is really taking off with companies showing products in PC/104, EPIC, and EBX form factors.

For the past year, the PC/104 Embedded Consortium has concentrated on promoting our specifications. Our marketing committee, headed by Michele Kasza of Connect Tech, did an excellent job. Michele was joined by Chris Ciufo of OpenSystems Media, Christian Blersch of E.E.P.D., Lisa Duckett of VersaLogic, Frank Guo of Axiomtek, Robi Haris of RTD, Patrick Hopper of OpenSystems Media, Aaron Kirchhofer of Tri-M Systems, Jonathan Miller of Diamond Systems, Alexey Pyatnitskikh of Fastwel, and Christine Van De Graaf of Kontron. The committee planned and coordinated trade shows, media opportunities, and website activities.

Last year, the PC/104 Embedded Consortium attended the ESC Silicon Valley, ESC Boston, Real Time & Embedded Computing Conference Santa Clara, and Embedded World trade shows. Member benefits were enhanced with media partner programs that included discounted print and online opportunities in publications and a user survey. Our media partners have developed articles and placement options and encouraged member-contributed articles.

If you have not visited the PC/104 Consortium website at lately, I encourage you to do so. It is the portal for PC/104 information. You can keep abreast of the latest specifications for free and check out the improved product section, where you can search by specification, member company, product type, or keyword. The product directory includes a picture, description, hotlinks, and company contact info for each product. It contains many more products and companies than in the past, and they are easier to find. If your company does not have its products listed here, you are missing a great benefit of Consortium membership.

The website lists more than 500 products, an increase of 100 products over the past year. There were 34,512 unique visits in March 2010 compared to 13,215 in March 2009, showing a 161 percent increase in traffic. Additionally, more than 1,000 leads were generated via the website and trade shows.

It is very important that the PC/104 Embedded Consortium present a clear and focused presence of PC/104 technology to avoid confusion in the marketplace. We must protect the Consortium’s trademarks, copyrights, and IP for our members’ benefit. We will monitor technological advancements for possible inclusion into the PC/104 architecture.

The PC/104 Consortium has continued its open communications with members through its open member forum at every board meeting and by keeping technical and marketing committees open to voting and nonvoting members (as observers). If you are interested in participating in the PC/104 Embedded Consortium or on a committee, contact Jeff Milde at the PC/104 Consortium office.

PC/104 Consortium 916-270-2016 •