Filter: by Stephen St. Amant, PC/104 Consortium PresidentSee All
"It just doesn't go out of style." Is the blue blazer timeless? That's what I hear. What about PC/104? Absolutely. In the embedded market space, longevity is key. Embedded systems go through rigorous testing and qualification; the systems need to...
Let's take a moment to recall the significance of 1987 - thirty years ago. You may immediately think, "Yes. 1987. A fantastic year for the birth of tennis stars: Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, and Sara Errani were all born in '87." But I imagine your second thought is about PC/104, right? Well, it could be if you know your PC/104 history: 1987 marks the year that Ampro introduced the Little Board/PC single-board computer - one of the earliest seeds of the PC/104 ecosystem. Early collaborators such as Real Time Devices (now RTD Embedded Technologies) and Diamond Systems began developing compatible products as interest grew in the modular building block concept. By 1989, an innovative plug-in mezzanine concept was introduced; it was perhaps the first look at a stackable bus structure that could eliminate the need for a backplane. As the form and function of the 3.775-inch by 3.550-inch stackable PC architecture began to take shape, Ampro made the industry-changing decision to spin its proprietary form factor into an open standard. In 1992, twelve trailblazing companies would join together to establish the PC/104 specification and the consortium that bears its name. Stackable expansion buses, corner mounting holes, and a compact footprint proved to be a winning combination which quickly found popularity among embedded system designers. (Note: Many thanks to Rick Lehrbaum for his previous publications chronicling the early history of PC/104.)
There was a time when I watched the cooking competition television show "Chopped" somewhat regularly. It's an intense ingredients-based culinary challenge that pushes chefs to their limits under strict time constraints. Amidst the nearly endless food combinations available to the contestants, it seems as though every episode I watched included one person (and sometimes two or three) who used mascarpone cheese. Often in the dessert round, the chef's storytelling voiceover (dripping with tension) would recount, "I ran to the pantry. I grabbed the mascarpone ... "