Design Con 2015

Modules for embedded systems

December 20, 2012

Ken.Wada-December 20, 2012

Motion-control modules
In general, motion-control solutions are black boxes, or board level type products. By board level, I mean PC104, PCI, or even the well-aged VME bus. However, one can get a module that may be integrated into a machine. Some of these, such as the Pololu solution may be no more than a SoC on a break-out board. Others, such as Delta-Tau, are a full-featured indexer or servo controller that is built on a PCB.

Pololu Robotics, motion-control modules
http://www.pololu.com/catalog/category/9

Delta Tau, motion-control modules
www.deltatau.com/DT_Products/ProductDetailDescription.aspx?CatID=100-TURBO%20CLIPPER

Other
Do you need GPS tracking on your embedded system? How about a full featured UAV avionics package so you can enable your company to sell a commercial version of the technology currently being used by our national security service and the military? There are modules for that too!

Trimble, GPS modules
http://www.trimble.com/embeddedsystems/condor-gps-module.aspx?dtID=overview&

UAV Navigation, UAV avionics on a module
http://uavnavigation.org/?q=motion-processing

Did you know that the FAA has made significant progress in enabling UAS, (Unmanned Aerial Surveillance) in the U.S. airspace? Here is the announcement from the FAA.
http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=68004

I know the above list is a very small sample of what is out there. So, now I turn the floor over to you, our audience. What kind of modules have you found useful for solving a particular problem? Even molded assemblies, such as molded optical or industrial sensor assemblies are considered as modules.

Any vendors are most welcome to drop a word or two about what they think may be useful to our community. However, be warned, I am sure there are a lot of folks here who are very discerning about what they choose to include or not include in their current designs.

If any of you would like me to discuss a specific technology in the module arena, please feel free to comment, or e-mail me. I will be more than happy to do a bit of research and do a write up expressing my views on a specific module technology in the future.

Ken Wada is president and owner of Aurium Technologies, an independent product design and consulting firm in California's Silicon Valley. Ken has over 25 years of experience architecting and designing high-tech products and systems, including the FASTRAK vehicle-sensing system for toll roads and bridges. His expertise includes industrial automation, biotechnology, and high-speed optical networks. Ken holds four patents. You may reach him at krwada@cs.com.

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