COTS board developer to expand design teams - Embedded.com

COTS board developer to expand design teams

LONDON — Concurrent Technologies, a developer of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and custom designed industrial computer boards for real-time embedded applications, is expanding its design teams in both the U.K. and U.S.

The company, which was founded in 1985, is still supplying original Multibus II designs but now concentrates on Intel processor based VME, CompactPCI and AdvancedMC products, as well as PCI mezzanine cards.

Its main design team, based at its headquarters in Colchester, Essex, is due to be expanded from 22 to 29 by the end of 2007 while a recently established a satellite design centre near Cambridge, which at present houses three engineers, will be expanded to 12 but the end of 2007. The company is presently looking for hardware design engineers, firmware engineers and a senior test engineer.

In the U.S. the company has two design engineers in Chicago who are to move to its Boston facility and the team will be expand to seven by the end of 2007 with the additions including both digital and mechanical engineers. This team will specialize in ruggedizing products primarily for the U.S. defense markets.

Most of Concurrent Technologies engineering team is involved with software development, producing built-in self-test (BIST) firmware, porting operating systems, writing device drivers and producing networking software.

The company does board manufacture in-house in Colchester and plans to add a third production line in 2007 to meet increasing demand from the telecom and defense sectors. According to Jane Annear, the sales director, having its own production lines provides increased flexibility for the company.

The company is introducing an advanced mezzanine card (AdvancedMC) double width full height processor module suitable for AdvancedTCA, MicroTCA and proprietary platforms. The AM 100/20x uses the Dual-Core Intel Xeon processor and the Intel 3100 chipset, which combines server-class memory and I/O controller functions into a single component.

The AM 100/20x is designed for use in a variety of applications including wireless base stations, voice over IP, media-servers, blade-servers within the communication market as well as projects within the defense, security, and industrial markets.

Concurrent has four more Core Duo and Core 2 Duos based boards presently in development and is seeing increased demand for designs with more environmental protection and ruggedization. It is also nearing release of three additional CompactPCI boards and a VME switch card. It is also preparing for the launch of a MicroTCA starter system.

Concurrent is just to make a new batch of boards based on the Intel 186 processor but Annear says the biggest threat to the ongoing production of the older boards is the implementation of the RoHS regulations.

Concurrent is quoted on the AIM exchange in London and its brokers are predicting a 37 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in sales to £13 million for the financial year that ends in December with profits around £2 million, a CAGR of 214 percent. According to Glen Fawcett, Concurrent's CEO/managing director, the company has cash reserves that could be spent on acquisitions but these would need to be in a complimentary area to its present operations.

The company's sales split between the U.S. and Europe is roughly equal with small but increasing sales in the Far East. The company has a sales office in China and is looking to add more distribution outlets through the region.

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