Benthic Sciences LLP
Hi-Grade House, The Street, Acle, Norfolk NR13 3DY, United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0) 1493 753 200
Fax: +44 (0) 1493 753 209

Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Modules
There are lots of advantages to using Commercial off the Shelf processor modules in the
production of electronic equipment for commercial, industrial and defence applications

Speed to Market - Where limited numbers are to be produced, COTS modules are
significantly lower in cost and faster to procure than new designs, typically by several orders
of magnitude.

Design Commonality - If care is taken in the initial specification of the board, it can be
used over a number of projects. This leads to advantages such as code re-use, low inventory
count and stock levels, faster project development and avoiding the design diva's appetite for
the latest over hyped new processor/operating system.

Extensive Capabilities - Most processor boards are significantly over specified for their
actual application and provide lots of spare capacity for the inevitable last minute
requirement changes and the extension of system functionality over the product's life.

Disadvantages - Most COTS boards are specified as suitable for an industrial situation and
there is a risk that they will not be robust enough to withstand the physical and
electromagnetic stresses of more extreme environments.

Benthic Sciences have extensive experience in the use of COTS equipment and the
problems that are likely to be encountered, particularly in a shipborne environment. Such
applications usually involve an intial paper study to identify any potential risk areas,
reccomendations as to remedial actions and the specification of an appropriate test
procedure in order to demonstrate compliance.