The question for many device development managers is whether to stay with time-tested, proprietary software and hardware components or transition to less costly off-the-shelf components. Leveraging homegrown real-time operation systems, FPGAs and ASICS, OEMs seek to differentiate with respect to time-critical performance and reliability. But this specialty component approach comes at a price. Unique components may create hardware and software compatibility issues; increase the cost of maintaining aging proprietary systems and introduce security holes.