There is no longer a debate about using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions in the military. That’s because government agencies find it much more cost-effective to use inexpensive, off-the-shelf boards and assemblies in lieu of proprietary boards. Using COTS doesn’t mean heading out to a retail store and buying the same systems found in a typical office. Many of the military’s COTS-based systems require modification to withstand the harsh conditions common in the soldier’s environment. Instead of starting from scratch, many designers are using a building-block approach, purchasing a basic COTS system and then adapting the configuration to meet application-specific requirements.

Reprinted with permission from CompactPCI Systems / January 2004. Article © OpenSystems Publishing.