The U.S. military and companies in heavy industries such as mining, transportation, warehousing, logistics and public safety all have strict requirements for personal computers. First and foremost, their PCs must be ruggedized to endure physical abuse, extreme heat and cold, and exposure to moisture, even submersion. At the same time, these rugged PCs need computing functionality that’s on par with the latest commercial PCs, but surpasses them in security and global communications capabilities. Customers looking for this type of computer also require very specific peripheral features targeted at missioncritical tasks. But up until recently, these buyers have been forced to use standard, off-the-shelf PCs that often don’t fully meet their needs.

This deficiency presented our design group at RMT, Inc., with the enormous challenge of designing a modular and customizable computing solution—a “common platform” that truly executed the customers’ strictest requirements and met their expectations. Savvy R&D teams know the pitfalls of trying to build a “onesize-fits-all” device, which too often results in a kluge of difficult compromises. Our design team set out to defy the odds and engineer a truly adaptable computer platform that would be field-reconfigurable and customizable at the circuit level, while at the same time remaining an elegant, rugged and user-friendly system.

Reprinted with permission from Xcell Journal / First Quarter 2009. Article © Xcell Journal.