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The medical community is currently facing great challenges. The requirements for technical equipment in the field of laboratory technology and medicine are changing rapidly. We talk to our Business Development Manager Harald Maier how modular solutions afford greater flexibility for this dynamically developing situation.
Harald Maier: Yes, in many cases this is possible if the conditions are right. We have already helped many of our customers over the last few years build their systems based on modular embedded technology. They can now respond to changing market requirements without having to redevelop or rework the entire device – particularly in challenging times like the present. By adapting the CPU module or using the modular expansion slots, they can cover new tasks and new functionality or even convert devices for new applications easily at short notice. As a result, they can rapidly ramp up capacity in laboratory and patient areas.
Harald Maier: The modular approach offers suitable conditions for this. Computer modules based on standardized form factors such as COM Express or SMARC can be easily exchanged. Mechanical parameters including thermal interface as well as connectors and their signal assignment are specified internationally and across industries by standardization committees. The modular approach and standardization allows scaling within a CPU generation with different derivatives to adjust computing speed and data throughput. Of course, upgrades can also be made from generation to generation, so that the device manufacturer can always benefit from the latest technology.
Harald Maier: Most manufacturers offer different versions for their devices, which differ in featureset, performance and price. For entry-level versions that offer less functionality and lower throughput, the limiting factor is usually reduced computing power. However, with the huge growing demand for testing capability we’re currently seeing, laboratories need more powerful devices. A modularly designed device can be easily upgraded, allowing manufacturers to turn a low-cost version into a high-end version prior to delivery simply by using a more powerful CPU module.