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Rugged Box Systems Gain More Functionality and Performance

For decades the military embedded computing industry basically revolved around the single board computer as the defining product category. Other subsystem boards and product all revolved around working alongside the popular SBCs and their form factors. That's now changed to where rugged box-level systems are now equally significant to SBCs. That's in part because military system developers continue to seek out higher levels of system integration. That's put rugged box-levels systems in the limelight for military decision makers.

Even though the number of product offerings have grown over the last year, a smaller set of vendors provided most of these new systems. Three technology trends dominant the latest crop of rugged box systems. First, there's an ongoing push to greater levels of performance. Many of the system employ chips like the Intel Quad Core i7 Broadwell processor or the Xeon-D server-class processor. Second, there's an emerging trend of combining complete subsystem functionalities that go beyond basic mission computing roles. Networking router technology and HD video recording functionality are two examples along those lines. And finally, there's a basic move toward smaller, lighter more compact systems driving by the general desire to reduce size, weight and power (SWaP) in military platforms.