If you are planning to use the maker board (processor based) for your product development, I would suggest considering the following six critical parameters before selecting an embedded board:
1. Longevity / Long-term Availability — maker boards do not come with any long-term availability guarantee, that makes it very difficult to choose a maker board and develop a product. If you plan to use maker board, think about how you will make sure these boards are still available when you start selling your product?
2. Warranty — In general, maker boards do not come with any warranty or if at all, it would be one or two months. Want to use a board with no warranty?
3. Technical Support — maker boards rely on community support where open forums are available and developers can ask questions. Can you rely on community support for the timely delivery of your project?
4. Scalability — maker boards, most of the time, do not have compatible boards which could be used as a replacement and/or offer different performance so that the developer can choose depending on their requirement. What would you do once you are done with the development and all of a sudden some request comes in for better performance?
5. Industrial Grade —makers boards, most of the times, miss the operating temperature information. Moreover, they don’t even do any temperature tests, which makes you wonder about the reliability.
6. Flexibility — most maker boards comes as a Single Board Computer and loses flexibility. Developers cannot modify anything, they need to use it as it is. They cannot add or remove any interface. They can’t even upgrade the protections available. Even the enclosure has to be made as per the board form factor, shape, size and with the same position of the interfaces available on the board. How about if you wanted a circular enclosure?
Do you need a professional Industrial grade embedded platform with longevity, warranty, support, scalability, flexibility?
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NOTE: This article was originally published on Medium.