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Exploring the COTS Opportunity

by Asif Anwar | 11月 26, 2010

The growth of embedded computers in military systems represents a multi-billion dollar opportunity that is expected to continue to grow despite expected softening in the US and total military budgets. The growth is projected due to ongoing increases in the use of computationally intensive systems across a range of military applications.  By addressing the need to manage the ongoing evolution of technology hardware and software, companies in the military embedded computer space are tapping into a predictable and growing business opportunity by ensuring system reliability and performance over time. While obsolescence is an issue in any system with a significant life span, the attempt to use COTS devices with inherently shorter commercial lives in platforms with inherently longer military lives aggravates the problem.  Further flexibility in both hardware and software is required to support developers who, while appreciating the economic advantages of COTS devices, push the performance frontiers with requirements that require significant modification of COTS systems making them “Kind-of-off-the-shelf” or KOTS systems.  Significant advances are expected at the multicore microprocessor level as well in other device categories. Advances in RTOS that are capable of supporting mixed environments will continue to evolve to take advantage of improvements in flexible software environments. This flexibility will support the development of systems that can rapidly integrate with existing capabilities and related systems. It will also support the evolution of these systems during upgrade cycles and will reduce the cost for managing obsolescence avoidance.   There are numerous applications which cover land, sea, and air needs where systems with greater intelligence or potential for value-added use of embedded computers will become increasingly important, with the autonomous unmanned vehicle a prime example.  Commercial market capabilities that are offering increased computing power at significantly lower power consumption will find ongoing opportunities in the military sector.  For further information on this topic, see the following reports;
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