Application Demands Drive Hardware Selection

Custom or off-the-shelf? Let the big picture lead your hardware design strategy

Early discussions in the system selection process between OEMs and ODMs should address key areas of performance and may even potentially challenge existing expectations about specific components such as processors or GPUs. Custom versus off-the-shelf is typically the first consideration, as OEMs determine if their application requires a standard set of capabilities and compute power, or something more.

A deeper dive will consider both options and will determine how each component’s individual features and capabilities fit within the larger system. Four essential areas include CPU, memory, storage, and GPU – and all should be addressed for performance needs while considering future scalability of the application. For example, understanding clock speed requirements is a critical consideration in choosing a CPU, along with whether or not the application demands any special type of caching. High-end processors have a variety of built-in caching capabilities, with some offering 8MB and others closer to 20MB. The difference between these two cache points impacts cost, making it worthwhile to determine what the application really requires. Higher cache is ideal for applications that need to process large data sets very quickly. But is that what your application demands?

In this approach, performance is right-sized, and longevity is considered – for example, the OEM may have an opportunity to embrace something significantly less costly, even while protecting a long-term product roadmap. Early discussions within the product development process will help OEMs avoid paying for 20MB of cache if it is not needed.  To begin the conversation with Dedicated Computing email us at


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