Market research firm Venture Development Corporation (VDC) announced its year 2003 “Platinum” and “Gold” vendor rating awards for makers of PC/104 and PC/104-Plus modules. PC/104 (and PC/104-Plus) is a board-level form-factor standard which defines a compact, stackable, modularly expandable implementation of the PC architecture for embedded… applications.
Earlier this year, VDC issued 2003 Platinum and Gold vendor rankings in the Single Board Computer (SBC) and Embedded Motherboard product categories. These PC/104 Family awards complete the series. The rankings are part of VDC's annual research reports on “merchant computer boards” for embedded and real-time applications.
How the ratings were derived
According to Eric Gulliksen, practice director of Venture Development's Embedded Hardware Research Group, the ratings were derived through the use of “an impartial model, proprietary to VDC.” “This model took into account such factors as breadth of product line, online resources, trade association membership, ISO certification, etc., as well as user perceptions,” Gulliksen added.
“Users were first asked, through an online survey, to identify those non-product criteria that they considered most important in evaluating a vendor,” Gulliksen explained. “These criteria included elements such as availability and delivery, price, and a variety of service and support factors. User respondents were then asked to name up to five vendors from whom they had purchased various types of merchant computer boards, and to rate each of these vendors on the same non-product criteria on a scale of one to four. This data was then aggregated and appropriately weighted to reflect the relative importance of the various criteria, combined with other data as indicated above, and entered into the model.”
“Platinum status was awarded to the 5% of VDC-identified vendors in each product category that achieved the highest numerical value from the execution of the model,” said Gulliksen. “Gold status was awarded to the next 10% of these vendors. The model was adjusted and executed separately for each product category.”
And the winners are . . .
VDC's 2003 “Platinum” and “Gold” PC/104 Family vendors are as follows, listed alphabetically within the two award classes:
- Digital-Logic AG
RTD Embedded Technologies, fka Real Time Devices USA
- Advantech Co., Ltd.
Ampro Computers, Inc.
Diamond Systems Corp.
Embedded Planet LLC
General Standards Corp.
“Because the model was heavily weighted toward user perception of non-product vendor selection criteria, those achieving Platinum or Gold status may feel comfortable that their firms are highly regarded in these respects by their customers,” commented Gulliksen. “Other vendors may wish to pay more attention to these factors.”
“VDC congratulates these winners on a job well done,” Gulliksen added.
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