Chasing Moore's Law - The Truth Behind the OS and CPU Upgrades for Industrial PC Users


The COTS (commercial, off the shelf) revolution has changed commercial computing, created personal computing, impacted telecommunications, and made huge changes in the industrial environment. Most of these changes have been incredibly beneficial, while some have been problematic and some have caused FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). This white paper discusses the COTS revolution and all the FUD that can come with it.

Beginning in the 1970s, electronics manufacturers started to use mass produced components and then integrated circuits to drive down the cost of devices. They began with “transistor radios” and ended in the present day with PDAs, inexpensive laptops like the ASUStek eeePC and throwaway cellular telephones.

Manufacturers standardized on a small palette of components because it allowed them to use economies of scale and economies of design and manufacture to drive features up while driving cost down. The COTS revolution has affected every part of commercial and industrial manufacturing, enterprise operations and even individual lives. COTS electronics hardware is now found in everything from electric blankets and washing machines to automobiles to industrial controllers and robots, along with office machines and communications networks. Manufacturers like Intel and AMD, for example, make millions of a single design of chip, allowing that chip to be made for a per-each cost that is incredibly small when compared to the per-each cost of the first VLSI integrated circuits made in the 1970s.