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Linux-focused board vendors merge

Feb 29, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Linux-focused single-board computer vendors Arcom and Applied Data Systems (ADS) will merge to form Eurotech, Inc., which will operate as the main U.S. branch of European embedded equipment vendor Eurotech, the companies announced. Parvus, Eurotech's other U.S.-based embedded board and PC subsidiary, will continue to operate separately.

Hilary Tomasson, VP of marketing at ADS, explained, “Eurotech Group has certainly done a lot of acquisitions recently. Now, they are stepping back, and looking at making the most of the strengths of the companies they have.”

Eurotech acquired Arcom for $26 million in early 2006. Later that year, it acquired ADS for $41.5 million. Eurotech's holdings in the U.S. also include Utah-based rugged board and system vendor Parvus, which it acquired in 2003. Parvus will likely continue to operate independently, due to its special focus on military and transportation markets, Tomasson suggested.

Tomasson said that ADS and Arcom make a good match, due to their complementary approaches to the board market. While Arcom has focused on off-the-shelf and custom boards in standard form factors such as PC/104, ADS has focused on developing unique form factors of its own, such as the 3×5, 4×6, and freshly updated Bitsy product families. This means that the companies' product lines at least have little overlap, Tomasson said.

Tomasson said that while “some efficiencies” would be created by the merger, she did not expect layoffs. “It appears that the level of business in each organization is fine,” she said.

Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Arcom employs about 30, including eight engineers. ADS employs about 80 in its Columbia, MD headquarters, and keeps a team of six Linux engineers in Virginia. Additionally, ADS has a 65 percent share of Chengdu Vantron Technology Ltd., a research and development company based in Chengdu, China.

Eurotech, Inc. plans to share more news about its merger in mid-April, at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in San Jose, Tomasson said.

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