PTI Blog

Why Do We Utilize Microsoft Windows Software?

Posted by Janine Powell on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 @ 01:32 PM

All of Palomar Technologies’ robotic bonding systems utilize Microsoft® Windows® as the core operating system. Windows has been used on our systems since the Model 3500 Die Bonder was released in 1991. Palomar’s custom proprietary software user interface and control has been continuously enhanced, expanded, and maintained download.jfifover that time to accommodate new bonder systems, add new features across systems, and to enhance performance and stability.

Why Microsoft Windows Was the Superior Choice
When the 3500 was developed, Microsoft Windows was the only viable operating system that provided for installation on off-the-shelf hardware, relatively low licensing costs, accessible programming interfaces, and a state-of-the-art Graphical User Interface.

The software to provide for user interactive setup, calibration, testing, and programming of the 3500 was created by a relatively small software engineering team over a reasonably short period of time. No other operating system of that time made it as easy to create custom software and accommodate custom hardware interfacing and operation.

Why Microsoft Windows Continues to be the Superior Choice
Large User Base
Windows has grown to encompass a dominating position as a desktop operating system. Over the last 25+ years, it has also been adopted by many industrial equipment vendors as the core operating system for user interaction and process control. Most computer and equipment users at all education and experience levels have a ready familiarity with the use and maintenance of Windows systems.

Wide Range of Software
There is a large selection of off-the-shelf software available for Windows, all of which can be installed on Palomar bonder systems. Microsoft Excel® is regularly used by customers for custom data analysis and presentation. Microsoft Word® is used for reading, creating, and editing various documents. Some customers install computer management software so that the systems can be centrally managed in a standardized way by IT or other personnel.

Wide Range of Hardware
Windows supports a vast range of hardware. Computer motherboards, plug in boards, and peripherals from either consumer or industrial suppliers are all supported in Windows. Generally, any required drivers for the hardware are supplied by the manufacturer or directly by Microsoft.

Low Cost
The choice of an operating system has different types of costs involved:

One is the licensing cost for using the given operating system on a given piece of equipment. Microsoft Windows has a relatively low per-unit cost of anywhere from $100 to $200. On capital equipment where base machine lifetime is at least 15-20 years, this is a trivial cost.

Another cost is the training of the customer personnel in running the system. The use of Windows creates a comfortable starting point for the vast majority of users already familiar with the operating system in other daily personal or professional use, reducing training costs.

Finally, maintenance of the system can be an ongoing cost. Palomar maintenance contracts usually alleviate any concern about repairs or replacement of the main computer. However, ongoing periodic customer managed maintenance is going to be an aspect of owning a system of any complexity. With Windows at the core of the Palomar system, these maintenance procedures can be brought into existing standard customer IT processes with little added cost.

Ease of Development
Microsoft creates the highest quality software development tools available anywhere. These high quality tools coupled with extensive documentation from Microsoft and other sources make it easy to write software for the Windows platform. In addition, many third party providers make available commercial quality development tools and software libraries for Window.

Consistency
Palomar’s bonder software has had to evolve and adapt over the years to enable the release of new systems and more improved features on existing systems. Microsoft has maintained a continuation of support for all types of software written for all versions of Windows. Palomar has been able to provide a consistent user experience over the many versions of Windows and versions of Palomar software. This has allowed customers who have used Palomar systems for many years to continue to leverage their experience across all version of the software.

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A Valued Partnership
Palomar Technologies is proud to be a Microsoft Certified Partner since 2003.  The partnership with Microsoft requires that our software undergo periodic testing to ensure compliance with Microsoft’s high standards of OS compatibility and application robustness. Additionally, the partnership provides Palomar with significant resources, including the latest development tools and extensive development support. In 2016, Palomar reached the highest partnership tier with the Gold Application Development Competency.

The Next 25 Years
Palomar Technologies has successfully used Microsoft Windows for over 25 years. Microsoft continues to evolve Windows, enhancing the user experience, the security, and the reliability of the flagship operating system.

Palomar Technologies expects to leverage Microsoft Windows for many years to come, conceivably for the next 25 years. The Palomar systems being placed into customer use now need to be supported during that time and Microsoft Windows will be there to help make that happen.

Contact us to learn more about our software and equipment capabilities.

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Raul Rathmann
Senior Software Engineer
Palomar Technologies, Inc.