XinaBox developed the xChips concept with a vision of creating a technology, which high-school students could use to build electronic modules without the need for laboratory. The goal was to develop a technology so simple and inexpensive that high-school learned around the world could build electronic circuits without the need of instruments, soldering, wiring or any other hardware knowledge, allowing teacher with limited experience to teach electronics and get to a state of programming/coding very quickly.
The technology should be robust and sophisticated to a degree that students would build a satellite using this technology.
The result is not only an Educational Technology (Ed Tech), but also a Rapid Internet of Things (IoT) development platform, allowing ICT/IT departments, which traditional have been focused on software development and no hardware development at all, to engage in the world of IoT, and at the same time reduce engineering overhead and speed up time to market, increasing Return on Investment.
The benefits of xChips:
- These small Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) results in a very rigid implementation, contrary to larger PCBs, which breaks the circuits when slightly bend or warped.
- The xChip connectors gives circuit flexibility, without breaking circuitry. This flexibility allows for high g-force and excess vibration absorption, resulting in a industrial grade high-tolerant implementation.
- The xChip connectors gives redundancy, allowing both power and signal lines to have alternative routes in the circuitry. This concept is similar to RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks), which was developed to lower the cost of disk capacity, and at the same time increasing the stability of a disk system. Similar the xChip connector allows for use of a practical, yet not expensive connectivity, but because of the redundancy, the connection is more stability than much more expensive connectivity solutions.
- Practical no physical limitation to expansion/scale. Most other modular systems require a base PCB with limited number of available slots (2-4 slots).
- Time to market is reduced since the prototype can be quickly replicated using interns or similar low-cost workforce. It also means that proprietary development doesn't necessary leave the organisation, and the Intellectual Property can be secured.
- Accidental disconnection quickly fixed, most other solutions requires you to go back to your assembly instructions/drawings.
- No hardware consideration:
- All power sorted, no need for power conversion nor level shifting.
- No need for understanding the various pins on the connector, they are not even marked.
- No specific order of assembly required.
- No need for soldering for default use, and for alternative use, soldering is easy and still don’t require hardware knowledge.
- Standard sizing and mounting points, means standard housing/enclosures.
- Naming standard means fast identification not only of actual xChip, but also functionality, ie SW01, is a Sensor, Weather, not named based on the manufactures Chip Set.