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Make vs Buy - 6 Reasons Buying From Xiphos May Be Better Than Doing It Yourself

When it comes to space computing solutions, you have options: build it yourself in-house, which could divert resources from the rest of your project; buy a ready-made solution that may not perfectly match your needs; or buy a ready-made processing SOM and design a daughterboard tailored to your requirements.

At Xiphos, we give our customers the flexibility of purchasing a processing SOM or a fully integrated solution, as well as options in between. So, if you’re debating between building a space computing solution in-house or buying it, here are the six reasons why you should choose Xiphos over doing it yourself.

Xiphos VS DYI

1. PROVEN reliability

One of the main issues folks may have with buying a ready-made solution, rather than doing it yourself, is that you can’t be sure how reliable the solution will be. After all, not all commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based processing solutions are created equal.

At Xiphos, we understand how crucial reliability is for your missions. Our track record is impressive—we have a long history of successful Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) missions (more than 210, in fact) and 2,000 processor boards delivered with zero board failures. You can rely on our innovative, SWaP-C-optimized space solutions even in the most challenging conditions.

2. Proven Expertise

Some in-house teams already have expertise in designing electronics for robust operation in the space environment, leveraging COTS components. If your in-house team has already designed other boards, they may as well do a processor, too. It may seem like a no-brainer.

But designing a processor board in-house can be time consuming and expensive, and the level of robustness and refinement you’ll get from a Xiphos product (currently on its eighth generation) will exceed your team’s initial design. 

When you use a Xiphos product, you’ll enjoy a host of benefits like a supervisor processor, redundant boot, diagnostic port, radiation latch-up protection, radiation fault detection and notification infrastructure, and robust toolchain with complete customization capabilities—all delivered in a fully space-qualified package.

3. Keep your IP

Many teams want to keep their IP in-house. We agree. That’s why we give you full access to all the necessary computing, FPGA, and I/O resources, plus the development toolchain you need to build your IP on top of our hardware platform.

4. Cost-effectiveNESS

Building your own product may seem cheaper initially, but once a parts program, qualification campaign, tool suite development, and documentation suite are considered, the full lifecycle will be more expensive than anticipated. 

Additionally, there is always an opportunity cost to a development project, and buying from Xiphos allows you to avoid diverting resources away from your core mission technologies. At Xiphos, we offer unmatched price, performance, and reliability—ensuring you always get the highest quality product at the most efficient cost. We’ve been designing for new space since 2002 and offer the best value in the industry.

5. Custom interfaces

Many of our customers need a unique selection and quantity of interfaces that they can’t realistically expect from a standard product. We sell processor-only boards so you can develop daughterboards that perfectly fit your project’s individual needs.

We also have a variety of standard daughterboards, which sometimes provide a superset of the capabilities. For instance, a Xiphos daughterboard might offer double the storage, Ethernet, and Serial interfaces required, but if the SWaP is still acceptable, it can be a good candidate as it doesn’t require any further development.

6. Custom form factor

Xiphos processor boards are designed to be as small as possible, giving you maximum flexibility in packaging them. For example, the Q7 is about the size of a business card. This allows you to design your own daughterboard that conforms to your application's unique form factor requirements. Dozens of Xiphos customers have successfully implemented their own daughterboard design. Xiphos even offers design review services to ensure the daughterboard to Q-Card interfaces are correctly implemented.

Xiphos products occupy a unique place between standard and custom: our customers get the benefit of standard, well-tested products while also gaining the ability to tailor those products to their specific needs.

Building a reliable in-orbit processor is a challenging task. The harsh conditions of space simply don't allow for mistakes, and neither can you afford to waste money on a product that doesn't hold up in the challenging circumstances your mission demands.

If you're debating between building a processing board in-house or buying it from a company like Xiphos, you can't weigh your options too carefully! While an in-house solution may seem preferable for IP, cost, or customization, you can't beat the reliability of a long-established provider like Xiphos—and many times, buying a product can still give you cost reduction, IP control, and full customization.

Whether you require a processor for a satellite OBC or C&DH system, a payload, or to provide processing needs for a lander, rover, or robotics solution, we hope this blog helps.


Curious to know more about Xiphos products? Dive into our range of processors and find the perfect solution for your mission, or simply contact sales@xiphos.com to learn more.


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