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VersaLogic Rugged SBCs - The Story Behind The Names

VersaLogic Rugged SBCs - The Story Behind The Names

Posted by Laura B
October 08, 2021

25 Feb 2021

We have worked with VersaLogic for a long time, and have often wondered where the product names originated. We've seen everything from Jaguars and Cougars right through to Ospreys and Tetras, all with unique product design.

In this blog post VersaLogic uncovers the reasoning and technological taxonomy of their most popular embedded computer boards.

25 Feb 2021

Initially, VersaLogic, similar to other suppliers of industrial embedded computers, used only product codes. They started off being short and were intended to convey something about the product.

One example of this was the VSBC-2. “V’ stood for VersaLogic and “SBC” signified that it was a single board computer. Being short, it was easy to use and remember by customers and sales alike. As the product range grew and more variants of the various product families were introduced, VersaLogic could see that product codes would eventually become more unwieldy. For example, a recently launched product, named Harrier, has the following product code for one of its variants: VL-EPU-4011- EDP-08X-32 - not an easy one to remember, despite the significance of each letter. Hence the name 'Harrier'.

How Important is a Name?

Looking at it from another angle - would “Squirrel” have been an appropriate name for Ford to use instead of “Mustang”? It’s a good bet that they wouldn’t have had the same success with their product.

So, knowing that the product name should complement the performance or ruggedness of the product, VersaLogic went on a hunt. A wide variety of name types were considered: rocks, gemstones, constellations, aircraft and automobiles were some early contenders. All of these were rejected for various reasons. In some cases, such as with automobiles, rejection was due to potential trademark issues. In other cases, such as constellations, the long Latin names might not be so memorable or be a tongue twister. Rocks and gemstones are passive, and it was desirable to use names that convey a sense of power. The name hunt turned into an animal hunt (no animals were harmed in the writing of this blog!)

Choosing the Right One...

There are many different animal classes. Insects were ruled out quickly – the name “ant” doesn’t convey high performance to most people! Just focusing on vertebrates, that opens up mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Within each of those classes, there are several families. Cats and bears are both families of mammals. And lower down the classifications hierarchy are species, for example, the Lion is a species of cat. All in all, animals were the perfect choice: no trademark issues, names that could convey power, and many families. Even further, different families could be allocated to each board type, such as cats for PC/104 boards, and there are many species within a family so that new names can be assigned to new products as they are launched.

On To a Winner

Time has shown that using animal names is preferred by most, compared to part numbers. They are easier to remember, and easier to communicate and understand during conversation. Many other manufactures use a similar approach. For example, Intel’s processor code names, such as Apollo Lake or Denverton, make it much easier to remember processor families.


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