Adding the Apple "Wow Factor" to New Products


Advantage Awarded Apple's Developer & Contract Manufacturing, Made for "i" or MFI License

Advantage has been awarded the prestigious Apple “Made For i” or MFi license to develop and build products and peripherals utilizing Apple’s iPod, iTouch, iPhone and iPad. The Apple MFi developers license grants us the ability to leverage the infrastructure of the “i” class family of Apple products (iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad) to create and manufacture new products.


Advantage is developing products that utilize the iOS platform for the user interface which provides a stable interface and leverages the “wow” factor for which Apple is renowned. In addition, we have also obtained the Apple iOS license so we may use Apple’s software to develop applications for Apple-branded products running the ”i” operating systems:

  • iPhone
  • iPod Touch
  • iPad
  • Apple TV


Advantage president and CEO Jody Singleton states “The Apple iPhone/iPod iTouch/iPad platform is a real force shaping technology today. Leveraging it offers an extraordinary way to implement sophisticated technology, shorten development time and add a real “wow factor” to a product. We sought this license because it gives Advantage greater flexibility, which expands our options when we are creating innovative electronic products for our clients. We anticipate that the MFi & iOS licenses will serve as a bridge to enhance our product development capabilities and is a natural next step for our manufacturing capability.”

With these official licenses from Apple to design and build devices and/or peripherals that utilizes their products directly or as adjunct technology, Apple has granted permission to use their technology in conjunction with our development of an intuitive new medical device. We have two additional projects underway, including one in the field of energy efficiency and another in instrumentation. We are pleased that the licenses have already begun to contribute to the capabilities of the products we are developing and building.


Embedded Devices Driving Enormous Change in the World


The first monolithic integrated circuits designed to reduce size and weight on NASA’s Apollo spaceflight that eventually landed the first humans on the moon were absolutely the ultimate in technology back in the ’60’s. One of the most speculative elements of the spacecraft was the newly developed Apollo Guidance Computer, for which these much smaller, lighter devices were developed, driven by the need to reduce craft weight It was introduced at the beginning of the revolution in electronics … and it worked! The world began to accept this new engineering science as the future.


Hot on the heels of space exploration came related sciences such as orbiting communications satellites that enabled the design of the first crude handheld cellular phone in 1973. It is absolutely amazing to think that when you look around today, people carry within their own pocket a cell phone possessing more capability than America initially had to send astronauts to the moon! The cell phone is itself a piece of electronic hardware with tremendous capability and complexity, the majority of which is contained within the embedded processors and firmware that control it. As we become more and more connected, thoroughly integrated microcontrollers, embedded systems offer significant increases in processing power and functionality, aims that have impelled the future of electronics since those pioneer days.

As transformative science, technology, and engineering continue their expansion, embedded processing offers the potential to solve future world problems and further improve quality of life. The Arabic movements are showing us that even political movements are being affected by the power of embedded technologies. The vast array of possibilities causes people to ask –”what can we accomplish with all of this capability? Society already benefits from hundreds of microprocessors in our iPods and household appliances, our consumer electronics and cars but the real impact of embedded systems lies in such technologies as life-saving medical instruments, clean energy power generation or robotics for dangerous work. Human-interface devices like audio and speech recognition help formerly handicapped students learn. Wearable sensors give seniors independence with general health and wellness monitoring. In nearly every field of human endeavor, embedded technologies are making improvements in our lives.


Contrary to current trends in other fields, electronic product development continues to innovate. Through real innovation with user-friendly interfaces, Apple has just experienced 70% growth in profit in the midst of a major downturn. The surge causes Apple to surpass Microsoft and inch up on America’s largest corporation, (Exxon) for position as America’s largest company. If the past is a good indicator of the future, the world is going to continue to experience tremendously increased capabilities of various embedded processors used in electronic products. Platforms like Apple iPhone, Microelectromechanical (MEMS) sensors and embedded technologies are certain to continue improving the quality of life in many sectors including evolving green energy solutions, robotics, avionics, data collection & storage, even portable and embedded medical devices.


Why A Focus on Embedded Design?

Over the past several years, technological advances have produced a number of accomplishments in all categories of electronic products. Embedded processors specifically are playing a pivotal role in delivering these advances. Offering unmatched power efficiency and high performance where processing intensive tasks are required, they have become a practical and cost-effective solution.


Devices such as instrumentation are now faster and more accurate. The efficiencies of embedded designs enable equipment developers to advance to handheld and portable products with performance that was once only available with large, fixed equipment.


Contrasting ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits), embedded processors are intrinsically flexible, programmable devices, that can be field upgraded with the latest features. Field upgrades dramatically extend the life of installed and portable equipment alike. Enabling users or product manufacturers to download updated software keeps electronic equipment in use, with less down-time for repairs or service as well. The use of embedded processors not only reduce design costs and time to market they increase the end-product’s life, improve overall performance, improves efficiency and lower its power consumption.


There are many, many types of special-purpose embedded devices available extending from multiple sensor arrays to wireless communications, user interfaces, custom displays, imaging and specialty communication interfaces such as Infiniband and PCIe. Embedded processors performing pre-defined jobs are generally dedicated to very specific requirements for the system or device they control.

Benefits of embedded processors include:

  1. Rapid prototyping
  2. Urgent time-to-market designs and ability to perform concurrently
  3. Logic emulation
  4. Reconfigurable computing
  5. Custom-computing hardware
  6. Reduced costs
  7. Field upgradeable
  8. Low cost chipsets and peripherals
  9. Develop software on off-the-shelf while hardware is designed
  10. Combine custom and off-the-shelf hardware (PCI, MiniPCI, PC/104 etc.)
  11. Good design tools, open source operating systems
  12. Wide performance range (8088 to Pentium 4)
  13. Small design risk – test your configuration using evaluation boards


Unparalleled speed of evolution in embedded technology and intense market competition mean that electronic product development is relentlessly driven by the utilization of the latest technologies. The future will go to the creative, flexible and the furiously fast.

The creative, flexible, furiously fast team at Advantage is waiting to give you an overview of our development process and the technologies we employ. We utilize a full complement of engineering modalities to accomplish our client’s goals.

You Can Rely on Advantage to Design & Build Your Apple i Class Products

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