A Field Replaceable Unit (FRU) is a circuit board, piece or assembly which is quickly and temporarily removed from a computer or other piece of electrical device, and substituted with another. As its name implies, whenever a FRU is to be changed or serviced, a new one has to be supplied. Generally, this is not a difficult task as all FRU’s have a serial number which denotes to the manufacture, the date when the device was produced, and the part number which identify the component that has been removed. However, in certain instances, simple replacement might not be enough and in such instances, the whole board has to be replaced. The process of changing a FRU board is generally very easy, although the procedure can become quite complicated under certain conditions.
There are many advantages of FRUs over circuit boards
The first and the most obvious advantage is that FRUs are extremely compact and are less expensive than circuit boards. The next advantage of FRUs is that they can easily be replaced in less than thirty seconds. This reduces the downtime for a business and it enables a company to have uninterrupted production. As they are extremely compact and have less weight than circuit boards, they also consume less electricity. In addition, they require less space because unlike circuit boards they do not require a base unit.
While it is true that FRUs are a more advanced technology than circuit boards, they are relatively cheaper and more flexible in terms of application
It is possible to attach a standard hard disk, a CD/DVD burner, or even an external hard drive to a FRU and, thus, expand the capacity of a computer system. On the other hand, a FRU does not provide any additional functionality other than making it possible to add drives to it. For example, a computer can be configured to include a single optical disc drive, one CD writer, or even more CD/DVD drives. Also, a FRU can incorporate a ribbon port that allows data to be input into a computer system without physically connecting the drives to the motherboard.
Although all FRUs look like a standard component, they differ in a number of factors such as their pins, their drive connectors, their internal components (such as chips), and the way in which they are populated. Depending on the application and the type of computer system in use, the field replaceable unit fru (FRU) should be customized to fit the specific needs of the computer system. For example, a typical motherboard is considered to be a FRU when it is able to support a minimum of three peripheral component interconnect (PCI) cards, but a single peripheral card is not considered to be a FRU if it is capable of only accepting standard ATA ports.
However, many older motherboards have an eight-pin power supply connector that is not considered to be a FRU
Some motherboards are not compatible with certain older chip sets, such as the AGP slot. Motherboards have been known to have problems with their serial port drivers. While these issues may seem trivial, they can actually cause a FRU to fail. It is extremely important to keep the correct motherboard components when replacing a FRU.
If your motherboard is not an eligible candidate for a FRU, there are other options
Many older computers do not support the Firewire port, which is required for a FRU to work. The best solution for a non-fireswitching motherboard is to replace the remaining component and fuse it to an unused 8-pin power connector. Many older motherboards have chips that will support only a single Firewire port, so having a compatible chip on hand is very important. If the only Firewire port available is supported by your motherboard, then your ESD will need a converter box.
The final type of motherboard that you may encounter is one that supports both SATA and IDE devices
There are many motherboards that have an ATX form factor that will work with an IDE disk set, but not a SATA disk. The best option for you will be finding an ATX to SATA adapter and placing it between your existing motherboard and your IDE hard drive. This will allow you to use SATA disks even if your motherboards are unable to support them.
When you are shopping for a FRU, it is important to consider the different types of components that make up your computer. Every component is rated for a certain level of power consumption. The type of power supply you have will determine how much power each component can consume. Also, you should know the maximum load that any component can take before it will fail. The reason a component will fail or become unstable is usually due to overheating. If you are using your computer frequently, you should change the rating of your components regularly in order to avoid problems.