"TASKING is a company that we’ve used for a long time for development tools and they continue to grow,” commented DISTek founder and CEO Matt Dickinson. “I think TASKING is going to be with us for a long time."

The Company

DISTek Integration Inc., employs over 100 people across 6 offices in 4 mid-western states with their main office in Cedar Falls, IA. It was founded in 1988 by Matt Dickinson, a former John Deere employee. DISTek draws from decades of experience across hundreds of successful off-highway projects to develop software for electronic controls, electro-hydraulic controls, and vehicle network systems in industries such as agriculture, construction, and forestry. “If you see a large off-highway vehicle — tractor, combine, crawler — in a field or on a construction site, there is a good chance that DISTek software is running under the hood,” said Executive Vice President Jeremy Yoder. “That’s our focus, those giant off-highway machines, that software that’s on the machine controlling it — transmission controls, steering controls, anything that involves the hydraulics or the guidance.”

The Challenge

In the early 2000s, DISTek was moving from lower-performance processors to high performance, transportation-optimized processors for work with its main customers. At the time, those customers were just probing the boundaries of autonomously driven vehicles and increased performance was critical to that mission.

The Solution

In collaborative evaluation with their customers, DISTek found the tools delivered by TASKING would fit the bill better than any other vendor. Now the relationship between TASKING and DISTek has passed through more than a decade. While they write a good deal of software for sophisticated, high-power processors, they still have projects that use smaller processors for specific tasks. TASKING helps them there as well with tools for the ever-popular 8051-family of 8-bit microcontrollers.

The Results

As the projects and computing power have evolved, so have TASKING’s tools. This is critical for DISTek’s business as their customers demand more and more complex functions and products. With regular TASKING updates, DISTek remains armed to handle any computing situation. In 1980, the average U.S. farm produced right at 100 bushels per acre (yield). Now, that number has surpassed 200 bu/ac...in less than 40 years. It had taken about 60 years to move from the 25 bu/ac with manual methods to 100 bu/ac. The technology that led to smashing the 100 bu/acre barrier was new methods of pollination, nitrogen fertilizer, pesticides, and mechanized agriculture tools. Much of the doubling to 200 is due to the electronics and embedded software to run them. Farms are precisely mapped and every inch is optimized for maximum production. Tractors can steer themselves and can duplicate planting from year-to-year within an inch. They use less fuel, fewer seeds, and much less fertilizer and pesticides...all very good things, and all because of embedded software. Embedded software and the electronics it controls truly helps feed the world. And DISTek has used TASKING as its exclusive compiler since 2009.