Computer-On-Module Designs for the Future of Portable Devices
For mobile and handheld device manufacturers, the evolution of Compute-On-Module (COM) products has largely been a story of more capable modules being developed to better meet the need for small size, low power, and good performance. In order to meet competitive imperatives, the need for f lexibility and low cost has played a key role as well. With every new generation of technology, engineers must balance all those factors, and in doing so, they must look forward to ongoing compatibility with future components, in order to avoid costly redesign down the road.
With the introduction of the Intel® Atom™ processor, the basis for very low-power, high-performance x86-based COM modules has entered the market. Offering a combination of robustness, low cost, and small form factor, this processor has ushered in a large number of innovative, Windows-ready COM products that break new ground for portable devices as diverse as patient monitors, remote controlled robots, mobile test and measurement systems, and mobile casino games:
Because of the small form factor of the Intel Atom processor, module manufacturers have been able to create modules that are smaller than the sizes specified by the PICMG COM Express standard by as much as 50 percent or more. While those small footprints enable smaller devices, their divergence from the standard adds a new layer of complexity to the choice of modules, since pin-out compatibility with existing COM Express-based device designs is not necessarily assured. Moreover, future planning must include flexibility for next-generation I/O and the obsolescence of legacy technologies like IDE and FWH, as well as avoiding vendor lock-in or the need for redesign.
To view the full white paper and read more about Com Express solutions from RadiSys – go to http://www.radisys.com/comexperts/
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