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The Computer-On-Module approach

Each time a new product must be placed on the market, it becomes necessary to spend a lot of time in the development and successive validation phases.

 

Therefore, any solution that allows reducing time, or recycling any of the work already done, is particularly appreciated in a world where the time-to-market requirement is getting shorter by the day. For this purpose, the modular approach represented by Computer-On-Module solutions, like Qseven® and COM Express™ modules, becomes an optimal solution, which can ensure compatibility, long term availability and scalability.


The availability of standard interfaces allows the customers to focus only on designing the carrier board, which can be perfectly tailored to the design requirements, and taking into consideration possible future evolutions. The scalability offered by a modular approach allows, taking advantage of standard off-the-shelf modules, choosing the one that best fits the project requirements, and focusing all development resources on design-specific interfaces.

 

In this way, possible problems due to obsolescence of the devices are reduced to a minimum: it will be possible at any time to replace the COM module with one of higher performance or even of a newer generation, while maintaining compatibility and therefore reducing validation time and cost.

By making all the interfaces available through only a few pins, COM solutions allow a significant reduction of complexity and effort required for the development of the customer’s specific application interfaces: in most cases, only the routing of the interface buses to application-dedicated connectors is required, whether standard or not. Furthermore the software development can be optimized with this kind of approach: the manufacturer of the module provides the necessary drivers for the module, and also the support (via BIOS or BSP) of the standard peripherals contained on the reference carrier board. The customer can therefore focus on the development of the application software, relying on the continuity of support for the hardware layer.


Last but not least, the use of off-the-shelf standard modules combined with custom carrier boards can help in reducing global costs, even for low-volume mass production. In these cases, due to the low volume of production, it would be not possible to obtain low prices on the most expensive components, like the processor, the memory chips and so on. By using standard modules, instead, it is possible to reduce the impact of these devices on the final cost of the assembled system.

 

ETX® Standard

Benefits:
Quick Time-to-Market
Flexibility
Innovative and Upgradable
Easy Cabling
For Legacy Technology

 

Winning Formula
The ETX® (Embedded Technology eXtended) architecture is based upon two elements: the ETX® CPU Module and the ETX® Baseboard.

The ETX® CPU modules have a compact size (95x114mm) and four standard high density connectors through which the ISA bus, PCI bus and the most common I/O signals in a PC are conveyed to the ETX® Baseboard. The connectors are placed on the baseboard which is generally designed on the customer’s requirements. For ETX® baseboards, SECO provides off-the-shelf solutions but also offers its extensive know-how for custom baseboard design.
This solution allows the customer to keep the same mechanical casing or chassis that contains the embedded CPU system however diversifying or updating the performance of the product by simply exchanging the ETX CPU module. Another advantage is the possibility of creating a wider range of final products with different performance and /or features by simply using different CPU modules, avoiding additional design costs and risks.

 
 

 



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