ARM modules need new form factor, say embedded firms
ARM processor-based embedded module designs need a new interface standard, says supplier Kontron.
“Current COM standards do not address the needs of ARM/RISC specific designs,” said Dirk Finstel, CTO at Kontron.
Konton is proposing a Computer-on-Module (COM) standard that is optiomised for ARM-based designs.
“In the COM market today, we either see ARM being forced onto x86 optimized designs that lack ARM critical pin-outs, or we see specific ARM designs that are not future proof because they lack the inclusion of modern interfaces into their pin-out,” explained Finstel.
“This limitation in existing COM standards makes our case that there is a need for a new form factor now,” said Finstel.
The COM form factr Kontorn has created is based on a 314-pin MXM 3.0 connector that allows for a total package height of less than 5mm for both module and carrier.
Two module sizes are specified: a very compact “short” module measuring just 82 mm x 50 mm and a “full size” module measuring 82 mm x 80 mm.
The defined pin-out will be able to support both traditional features such as 24-bit RGB, and will be future proof by supporting more modern standards such as LVDS, HDMI and DisplayPort. Power consumption of these ARM/RISC solutions will be on the order of 3W.
Adlink Technology has announced that it will support the new COM standard for ARM-based embedded designs.
“Embedded technology has always leveraged parts that have been deployed on a large scale in the commercial field,” said Henk van Bremen, Product Director for Embedded Computing at Adlink Technology.
“For the first time, embedded customers will have the same wide choice of operating systems on ARM as on x86, enabling efficient implementations of new and complementary embedded applications based on ultra low-power devices, that were not possible with x86 based platforms,” said van Bremen.
The first Kontron ARM-based module early field testing platforms will be available in Q1 2012.
“We have been very successful with embedded form factor standardisation and particularly with ETX and COM Express standards,” said Finstel of Kontron.
“It is exciting to be able to enter the previously proprietary ARM market with a standardisation initiative for COTS products,” said van Bremen at Adlink Technology.
Adlink said it will offer a range of OS support including: Linux, Android, Windows CE, Windows 8, VxWorks and QNX.
Adlink hopes to present early concept models around the end of February 2012, during Embedded World in Nuremberg.
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