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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ADLINK Technology commits to ARM development by joining new computer-on-module initiative
Article Type: Industry news From: Microelectronics International, Volume 29, Issue 2
ADLINK Technology, Inc. announces it will support the new computer-on-module (COM) standard from Kontron for ultra low-power embedded architecture platforms with a whole new line of products. Building on our design experience with ARM/RISC in OEM and Intelligent Display projects, this marks ADLINK’s first endeavor outside x86 boundaries for a standard form factor product offering.
The new COM standard provides a very slim and low profile solution for ARM/RISC and SOC based ultra low-power processors. The standard specifically targets new fast growing markets such as handheld devices and industrial tablets, and in the near future is also expected to move into more traditional applications such as industrial control and data communications. It will be based on a 314-pin M×M 3.0 connector that allows for a total package height of less than 5 mm for both module and carrier. Two module sizes are specified: a very compact “short” module measuring just 82 mm×50 mm and a “full size” module measuring 82 mm×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 3 W.
The support model for ARM/RISC based design will be very different than that of traditional x86 designs. While drivers for x86 platforms are generic and mostly provided by parts vendors, the loading on ARM/RISC hardware suppliers is much higher. ADLINK is investing heavily in a new infrastructure to be able to provide driver development, customization and application support that is specifically focused on ARM/RISC for all their product lines, not just for COM modules. ADLINK’s commitment to the new modular form factor is just the first step in adopting ARM/RISC platforms, with all other departments soon to follow in embracing ARM/RISC and leveraging the inroads made by this new COM standard.
The price-to-performance ratio of ARM and RISC will allow ADLINK to offer modular solutions far below the US$100 level, a price point that has been requested for many years in the embedded market, but that was not achievable with x86 based platforms. ADLINK hopes to present early concept models around the end of February 2012, during Embedded World in Nuremberg.