OSM — a new smaller, cheaper, and soldered-down COM form factor – I-Pi SMARC

OSM — a new smaller, cheaper, and soldered-down COM form factor

Opening doors to accelerated, reusable SBC development

ADLINK, together with the Standardization Group for Embedded Technologies (SGET), introduces soldered-down modules following the new Open Standard Module (OSM) standard.

With predefined hardware and software interfaces, OSM modules leverage and complement existing COM platforms backed by manufacturing and software knowledge. OSM solutions strive to jumpstart the era of miniature embedded technology while ensuring future adaptability.

In the not-so-distant past, single-board computers (SBCs) were reserved for products that ran at a higher production rate or needed dimensional sizes that excluded any COM + baseboard solution. Today, a new COM standard, OSM, very different from the current ones, is making a change in this.

But first, let’s take a little trip into history.

The open standard COM ecosystem that started with PC/104 back in the 80s followed by several other form factors like COM Express (2005), and more recently Q7 (2008) and SMARC (2012) enabled the fast development by using a fairly simple baseboard design that incorporated only the interfaces that were needed in the application developed, allowing the developers to focus on added value.

All the complex high-speed interfaces were taken care of on the module itself. The only drawback with this solution was the fairly expensive board-to-board connector when volumes went into higher numbers and needed a more economical solution.

This is where many designs moved from COM + carrier to SBC, this however carried a huge investment as it was a start from ground zero, with all high-speed signals and memory interfaces to be re-designed on the SBC.

With OSM, a soldered-down platform, this is no longer the case. It opens the door to a zero overhead modular system where only a carrier needs to be developed without spending time on high-speed signals or high-density memory interfaces.

It instead lets one focus on added value while keeping the development cycle short and inexpensive.

As a bonus, the high-layer count only comprises the 45 x 45 mm OSM module, meaning the carrier itself can go with a lower-layer count saving costs.  

While OSM + carrier might be near identical material cost as with an SBC, depending on carrier complexity, the real difference is in the development cycle, and more importantly, the software that is already available for the OSM platform chosen, saving multiple months that can lead to multifold development and ownership costs.

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