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SFF

Small Form Factor is a generic term originally phrased as shuttle form factor, and originally meant to describe shoebox-sized personal computers with exactly two expansion slots.[1] The initialization "SFF" was later applied to include other, similar PC designs from brands such as AOpen and First International Computer, with the word "Shuttle" replaced with the word "Small" in that initialization. Because so many of these mini-sized personal computers use proprietary motherboards, use of the word "Form Factor" is actually a misnomer.

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Remote Isolated Field I/O Card with Variable Input Sensing

A remote isolated field I/O card is designed for fast real-time PC-based control systems. The 7I66 from Mesa Electronics communicates with the host via a robust isolated RS-422 link.Read More...

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Mini-ITX Motherboard with Core i7/i5/i3 Processors

A new industrial-grade, Mini-ITX motherboard supports the latest Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors with LGA 1156 sockets. The Intel 45nm Core i7 and Core i5 700 series processors are quadRead More...

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Digital Signal Processors at the Intersection of Form and Function

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1.6GHz Intel Atom SUMMIT-ISM Board Supports COMIT

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Have no Fear, Embedded World is Here!

The arrival of winter reminds us to make our annual pilgrimage to Nuremberg, Germany to witness the latest small form factor product introductions at the Embedded World show during theRead More...

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SM and SUMIT-ISM Specs Bring SUMIT Expansion to 90 x 96 mm Stackable Modules

The Small Form Factor Special Interest Group (SFF-SIG) has announced the availability of both revision 1.0 of the Industry Standard Module (ISM) and the SUMIT-ISM specifications forRead More...

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Embedded Chicken

We wouldn’t want to be an SBC vendor in today’s small form factor market. As always, the new processor/chipset treadmill from Intel and VIA continues to churn at a pace to make theRead More...

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If Memory Serves

Random-access memory. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Whether you’re developing a system around a milliwatt 8-bit micro or a 64-bit superscalar rocket with unearthly onboardRead More...

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COM Express Small Form Factor Module Based on Core i7

A new COM Express features the latest Intel Core i7-620M processor with a core speed of 2.66 GHz, with 4 Mbyte L2 cache and up to 8 Gbyte fast (1066 MT/s) dual channel DDR3 memory.Read More...

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Powerful Pico-ITX Board Packs VIA Nano Processor

A new Pico-ITX form factor board from Via Technologies features the high-performance, 64-bit Via Nano processor, bringing digital multimedia performance and virtualizationRead More...

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3.5-Inch CPU Using Atom Z510 / Z530, Runs up to 1.6GHz

A 3.5-inch embedded single board computer is based on the Intel Atom and the Intel US15W (P oulsbo) chipset. The Intel Atom is a single core processor built on a 45nm process thatRead More...

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ETX Module with Atom Pineview Processor

An ETX system-on-module (SOM) offers a choice of either the Intel Atom D450 or D510 processor (code-named Pineview-M and Pineview-D, respectively). With low power consumption andRead More...

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PCIe? USB? Sorting Out Two COM / SFF Design Decisions

Among all the bus types available in most COM specifications, only USB and PCI Express (PCIe) are well supported, high-level buses, with plug-and-play and excellent interoperability. ARead More...

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Mini-ITX Module Supports Dual Display and Core i7/i5/i3 Processors

A new Mini-ITX embedded system board takes full advantage of Mobile Intel QM57 Express chipset to provide increased mobile computing performance and graphics. At the heart of the newRead More...

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EPIC-Express Board Demonstrates New Cooling Concept and Mechanical Design

EPIC-Express Board Demonstrates New Cooling Concept and Mechanical Design A new product family targets strategic mission-critical systems and enables easy andRead More...

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Pico-ITXe Module Creates Platform for Next-Generation Fleet Management

A new technology platform is initially targeted for fleet management device designs. The EPIA-P710-D from Via Technologies is a Pico-ITXe expansion module that allows systemRead More...

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Standard Rules for “Industry Standards”

Every few years, people rush to use some word or phrase that means something different to everybody who hears it. In the political arena, the phrase du jour is “fiscal responsibility.”Read More...

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A Tale of Two Embeddeds

Attending an embedded-focused trade show is always an interesting experience. For those of us who cover the broad embedded market, you’ll have to excuse us if we are unable to checkRead More...

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Atom N450 on an Extreme Rugged PC/104-Plus SBC

A small form factor rugged SBC is a PC/104-Plus module based on the Intel Atom processor N450, running at 1.66 GHz. The CoreModule 740 from Adlink Technology takes advantage of theRead More...

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Small Form Factor Special Interest Group Pushes Ambitious Standards Effort

The embedded board industry has recently experienced a rapid proliferation of standards for small form factor single board computers, I/O expansion modules and Computer-on-ModuleRead More...

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Pico-ITXe and Pico-I/O Specifications for Smaller Stackable Embedded Systems

The Small Form Factor Special Interest Group (SFF-SIG), a collaboration of suppliers of embedded component, board and system technologies, has announced the availability of revisionRead More...

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Image Processing Module Supports High Frame Rate Interfaces

A new image processing and acquisition module supports applications that require both high data transfer rates and high computational throughput. The PCI-104-3000 from AdvancedRead More...

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PCI/104-Express Board Incorporates Qseven Modules

A new PCI/104-Express module incorporates industry standard Qseven modules. The Xtreme/CPU from Connect Tech was designed based on Qseven modules provided by congatec, whichRead More...

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Mini-ITX Board Takes 64-Bit Computing to the Factory Floor

A new Mini-ITX board is targeted for a range of embedded device designs including advanced industrial and factory management applications. The EPIA-M840 from Via Technologies packsRead More...

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The Emperor's New Clothes

News flash: The latest SFF standard has been approved, and products are rolling off the line soon. Order your sample or dev kit today! Not so fast. How do you know this new “thing”Read More...

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COM Solution Uses Latest Atom Embedded Processor Family

A new COM Express board is based on the new Intel Atom E6xxx Series processors, formerly code named Tunnel Creek.  The E6xx series is the first Intel Atom processor-basedRead More...

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New Challenges Face Even Smaller Boards

One of the primary driving forces behind the SFF revolution has been Moore’s Law. For those few of you who may not be acquainted with this little jewel, it states that transistorRead More...

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3.5-Inch ECX Embedded System Board With Dual-Core Atom D525

3.5-Inch ECX Embedded System Board with Dual-Core Atom D525 Achieving increased performance while keeping power consumption in check is the aim of a new 3.5? ECX compact embeddedRead More...

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FPGAs – The Logical Choice

The ability to customize logic has underpinned the electronics industry since the early days of the 74xx glue logic family. Whether for simple chip selects, shift registers, registers,Read More...

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Small Form Factors Forever

Did you hear about the hot venture-funded embedded board startup? No? Not surprised. There isn’t one. Hasn’t ever been one. While several embedded board companies have made it to theRead More...

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COM Express FPGA Starter Kit for Quick Evaluation with Flexible I/O

A new COM Express starter kit featuring the Altera Cyclone IV GX FPGA provides all the required components to evaluate board designs with open-definable I/Os. With this COM ExpressRead More...

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Do We Really Need COM Standards?

Do we really need COM standards? COM (Computer-on-Module) products have taken the embedded market by storm over the past few years. They are becoming the mainstay of the explodingRead More...

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The Little Engine that CAN

In a surprising new round of I/O Whac-a-mole, embedded SBCs are popping up all over the place with an onboard interface that used to require a separate I/O expansion card. OnceRead More...

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SFF Still Riding Mobile Coattails

Intel’s recently announced single chip processor known under the code name Tunnel Creek, represents a huge leap forward with respect to serving the needs of the small form factorRead More...

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When is a Standard not a Standard?

As we start our fourth(!) year writing the SF3 column for RTC magazine, our frequent readers should have detected a couple of themes that have come up repeatedly in our columns. OneRead More...

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System-on-Module Packs Performance into Ultra-Small Form Factor

A new system-on-module (SoM) is implemented in an ultra-small form factor of only 15 x 27 x 3.8 mm using the Texas Instruments DaVinci DM3730 and Sitara AM3703 processors running at upRead More...

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EPIC SBC with Single or Dual Core 1.66 GHz ATOM for Industrial Applications

An EPIC-compatible, 1.66 GHz ATOM-based single board computer (SBC) uses either the Intel ATOM single core N450 or dual core D510 processor combined with the ICH8M I/O hub controller,Read More...

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Compact COM Express Solution for Rugged Mobile I/O Applications

  A new mobile compact computer baseboard is compatible with COM Express compact size standard computer modules. The A-Brain from New Embedded Technology is designed specifically forRead More...

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Graphics Performance Drives Ever More Capable Small Form Factor Designs

It is well known that many embedded market applications have evolved to smaller, space-constrained designs that also require long-term availability and cost-effective embeddedRead More...

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M2M Developer Kit Speeds Entry into Rapidly Expanding Smart Services Market

M2M Developer Kit Speeds Entry into Rapidly Expanding Smart Services Market A new machine-to-machine (M2M) Smart Services Developer Kit includes a deployable Intel AtomRead More...

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EBX SBC Features Intel Core 2 Duo Processor

An ultra-fast single board computer (SBC) on an industry standard EBX form factor is designed around an Intel Core2 Duo P8400 processor. The Mamba from VersaLogic performs at 2.26 GHzRead More...

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Mini-ITX Platform Provides Multiple Displays for Signage and Gaming

  A new low-power Mini-ITX motherboard couples the Via VX900 media system processor with a choice of 1.2 GHz and 1.6 GHz Via Nano Processors to provide a high-performance and highlyRead More...

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Power and Integration—ARM Making More Inroads into More Designs

It’s about power—low power; almost no power. A huge and burgeoning market is opening for devices that are handheld and mobile, have rich graphics, deliver 32-bit multicore computeRead More...

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The Bad, the Good and the Ugly

We’ve written before to complain, if you will, about how difficult it is to gather investment capital to address the SFF board market. A lack of inventive start-ups to address thisRead More...

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COM Express Modules Powered by Freescale QorIQ Processors

A family of COM Express embedded computing modules is powered by Freescale Semiconductor QorIQ processors. Three modules, the COMX-P3041, COMX-P4040 and COMX-P5020, have beenRead More...

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COM Express Compact Module Targets Low Power Performance Applications

A low-power COM Express compact module is powered by the Intel Atom processors 400 and 500 Series. The new SOM 6763 B1 from Advantech B1 with Intel Atom processor N455 (512K Cache,Read More...

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Xeon-Based Server Comes in a Mini-ITX Form Factor

A new small server in a Mini-ITX form factor is based on Intel's C206 chipset and Xeon processor E3-1200 series and Core i7/i5/i3 processors, and uses the Mini-ITX form factor toRead More...

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Type 6 COM Express Module Features ECC RAM Support for New Carrier Board Designs

A new Type 6 COM Express embedded computer module uses Intel’s second-generation quad-core and dual-core Intel Core i7/i5 processors. The PCOM-B217VG-VI-ECC from American PortwellRead More...

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RISC SBC with ARM-Based Cortex-A8 Series Processor

A new RISC-based Single Board Computer uses the latest Texas Instruments OMAP35 Series Processor. The PCM-C3500 from Advantech has a CortexA8-based TI OMAP35 600 MHzRead More...

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Compact and Rugged Fanless Embedded Computer with 100G Shock Resistance

A new fanless embedded computer with rich integrated I/O is equipped with the Intel Atom D510 1.66 GHz processor. The MXE-3000 from Adlink Technology delivers twice the performanceRead More...

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Auld Lang SFF

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Pico-ITX Mainboard with Dual-Core x86

A Pico-ITX board incorporates dual core processing. Featuring a 1.0 GHz VIA EdenTM X2 CPU along with the VIA VX900H Media System Processor, the EPIA-P900 from VIA TechnologiesRead More...

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Remote TTL Card Support 48 I/O Points

A remote 48-point TTL I/O card is designed for fast real-time PC-based control systems. The 7I69 from Mesa Electronics communicates with the host with a robust RS-422 link with upRead More...

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Help Wanted! Industry Leadership

The untimely death of Steve Jobs should serve as a reminder to us all that the individuals whose energy, creativity and thirst for innovation brought about today’s Small Form FactorRead More...

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EPIC SBC with Latest Generation Core Processors

A rugged EPIC form factor SBC boasts 2nd Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 and Celeron processors. The ReadyBoard 910 EPIC SBC from Adlink Technology also features an onboard SolidRead More...

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Occupy Consortia

Across the world, disgruntled citizens have gathered in encampments to protest joblessness resulting from rampant corporate greed and the bloated government that continues to fuelRead More...

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Qseven Mini Carrier Baseboard for Accelerated Design-In

A new mini carrier baseboard for space-critical applications is based on the Qseven standard. The conga-QMCB baseboard from congatec is suitable for fast prototype design and compact,Read More...

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Remote Isolated Field Input Card or PC-Based Control

A 48-point remote isolated field input card designed for fast real-time PC-based control systems. The 7I70 from Mesa Electronics communicates with the host with a robust isolatedRead More...

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Multi-I/O Expansion Modules for SUMIT Products

New expansion modules provide industry-standard I/O interfaces for SUMIT-based embedded systems. With extended temperature operation and extensive ruggedization, the M1 multi-I/O cardsRead More...

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Qseven Module Uses Atom Z510/Z530 and supports up to 4 PCIe x1 lanes

Built with Intel’s Atom Z510 (1.1 GHz) or Z530 (1.6 GHz) processor and Intel System Controller Hub (SCH) US15W, a new Qseven module supports onboard 1Gbyte or 2Gbyte DDR2 SDRAM,Read More...

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Mini-ITX Embedded Board Can be Configured to Requirements

A new embedded Mini-ITX board measures only 17 cm x 17 cm and is an extremely flexible embedded board with top class functionality and performance for POS and kiosks. The VIA VB7009Read More...

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Embedded 2.0

With another Embedded World show behind us and ESC (“Design West” now) upon us, it’s clear that the momentum behind small ARM-based modules is not going to slow any time soon. QuiteRead More...

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Data Acquisition Solutions Stack Up

Data Acquisition (DAQ) systems come in as many facets and form factors as application areas. This is because system designers need to consider a number of important issues such asRead More...

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Mini-ITX Board with Dual Core VIA Nano X2 E-Series

A Mini-ITX board features a Via Nano X2 E-Series dual core processor, which combines a high-performance 1.6 GHz 64-bit Via Nano X2 E-Series processor with the Via VX900 unifiedRead More...

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ARM-Based COM Modules? Let’s Take a Step Back and Look at This

By now most people in this industry have become aware of a new trend in the form of ARM-based small form factor modules that are beginning to appear from a number of vendors. WhileRead More...

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Quad-Core ARM Module on Qseven Form Factor

A new generation of ARM-based modules has been initiated by congatec with the introduction of the conga-QMX6 Qseven module. The Qseven standard Revision 1.2, which was published backRead More...

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Smart Cooling Pipes Pave the Way for Performance Growth in COM Express

A new cooling system for the COM Express specification is based on cooling pipes, which are integrated in the standardized heat spreader. Introduced by congatec, this solution makes itRead More...

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Atom SBC Integrates PCI Express with PC/104 to Smooth Legacy Transitions

A single board computer (SBC) powered by an Intel 1.66 GHz Atom processor adds the Stackable Unified Modular Interconnect Technology (SUMIT) I/O expansion connector onto a PC/104Read More...

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COM Express Module Marks Energy Efficient Entry Level into Multicore

A COM Express compact Computer-on-Module represents an energy efficient entry-level multicore module based on next-generation Intel Atom processors with 32 nm technology. The COMe-cCT6Read More...

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Opto-Isolated Digital I/O Signal Conditioning Boards for Small Form Factor Systems

Two new optically isolated signal conditioning and termination boards for OEM computer system designers are targeted at applications requiring signal isolation between an embeddedRead More...

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Third Generation Core-Based Type VI COM Express Compact Module

American Portwell has expanded its COM Express product portfolio to include a high-performance module design on a COM Express Compact (95 mm x 95 mm) form factor featuring mobile IntelRead More...

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Rugged COM Express with Third Generation Intel Core i7 Supports USB 3.0 and PCI Express Gen 3

A rugged COM Express module is targeted for airborne and vehicle-mounted military computers and human machine interface (HMI) applications required to function in harsh environments.Read More...

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Entry-Level Module for COM Express Type 2 with New Atom Dual-Core Processors

An entry-level Type 2 Pin-out COM Express module is available with three variants of the new Intel Atom dual-core processor generation, which are manufactured in 32nm technology. TheRead More...

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The Benefits of COM-Based Single Board Computers

The benefits of the single board computer (SBC) are well established. An SBC provides a complete solution off-the-shelf. No electronic design or manufacturing are needed, makingRead More...

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The Graying of Embedded

Embedded computing may be heading for some new territory. And success in that territory calls for new strategies and skills. Not that embedded will ever go away, of course. OnceRead More...

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SFF Connectors Go 3G

Each time that mainstream computer markets shift their buses and peripheral interfaces into overdrive, large trade groups and their entourage of board and connector manufacturers spinRead More...

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ARM9 System on Module for Full Range of HMI

An ARM9 System on Module supports both Linux and WinCE and supports up to 1280 x 860 LCD with touch screen. The M-9G45A from Artila Electronics is a credit card size system on moduleRead More...

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New Family of Small, Rugged Embedded Computers

An extremely small, rugged, embedded computer in the new Embedded Processing Unit (EPU) format combines processor, memory, video and system I/O into an extremely compact form factor.Read More...

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PCIe-Based 2-Channel, 1.5 GHz Per Channel High-Speed Digitizers

A PCIe-based wideband A/D board captures two synchronized analog channels at sampling rates up to 1.5 GHz, or one channel up to 3 GHz when interleaving the ADC data. 1 Gbyte of onboardRead More...

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Escaping COM-Moditization

As consumers we enjoy the wide selection and fair prices of mass-market electronics. Competition among manufacturers spurs innovation and integration, and features rise while pricesRead More...

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SUMIT-ISM—Uniting Legacy and Advanced I/O in a Stackable Form Factor

In early 2008, the Small Form Factor Special Interest Group (SFF-SIG) introduced a ground-breaking new interconnect technology called Stackable Unified Module Interconnect TechnologyRead More...

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COM Express Reference Carrier-i Type 10 for Extended Temprature

A reference and evaluation board validated for use in the extended temperature range of -40° to +85°C, makes a suitable platform either for direct deployment in, or for carrying outRead More...

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Qseven Starter Kit Offers Quick Way to ARM-Based Designs

A new Qseven starter kit provides developers with a complete package to rapidly prototype embedded systems for ARM designs. Thanks to their compact size and extremely low power, QsevenRead More...

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COM Express Type 6 Module with Three High-Performance Independent Display Interfaces

A new COM Express offering is a high-performance COM.0 R2.0 Type 6 module featuring an Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processor supporting Intel HD Graphics integrated on the CPU with threeRead More...

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Small Form Factor Costs of Ownership

Feeling the warmth of the freshly printed 2013 budget or R&D project plan, you set off to surf the web for that small form factor (SFF) board with just the right blend of features.Read More...

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New Qseven Module with Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9

A low-power, high-performance embedded Qseven module with strong graphics capabilities is offered with three different processor versions and may be used for single-core, dual-coreRead More...

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Small Isolated Digital I/O Signal Conditioning Boards

Two new isolated digital signal conditioning and termination boards for OEM embedded computer system designers are aimed at applications requiring signal isolation between a computerRead More...

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Embedded Module Spans 300 to 800 MHz Range with ARM Cortex-A8 Processors

A new embedded processor module is based on the Texas Instruments AM335x. Different members of the AM335x family of ARM Cortex-A8 processors, clocked from 300 to 800 MHz, are usedRead More...

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Too Big to Fail

Nearly drowned out by the PC/104 buzz this month is another pioneering embedded form factor—EBX—which actually predated PC/104 by seven years and is worthy of a tribute. “LittleRead More...

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Mini-ITX Motherboard with AMD Embedded R-Series APU

A new Mini-ITX Embedded motherboard is powered by the AMD embedded R-Series APU, which enables a high definition visual experience for this small form factor with low power. TheRead More...

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“Dot-Org” Boards Signal a Shift in Development Strategies

The prototype. It doesn’t have to be pretty. The board doesn’t have to be the right size and shape. It can have wires hanging off it. It can have instruments attached to it. But itRead More...

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ETX Module with Dual-Core Atom for Upgrade Path and Longer Life of ETX Systems

Based on the latest dual-core 32nm process Intel Atom Processor and NM10 Express Chipset, a new ETX module from Adlink aims to further support its ETX customer base with continuingRead More...

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Small Form Factors, and Data Acquisition, and the Internet of Things, Oh My!

One source defines the Internet of Things as “a world where physical objects are seamlessly integrated into the information network, and where the physical objects can become activeRead More...

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Qseven Standard Guides AMD G-Series into Even Smaller Form Factors

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Industrial Grade Embedded Computers Feature Multi-Core Atom E3800 Processors

A line of multicore Intel Atom E3800 embedded computers is designed to operate from -40° to +85°C. The feature-rich SBC35-CC405 series of embedded PCs from WinSystems includes onboardRead More...

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Type 10? Not Again!

Our board-level standards organizations have really outdone themselves this time. The PICMG trade group wins the prize for the first to reach a double-digit pinout type for aRead More...