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Our Small Form Factor (SFF) products include PC/104-size, 3.5″ and EPIC products. Majority of the products in this category are PC/104-size (90 x 96mm), and 3.5″/EPIC size boards with some form of PC/104 bus expansion.
“PC/104” is a general term which is used to define both form factors and computer buses. Originally designed to incorporate the ISA (PC/104) bus, this form factor has evolved over the years to support PCI (PCI-104 & PC/104+) as well as PCIexpress (PCIe/104 and PCI104e) buses.
PC/104 is intended for specialized environments where a small, rugged computer system is required. The standard is modular, and allows consumers to stack together boards from a variety of COTS manufacturers to produce a customized embedded system.
Unlike other popular computer form factors e.g. ATX, PICMG 1.x, cPCI, which relies on a motherboard or backplane, PC/104 boards are stacked on top of each other like building blocks. The PC/104 specification defines four mounting holes at the corners of each module, which allow the boards to be fastened to each other using standoffs. The stackable bus connectors and use of standoffs provides a more rugged mounting than slot boards found in desktop PCs. The compact board size further contributes to the ruggedness of the form factor by reducing the possibility of PCB flexing under shock and vibration.
A typical PC/104 system (commonly referred to as a “stack”) will include a CPU board, power supply board, and one or more peripheral boards, such as a data acquisition module, multi-serial boards, GPS receiver, or Wireless LAN controller.