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A COM-based SBC combines the high-performance processing and leading-edge system I/O capabilities of COMs with the modular expansion flexibility of stackable single board computers, all within a single compact, rugged, reliable, pre-integrated module. Additionally, the modules’ large thermally-conductive baseplate provides both an efficient cooling solution and a standardized mounting-hole pattern that ensures interchangeability for alternate features or performance upgrades.
Since virtually all of today’s embedded processors offer limited lifecycles of 5-7 years, any long-life product dependent on a single-board computer (SBC) is guaranteed to require redesign sometime during its lifecycle. Typical industrial product lifecycles of 10-20 years (as is common in military, transportation, and medical products) may call for 2, 3, or even 4 such redesign efforts. Such efforts can be extremely costly, not only in terms of the actual design activity but in terms of inventory management, documentation management, manufacturing changeover, and after-market service as well.
When (not if) the COM reaches the end of its life, it can be replaced with a newer COM with relative ease, while the rest of the system, including the I/O, power supply, connectors, cabling, and physical dimensions remain exactly the same. In this way long lifecycles are much more easily supported. In addition, customers can create multiple configurations of their systems, selecting a different COM for each one based on price, performance, and power considerations.