The computer-on-module (COM) or System on Module (SOM) is a type of modular single-board computer (SBC) which utilizes PCI/ PCI Express interfaces for high-speed signal transfer between it and a carrier board. Examples of this technology include legacy small form-factor PC-104 boards, COM Express, ETX, XTX and Qseven or newly RISC-based ULP-COM as well as embedded computer modularized system.
However, unlike a single-board computer, the COM will usually lack the standard connectors for any input/output peripherals to be attached directly to the board.
The module will usually need to be mounted on a carrier board or baseboard which breaks the bus out to standard peripheral connectors. Some COMs also include peripheral connectors and/or can be used without a carrier.
A COM solution offers a dense package computer system for use in small or specialized applications requiring low power consumption or small physical size. As a COM is very compact and highly integrated, even complex CPUs, including multi-core technology, can be realized on a COM.
Using a carrier board is a beneficial in many cases, as it can implement special I/O interfaces, memory devices, connectors or form factors. Separating the design of the carrier board and COM makes design concepts more modular. A carrier tailored to a special application may involve high design overhead by itself. If the actual processor and main I/O controllers are located on a COM, it is much easier, for example, to upgrade a CPU component to the next generation, without having to redesign a very specialized carrier as well. This can save costs and shorten development times. On the other hand, this only works if the board-to-board connection between the COM and its carrier remains compatible between upgrades.
NEXCOM will produce dedicate Carrier board for our COM module, and it will be beneficial to our design partner (or developer) as Customer Reference Board (or CRB), we will provide all documentation as the standard interfaces, pin-defined for our COM developer could very quickly re-make I/O carrier board for their owned IP chassis with own-defined connector of their semi-/ full- customization system.