COMs, or computer-on-modules, are application-specific carrier boards. They provide a number of solutions for a variety of fields, including medical, aerospace, robotics, automation in industry, and more. If you’re wondering if COMs are in your programming future, their growing popularity insists they probably are. And, if you work on embedded products, such as smart cards or digital consumer electronics, you’ll find COMs speed up the time it takes to get your product to market and they reduce your overall development risk and cost.
A Detailed Explanation of COMs
COMs are small in size and they come ready to use from the manufacturer. For example, COM Express is a type of computer on a module that utilizes standard form factors and pin-outs, as well as a Digital Display Interface and super-fast USB 3.0. It’s a great example of a high-functioning COM that matches the feature and performance requirements needed to deliver small solutions to the embedded market.
COMs are computing solutions and they’re essential for developing any embedded product. For inventors, these application-specific carrier boards can be used in new developments. The applications include serial port cards, mobile phones, robots, digital cameras, vending machines, microcontrollers, keyboard controllers, remote controls, spectrum analyzers, biomedical systems (for example a blood-cell recorder cum analyzer), and the list goes on and on. COMs are becoming a standard for embedded computing.
The Benefits of Using COMs
COMs have a number of benefits, including that they help you speed up your time-to-market. COMs allow you to focus primarily on the application-specific parts of your product’s design. By reducing your time, you’re actually saving money and you’re saving on cost of materials. Because they’re so accurately designed, you’ll stand out in a competitive market. All-in-all, COMs are valuable simply because they provide proven solutions at less cost than building the carrier board yourself and troubleshooting its capabilities.
The benefits don’t end there, COMs provide you with advanced technology, such as SoC and Memory improvements. Having access to the latest technology ensures your product will beat out competitor’s products that are already in the marketplace.
COMs and the Internet of Things
COMs have a huge impact on the IoT (Internet of Things); in fact, it could be argued that the advancement in COMs is why the IoT is even a thing. Small IoT devices with embedded systems are being developed, including V2COM’s smart grid which (working in tandem with other applications) is able to securely and wirelessly transmit energy usage data to backend utility systems.
The results of a VDC Research survey found that embedded systems powered by Java rose from 12.3 percent in 2008 to 27.8 percent in 2013. Engineering teams are continuing to see the potential of COMs in their embedded systems, and it’s estimated that billions of devices will come to market in the next several years and will join the IoT. Businesses and individuals everywhere can rejoice in these developments because it means more connectivity as well as more data, which of course leads to better and more advanced technologies as the data is accurately reported and then analyzed.
COMs are The Future
People like small, handy, Internet-connected devices and COMs makes developing these products easier and more user-friendly. So, regardless if you’re a product designer or simply a consumer, COMs are a piece of your unique future. For developers, there is a lot of information on how to list installed packages on your products, such as what’s written on The Linux Juggernaut. For everyone else, look forward to products and devices that enhance and enrich your life, as well as solve medical issues and advance robotics.