Boards/Backplanes

8 reasons to choose a System on Module in your next product design

15th September 2022
Paige West

System on Modules (SoMs) are small, integrated printed circuit boards (PCBs) that contain all of the core components required for an embedded system design, such as processor cores, memory blocks, and communication interfaces. By leveraging a System on Module in a design, you get the benefit of a custom engineering solution.

There are many reasons why System on Modules should be used in embedded systems design:

  • Combat supply chain challenges: The SoM manufacturers take responsibility for product longevity while maintaining the end of life for the hundreds of components on the module, ensuring continuous supply of system on modules to the product designer without any compromise.
  • Accelerate time to market: Using an existing off-the-shelf module with a carrier card reduces design time by leveraging the existing solution. A shorter development cycle results in a faster product launch. Furthermore, it is sometimes possible to begin software application development before the carrier card is finished, which can significantly shorten the time to market.
  • Minimise risk with a proven functional solution: A System on Module reduces the complexity of the carrier card's layer construction, which reduces risk during the development phase. Furthermore, because a SOM can be easily replaced with minimal changes to the carrier board, they reduce the risk of the entire finished product becoming end-of-life (EOL) due to memory, flash chipsets, or CPU becoming obsolete.
  • Optimise product development cost: Using a pre-made SoM reduces engineering expenses and other costs associated with manufacturing the entire chip-down design.
  • Interchangeability: Product designers can gain access to the most recent technology by simply replacing older units in their systems with the most recently updated SoMs. As a result, expensive complex systems such as data centers and cellular networks can be upgraded without completely changing the underlying hardware.
  • Highly customisable: The carrier cards can be customised to meet your needs, and you have complete control over the peripherals, which is not available in many Single Board Computers.
  • Focus on firmware and software development: A product designer can focus on developing firmware and software stacks by eliminating the complex hardware part of the design.
  • Design scalability and flexibility: The System on Modules provides enormous scalability and flexibility to a designer when migrating to a higher computing SoM without changing the design of a carrier card.

Sourcing SoMs from iWave

iWave Systems complements the development of new-age applications through innovative solutions that are perfectly suitable for a variety of production needs. iWave offers an portfolio of ARM System on Modules, FPGA & SoC FPGA System on Modules that support a variety of industries including high-end industrial, military, and defence.

With System on Modules incorporating features like high-speed DDR memory design, multiple FPGA IOs, number of transceiver lanes, logic density, etc. the customer can focus on their core competencies and features on their product, helping them reduce time to market with reduced development cost. iWave Systems and other system on module manufacturers alike take responsibility for product longevity while maintaining the end of life for the hundreds of components on the module.

iWave Systems also provides reference designs for the System on Module in the form of a development kit that integrates several IPs with associated IO ports. This allows customers to develop their product concept on the reference board itself, eliminating the need to develop complex high-speed designs. Through the extensive feature-rich ready-to-use development kit, customers can now build quick prototypes to evaluate product-market fit and evaluate performance across different platforms.

So, next time you need to integrate a complete system in your design, take a look at some SoMs and see if they can help you save your project time and effort.

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