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Embedded Standards: COM Express Form Factor Expands Connectivity Options

On October 31, Emerson Network Power, Freescale and Kontron jointly announced their collaborative efforts to expand I/O connectivity options for the COM Express specification have resulted in a new pin out definition for modules that are compatible with COM Express mechanical requirements.  

The new pin out definition allows a range of implementations to take advantage of Freescale’s QorIQ AMP and P Series products, including the T4240 processor. The T4240 device integrates a host of hardware accelerators, with 12 dual-threaded, 64-bit Power Architecture cores, providing 24 threads to address high-end data plane processing applications.

Dual-threaded efficiency, improved DMIPs per thread and higher frequency deliver 4x performance gain and more than 2x power efficiency gain over Freescale’s previous-generation QorIQ P4080 device. Advanced capabilities allow for intelligent sharing and duplication of resources between threads and a larger amount of on-die cache per core.

According to the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG), COM Express is best suited to a limited range of processor architectures. The results of this collaborative effort between Emerson,  Freescale, and Kontron should provide several board developers as well as OEM customers with wanted alternative architectures on this form factor. 

VDC recognizes that embedded standards such as COM Express must evolve with, and even anticipate, the dynamic application needs of the communications, networking, industrial automation and control, market segments.  This industry collaboration between Freescale, Emerson, and Kontron underscores the range of productive market development possibilities when leading embedded organizations combine resources to develop a new pin out definition that can increase flexibility and functionality for the incresingly popular COM Express standard.

In VDC's recently published 2010 - 2015 forecast and analysis of the COM modules worldwide market ("Mezzanine Cards / Computers-On-Modules: Volume 3, Track 2: Embedded Boards Supplier Analysis"), our analysts closely examine the opportunities and competitive landscape for this fast-growing segment of the embedded markets. 

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