The Computer-on-Module (or System-on-Module as some people call them) was born when the embedded computer industry realised the benefits of separating a single board computer into two distinct parts:
1. A Computer-on-Module (COM) containing all the core components needed for a bootable host computer – processor, SoC/North bridge/South bridge, memory and Flash, without the standard connectors for any input/output peripherals nor some of the signal conditioning. This module is usually the high technology component with very dense track, gap, etc and a high number of PCB layers. Once designed it can usually be applied to a large number of applications across many industries.
2. A host or carrier board that contains the interfaces, connectors and profile to meet the target product requirements. This board is usually relatively low technology (compared to the COM) with lower speed interfaces, larger track and gap distances and less PCB layers. This board can usually be designed quickly, thereby, when combined with the COM, a custom solution can be created and brought to market much more swiftly than a custom single board computer.
Computer-on-Modules (COM) offer the best of all worlds – an affordable yet customisable solution with a very fast time to market. The resulting COM and host board combination is a competitive, tailor-made yet upgradable embedded solution.