It is easy to see that small form factor solutions are the market trend of the future; they allow embedded solution providers to make their devices smaller and more portable. The new solutions successfully extend the embedded application from the office to any place that is accessible by people. In the past, small form factors were not easy to achieve because higher performance normally comes from bigger chips and higher power consumption. This really inhibited the implementation of small form factor designs.
The situation is changing now. The Intel® AtomTM platform has removed the limitations previously described and moved the demand for small form factor systems ahead. Based on Intel's 45 nm processor technology, the size of the processor is only 13 x 14 mm, just about 14\% of the size of other processors. With the Intel® System Controller Hub US15W, all functions are integrated into a single chip, including LVDS, USB, HD Audio, a PCIe interface, etc. This allows engineers to reduce the board size without sacrificing features. Apart from the improvements of chip size and functions, the Intel® AtomTM platform brings another innovation for small form-factor applications: extreme low power consumption, less than 5 watts. The result is not only a smaller board, but also a longer battery life and lower thermal output.
Advantech is providing customers with an embedded SOM solution based on the Intel® AtomTM platform; a new 95 x 95 mm form factor which saves 24\% on board size compared to original SOM solutions, with nothing sacrificed. It supports 24-bit LVDS, USB 2.0, and a PCIe interface and processor speed of over 1 GHz. It is definitely the best solution following new market trends in small form-factor applications.