I doubt I'm the only one who's pondered the question of "which came first: the chicken or the egg". And I might not even be the first person to consider how that might compare to small form factor computer-on-modules and SBCs and ever-shrinking multi-core processors. But, go with me on this one.
ETX (Embedded Technology eXtended) got its start in the year 2000 and initiated the move from full custom motherboards to standard, off-the-shelf computer-on-modules with customizable carrier boards. Then, along came COM Express in around 2003 and PC/104-sized, "micro" COM Express compatible modules as well. If my memory is correct, the Intel® Tick-Tock strategy really took off around the year 2005, leading to the release of the first multi-core processors not long there after.
Although the smallest Computer-On-Modules haven't been released with dual and quad-core processors yet, it's a safe bet to say that they are definitely on the way. And, it's foreseeable that their demands will push for even further tick-tock silicon technology advancements.
What do you think - Small form factor module or small form factor multi-core architecture: Which came first?
Christine Van De Graaf
Product Marketing Manager, Embedded Modules Division