Last night we went to see the holiday lights near our home. A bit dated but fun clip of the same street will give you a feel for the event. The lighting got me thinking about the use of electricity and the complexity of PCB designs. Just like the maze of electrical wiring needed for the holiday lighting, as embedded systems motherboards move from ATX to mini-ITX high quality electromagnetic compatibility becomes an important part of the design.
Kontron uses 12-layer PCBs for mini-ITX designs to ensure signal integrity. The extra layers are used to reduce radiation, aid in decoupling the power bus and improve signal quality. Good board designs eliminate the opportunities for crosstalk, ringing and power supply noise. As embedded systems shrink, yet add capabilities from multiple radios to more expansion slots, good design starts with the components, boards and emerging technologies. In my neighborhood the latest in holiday light displays seem to involve penguins (Tux and friends) and LEDs, a technology breakthrough that is grabbing hold just like multicore processing in the embedded systems market.
In 2009 Kontron expects that many legacy systems will be replaced by new standards-based multicore processing systems in smaller form factors, with far higher data throughput and capabilities. Kontron recently launched a Concept Boxto help OEMs jumpstart design efforts and reduce time to market for their smaller system designs using Intel processing power. A future of sparkling enabled capabilities is at hand for application developers.
Happy holidays and have a bright and wonderful 2009!
Kontron - Nancy Pantone