I recently read on the ECA web site the article “Thermal Management: Modular Design Makes It Easy,” The specified item was not found.. I hoped it would be provide some concrete information on how Intel's Atom CPU and COM Express might resolve some of the issues of thermal management in module design.
But rather than a “how-to” article, what I got was a “why-to” – a marketing document on the reasons why the combination of an Atom CPU and a COM Express module would be a good buy. But even as a why-to, it did not have sufficient detail on why I should consider this alternative rather than some other module or an alternative CPU such as one of the many ARM derivatives. The article talks a lot about power management features, but has no comparative data on power consumption. Nor any details, other than some summary statements, on how to make use of these features in a design. In the sections titled “The basic problem” and “Removing Heat” the article does a good job of covering the basics of thermal management. But when it gets down to “Solving The Problem Differently,” there was not sufficient detail and specifics on how the Atom/ComExpress combo would be better. Except for a few paragraphs toward the end of the article in “The advantages of modular design” there was nothing that told me how to use the features of the Atom/COM Express combo to full advantage in a design. As a promotional piece aimed at converting those designers who already half-way convinced of the Atom/COMExpress approach – it may be an effective article. But I don’t think it is effective in converting those out there who may be using alternative approaches and have to be given reasons – and specifics to back them up – for shifting. The latter are the ones you have to reach ifthe Atom/COM Express combo is to gain traction in the marketplace.