PC/104 boards are another worthy contender for applications requiring ruggedness as it provides strong connectors in a small, stackable, and extremely rugged design. The PC/104 form factor has no backplane, and instead allows modules to be stacked together like building blocks. The stacking PC/104 bus is an exceptionally strong mechanical interface that creates a solid connection between the board, or stack board, and the system. In addition, many PC/104 designs facilitate passive cooling, eliminating moving parts and increasing reliability.
MiniITX single-board computers offer a combination of value, widespread availability, feature choice, and ease of development. Extreme temperature swings, high-vibration situations, and deployments lasting five or more years still challenge MiniITX boards. However, MiniITX has recently begun to show up in more robust solutions, such as harsh environment PCs, since both fanless and solid-state systems are easy to create in this form factor due to the lowpower, low-heat characteristic of most MiniITX boards.
Engineers now have numerous embedded computing solutions to consider for their designs, each with its own variables of size, performance, power dissipation, and price points. Thanks to new technologies, applications that previously faced barriers due to size, performance restrictions, reliability, or power consumption limitations are now within reach.
This article was written by Christine Van De Graaf, Product Marketing Manager, and David Pursley, Applications Engineer, at Kontron, Poway, CA. For more information, click here.