Top 5 Reasons to use COM Express over PC/104

As Mil/Aero system designers develop applications that meet the demands of today’s battlefield, it’s become increasingly difficult to satisfy performance requirements with traditionally used standards. While the PC/104 and PC/104-Express standards were commonly used to develop previous applications, more and more designers are switching to COM Express to meet their performance and efficiency requirements.

So why is COM Express outshining PC/104?

1. Higher performance, Smaller spaces

While PC/104 requires a complicated stack-up methodology, COM Express packs the same performance and I/O in two boards. At just 95mm x 125mm, one COM Express module can provide the processing and graphics performance of multiple PC/104 board systems.

2. Video is Standard

When PC/104 was defined, long life video components and add-in cards were common. Not anymore! COM Express planned for the explosion of video processing and display in Mil/Aero applications, providing standard connector access for VGA, LVDS, SDVO and now DisplayPort, DVI and HDMI.

3. Got I/O?

PC/104 only provides PCI Express, PCI and USB 2.0 for I/O Expansion. Want SATA? You’ll need another board for that. Want LAN? You’ll need another board for that, too. COM Express modules provide not just ‘some’ of the I/O, but all: LAN, SATA, video, audio, multiple USB or PCI Express ports are all available.

4. Modular & Upgradeable

With the complexity of a PC/104 design and corresponding I/O, upgrading to the latest processing, graphics and I/O technologies can be difficult. COM Express enables technology insertions and upgrades without heavy investment or time.

5. Fewer boards, Lower cost

It’s simple: More boards mean higher system cost. If you use eight PC/104 modules, your board and connector cost will increase eight times. COM Express reaps the benefits of a modular solution while limiting the cost via a two-board, two-connector solution.

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