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System of Modules (SOM): How and Why to Use Them

What is a System-on-Module (SOM)?

System-on-Module (SOM) provides the core components of an embedded processing system, including processor cores, communication interfaces, and memory blocks, on a single production-ready printed circuit board (PCB). This modular approach makes SOMs ideal for embedding into end systems ranging from robots to security cameras.
The concept of System-on-Modules originated from blade servers. These thin servers were created to save storage space and minimize power consumption. The lean design philosophy behind blade servers carries over into the architecture of the SOM. They contain only the components needed to achieve their intended functionality in the smallest possible package, and they are flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of applications.
A SOM is different from a system on chip (SoC), which, as the name implies, is a collection of critical computer components placed on a single chip. While SOMs may contain an SOC, they are board-based and therefore have the space to contain other components.

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System-on-Modules

Why use system level modules?

SOMs enable developers to make the impossible possible, thereby reducing time to market and cost. Creating an embedded system is often a lengthy process requiring custom board design and manufacturing. SOMs simplify the steps required to implement a design. Simply select the SOM that fits your needs, integrate it into your end system, and you're ready to deploy. In addition to supporting high-volume deployments, module-based design simplifies product lifecycle management and reduces bill-of-materials (BOM) costs.

 

Whether your focus is on software, hardware, or AI development, the SOM is worth a closer look:

Software developers can unlock the potential of edge computing to process data locally without latency. The Stamp Hole System On Module eliminates the need for an in-depth hardware experience and provides a comfortable, intuitive design environment. Software developers working with vision applications will appreciate the flexible, easy-to-configure sensors that SOMs can provide. The best SOMs even offer built-in drivers and other software to save design time.
Hardware developers need to get to production as quickly as possible and focus their limited resources on the highest impact tasks. With SOMs, they can gain field-programmable gate array performance and flexibility without the difficulties associated with PCB design and integration. This allows them to complete projects ahead of schedule and within budget.
AI developers need a system that delivers high performance and efficient performance without requiring them to be hardware experts. Thankfully, thanks to the pre-built applications offered by the best systems from module providers, they can choose the SOM that provides the computing power they need while maintaining the flexibility to easily swap out AI models.

 

SOMs are being used around the world. Here is a look at just a few of their applications:

Surveillance Cameras

Sophisticated security camera systems leverage video analytics, and SOM makes it possible. Video analytics-driven security cameras use machine learning to classify and understand what they are seeing, providing an accurate stream of data in real time. This would not be possible without edge computing and the ability of cameras and other devices to analyze information in the field.

 

Machine Vision

The modern economy relies on machine vision for everything from inventory inspection to signature recognition to defect detection. Machine vision requires embedded systems that can analyze data in the field and provide configurable sensor capabilities. sOM enables developers to leverage machine vision at scale while keeping costs low.

 

Smart Cities

Smart cities use ubiquitous sensors to collect data and provide decision makers with the insight needed to keep communities functioning and vibrant. SOM powers these sensors, helping city officials stay on top of everything from utilities to transportation without missing a beat.

The company also offers System On Module Boards, so please feel free to contact us if you need one!

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