Embedded Peripheral Modules provide LAN, PoE, CANBus, DIO, Serial Port, Storage, RAID and Display functionality to embedded systems. Designed to enrich industrial embedded solutions with flexibility and the best TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).
Most IPC vendors (manufacturers of printed circuit boards and electronic manufacturing companies) want to provide a fully comprehensive product offering but are sometimes unable to do so due to development costs that impact profitability. Trying to offer a one-stop-shop solution is difficult, so where do embedded peripherals sit in today’s electronics industry?
The idea of embedded peripherals is not new and in the past, it has usually been the motherboard manufacturers, and to lesser extent distributors that stock limited Input/Output (I/O) products to expand the motherboard capability. For a board manufacturer to include every I/O port is not economically viable, so purchasing teams are buying basic boards and adding the relevant peripherals to achieve the solution required.
Taiwanese manufacturer Innodisk may just have the answer. The company’s history lies deep in industrial-grade memory and storage but at the request of customers, Innodisk started to develop embedded peripherals (EP). With its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Innodisk was quick to adapt to the requirements of its customers and as a result, they are now arguably one of the world’s leading manufacturers of I/O EPs. They have a catalogue of some fifty different modules covering storage, disk array, display, communication and testing solutions.
Innodisk was also the first module house to launch a complete series of embedded peripherals to cover all I/Os required on the motherboard and encourage system integrators to modulise their I/Os so that they could focus on the core competence such as CPU and software development.
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Embedded Peripherals are designed as building blocks on top of existing motherboards as they offer flexibility for additional I/O expansion for existing boards without any redesign. All it takes is a slot for mPCIe or an M.2 space and the customer can easily add another module and another and another….the combinations are limitless. I/O modularisation achieves the small-volume and large-variety customisation service that certain customers require for bespoke applications. EPs have many different types of expansion slots such as LAN, CAN, PoE, Serial, USB and RAID enabling the connection of a multitude of different devices. A simple, bolt-on EP can often be the difference between project success and failure.
Buying third party EP modules has clear benefits; faster time to market (no redesign of the motherboard); no minimum order quantities (MOQs) meaning that custom projects become more feasible (redesigns usually involve an MOQ) and easier bill of materials (BOM) management, which is becoming more important in the IoT world where custom projects are growing exponentially.
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Reasons to use embedded peripherals
- No MOQ – ideal for proof of concept of small projects
- No expensive redesign on the motherboard to incorporate an I/O – ideal for expanding motherboard capability
- Low cost to implement
- Over 30 different types of EP’s available across, communication, storage, networking and IoT
Card readers play a small yet vital link for obtaining data off the card with a less common interface or connection. German manufacturer CSM has a wide range of card readers suitable for a variety of different cards such as Linear flash, ATA Flash, SRAM cards CMCIA, SD and CompactFlash.
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