PC/104 and UASs: The beauty of the system
By Mike Southworth, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions – May 2014
PC/104-based systems are handling processing and networking duties on many Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) flying missions around the globe today: Several examples include serving as mission computers on the MQ-5B Hunter and acting as mobile network router systems on the Predator.

PCI Express Lane Shifting Enhances PCIe/104’s Capabilities
By Jim Blzaer, CTO, RTD Embedded Technologies – May 2014
By integrating PCI Express into the tried and true PC/104 stackable format, the powerful PCIe/104 architecture was born. By enabling lane shifting of the PCI Express links, system developers gain an elegant way to blend flexibility and high performance.

Unmanned vehicles and the PC/104 architecture
By Dr. Paul Haris, PC/104 Embedded Consortium – May 2014
Unmanned vehicles, throughout their long history, have typically been focused around the military and national security industries. The initial use of these vehicles was simple: To remove humans from high-risk situations and go to places where humans could not. In the beginning, unmanned vehicle …

PC/104: Stackable, mezzanine, card cage attributes
By Dr. Paul Haris, PC/104 Embedded Consortium – March 2014
Choosing an embedded architecture for your system can be a daunting task. It necessitates an alignment of your short- and long-term requirements with the design tradeoffs of each available embedded architecture. Generally, you can classify these architectures as stackable, card cage, and…

MILCOM meetings project SFF surge, standardized PC/104 packaging possibilities
By Brandon Lewis Assistant Managing Editor – January 2014
Foot traffic was down at MILCOM 2013 in San Diego, perhaps due to reduced Department of Defense (DoD) travel budgets, or hard feelings about the lack of exhibitor refunds following the cancellation of MILCOM 2012, or both. However, low foot traffic doesn’t necessarily translate to a bad show,…

PC/104 in vehicles and industrial applications
By Dr. Paul Haris, PC/104 Embedded Consortium – January 2014
This issue deals with in-vehicle and industrial applications, which means the discussion of how the PC/104 architecture has been and continues to be used has become that much more broad. But to try and address these fields in their entirety would fill novels.

PC/104 and its long history in military applications
By Dr. Paul Haris, PC/104 Embedded Consortium – November 2013 In the early days of modern electronics, the U.S. military was a major driving force of advanced electronic research and development. With the nuclear arms race, space exploration and exploitation, global awareness, and advanced armament development happening throughout the world, the need to…

PCIe/104 extends legacy of service in mil/aero
By Brandon Lewis Assistant Managing Editor – November 2013
Interoperability, mechanical ruggedness, and limited Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) are precursors of every new military/avionics system design, but an evolving military landscape also requires improved bus speeds for applications like HD video transmission. In response, a recent revision to the…

PC/104 product migration strategies
By Jeff Milde PC/104 Consortium – September 2013
The PC/104 family of specifications has five major variations, spanning from the original PC/104 specification based on the ISA bus, to the latest based solely on PCI Express (PCIe) for module interconnection. The changes are very evolutionary in nature, and those that have been tracking these…

PC/104 stacks up against COMs for next-gen medical applications
By Brandon Lewis Assistant Managing Editor – July 2013
Just as the Small Form Factor (SFF) market provides a wide range of options for medical system designers, the health field offers an array of applications for SFFs. As J.C. Ramirez and George Ruano of ADL Embedded Solutions Inc. explain, the medical successes of SFF technologies to-date may be…

PC/104 architecture: Solid
By Dr. Paul Haris, PC/104 Embedded Consortium – March 2013
Evaluation of the challenges of the embedded marketplace is a never-ending saga. Each technology has its benefits and drawbacks, and each feeds the ideas of tomorrow. Throughout its history, the PC/104 Consortium has taken the approach of stressing the characteristics of stability, evolution,…

PC/104 Express Remains Relevant and Technically Ready
By Flemming Christensen, President, Sundance Multiprocessor Technology – February 2013
There are many open standards available, with more to follow. As a provider of high-speed computer platforms we’re tracking many standards and technologies. Our current favorite SFF is PC/104 Express. The addition of Gen2 and Gen3 PCI Express support will bring this form factor into next century (well, almost) and I see the possibilities of combining PC/104 with standards from PICMG (PCI Express, 10 G Ethernet) and VITA (VITA 57 FMC) for add-on mezzanine board I/O density.

PC/104 Consortium Members Approve and Adopt PCI/104-ExpressTM and PCIe/104TM Specification Update
February 2013
Embedded World 2013, Nuremberg, Germany – The PC/104 Consortium is pleased to announce that the PCI/104-Express & PCIe/104 Specification, with provisions for PCI Express Generation 2 and Generation 3,was approved in February by member vote. The additions and enhancements to the specification…

State of the Consortiums
By Jeff Milde, Executive Director, PC/104 Consortium – February 2013
The PC/104 Consortium enters its third decade as the reliable standards bearer of the PC stackable architecture.  It is the focal point for the entire PC/104 industry including manufacturers and OEMs. It provides a place for information on current specifications, product offerings, news  and events, and is a place to advance and develop specifications that are consistent and stable for long-term use.

Small UAV Systems Push Bandwidth and Latency Envelopes
By Lee Foss, Founder and CEO, Advanced Micro Peripherals – January 2013
If there is any area of technology where compute density is critical, it’s the area of Small UAVs. One area where costs are being dramatically curbed is through the use of far smaller UAV machines, such as the Raven, Dragon Eye, Shadow and Killer Bee (Figure 1). They carry mounted cameras collecting data and visual images in real time, both night and day, and send this data down to operators on the ground. These remote “eye in the sky” platforms are helping to provide unprecedented situational awareness information for an ever increasing range of real life applications.

PC/104 remains the chosen solution for rugged vehicle applications
By Pierfrancesco “Pier” Zuccato Eurotech – September 2012
PC/104’s rugged capabilities and small form factor made it a preferred solution in defense (including onboard vehicle control and navigations systems), transport, and industrial control. Despite challenges posed to PC/104 from other architectures offering high computational performance within…

PC/104 Consortium taps Patrick Hopper to Chair Marketing Committee
August 2012
LOS GATOS, CA – PC/104 Consortium, the organization dedicated to expanding the use of small form factor embedded computing and I/O using PC/104 technology has named Patrick Hopper to head the Marketing Committee. Hopper will be working with the marketing committee on developing strategic…

20 highlights in the history of PC/104
by Monique DeVoe, Assistant Managing Editor – June 2012
In a celebration of 20 years for PC/104 and the PC/104 Consortium, we take a look back at 20 events that have evolved the PC/104 world into what it is today.

Stacking exciting developments on top of a rich legacy
by Monique DeVoe, Assistant Managing Editor – June 2012
It’s quite an achievement for PC/104 to have hit the 20-year milestone in an ever-changing technology industry; and it’s not done yet. We asked Executive and Associate members of the PC/104 Consortium to offer some insight (and foresight) on what they think is in store for PC/104 in 2012 and beyond.

The PC/104 backstory
By Rick Lehrbaum, DeviceGuru.com – June 2012
Although 2012 officially marks the 20th anniversary of the PC/104 standard, PC/104’s roots can be traced back 25 years to Ampro’s 1987 introduction of the Little Board/PC Single-Board Computer (SBC). Ampro’s goal in developing the Little Board/PC was to make it easy for OEMs and system…

PC/104 Consortium Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Formation and PC/104 Specification Introduction
March 2012
LOS GATOS, CA The PC/104 Consortium is celebrating its 20th anniversary as well as the 20th anniversary of the introduction of its highly successful PC/104 standard for stackable computing modules. PC/104 pioneered the embedded stackable computing concept. It started with the incorporation of…

PC/104 enables design with embedded custom COTS boards and systems
by Jeff Milde, PC/104 Consortium, Boards & Solutions Magazine – November 2011
Customization is a common service offered by many suppliers in the embedded computing industry. This article explores the advantages of PC/104-based platforms as a beneficial starting point for modification options.

Optical guidance system steers buses as if on tracks 
by Andres Kammermann, Kontron and Denis Marchand, Siemens, Boards and Solutions – October 2011
The optical guidance system Optiguide steers the bus to within less than 5 cm of the bus stop. For the onboard control computer the robust and compact PC/104-Plus boards from Kontron are in use. The CPUs are the AMD Geode processors which excel through low power requirements and offer long-term availability.

The new COM/104 standard: better performance, more flexibility
by Pavel Shamsutdinov, Fastwel, Boards and Solutions – October 2011
This article presents the draft of new standard designed by Fastwel and submitted to the PC/104 Consortium. It is currently under review by the Technical Committee. As the new specification attempts to combine the advantages of the PC/104 specifications with the family of Computer-on- Modules (COM), Fastwel suggests to use the name COM/104.

A perfect couple – Qseven and PC/104 combine the best of both worlds 
by Bob Pickles, congatec, Boards and Solutions – October 2011
PC/104 system providers adopting the Qseven COM technology approach benefit from a range of fully scalable products, much faster time to market, latest Intel technology, and lower costs on larger projects, thus increasing margins in real terms, while field maintenance of systems becomes far less complicated.

Graphics Performance Drives Ever More Capable Small Form Factor Designs
by Christine Van De Graaf, Kontron, RTC – July 2011
Evolving pin-outs and integrated on-chip graphics options are enabling richer visual applications that will extend the idea of what have been considered embedded systems.

PC/104 Embedded Consortium Members Adopt PCIe/104 Type 2 Specification
March 2011
The PC/104 Embedded Consortium members have voted and accepted the new PCIe/104 Type 2 specification. The goal behind the Type 2 specification is to expand the feature set available on PCIe/104 and PCI/104 Express while maintaining compatibility with a growing eco-system of host and peripheral…

PCIe/104 Type 2 at first glance
By Jim Blazer PC/104 Consortium – March 2011
PCIe/104 Type 2 continues the PCIe/104 legacy of two high-speed surface mount connectors, but Type 2’s mechanical design is built to ensure that conflicts with existing PCI Express x1 or USB peripheral cards are a thing of the past.

PC/104 technology questions and answers
By Jim Blazer PC/104 Consortium – August 2010
Discover the details about card stacking, timing specs, system power supply, and other PC/104-related topics.

Stackable Single Board Computers: Choosing between the Form Factors 
by Dr. Qi Chen, Adlink Technology, RTC – July 2010
There are clear reasons to choose between using COM modules vs. SBCs in a design. But once the decision has been made to use an SBC, what are the criteria for selecting one of the various small SBC form factors?

PC/104 in Transportation
by PC/104 Consortium, EE Catalog – June 2010
Modern transportation is heavily dependent on embedded electronics for everything from engine control systems to transportation infrastructure. Electronics are used in virtually every mode of mechanical transportation from bicycles to space craft, if it moves you can bet you will find electronic components. The dependency on electronics only grows with each generation of transportation vehicles and systems.

What are PCI/104-Express®, EPIC-Express® and EBX Express®?
May 2010
EPIC-Express and EBX-Express are the embodiments of PCI/104-Express on the PC/104 Embedded Consortium’s EPIC and EBX form factors.

PCI/104-Express simplifies peripheral board circuitry
By Jim Blazer PC/104 Consortium – March 2010
Incorporating the PCI Express bus within the industry-proven PC/104 architecture provides embedded applications with many advantages…

The place for PC/104 products
By Jim Blazer PC/104 Consortium – December 2009
The products section of www.pc104.org gives members a place to showcase their PC/104 products and gives OEMs and end users a place to find these products.

Low power is relative
By Jim Blazer PC/104 Consortium – October 2009
The PC/104 architecture addresses the whole spectrum of power requirements. Article by Jim Blazer, President of the PC/104 Embedded Consortium.

Standard versus custom? Choose both
By Jim Blazer PC/104 Consortium – June 2009
PC/104 gives designers the ability to use standard modules and still build a custom system. Article by Jim Blazer, President of the PC/104 Embedded Consortium.

Kicking off a new year
By Jim Blazer PC/104 Consortium – May 2009
New leadership will build on last year’s productivity with more marketing activities promoting PCI/104-Express and other specs. Article by Jim Blazer, President of the PC/104 Embedded Consortium.

Embedded marketplace embraces PCI/104-Express
By Len Crane PC/104 Consortium – April 2009
The PC/104 Consortium’s family of specifications allows users to leverage the vast array of available standard and custom chip devices.

PC/104 powers nanosatellite for space situational awareness
by Kristin Allen, PC/104 and Small Form Factors – March 27, 2009, OpenSystems Media
Believe in the “big sky, little satellite” theory? The recent destruction of an orbiting Iridium satellite in an unintentional collision should dismiss that notion quickly. Vital space assets are now just as vulnerable as terrestrial ones. In a unique competition, university students are putting PC/104 to work on protecting these space assets.

Choosing the Appropriate PC/104 format
by Kristin Allen, PC/104 and Small Form Factors – June 1, 2007, OpenSystems Media
PC/104 has developed into several closely related variants, including Embedded Board eXpandable (EBX) and Embedded Platform for Industrial Computing (EPIC). The following form factor rundown explores the history behind these SBCs and provides a guide to choosing between the formats.

PC/104 Embedded Consortium Approves Changes
March 2009
Sacramento, March 30, 2009 – The PC/104 Embedded Consortium? has added two Universal Serial Bus (USB) connections to the stackable PCI/104-Express and PCIe/104 specifications. Since its adoption a year ago, more and more manufactures are embracing the PCI/104-Express and PCIe/104 specifications…

Off-the-shelf building blocks fit embedded systems
by Kristin Allen, Embedded Computing Design – March 2007, OpenSystems Media
Companies often develop their own electronics subsystems for products that require embedded computing elements. Many don’t leverage standards-based modular embedded computer systems to significantly reduce time to market and costs for projects that have embedded electronic components.

Interconnect Wars? Let Peace Prevail with Interconnect Standards
by Bob Burckle and Colin McCracken, Winsystems and Adlink Technology, RTC – January 2009
COMs were developed to solve certain problems with SBCs but have some issues of their own when developing the needed carrier boards for I/O. A combination of standard interconnects may bring a solution for painlessly mating CPU to I/O.

PC/104 Embedded Consortium Approves EBX Express Specification
October 2008
Sacramento, CA, October 29, 2008 – The PC/104 Embedded Consortium? has recently adopted the next specification incorporating the stackable PCI Express? standard for the PC/104? industry. Once again the voting members adopted this new specification with overwhelming positive support addressing…

New PCI/104-Express Standard
by Jim Blazer, RTD Embedded Technologies, RTC – June 2008
The PC/104 Consortium’s new standard, PCI/104-Express, expands the usefulness of a host of existing standards in the PC/104 family while meeting users’ needs for increased speed with link throughputs up to 75 times faster than PCI via the PCI Express bus.

PC/104 Embedded Consortium Approves PCI/104-Express Specification
April 2008
— Sacramento, March 21, 2008 The PC/104 Embedded Consortium adopted a consolidated and consistent stackable PCI Express roadmap for the PC/104 industry! With overwhelming positive support, the voting members adopted the PCI/104-Express and PCIe/104 specification to address the needs of…

An advanced course on PC/104
by Jim Blazer, RTD, PC/104 and Small Form Factors – December 1, 2007, OpenSystems Media
As chairman of the PC/104 Consortium’s Technical Committee and CTO for RTD Embedded Technologies, Jim Blazer is accustomed to fielding PC/104-related inquiries. He took some time to answer our burning questions as well as share common questions and answers he has been compiling for a PC/104 FAQ posted at the consortium’s website, www.pc104.org.

System integration pushes past PC/104 restrictions
by Richard Hung, Advantech, PC/104 and Small Form Factors – September 1, 2007, OpenSystems Media
While PC/104 is becoming a popular module choice for system integrators, its compact size presents thermal management predicaments, especially in industrial applications that have extreme environmental requirements. Developing a total system solution with specially designed thermal fins and an embedded heat sink can prevent overheating and thus help ensure reliable system performance in harsh operating conditions.

PC/104: making room for greater performance
by Steve Potocny, Kontron, PC/104 and Small Form Factors – July 1, 2007, OpenSystems Media
Today’s x86 processors can indeed fit into PC/104 footprints with proper care and feeding. Kontron shares their perspective on working with past and present Intel processor technology within the limitations of PC/104 and calls for continued adaptation in the standard to embrace PCI Express (PCIe).

Choosing the appropriate PC/104 format
by Kristin Allen, PC/104 and Small Form Factors – June 1, 2007, OpenSystems Media
PC/104 has developed into several closely related variants, including Embedded Board eXpandable (EBX) and Embedded Platform for Industrial Computing (EPIC). The following form factor rundown explores the history behind these SBCs and provides a guide to choosing between the formats.

Modular solution rises above PC/104 restrictions 
by Richard Hung, Advantech, PC/104 and Small Form Factors – Fall 2007, OpenSystems Media
While PC/104 is becoming a popular module choice for systems integrators, its compact size presents thermal management predicaments, especially in industrial applications that have extreme environmental requirements. Developing a total system solution with specially designed thermal fins and embedded heat sink can prevent overheating and thus help ensure reliable system performance in harsh operating conditions.

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