Embedded computer module maker Toradex has unveiled a new, independent, computer on module architecture called Apalis supporting both x86 and ARM arch. Toradex says ARM core is now getting into applications which was earlier served by x86 arch, and x86 processor makers such as Intel and AMD are trying to increase power efficiency in order to compete in areas previously dominated by ARM. Apalis is designed to serve SoCs designed using any of these popular archs.
Toradex says Apalis is designed to fulfil four objectives – flexibility, usability, extensibility and longevity. The numerous features include a range of interface options and pre-installed operating systems - Windows Embedded Compact or Linux.
Toradex explains interfaces on Apalis modules are divided into two categories: standard and type specific. Standard interfaces are the ones most commonly used. These are kept entirely compatible between all modules in the emerging Apalis family. This feature enables a price and performance optimised product with room to increase processing power and storage in the future. Type-specific interfaces such as MIPI CSI or DSI can be valuable additions, but are less commonly used in industrial applications, and usually suffer from very short product life spans in the mobile and consumer markets.
Integration into custom carrier boards is made easy by Toradex’s Direct Breakout technology. Direct Breakout enables signal routing direct from module connector to outside world I/O ports without crossing traces or traversing layers. The Apalis module can be fixed to a carrier board either with M3 screws or a MXM Snaplock connector. The MXM Snaplock option provides a simple retention mechanism for the development phase or in gentler conditions.
The Apalis T30 module will begin shipping in March 2013 and the full specification is available on the Toradex website at http://developer.toradex.com/hardware-resources/arm-family/apalis-module-architecture