System-on-Modules (SoMs) are compact, embedded single board computers designed for integration into a range of different applications.
The System on Module is usually a small processor module with a CPU and standard I/O capability, designed to plug into a base board. The complex and often expensive effort associated with designing a CPU system is avoided by using SoM functionality and a custom base board.
Separating the design of the carrier board and COM makes design concepts more modular. If the processor and main I/O controllers are located on a COM, it is much more straightforward to upgrade a CPU component to the next generation, without having to redesign a custom carrier as well,
which can reduce product development costs while shortening time to market and technical risk.
Some devices also incorporate FPGA components. FPGA-based functions can be added as IP cores to the COM itself or to the carrier card. Using FPGA IP cores supports to the modularity of a COM concept, because I/O functions can be adapted to special needs without extensive rewiring on the printed circuit board.
There are many benefits to using COM products instead of ground-up development, from increasing speed to market, reduction to risk, cost savings, choice of a variety of CPUs, reduced requirements and time for customer design, to an ability to conduct both hardware and software development at once.