Q7 – An Exuberant and Emerging System on Module (SoM)

CMR Guest Contributor

CMR Guest Contributor

In today’s embedded industry most of the existing standards for CPU modules are centred on x86 architecture. Q7 is a new age, genuine and flexible standard particularly because it is tailored to suit the embedded market and attain comfort with Industrial applications. Although, Q7’s inception started with Intel Atom based modules the scene seems to have changed quite a bit as ARM Systems on Chip (SoC) with built-in peripherals blends and supports the standard like none other. As a result, Q7 modules are finding widespread applications in areas such as Industrial Automation & Control, Automotive in-Vehicle infotainment, Digital Signage, Video Security and Healthcare.

The benefits of using the SOMs in any electronic product include:

  • SOMs considerably reduce the design complexity and the final product cost
  • High performance SOMs deliver better system / device performance
  • Use of SOMs with lower processing power for lowering operational cost
  • Easy feature enhancement by changing the carrier board design
  • Easy introduction of new products to take care of obsolescence by designing new carrier card, which is much more simpler and cost effective

Besides, Q7 SoMs provide the flexibility and comfort of using an off-the-shelf CPU module and development of only a custom carrier card for a typical application. The complexity of the carrier card is much simpler than the SoM and hence, this facilitates quick “Time-to-Market” of the end product. With advanced devices based on ARM and FPGA coming out from Xilinx and Altera soon, the benefits of the Q7 SOMs will only surge. To conclude, support for multi core/multi OS will significantly kindle the interest of users towards SOM modules while significantly encouraging widespread usage for normal and complex applications.


Based on a recent industry report, forecasts for 2009-2014 portray a global demand and precipitated increase for Computer on Modules (CoM) from US$ 316 million to a touch over US$ 910 million, displaying a 23% CAGR.