Toradex has just released a preliminary specification which defines their next generation Computer-System-on-Module Architecture named Apalis.
The Apalis specification has been developed from in-depth research into diverse existing and emerging technologies. While primarily aimed at supporting ARM based devices such as the NVIDIA® Tegra™, Freescale® i.MX™ and Texas Instruments® OMAP™ families, this specification is specifically designed to be device and chip architecture independent. The objective is to ensure future proofing of the interfaces, benefiting customers by providing for long product lifecycles and the ability to continue to offer access to leading edge technologies without compromise.
As ARM based SoC technology continues to evolve, silicon vendors are adding support for a wider range of interfaces, such as PCI-express, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, etc. Combined with the huge advancement in graphics capability, such as 2D/3D hardware acceleration, full HD rendering and multiple display support, it is now possible to access markets previously reserved for higher power, x86 based technologies, such as the Intel Atom. Apalis will provide a platform with which to enable this technology to compete in these application areas
At the higher end, the pace of performance advancement in the ARM world is accelerating faster than the increase in performance efficiency. We are seeing a trend towards increased power consumption in high performance ARM based SoCs. Whilst passive cooling is still perfectly viable in many applications, this increase in power consumption means that allowances for additional cooling solutions, such as heat spreaders for conduction cooling, must be made. The Apalis physical module architecture provides a robust, rigid mounting mechanism to support these cooling solutions.
Apalis utilises modern day electronic design techniques, such as high speed, impedance controlled layouts utilising blind and buried via technology and high component density, to remove the complexity from customer’s application specific electronics and speeding their time to market.
Apalis aims at seamlessly complementing the very successful Colibri computer on module family with a number of high speed and graphics interfaces, allowing Toradex customers to further expand their market reach
The Apalis specification describes the interfaces in terms of functional and electrical characteristics, signal definitions and pin assignments. It also defines the mechanical form factor, especially the key dimensions. The specification is still in development and Toradex welcome your feedback.
The specification can be accessed via following link: