Harmonious, fast and convenient development with SMARC and SimpleSwitch™

You are no doubt already familiar with Smart Mobility Architecture – more often known as SMARC – as it’s a standard specification for computers and modules. What you may not know, however, is that this excellent open-standard platform for embedded computing was created a decade ago by the Standardization Group for Embedded Technologies and Avnet Embedded was one of SGET’s founding members.

It was initially developed as an embedded standard to support ARM and industrial x86 processors and has grown to be a hugely popular framework for embedded modules, favoured for applications that require low power, low cost and high performance. But this actually tells you very little, so let’s take a deeper dive into SMARC.

At a standard 82 x 50mm in size, the SMARC connecter is small and highly robust – enough to even be certified for automotive products. It’s size, 314 pins, and number of hardware interfaces makes it easy to integrate into most systems. Among them are:

  • 4 PCI Express
  • 2 USB 3.0
  • 6 USB 2.0
  • 2 x 2 independent dual channel LVDS
  • DisplayPort
  • EDP or 4 DSI
  • 2 x 2 gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Audio as independent
  • HGA and I2S ports

Its edge contacts also enable a low resistance at high speed, which is usable even for advanced signals.

Through all of these benefits, it’s easy to understand how the SMARC standard for embedded modules became so popular. Particularly as Avnet Embedded has the worldwide largest roadmap for SMARC modules. And since all SMARC modules use the same connector, you can easily switch between them.

A second important benefit is that, thanks to this large portfolio and the SMARC standard, the ability to easily switch, independently of your carrier board, can reduce your time to market – depending on your use case, of course. For example, you might have a low-end device running on an i.MX8 Nano and your high-end product using an Intel Elkhart Lake module. But both are running on the same carrier board.

Thirdly – and probably most importantly in terms of compliance and sustainability goals – the open standard makes your product future proof. SMARC modules can be upgraded, significantly extending product lifespan and preventing obsolescence.

Of course, it is clear that these benefits match beautifully with our SimpleSwitch offering. In fact, you might say that SimpleSwitch is to software what the SMARC standard is to hardware.

  • SMARC lets you reuse your carrier board independently of the SMARC module. SimpleSwitch allows your software to run independently of the type of SMARC module.
  • With SMARC, you can use off the shelf carrier boards to get started.
  • With SimpleSwitch, you start your application with our software templates for Python, Qt or Flutter.

And with both you can start your project right away.

Avnet Embedded offers the worldwide largest roadmap for SMARC modules, including SMARC carrier boards. Our portfolio is designed and manufactured in-house at our technology campuses in Germany. And we have an expert team of technical specialists, who are more than happy to talk to you, should you need any additional information

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