PC/104 vendors head to Embedded World in strong position, atop a billion-dollar market

PC/104, well into its fourth decade, remains strong globally in markets such as aerospace, defense, industrial, and medical. Such longevity is a tribute to its inherent ruggedness and the open architecture that enables PC/104 designers to continually integrate state-of-the-art processing technology from companies such as Intel and Arm. In this conversation with the PC/104 Consortium leadership, they discuss how the small form factor still fosters a robust, billion-dollar industry on the eve of the 2019 Embedded World exhibition and conference; key PC/104 suppliers look forward to hitting the exhibit floor in Nuremberg, Germany to build on the momentum in the industrial market.

PC/104 Consortium: While new architectures and small form factors have become the choice of embedded computing designers in recent years, the venerable PC/104 is forecast to see a 5 percent annual growth rate through 2020, rising to $1.1 billion in revenue.

Q: Why is Embedded World important for PC/104 vendors?

PC/104 Consortium: Embedded World is the preeminent showcase for embedded products and an excellent venue to promote the PC/104 community and its many products and solutions. Many new compelling technologies such as SMARC, COMe, and ETX are competing for new embedded designs. Our participation in Embedded World reinforces the PC/104 community’s position as a leader in the embedded market.

Q: How are the consortium and its members participating in this year’s event?

PC/104 Consortium: The Consortium is co-sharing a megabooth with OpenSystems Media, with featured speaking events, signage, product placement, media promotions, and partner events. The attendees will have the opportunity to meet with many of the consortium’s members at booth 3A-528 to discuss their application or speak to an expert about PC/104. We are looking at having an industry panel discussion with audience Q&A following the talks.

Q: What industries are important to PC/104 vendors, who are the primary users, and why?

PC/104 Consortium: We see steady growth for PC/104 technology in industrial automation, aerospace and defense, medical applications, and other embedded industries. The telecommunications industry, not being a strong adopter of PC/104, will see a decline, gradually shrinking to less than 1 percent of PC/104 applications.

Designers are using PC/104 because of the wide array of processor technology, rich I/O, low costs, rugged design, and ease of integration. The PC/104 design is ideally suited for integration into small-form-factor computers such as the Parvus DuraCor product line from Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions, the HPERC from ADLINK Technology, and the M-Max from MicroMax.

Q: What are the Consortium’s goals for the next year?

PC/104 Consortium: We are looking to increase the visibility of PC/104 online, in print, and in person to provide value and exposure to our global membership. We are particularly focused on enhancing our presence on social media channels such as Twitter (@pc104consortium) and LinkedIn. We are also nearly finished with a revision to our website to ensure up-to-date information concerning the consortium, members, and products (https://pc104.org).

For our members, we’ve also initiated a new database and are in the evaluation stage of upgrading our PCIe/104 specification to Version 4.0, which will have improved stackability, among other enhancements.