Welcome to EmbeddedXpress.org

EmbeddedXpress™ (EMX™) introduces a modular, stackable, PCI Express-based small form factor embedded system architecture that offers the advantages of both computer-on-modules (COMs) and single-board-computers (SBCs). EMX offers more features in the same size as other form factors at a lower cost, plus easier performance scalability and longer product lifetime.

EMX is a complete system that defines form factors for SBCs, COM baseboards (carriers), and I/O expansion modules. Although the physical design is optimized for use with COM Express™, the features are also ideal for other COMs, including Qseven.

Low cost, high capacity expansion bus

A key element of EMX is its low cost, high capacity, future-proof system expansion bus connector. The EMX connector offers all the most popular expansion buses, while maintaining plenty of spare pins for next-generation enhancements.

EMX’s high density, self-stacking bus


Two form factors

EMX defines two physical form factors in the same size as COM Express Basic and Compact. Example products are shown below.

EMX Basic (125 x 95 mm)

EMX Compact (95 x 95 mm)

(click images to enlarge)


Single- and dual-board processor modules

EMX flexibility is illustrated by the ability to offer both single-board (SBC) and dual-board (COM+carrier) processor modules in the exact same footprint. This gives customers increased options for upgradeability and longer lifetime with minimal redesign efforts. With the use of a standard EMX carrier, any COM Express or Qseven module can be easily turned into a complete off-the-shelf solution.

CPU module
COM + carrier
CPU module
CPU module +
I/O expansion module

(click images to enlarge)


Efficient cooling solution

A key benefit of EMX is the adoption of a bottom-mounted heat spreader for system cooling. This provides multiple advantages, including more efficient cooling for greater reliability and easier system installation with the integrated mounting holes. Since I/O expansion is only on the top, overall cost and size are also reduced by eliminating the bus switch circuits required with other form factors.

EMX stack with bottom-mounted heat spreader
(click image to enlarge)


Additional benefits for system developers

SBC vendors can take advantage of the COM-plus-carrier aspect of EMX by designing carrier boards to work with multiple vendors’ COMs. This significantly reduces the time, cost, complexity, and risk of developing a new generation product and helps get to market faster with new processors as well as broaden product lines. OEMs can benefit from EMX by using it as a low-cost, low-impact means of offering expandability and upgrades to their systems. Simply add the connector and four mounting holes to the PCB design to offer your customers a path to the future.

Summary of Features & Benefits

EMX Features

  • Complete system architecture defining SBCs, COM baseboards, and expansion modules
  • Two sizes matching COM Express: Basic (125x95mm) and Compact (95x95mm)
  • Ideal for multiple COM form factors, including COM Express and Qseven
  • Small-footprint, low-cost expansion connector includes 4 PCI Express x 1 lanes, 2 USB, SATA, and LPC
  • Processor agnostic – can be used with x86, ARM, and SoC architectures
  • Integrated bottom-mounted heat spreader for more efficient cooling and easier installation
EMX Benefits

  • Converts COMs into complete off-the-shelf solutions
  • Enables compact, rugged, modular, scalable system designs
  • Expansion bus consumes less space, allowing more features to fit on one board
  • Maximizes board coastline available for I/O connectors
  • Future-proof expansion bus with plenty of unused pins
  • Reduces SBC development time and cost
  • Simplifies migration to new processors
  • Lengthens product lifecycles


Join the EmbeddedXpress Initiative!

EmbeddedXpress (EMX) is an open standard, freely usable with no licenses or royalties. For further information about EMX and the EMX Initiative, read the EMX Backgrounder and request a copy of the EMX Specification.

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