In a nutshell, the motherboard form factor describes the board’s size and shape specifications. Additional factors like the casing, power supply, mounting holes, and general physical layout are also influenced by the form factor.
1983 saw the introduction of the first form factor. Since the form factor specifications were open, IBM built the personal computer XT, which became the de facto industry standard.
The technological environment has changed today. There are 40 variations of the original motherboard form factor, all of which depart from the typical use case for personal computers. There are now many other manufacturers of motherboard form factors, including Intel, ASUS, VIA, ABIT, and more, making them less popular than IBM once was. Rackmount servers, motherboard form factors designed for embedded systems,
Motherboard Form Factor: What is it?
According to its purpose, the motherboard form factors is the primary component of every computer’s internal architecture. primarily in charge of controlling how the computer’s components, including the CPU, RAM, storage, graphics card, and I/O, interact with one another.
To avoid stifling the potential of any other component within the PC, it is crucial to understand its capabilities, limitations, and key features. The form factor (exterior physical size and shape), another important factor, should be considered for the computer application depending on the field in which it will be used.
A motherboard’s form factors, chipset, processor socket type, and form factor are its defining characteristics.
- CPU socket and CPU.
- RAM slots, DRAM, and RAM.
- Power supply for ATX.
- Northbridge and southbridge of IDE connectors.
- Integrated connectors for peripherals like USB, Ethernet, mouse, keyboard, display, and audio. PCE Slot CMOS Backup Battery.
Types of Motherboard Form Factor
- ATX is a type of motherboard form factor serves (Advanced Technology Extended)
ATX represents a significant change in the architecture of the motherboard form factors serves and other components, including the cabinet and the power supply, and was created as an evolution of the Baby AT form factor.
Significant changes have been made to the motherboard form factors, such as the placement of the CPU socket, which is now close to the power supply. This allows airflow from the power supply fan to occur without interference, unlike with Baby AT technology.
The connection between the feed source and the feed was another change. which now only has one connector, as opposed to the AT’s two. Several of the most significant upgrades
- ports with integrated input and output
- expansion slots without obstruction
- Start 3 Volts from the source under software control (reduces hardware cost, energy consumption, and heat)
- improved airflow
- less obstruction to accessing drive bays.
- The ATX motherboard form factors have 12 x 13-inch dimensions. The Mini ATX is a variant of the ATX; it is essentially a smaller version of the ATX but is more compact in terms of its shape, measuring 11.2 8.2 inches.
Micro ATX form
It is an advancement over ATX. It is 9.6 x 9.6 inches in size. Up to four expansion slots, compatible with ISA, PCI, PCI / ISA shared, and AGP, is supported by Micro-ATX. Since the measurements are different, the mounting holes have changed from the Standard ATX, but they are still compatible with the majority of ATX cabinets.
Both Intel and AMD processors are supported by this kind of motherboard form factor. Small Form Factor Desktop Computers frequently employ it.
Form Micro Mini-ITX Mini ITX
It is a motherboard form factors format with a low power consumption that measures 6.7 x 6.7 inches. The most distinguishing feature of this kind of form factor is its dimensions. Although this type of motherboard form factor was created with the intention of empowering low-consumption teams, they have since expanded in terms of advantages beyond all recognition.
Thanks to their open standard factor, Mini-ITX has gained popularity in a wide range of applications since its introduction. For all types of equipment, including IoT, industrial applications, and vehicle-embedded computers, mini ITX is a standard format. The Mini-ITX is the first reduced-format standard system that has gained popularity, working with any type of project and equipment.
Micro Nano-ITX form
Another type of motherboard form factor is the 4.7 4.7-inch Nano-ITX. Fully integrated boards called Nano-ITX are made to use very little power. Although this kind of motherboard form factor can be used for various tasks, it was created specifically for smart entertainment systems like PVRs, media hubs, smart TVs, in-car gadgets, and more.
Micro Pico-ITX form
The smallest motherboard form factor on this list is the Pico-ITX. It is 75% smaller than the Mini-ITX and has measurements of 3.9 2.8 in. VIA created and developed these motherboard form factors to promote innovation for more compact and intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
The Pico-ITX is a fantastic option for embedded systems applications, such as industrial automation, thanks to its x86-based platform and low-power consumption board.
Form Factors and Some of Their Applications
The Mini-ITX systems can be installed in vehicles’ limited spaces to communicate with real-time tracking and monitoring systems due to their extremely compact format and powerful performance.
The rugged, fanless vehicle computer made by Lanner, the V3G, illustrates a Mini-ITX solution. The new generation 14 nm Intel® AtomTM x7-E3950 SoC powers the V3G. (formerly Apollo Lake). This AtomTM processor is designed for automotive computing applications and uses a small amount of power while improving performance over earlier generations.
One of the most important requirements is wireless network connectivity, so the V3G provides two mini-PCIe sockets with a swappable SIM slot that supports 3G/4G/LTE cellular communications. The portable system also includes multiple antennae I/Os for extended receptions and a built-in GPS for navigation.
As an in-vehicle computer, V3G boasts a wealth of I/O peripheral connectivity, including two serial COM ports, two video output ports for DVI-D, USB, and digital I/O, and two RJ-45 LAN ports for interacting with other armored vehicle parts and systems. V3G offers SATA/mSATA storage options for data storage.
As a result of its certified LTE wireless connectivity and Military-grade toughness, Lanner’s V3G is an excellent choice in this situation.
Many local governments worldwide have adopted smart LED street lighting as the foundation for developing IoT-based smart cities. Many city planners see smart lighting as an opportunity to enable their IoT foundation by consolidating sensors, wireless communication points, and open-interface technologies because the street lighting infrastructure already exists. The requirements that should be taken into account are a large number of I/O ports, LTE connectivity, a wide operating temperature range, and (of course) having a small form factor to work with all of these components in an outdoor environment.
The Lanner LEC-3030T, a small communication white-box IIoT gateway designed to meet the demands for intelligent LED street lighting, is one example of an IoT street illumination solution. The physical design of the gateway complies with the outdoor environment with a small form factor and fanless thermal mechanism. LEC-3030T can withstand a wide range of operating temperatures, from as low as -40°C to as high as 70°C, because the extreme temperature is a potential challenge in an outdoor application.
Performance-wise, the LEC-3030T is supported by an Intel AtomTM E3815 processor and up to 4GB of DDR3L at 1,333 MHz SO-DIMM memory to successfully complete data collection, analysis, and transfer for an entire application. As the Internet of Things (IoT) gateway for street lamps, the LEC-3030T has a ton of I/O connectors, including a VGA display, serial COM ports (with RS-232/422/485 and ESD/surge protection), digital I/O connectors, RJ-45 LAN ports, and USB ports to support the deployment’s various sensors and meters.
These are just two excellent examples of how a PC’s tendency to shrink its form factor has positive effects on both cost and space. In addition to reviewing the various form factors, we also learned how each one supports PC applications.
The design of motherboard form factors is changing quickly due to the emergence of millions of unique IoT devices and embedded systems. Forms are becoming more flexible to each application, and sizes are changing.
A device’s size is determined by the motherboard form factor size. An industrial IoT device will need a different form factor than a smartwatch. So when creating the device, the form factor becomes essential.
The specifications for a motherboard form factors construction, including its size, shape, casing, power supply, mounting holes, and general layout, are determined by its form factor.