When choosing components for an IoT project many factors play into which is the best option. Form factor can be one of the most important deciding factors.
IoT is ever evolving and updates will likely need to be made to the project. Sierra Wireless recommends looking at 3 aspects of form factor.
- The consistency of footprints and pinouts across technologies and families.
- The ability to extend and customize functionality without changing the footprint.
- The option to right-size the feature set while working within the same footprint.
Looking at those 3 aspects may prevent expensive redesigns if a part or technology goes obsolete. Perhaps a current project is being made with a 3G module. 3G isn’t available from all carriers in all locations, as it’s slowly going obsolete. Using a common footprint would make a smoother transition to 4G or 5G. Now it’s impossible to predict if a manufacturer will make an upgraded model of a part, but the more common the part is, the more likely it is to be upgraded. Sierra Wireless uses a standard form factor, called CF3, so all modules in a given product series have the same fixed size, in the same well-defined footprint, and use the same core pinout structure.
To see Sierra Wireless’s whitepaper on this topic, please click here.