The PC 104 computer is a single board computer that can extend its feature beyond the single board. This works by stacking other modules that have other capabilities on top of the PC 104 board. PC104 is a modular, ruggedized version of the PC. Instead of using a backplane, PC104 modules mate together via stackable ISA, PCI, and PCIe bus connectors”. (n.d)
Although the PC104 is small and compact it is still capable of running software that is designed for desktop computers because it can expand the hardware by combining it with different modules to make it even more powerful.
The PC104 is not only great for both space-saving and power but it is also cost-effective “PC104 leverage PC hardware and software markets by following the mainstream PC bus development” (n.d) so there is no need to worry about marketing the PC as a new product which also reduces the cost of developing the product.
The great thing about the PC104 is that the system designer can design a system based on what they need which also reduces the overall cost of the project. Instead of buying a server that includes everything which can be expensive, the system designer can buy only the module they need for the system.
If they want to increase memory for the PC104, the system designer just needs to get the memory module and stack it on top to increase the memory.
The PC 104 Computer is available in many places and so does the module that one can buy to expand the computer capabilities.no matter what you need – CPU, I/O, power supply, communications – you’re likely to find it in a PC/104 module” (n.d) and the great thing about these modules is that they are designed to work together so the system designer does not have to worry about incompatibility when connecting multiple boards together, that means if the system designer wants to separate the modules and use them for a later date they do not have to uninstall any software or driver, basically the software remains the same even when the modules are separated and use at a different date in the future.
This PC 104 is very small in size and only measure about 3.55 by 3.775 inches. That means one can fit this PC almost anywhere and out of sight while providing the power of a traditional desktop machine.
Since the PC 104 runs an x86 processor, it is capable of running Windows or Linux which makes it even better because if one chooses to run Linux, he or she can install and run any software built for that distribution on the x86 processor or they can install Windows and run any executable file without much problem as long as they have the module required for the software they wish to run on Windows.
The best use for the PC104 is heaving it as a server because since it is small and compact it will consume very little electricity and at the same time, it can fit into tight space while providing all of the same features as a traditional desktop.
If used for personal or business, any type of servers can be built using the PC104 computer and some example servers one can build are a web server, file server, cloud server, firewall, or a VPN server.