SMARC 2.1 was released March 23rd, 2020 and is a Computer-On-Module formfactor hosted by the SGET consortium.  

congatec is acting as editor of the SMARC 2.0 and SMARC 2.1 Specification.

Get the new SMARC 2.1 Whitepaper here

Get the SMARC 2.0 Whitepaper here

Watch the SMARC 2.0 video here

The technical highlights of SMARC 2.1 

SMARC 2.0 modules stand out with their rich choice of graphics, camera, sound, network and optional wireless interfaces. They offer embedded system developers a complete, off-the-shelf, credit-card sized embedded computing core that is ideal for IoT connected multimedia platforms and many other graphics-intensive low-power applications. 

The updated specification SMARC 2.1 extends this feature set even further. Two PCI Express lanes can be used alternatively as additional Ethernet ports. Extra two MIPI CSI interfaces and additional GPIOs also extends the possibilities of SMARC modules. 

Quick overview 

SMARC 2.1 is perfectly positioned between the two well-established module standards Qseven and COM Express. Compared with the Qseven standard, which allows low-cost entry into the world of computer modules and integrates various x86 and ARM low-power processors for the process and field levels, SMARC offers more interfaces – especially more multimedia ports. Compared with the high-performance COM Express or even COM-HPC modules that make up the upper class of COMs, SMARC 2.1 is targeted at the low-power processor segment and also supports other interfaces than COM Express. 


SMARC 2.1 utilizes a highly reliable, high speed certified but affordable 314 pin 0.5mm MXM 3 connector. 

Extensive video interface options

SMARC 2.1 offers a rich choice of internal and external video interfaces. Two dual-mode DisplayPorts (DP++) are provided for flexible external screen connections via DisplayPort, HDMI or VGA. For internal displays 2x24 Bit LVDS is implemented. Alternative use is defined to support two independent embedded DisplayPort (eDP) or MIPI Display Serial Interface (DSI) 

Up to 4 Ethernet interfaces yield greater precision 

SMARC 2.1 implements two Gigabit Ethernet ports including SDPs (Software Defined Pins) to allow for hardware-based IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP). Two of the 4 PCI Express lanes (PCIe C & PCIe D) can be used alternatively as SERDES interfaces to provide additional Ethernet functionality. In total up to 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports are possible now. 


SMARC 2.1 provides a special area on the module that is dedicated to the placement of the miniature RF connectors to allow for wireless interfaces like WLAN and Bluetooth. 

Camera interfaces

To support the rising demand of cameras for AI applications SMARC 2.1 defines up to 4 MIPI CSI interfaces. Two MIPI CSI interfaces available on the module connectors while the extra 2 interfaces can be placed as flat foil connectors on the top side of the SMARC 2.1 module. In total it‘s possible now to connect up to 4 MIPI CSI camera for sophisticated vision applications. 

Low Power

SMARC 2.1 is defined for low power consumption applications only. It can be operated by 3.3V or 5V DC power and provides all additional signals for battery management. 

Backwards Compatible

Since all new SMARC 2.1 features have been implemented as alternative functions to existing signals and/or on unused pins, SMARC 2.0 is 100% backward compatible. A redesign of existing SMARC 2.0 carrier boards is only necessary if new SMARC 2.1 functionalities are used. 

Small Size

The module dimensions are a mere 82 x 50 mm². This means it can be easily integrated into size constricted systems. 

SGeT e.V.

The SMARC (“Smart Mobility ARChitecture”) Specification is hosted by the SGeT standardization group founded in 2012. congatec is founding member, board member and SMARC specification editor of the SGeT. 


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