XIAO System-on-Modules: The Ultimate Choice to Streamline Product Design, Providing a Seamless Experience from Module Selection to Mass Production

Since 2020, we have been developing a series of thumb-sized development boards called XIAO. In 2022, our hard work paid off as we sold an impressive 172,000 XIAO boards in a year. We are thrilled to see how our XIAO boards have enabled innovators and creators to bring their ideas to life. More surprisingly and gratefully, users show us the huge potential of XIAO by utilizing them in various vertical applications. In 2023, we decided to offer comprehensive service with greater flexibility and more customization options, empowering you to tailor XIAO-based products.

Reintroducing Seeed Studio XIAO Series, dev boards that can act as functional modules

XIAO is a series of ready-for-production development boards with a compact design, thumb-sized form factor, powerful processors, and rich peripherals. As completed MCUs with all SMD components single-sided on the boards, XIAOs can act as functional modules ready to be incorporated into more complex computing systems. Since XIAOs are pre-integrated and tested already, they can significantly save your time and effort from the transition from ideas prototype to scale-up production. In this regard, you can treat XIAO as a System-on-Modules.

What is System-on-Modules? Why XIAO can be called System-on-Modules?

System-on-Module refers to a compact electronic module that integrates essential components of a computer system, including a microprocessor, memory, storage, and other necessary peripherals. XIAO meets all these features and is initially designed to simplify the development process by providing you with hardware solutions that combine size, power, and ease of use.

Three Key Unique Advantages of XIAO Series

As a product designer, when selecting modules, it’s crucial to consider a range of factors such as the product life, ecosystem, technical support, and price. XIAO stands out in each of these areas, making it an ideal choice for any product designer. In particular, there are three main aspects where the XIAO SoM shines, setting it apart from other modules on the market, let’s walk through them now.

1. Dev Board and Module Hybrid Enabling Rapidly Prototype While Easily Integrate; Significantly Streamline Product Development Process

  • Start with Development Board-Level Prototyping to Skip Complex Peripheral Circuit Designing; With Built-in Functional Components to Enable you to Focus on Core Application Designs

Unlike traditional chip-level prototyping, XIAO SoM enables designers to start prototyping directly from a development board level. This process saves both time and resources as XIAO SoM comes equipped with all the necessary components needed for your prototype. designers can focus solely on developing their core applications without having to spend significant time designing and prototyping peripheral circuits and components. This not only increases efficiency but also reduces the barriers to entry for hardware product development, making it more accessible for individuals and teams to experiment with their product ideas.

  • Built-in Multiple Functional Components: A Time and Effort-Saving Solution for Board Designers

Some XIAOs are already pre-integrated with multiple sensors like IMU, microphone, and camera. (XIAO nRF52840 and XIAO ESP32S3 Sense specifically). You don’t need to spend extra to select suitable modules, design a circuit for them, or even develop custom firmware to enable the desired functionality.

  • Tiny Size Realized by High-integration Level to Satisfy the needs of space-limited applications

XIAO SoM has a high level of integration which enables it to provide necessary functions while maintaining its thumb-size. This extremely compact form factor makes it an excellent choice for space-limited devices such as wearables, IoT devices, and drones. This not only makes the final product sleeker and aesthetically pleasing but also helps to reduce the overall size and weight of the device. Furthermore, the tiny size of XIAO also gives you more flexibility in the design process.

  • Invest for your Future: Unified Form Factor Enables you to Seamlessly Upgrade or Downgrade your Product at the lowest cost

XIAO’s unified form factor refers to the pin layout of the XIAO board, which has been standardized across all series of XIAO. This standardization makes the process of upgrading or downgrading your product design much more efficient and low-cost and also minimizes the risk of design errors, as designers will not need to make any significant changes. Additionally, since XIAO boards can be easily interchanged, designers can offer their customers a range of products with varying features and capabilities, without needing to create entirely new designs.

  • All SMD Components are placed on the same side for Rapid Mass Production

A single-sided board costs less than a double-sided board, as it requires fewer drilling and plating steps during the assembly process by allowing pick-and-place machines to easily mount the components on the board without having to flip it over. It also helps to reduce the risk of soldering defects that can cause connection failures.

2. Vibrant Community to Provide Rich Resources in Software Integration and Hardware Design

What makes XIAO stand out from other traditional module suppliers is the unparalleled level of support. Seeed’s vibrant community has created countless high-quality demos and uses case studies to help others get started with XIAO and better take advantage of XIAO. In addition to tutorials and libraries, we have a dedicated technical support team to assist developers throughout the entire process, from prototyping to production. Last but not least, our product team keeps developing new XIAOs and their accessories to satisfy increasingly diverse needs.

Here are some resources collected from the community:

Official User Manual: XIAO SoM User Manual

XIAO SoM User Manual opensource hardware and software materials of XIAO, providing professional product design guidelines to help you accelerate your ideas off the ground. This User Manual can provide everything needed from module selection to the final manufacturing.

Our active and vibrant community plays a significant role in fueling the extensive product line and rich ecosystem of XIAO. When developing your product, you can rest assured knowing that you will have the support provided not only by our team but this active and robust community.

3. One-stop service: From module Selection to Mass Production, Seeed Has You Covered All

At Seeed, we combine Shenzhen’s agile manufacturing resources with Seeed’s global sales experience, including sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, logistics, and warehousing services. Whether you have a mere idea, a feasible prototype, or a mature product, Seeed is here to serve anyone looking for robust customization and manufacturing.

If you’re interested in adopting XIAO into your designs, please do hesitate to contact us at [email protected], we will provide targeted support in 1-2 days. If you want to utilize Seeed’s marketing network and platform to share or sell your device, please contact us at:  [email protected]

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5 thoughts on “XIAO System-on-Modules: The Ultimate Choice to Streamline Product Design, Providing a Seamless Experience from Module Selection to Mass Production

  1. You should really explain what SoM actually is at the start of the article. I read halfway but couldn’t handle any more of being told how great it is when I still don’t know what it is.

    1. Really useful feedback! I appreciated it! I reorganized each part in the sequence of what, why, and how.

  2. The typical scenarios said to be in the manual are the same links in this blog post. Geez. So 差不多.

  3. You ought to change “Get access to … user manual” to “Download … user manual here”. I’m already here to get access to the manual. And the link in the email that pointed to this blog post said “get access”. Do I need to get access to get access? Very confusing and awkward English.

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February 2023