XIAO SoM User Manual: The Ultimate Guide to Streamline Product Design, Providing Seamless Experience from Module Selection to Mass Production

What is 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. 

Download XIAO Series SoM User Manual Here!

Why do we decide to release XIAO SoM User Manual?

Since 2020, we have been developing a series of thumb-sized development boards called XIAO, featuring a compact design, powerful processors, and rich peripherals. 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 will be taking the next step in our journey by offering XIAO Series as System-on-Modules. With this new offering, Seeed is expected to be able to provide a complete service with even greater flexibility and customization options, empowering you to tailor XIAO Series solutions based on specific needs.  

What can you expect from XIAO’s new role?

System-on-Modules: New Role for XIAO; Pre-designed, Pre-tested, and Pre-certified Computing Blocks Ready to be Integrated into your Designs 

XIAO has been serving as a standalone computing system with a processor, memory, storage, and peripheral interfaces itself. On the other hand, it can also be a compact and fully-integrated computing block to be incorporated into larger computer systems, such as an embedded device or an industrial computer. Being System-on-Modules indicates that XIAO can be surface-mounted onto a custom carries a board to seamlessly integrate with other hardware components. 

The XIAO System-on-Module (SoM) offers a host of unique advantages, reduced development time and lower production cost, greater design flexibility, and simplified maintenance and upgrades to name a few. In particular, there are three main aspects where the XIAO SoM shines, setting it apart from other modules on the market, which will be presented in greater detail below.

Three Key Advantages of XIAO SoM Compared with Others

XIAO: Development 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

As a powerful board-level module, XIAO can significantly streamline the hardware product development process in two key ways. 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.

In addition, traditional hardware product development often involves designing various circuits, interfaces, and components that can be challenging and time-consuming. However, XIAO SoM has already integrated processor cores, communication interfaces, and memory blocks, so 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 Functional Components: A Time and Effort-Saving Solution for Board Designers

Compared to modules that are designed for a single specific function, XIAO SoM already integrates multiple functional components that can be used for different purposes such as resetting, wireless communications, and Type-C charging, among others. In the traditional design process, designers would need to select the appropriate button type, determine the button’s electrical characteristics, and create the necessary circuitry to interface the button with the board. They may also need to develop custom firmware to enable the desired button functionality. However, by providing these built-in functional modules and peripherals, XIAO can significantly reduce the time and effort that designers would normally spend on board designing. 

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

XIAO SoM has a high level of integration with all the necessary components and interfaces integrated while still maintaining a tiny size. This small form factor makes it an excellent choice for space-limited devices such as wearables, IoT devices, and drones. Taking up less space in your designs, XIAO allows for easier integration into devices with limited space for electronics. 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 makes it ideal for prototyping and testing small-scale projects, allowing for 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, the unified form factor provides designers and manufacturers with more flexibility when creating and marketing their products. 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. This not only increases the number of options available to consumers but also enables manufacturers to reach a wider market with a smaller range of products. All of these makes XIAO a high-quality, versatile, and cost-effective option for manufacturers and designer. 

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

By placing all SMD components on the same side of the board, you can enjoy: 

  • Ease of assembly:  it simplifies the assembly process by allowing pick-and-place machines to easily mount the components on the board without having to flip it over.
  • Better reliability: placing all components on one side allows for better inspection and repair of the board. It also helps to reduce the risk of soldering defects that can cause connection failures.
  • Lower cost: a single-sided board can be less expensive to manufacture than a double-sided board, as it requires fewer drilling and plating steps.
  • Space savings: a board with all components on one side can be thinner than a double-sided board, which is important for space-limited designs.

Thriving Ecosystem Support with Powerful Software Compatibility, Rich Community Resources, and Dedicated Technical Assistance

What makes XIAO stand out from other traditional module suppliers is the unparalleled level of support that it offers. Far more than basic specifications, Seeed goes above and beyond to provide developers with a rich set of resources. At Seeed, we have a thriving community of developers who have created countless high-quality demos and use case studies to help others get started with 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. Furthermore, our team will keep updating to ensure that XIAO always remains up-to-date with the latest features and more powerful functionalities. 

In our XIAO User Manual, we share some typical application scenarios.

  1. DIY XIAO Mechanical Keyboard
  2. Unleash XIAO’s Musical Potential: A Budget-Friendly Eurorack Solution, MIDI Keyboard Integration, and More!
  3. Unleash the Power of Tracking with XIAO: The Unmissable Solution for Accurate, Reliable, and Affordable Tracking
  4. XIAO in Healthcare: Solutions for Sun Damage, FoG Issues, Heartbeat Monitoring, and Blood Oxygen & Heart Rate Measurement
  5. XIAO-Powered Detection Tools: Anomaly Detection & Motion Classification for Containers in Transit, AI-driven Yogurt Production, and Gas Leak Detection Robo

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. With a robust and active community, XIAO offers ensured product life and a complete ecosystem, which means you have access to a wide range of resources to help you bring your ideas to life. Additionally, XIAO’s cost-effective solution allows designers to create feature-rich products without breaking the bank. Overall, XIAO is the perfect platform for product designers who want a powerful, flexible, and well-supported hardware and software ecosystem to bring their ideas to life.

One-stop service: from Module Selection to Mass Production, Seeed Has You Covered All

What sets Seeed apart from other module suppliers is our one-stop solution. We not only provide high-quality system-on-modules, but we also deliver comprehensive PCBA services, sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, logistics, and warehousing services. By providing all these services under one roof, we offer a streamlined and efficient process that saves time and resources for our customers. 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. We are passionate about helping customers achieve their business objectives and create a better future through innovation.

XIAO Series has a compact and sleek form factor, exceptional design, unparalleled versatility, and powerful ecosystem support. This unique combination makes it a competitive choice for innovative and cutting-edge products. We are looking forward to empowering you to push the boundaries of what is possible!

Let us know if you have any ideas!

PCBA Service Email: [email protected]
Technical Support Email: [email protected]
Business Enquiry Email: [email protected]

5 thoughts on “XIAO SoM User Manual: The Ultimate Guide to Streamline Product Design, Providing 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