What is a Form Factor & Its Significance

The term form factor in computers is the configuration; size otherwise the physical design of a computing device. Generally, it is used to describe the size as well as the arrangement of a device. The internal components of a computer are a motherboard. Once it is applied to the software then it will represent the program size or the required memory to run the program well. In an electric field, a form factor is the sum of rectified current that is produced from a DC power source. If the form factor changes much from clean non-pulsating DC, then it specifies the possibility that electric motor, as well as brush life, will be shorter. This article discusses an overview of the form factor.

What is a Form Factor?

The form factor can be defined as; it is the ratio of the RMS value and the average value of an alternating current otherwise voltage. The average of all the instant current & voltage values over one whole cycle is called the average value for the alternating amounts. It recognizes the ratio of the DC of equivalent power and the given AC.

Form Factor
Form Factor

Mathematically, it can be expressed as

Form Factor = Irms/Iav otherwise Erms/Eav

The RMS values of the current, as well as the voltage, are Irms & Erms respectively & the average values of the voltage and alternating current are Iav & Eav respectively. When the current changes sinusoidally, then it can be given as

Form Factor = Irms/Iav = (Im/√2)/2Im/π


= πIm/2√2Im = 1.11

The Form Factor value can be 1.11

There is a main relationship among the values of peak, average & the RMS value of an alternating quantity. Thus, to express the main relationship between these three quantities, then two factors are utilized like Form Factor and Peak Factor.

Form Factor for Different Waveforms

For different waveforms, here we have listed below.

  • The form factor for the sine wave is π/2√2 = 1.1107, the RMS value is a/√2 and ARV is a2/ π
  • The form factor of a half-wave rectifier is π/2 = 1.571, the RMS value is a/2 and ARV is a/ π
  • The form factor for a full-wave rectifier is π/2√2 = 1.571, the RMS value is a/2 and ARV is a (2/ π)
  • The form factor for the square wave is a/a = 1, the RMS value is ‘a’ and ARV is ‘a’
  • The form factor for the pulse wave is 1/√D. the RMS value is a√D and ARV is aD
  • Similarly, for the triangle wave is 2/√3 = 1.1547, the RMS value is a/√3 and ARV is a/2
  • For the sawtooth wave is 2/√3, the RMS value is a/√3 and ARV is a/2
  • For the Gaussian noise is 2/√3, the RMS value is 1/√3 and ARV is 1/2

The low form factors provide restricted space, high flexibility while arranging different components within a higher assembly, reduced utilization of material & easy transportation. But, these are normally high costs to design & protection parts of the engineering lifecycle. They do not permit similar development options like superior types. Particularly, while designing the smaller form-factor computers as well as network tools must need cautious consideration of cooling.

User maintenance and renovation of small form-factor devices like mobile phones are frequently not achievable, and maybe not supported by guarantee voiding sections; such devices need expert servicing otherwise just substitute once they fall short.


The computer form factor example is the main disparity among a desktop as well as a laptop. Even though the similar parts are there in all which are twisted as well as connected in a different way. For instance, the computer keyboard cannot arrange in the place of a laptop keyboard.

The design for the components mainly exits into the big hardware unit. The outline, as well as the dimension of the component, is influenced by the connections as well as power specifications.
Most of the component manufacturers have consistency rules so that these components electrically work together & they arranged physically into the accessible area.

The consistency of component form factors mainly includes the incapability of mismatched components to arrange physically into space. For instance, the form factor of mini-USB receivers prevents the micro-USB connectors. The two connector’s specifications are dissimilar, so it causes harm to other components.

Motherboard Form Factors

A form factor in computer hardware is a specification for its outline as well as physical size. The main function of this is to prevent incompatibilities among several hardware designers. The list of motherboard form factors is listed below. The most frequently used one for a motherboard of a desktop computer is the ATX type.

  • AT
  • Pico-ITX
  • NLX
  • ATX
  • Mobile-ITX
  • Baby AT
  • microATX
  • BTX
  • Micro-ITX
  • Full ATX
  • DTX
  • Full AT
  • ITX
  • LPX

The above-listed ones are different in physical size, number & type of connections. These have been slow to modify, however when major connections are developed like PCIe, then fresh technology can be reflected within these boards.

These are designed for the size of the hardware unit and the number & type of cards, processors, drives & memory likely to be attached to a motherboard. The desktop computer motherboards are different as compared to laptop computer motherboards.

Computer Memory

Memory is one of the examples of computer form factor like RAM. This memory changes to avoid mismatched components from being included. Every invention of computer memory can be made so that it cannot be included in a motherboard’s slot that was ended for a dissimilar memory generation. Because the specifications will change for every generation of memory, so they can cause electrical damage to the motherboard. If you want to add or upgrade the motherboard memory, then the system scanner tool is used.

As compared to other memory generations, there are different shapes as well as sizes of memory for different types of hardware like desktop computers, servers, notebook computers, laptop computers & mobiles will utilize dissimilar memory form factors which have both physically dissimilar sizes & connection pins configurations.

Thus, this is all about an overview of the form factor and it is defined as the ratio among the RMS of a waveform & the complete waveform average. It is a suitable method to refer to the waveform distortion & its heating effect. It is a simple method to show the amount of waveform distortion. Here is a question for you, what is the power factor?