TI's OMAP processors have a long history of success in mobile phones, but until now they were hard to use in mid-volume apps. Gumstix is solving that problem with an innovative Overo series of computer-on-module boards.
The great thing about OMAP processors is that they offer a huge number of functions on a single chip. The most advanced models include an ARM, a DSP, video and 3D accelerators, and a long list of connectivity options. The problem is that all of these features make OMAP a complicated chip. Building a system around such a complex chip is a major challenge. Hence, OMAP has historically been use for high-volume apps where the design effort could be justified.
Gumstix is changing the rules. Its modules include basic features like power supplies, memory, and WiFi/Bluetooth interfaces. These modules plug into expansion boards with I/O such as DVI and USB. (Gumstix offers four different base modules and three expansion boards, all of which are pin-compatible with each other.) These modules take away a huge part of the basic engineering, letting you focus on the value-added work.
I expect to see more of this approach in the future. You can get similar boards from companies like Loco Labs (Marvell PXA), Logic (OMAP, PXA, and Freescale i.MX) and Critical Link (TI DSPs). The computer-on-module approach is also popular in the embedded x86 space.