About Rik

Myself Rik and I am founder of Riktronics. I study Electronics and Communication Engineering in IIE. My hobby is playing with electronics and making various projects, mainly about embedded systems. Love to do coding, and making tutorials about electronics/programming. Contact me in any need at abhra0897@gmail.com My blog : riktronics.wordpress.com

Libre Computer’s New Renegade Elite SBC Features Rockchip RK3399 SoC

Libre Computer announced their new ROC-RK3399 Renegade Elite single board computer that can run Android Oreo or mainstream Linux 4.19+. The SBC features GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) with PoE, HDMI 2.0, 2x USB Type-C with DP, 3x USB 2.0, and dual 60-pin headers. It is accompanied by a 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and eMMC 5.x interface for storage.

ROC-RK3399 Renegade Elite
ROC-RK3399 Renegade Elite

ROC-RK3399 Renegade Elite is built around the high-end Rockchip RK3399 SoC. The SoC features 2x Cortex-A72 cores, which are typically clocked up to 2.0GHz, as well as 4x -A53 cores and a Mali-T860 GPU. This SBC is larger than the Raspberry Pi but is smaller than the more feature-rich Firefly-RK3399. The Renegade Elite is equipped with dual USB 3.0 Type-C ports that support DisplayPort as well as USB functions, and one of them is designed as a power input for the 12V SBC. Three USB 2.0 ports are also available along with an HDMI 2.0 port, an eDP interface, and a mix of MIPI-DSI and CSI interfaces.

Unfortunately, the Renegade Elite lacks discrete audio interfaces unlike many other SBCS, so it’s impossible to utilize the SoC’s exceptional audio features. Though it’s safe to assume that the HDMI 2.0 supports audio. The 60-pin high-speed PCIe and 60-pin low-speed connectors may include audio among many other interfaces.

The key specifications:

  • Processor: Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 cores, 4x Cortex-A53 cores); Mali-T860 GPU
  • Memory:
    • 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • eMMC 5.x interface
    • MicroSD slot
    • 128Mb SPI NOR
  • Display/media:
    • HDMI 2.0 port
    • 2x DisplayPort (via 2x USB 3.0 Type-C)
    • eDP
    • MIPI-DSI
    • MIPI-DSI /CSI
    • MIPI-CSI
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet port with optional PoE
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0 Type-C (1x with power) with DisplayPort support
    • 3x USB 2.0 host ports
    • UART and UART header
  • Expansion: 60-pin PCIe header; 60-pin low-speed header
  • Other features: IR receiver; RTC with battery backup; recovery button
  • Power: DC 12V (power input via Type-C)
  • Operating system: Android 8 Oreo; Rockchip Linux 4.4; Mainline Linux 4.19+

The Renegade Elite will launch on Indiegogo in July and will be available in August. More information may be found on Libre Computer’s preliminary Renegade Elite product page.

ICNexus’s SBC3100 Runs Linux On Rockchip RK3399 SoC

Taiwan-based ICNexus’ latest entry with Rockchip RK3399 SoC, SBC3100 joins the growing list of high-end SBCs. It features the high-end SoC to provide an extensive feature list. However, it is not publicly priced and appears to be a proprietary product, such as Aaeon’s Pico-ITX based RICO-3399.

ICNexus SBC3100
ICNexus SBC3100

ICNexus announced the SBC3100 back in 2017, the SBC3100 was showcased at last week’s Computex show in Taipei. The board ships with Ubuntu and Android images, and is designed for applications including digital signage, POS, gaming, STBs, kiosks and other smart devices.

Despite the high-end features, not much stands out from the other equally powerful RK3399 contender SBCs, except for its wide-range 9-36V DC input and its optional add-on modules. The board can be equipped with an HDMI input, an LVDS touchscreen interface, and a 4-port serial add-on.

The board comes with up to 4GB DDR3 and 16GB flash (presumably eMMC). Media ports accommodate HDMI 2.0, eDP, and DP (via USB Type-C). There are up to 2x MIPI-DSI or -CSI, but not 2x of both, and there’s also a separate camera port and I2C touch interface. There’s a GbE port plus optional WiFi/BT module, and the mini-PCIe slot (with micro-SIM) supports optional 3G or 4G modules.

The SBC3100 provides 4x USB ports, 2x of them are 3.0, plus the Type-C port and additional USB headers. Other features include GPIO, serial debug, IR, I2C, and optional sensors.

Specifications list for the SBC3100:

  • Processor:
    • Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 at up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53);
    • Mali-T860 GPU
  • Memory :
    • 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB DDR3 RAM
    • 8GB or 16GB flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Display/camera:
    • HDMI 2.0 out port at up to 4Kx2K@60fps
    • DisplayPort 1.2 at up to 4Kx2K@60fps (via USB Type-C)
    • eDP 1.3 at up to 2560×1600@60fps
    • 1x or 2x MIPI-DSI at up to 2560×1600 at 60fps with optional MIPI/LVDS touchscreen module
    • 1x or 2x MIPI-CSI with optional HDMI input module
    • Camera port
    • An i2c-based capacitive touch interface
  • Audio: mic/earphone connector; 2x speaker connectors
  • Wireless:
    • Optional 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0
    • Optional 3G or LTE modules for mini-PCIe slot
    • Micro-SIM card slot
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.0 host (2x ports, 2x headers)
    • 3x USB 2.0 host (2x ports, 1x header)
    • USB 3.0 Type-C port with DP support
    • Serial console debug
    • Optional serial module with 4x RS232/422/485 DB9 ports
    • 8-bit GPIO
    • I2C master
    • Keypad interface
  • Expansion: Mini-PCIe slot with 3G/LTE support
  • Other features: IR receiver; buzzer; heatsink; optional 3-axis accelerometer; optional gyro/G-Sensor (only on 4GB RAM model)
  • Power: 9-36V DC input; 3/5/12V DC output; power and reset buttons
  • Dimensions:150 x 102 x 2.6mm
  • OS Support: Pre-installed Ubuntu or Android

No pricing information is provided for the SBC3100, but it appears to be available. More information may be found on the ICNexus SBC3100 product page.

Kontron’s Kaby Lake Embedded PC KBox B-201 Runs Linux And Windows 10

Kontron’s new KBox B-201 embedded PC runs Yocto-based Linux or Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSB. This compact PC is powered by 7th Gen Intel Core “Kaby Lake” processors. The main highlighted features of this rugged system are its compact, 190 x 190 x 60mm, 2 kg footprint, its “silent” (less than 34 dB) fan, and its multiple storage and mounting options. This Mini-ITX based computer is designed for image processing, plant data collection, as well as Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) in the automation pyramid.

KBox B-201 Embedded PC front side
KBox B-201 Embedded PC front side

The KBox B-201 can be powered by the quad-core, 3.6GHz Core i7-7700 or 3.4GHz Core i5-7500, both with 65W TDP as well as the dual-core, 3.9GHz Core i3-7101E with 54W TDP. They all ship with Intel HD Graphics 630 and an Intel Q170 Express chipset. 6th Gen “Skylake” Core chips are available on request.

The KBox B-201 can support up to 32GB DDR4-2400 RAM and store data via max three SATA III connections. There’s a 2.5-inch SSD bay, which is user accessible from the bottom of the unit, as well as an M.2 2242 slot. A half- or full-size mSATA connection is optional. Dual GbE ports are on board along with a mini-PCIe slot for wireless and peripheral expansion. Up to three displays are supported via dual DisplayPort 1.2 ports and a single DVI-D port.

The KBox B-201 is provided with 6x USB 3.0 ports, with 2x front-facing, as well as 4x USB 2.0 ports. There is also an RS232 serial port, audio I/O, and PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports. TPM V2.0 is available along with optional Kontron Approtect security solution built around a Wibu-Systems security chip.

KBox B-201 rear view in vertical position
KBox B-201 rear view in vertical position

Supported temperature range is 0 to 45°C. The system offers extensive rugged exterior. Manufactured with “continuously hot-dip zinc coated mild steel sheet” per EN10215 guidelines, the computer offers vibration resistance of 5-500 Hz, 1G acc. (per IEC 60068-2-6) and shock resistance of half sine, 15g, 11ms acc. (per IEC 60068-2-27). Altitude and humidity endurance are also notable.

The KBox B-201 ships with a 90 to 264 VAC external power supply. The system can be mounted vertically on a supplied stand or can be fixed directly behind a monitor using optional VESA mounting.

No pricing or ship date was provided for the KBox B-201. More information may be found in Kontron’s KBox B-201 announcement and product page.

DFI’s Apollo Lake Based AL551 SBC Runs Ubuntu And Windows 10

DFI or Diamond Flower Inc., a Taiwan based motherboard manufacturer is preparing to release an Ubuntu friendly 3.5-inch  SBC “AL551” with an Apollo Lake SoC. It’s going to support Ubuntu 16.04, as well as Windows 10. We have already talked about PICO316, another “Apollo Lake” based SBC that runs both Linux and Windows 10.

DFI AL551 Single Board Computer
DFI AL551 Single Board Computer

The AL551 supports all of Intel’s Apollo Lake SoCs. Most notably the Intel Atom® Processor E3900 Series is supported. The 146 x 102mm SBC is equipped with up to 8GB DDR3L and offers a SATA III interface with power, with the option for a second SATA device if the available M.2 slot is populated. There’s also a mini-PCIe slot and an optional “extension I/O” connector. The AL551 also comes with one or two GbE ports.

Triple displays are supported via a VGA port, a 4K-ready DisplayPort++, and dual-channel LVDS with LCD panel and inverter support. The SBC is provided with 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and two more USB 2.0 headers, and if you’re planning to run Ubuntu, you can optionally order a USB Type-C port. There’s also a pair of 2x RS232/422/485 headers, audio I/O, DIO, SMBus, a watchdog, and optional TPM.

Specifications for the AL551:

  • Processor: Intel “Apollo Lake” with Intel Gen9 (18 EU) graphics:
    • Atom x7-E3950 (4x cores @ 1.6/2.0GHz. 12W TDP)
    • Atom x5-E3940 (4x cores @ 1.6/1.8GHz. 9.5W TDP)
    • Atom x5-E3930 (4x cores @ 1.3/1.8GHz. 6.5W TDP)
    • Pentium N4200 (4x cores @ 1.1/2.5GHz, 6W TDP)
    • Celeron N3350 (2x cores @ 1.1/2.4GHz, 6W TDP)
  • Memory: Up to 8GB DDR3L-1866 via 1x SODIMM
  • Storage:  SATA III (6Gbps); SATA power; 2nd SATA III optional via M.2 B-key 2242 slot;
  • Display: DisplayPort++ at up to 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz
    • VGA port at up to 2048 x 1536 @ 50Hz
    • 2x 48-bit dual-channel LVDS at up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz
    • LVDS LCD panel connector and LCD/inverter power
    • Triple display support
  • Networking: 1x or 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports
    • 2x USB 2.0 ports
    • 2x USB 2.0 headers
    • Optional USB Type-C OTG port (available on request for Linux only)
    • 2x RS232/422/485 headers
    • Realtek ALC262 audio I/O headers
    • Optional speaker out (for 2x 3W speakers) on request
    • 8-bit DIO, SMBus
  • Expansion:
    • Full-size mini-PCIe slot (USB/PCIe)
    • M.2 B-key 2242 slot (PCIe/USB 2.0/SATA 3.0)
  • Other features: Watchdog; optional TPM 2.0 on request; heat sink; optional heat spreader; optional cables
  • Power: Right-angle 12V DC 4-pin (DC jack or vert. 4-pin on request); Lithium 3V 210mAh battery
  • Operating temperatures: 0 to 60°C (optional -20 to 70°C or -40 to 85°C for Atom x7-E3950)
  • Dimensions: 146 x 102 x 1.6mm (“3.5-inch form factor”)
  • Operating system: Ubuntu 16.04; Windows 10

No pricing or availability information is provided for the upcoming AL551. More information may be found on DFI’s official AL551 product page.

Linux Powered Apalis iMX8 SoM Built On NXP’s QuadMax

Toradex, a Swiss embedded technology firm announced the world’s first embedded board built on NXP’s i.MX8M QuadMax back in Mar. 2017. Recently, Toradex has opened early access for selected customers to the SODIMM-style Apalis iMX8 module. A sign-up form offers the potential for newcomers to get an early look.

Apalis iMX8 module
Apalis iMX8 module

This new Linux powered, wireless-enabled Apalis iMX8 uses the QuadMax, which is the most powerful i.MX8 Quad model. Like the Quad and QuadPlus, it offers 4x 1.26GHz Cortex-A53 cores, 2x 266MHz Cortex-M4F cores for real-time processing, one or two Vivante GC7000LiteXS/VX GPUs, and a HIFI4 DSP. The QuadPlus adds a 1.6GHz Cortex-A72 core, and the Apalis i.MX8’s QuadMax provides two -A72 cores. The module supports up to 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM.

The Cortex-A cores run a Yocto Project based Linux distribution provided via a BSP (Board Support Package). The M4F MCU cores run FreeRTOS which is also provided by the same BSP. With its dual GPUs, the Apalis iMX8 supports multiple-screen automotive installations. However, the module is designed for a broader range of cutting-edge computer vision systems, as well as signal processing and HMI applications. The module offers onboard, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, and the dual-mode Bluetooth module is said to be Bluetooth 5.0 ready.

The module is equipped with 2x PCIe Gen 3 interfaces, 3x CAN, 4x SPI, 7x UART, and 8x analog inputs. The I2C count has increased to 7x, and the PWM count has advanced to 6x. You also get an IrDA connection, up to 133 GPIOs, and 8- and 4-bit SDIO/SD/MMC interfaces. The Apalis iMX8’s SATA interface has moved from SATA II to III. As before, there’s a GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) controller with a second RGMII. You get a USB 3.0 host interface, and 3x USB 2.0 host ports, one of which is OTG.

The module provides a quad-lane MIPI-DSI interface and offers an HDMI 2.0a interface for up to 4K UHD 2160p. There’s also a single/dual-channel LVDS interface with up to 1920 x 1200 x 24bpp resolution and 4-wire resistive touch. One new feature is a choice of DisplayPort 1.3 or eDP 1.4.  An optional 5MP camera module is supported by dual quad-lane MIPI-CSI interfaces. Analog audio I/O includes a stereo line in, mono mic in, and stereo headphone out interfaces.

Apalis iMX8 carrier boards: Apalis Evaluation Board
Apalis iMX8 carrier boards: Apalis Evaluation Board

The Apalis i.MX8 offers the same two carrier board options provided for the Apalis TK1: a 250 x 250mm Apalis Evaluation Board, as well as a less feature-rich, 125 x 90mm Ixora Carrier Board. The boards have real-time clocks and 7-27V DC input support. The Apalis i.MX8 appears to be ready to ship soon to qualified early access providers. You can sign up to apply for early access on the Apalis i.MX8 product page.

EMB-2610 Pico-ITX SBC Runs Linux and comes with Touch Panel

Ohio based company, Estone Technology (AKA Habey) has updated the product page for the new EMB-2610 Pico-ITX SBC. The EMB-2610 follows earlier Habey Pico-ITX SBCs such as last year’s i.MX6 UL powered EMB-2200 and i.MX6 based EMB-2230. This time Estone has used a 14nm Intel Atom SoC. Rather than going with Apollo Lake, they used the quad-core, 1.92GHz Atom x5-Z8350 from the Cherry Trail family that tried but failed to win market share in Android phones.

Estone EMB-2610 board
Estone EMB-2610 board

The Atom x5-Z8350 is the same SoC used by Aaeon’s UP Core. Like the UP Core, the 100 x 72mm, Pico-ITX form factor EMB-2610 supports Windows 10 and 10 IoT in addition to Android and various Linux distributions. The new EMB-2610 is available with 2GB or 4GB of DDR3L RAM and comes with a microSD slot and up to or 64GB NAND flash. WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity is available, as well as a GbE port with optional Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), enabled via an add-on board.

The EMB-2610 is further enhanced with a micro-HDMI port, as well as LVDS, eDP, or MIPI-DSI, all supported via a touch controller. There’s also an audio header and MIPI-CSI. USB 3.0 and 2.0 host ports are ready along with a micro-USB port, and there’s a smattering of serial, GPIO, and USB headers.

This board uses the same 40-pin expansion header found on the i.MX6-based EMB-2230. The connector, which supports optional Estone modules for 8x GPIO, front panel controls, PCIe, and PoE, is available with header specs and diagrams to make it easy to develop custom expansions. Although, the use of the connector PCIe disables the GbE port.

Specification summary for EMB-2610:

  • Processor : Intel Atom x5-Z8350 (4x Cherry Trail cores @ 1.44GHz / 1.84GHz burst); Intel HD 400 Graphics (200MHz/500MHz)
  • Memory & Storage:
    • 2GB or 4GB DDR3L
    • 32GB or 64GB NAND flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wireless: WiFi/Bluetooth module
  • Networking: GbE port with optional PoE
  • Media I/O:
    • Micro-HDMI port at 1920 x 1080
    • 24-bit LVDS, eDP, or MIPI-DSI at 1920 x 1200
    • An I2C capacitive touch controller
    • MIPI-CSI
    • Audio header with line-out, mic-in, headphone, 10W speaker
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • USB 2.0 header
    • RS232
    • RS232/485 via terminal block
    • 4x GPIO
    • Micro-USB 2.0 port
    • RS232
    • RS232/485 via terminal block
    •  4x GPIO
    • 2x I2C (for TP and MIPI-CSI)
  • Expansion: 40-pin connector with PCIe x1, GPIO, front panel control, PoE input
  • Power: 12V/19V DC header or optional PoE
  • Operating temperature :  0 to 50°C
  • Dimensions : 100 x 72mm; Pico-ITX form factor
  • OS Support: Linux, Android 5.1, Windows 10 and 10 IoT

No pricing or availability information was provided for the EMB-2610 SBC. More information may be found on Estone Technology’s EMB-2610 product page.

Firefly’s Latest Core-PX3-SEJ COM Runs Ubuntu or Android

Firefly has launched a new SODIMM-style, 67.6 x 40mm Core-PX3-SEJ module that runs Android 5.1 or Ubuntu 15.04 on a Rockchip PX3-SE. It’s a new 1.3GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A7 SoC. The 40 USD module is available in a 1GB RAM/8GB eMMC configuration on a $120, 117 x 85mm Firefly-PX3-SE development board. Other memory configurations may also be available soon.

Firefly Core-PX3-SEJ module
Firefly Core-PX3-SEJ module

The PX3-SE SoC gives the module a sandwich-style dev board and increases the operating temperature to -20 to 80 range. The Core-PX3-SEJ module is praised for its anti-corrosion gold finger expansion connector, and the dev board for its “double stud fixed” design.

Rockchip’s PX3-SE SoC was announced in May 2017. The main target of this SoC is Linux and Android-driven “mobile vehicle interconnect solutions.” The quad-A7 SoC implements a Mali-400 GPU and supports HD video.

The Firefly-PX3-SE board’s 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 are supplied separately from the compact Core-PX3-SEJ COM. Despite the lack of 4K support, there are a numerous media interfaces, including a variety of audio features. There are HDMI, CVBS, MIPI-DSI or LVDS, and a DVP camera interface. Analog, SPDIF, and I2S audio connections are available along with an onboard mic and a “phone” I/O port.

The Firefly-PX3-SE board is further provided with a GbE port, 4x USB 2.0 host ports, a micro-USB OTG port, and an 84-pin expansion header. RTC, debug, and IR are also onboard.

Specifications summary for the Firefly-PX3-SE development board with Core-PX3-SEJ module:

  • Processor : Rockchip PX3-SE (4x Cortex-A7 cores @ 1.3GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory:
    • 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB DDR3 RAM (via Core-PX3-SEJ)
    • 4GB to 64GB eMMC flash (via Core-PX3-SEJ) with 4GB and 8GB default SKUs
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wireless:
    • 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n with antenna
    • Bluetooth 4.0 with BLE
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet port (Realtek RTL8211E)
  • Display & media:
    • HDMI port with audio
    • MIPI-DSI or LVDS LCD interface
    • CVBS with video and audio
    • DVP camera interface for up to 5MP
    • 3.5mm analog audio input jack
    • SPDIF optical output
    • Microphone input
    • I2S audio I/O
    • A phone I/O interface
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Micro-USB 2.0 with OTG
    • Serial console debug
    • 84-pin expansion header (MIPI, LVDS, PWM, SPI, UART, ADC, I2C, I2S, GPIO)
  • Other features: RTC with battery; IR receiver; power, reset, recover buttons; acrylic rack kit
  • Power: 5V, 2A (via DC jack); PMU (via Core-PX3-SEJ)
  • Dimensions: 117 x 85mm (with 67.6 x 40mm integrated COM)
  • OS Support: Android 5.1; Ubuntu 15.04; includes Linux Buildroot/Qt

The Core-PX3-SEJ module and Firefly-PX3-SE development board are available for $80 and $140 (including module), respectively, plus shipping. More information may be found at Firefly’s Core-PX3-SEJ and Firefly-PX3-SE shopping pages.

Google Reveals Four New ARM-based production Boards For Android Things 1.0

Earlier this month, Google released Android Things 1.0 and announced many consumer products that will ship in the coming months based on the stripped-down, IoT-oriented Android variant. Google uncovered four ARM-based production boards for Android Things 1.0: Innocomm’s i.MX8M based on WB10-ATIntrinsyc’s Open-Q 212A and Open-Q 624A, based on the Snapdragon 212 and 634, respectively, and the MediaTek MT8516.

The most important news with the first market-ready release of Android Things is that Google is offering free OTA security and patch updates for three years to all targeted devices. However, Google needs a licensing deal to deploy more than 100 commercial systems using the OTA updated long-term version of Android Things, and the OS itself is “managed” and tightly controlled by Google.

The modules share the same small footprints of about a 50 x 50mm. They also focus on audio features that might support integration with the Google Assistant voice agent. The first round of consumer devices using Android Things are smart speakers and automation hubs that integrate Google Assistant.

WB10-AT

InnoComm Google WB10AT COM
InnoComm Google WB10AT COM

InnoComm’s 50 x 50mm WB10-AT COM is almost identical to the WB10 module announced in March. The only difference except for the OS is that the AT version ships with 1GB LPDDR4 instead of 2GB. The WB10-AT includes a 1.5GHzCortex-A53 based NXP i.MX8M Quad SoC with a 266MHz Cortex-M4 core. It extends 8GB eMMC, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and a GbE controller.

The WB10-AT allows HDMI 2.0 with 4K HDR support, as well as extensive audio I/O enabled by the audio-savvy i.MX8M. Audio specs include 4x SAI, DSD512, and S/PDIF.

Open-Q 212A Development Kit

Open-Q 212A board and module
Open-Q 212A board and module

Intrinsyc’s Open-Q 212A is a sandwich-style SBC designed for next-gen smart speaker and voice-controlled home hub products. There is a new 50 x 46.5mm Open-Q 212A Android Things SOM with a quad-core, Cortex-A7 Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 (SDA212) — the lowest-end SoC available for Android Things mounted on a 170 x 115mm carrier board.

The new module provides 1GB LPDDR3, 4GB eMMC, WiFi-ac, and BT 4.2. The 12V carrier board adds 2x USB host ports, a micro-USB client port, and a micro-USB debug port. It also includes a MIPI-CSI and MIPI-DSI interfaces, with the latter capable of up to 720p LCD displays. PCB antennas are also available.

Open-Q 624A Development Kit

Open-Q 624A
Open-Q 624A

This new sandwich-style kit is Google’s high-end Android Things platform. It connects a new Open-Q 624A Android Things SOM and carrier board, each of which is the same size as their Open-Q 212A counterparts.

The module extends 2GB RAM4GB eMMCWiFi-ac, BT 4.2, and a new, undocumented octa-core Snapdragon 624 SoC based on the existing Snapdragon 625. Like the Snapdragon 625, the 624 provides 8x Cortex-A53 cores at up to 1.8GHz along with an Adreno 506 GPU with support for 4K @ 30fps video. Google calls the Snapdragon 624 the SDA624, and in one place Intrinsyc refers to it as the APQ8053, which is also the name of the Snapdragon 825.

The Open-Q 624A carrier board has a feature set that is very similar to that of the similarly sized Open-Q 212A board. However, it adds a USB 3.0 Type-C port, sensor expansion and haptic output, and an optional GPS receiver, which like the module’s WiFi and Bluetooth, is available with an antenna.

MediaTek MT8516

MediaTek MT8516
MediaTek MT8516

Google refers to the MT8516 as a virtual SoM, as opposed to the other physical modules, and suggests that the module’s capabilities are directly integrated into a reference board designed for high volume applications.

Whatever the form factor, the MT8516 provides a quad-core, 1.3GHz Cortex-A35 processor with 4GB eMMC, WiFi, BT, and RF. The platform is intended for voice assistance and other audio applications and provides 4-channel I2S x2, 8-channel TDM, and 2-channel PDM input for voice input control and connected audio.

The Cortex-A35 cores draw about 33 percent less power per core and occupy 25 percent less silicon area than Cortex-A53. The -A35 design lies at the heart of NXP’s i.MX8X SoC, which is also available in two dual-core models. The i.MX8X is found on Phytec’s phyCore-i.MX 8 module.

More information may be found on this Google Android Things Supported Platforms page, as well as at these four product pages:

New Wireless VAR-SOM-MX6 Adds Supports For i.MX6 QuadPlus SoC

Variscite a leading SOC manufacturer from Israel, has released a new version of its wireless-enabled “VAR-SOM-MX6” module. It adds support for the i.MX6 QuadPlus SoC. Variscite is renovating the old COM once again with a model that adds support for NXP’s QuadPlus. It is going to be a new addition to the i.MX6 Solo, DualLite, Dual, and Quad versions. The module runs Linux 4.9.11 and Android 8.0 (Oreo).

VAR-SOM-MX6 module with QuadPlus support
VAR-SOM-MX6 module with QuadPlus support

The i.MX6 QuadPlus, which is also available on the Wandboard Reload SBCs, iWave’s i.MX6 COMs, and other boards. It has the same, 1.2GHz quad-core CPU as the Quad, but offers an enhanced Vivante GC2000+ GPU with 50 percent elevated graphics performance. The SoC also provides HD-resolution H.264 decode and encode.

The 2018 version of the VAR-SOM-MX6 is identical with the pin configuration as the earlier models. It has up to 4GB DDR3 RAM and data storage of 4GB to 64GB via eMMC and 128MB to 1GB NAND flash. There’s a GbE controller, although with the usual i.MX6 bandwidth limits. The 802.11n WiFi, which is accompanied by Bluetooth 4.1 with BLE, is available with optional 2×2 MIMO.

The 67.8 x 51.7mm module houses dual 24-bit LVDS interfaces with resistive touch, as well as an HDMI and DSI interfaces. The long list of peripherals includes dual CAN, SATA, PCIe, MIPI-CSI, and much more support. The module has a range of -40 to 85°C working temperatures.

VAR-SOM-MX6 eval kits

VAR-SOM-MX6 Development Kit
VAR-SOM-MX6 Development Kit

The $399 VAR-SOM-MX6 Starter Kit includes the carrier board with the VAR-SOM-MX6 module, an antenna, a debug cable, a microSD card, and a carrier board design package. The $499 Development Kit version adds a 12V power supply, an Ethernet cable, and a 7-inch resistive touch panel. The $549 Development Kit Pro advances to a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen.

The VAR-SOM-MX6 module with QuadPlus support is available now starting at $52 per unit in volume. The development kits start at $399. More information may be found in Variscite’s VAR-SOM-MX6 with the QuadPlus announcement and product page.

Kontron’s Latest COM Express Features Intel’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake Processors

Kontron, a Germany based company has published its first product based on Intel’s 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” processors. The COMe-bCL6 joins other “Coffee Lake” based COM Express Basic Type 6 modules including the Congatec Conga-TS370 and Seco COMe-C08-BT6, which were announced early this month.

COMe-bCL6
COMe-bCL6

The COMe-bCL6 feature set is very related to all these products, with Coffee Lake enabled features like additional PCIe interfaces, support for three simultaneous 4K displays, and multiple USB 3.1 ports with up to 10Gbps transfer speed. The new COMe-bCL6 of dimension 125 x 95mm stands out with its options. The user can double the number of DDR4 memory slots to up to 64GB instead of the standard maximum of 32GB. Other special options include an onboard 1TB NVMe SSD, and the COMe-bCL6 supports Intel Octane memory.

The COMe-bCL6 provides optional –40°C to 85°C support in addition to the standard 0 to 60°C, and it also offers an extended -25°C to 75°C option. Another special R E2S version is available that includes the -40°C to 85°C support, as well as ECC memory and “integrated rapid shutdown”.

The COMe-bCL6 runs Linux, Windows 10, or VxWorks on the following Coffee Lake H- and M-series chips:

  • Intel Core i7-8850H(6x 12-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.6GHz/4.3GHz)
    • 9MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP)
    • Intel HD Graphics 630
    • QM370 chipset
  • Intel Core i5-8400H(4x 8-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.5GHz/4.2GHz)
    • 8MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP)
    • Intel HD Graphics 630
    • QM370 chipset
  • 3. Intel Xeon E-2176M, 8850H (6x 12-thread 14nm Coffee Lake cores @ 2.7GHz/4.4GHz)
    • 9MB Cache, 45W TDP (35W cTDP)
    • Intel HD Graphics P630
    • CM246 chipset

The COMe-bCL6 offers a GbE controller and houses 4x SATA III4x USB 3.14x USB 2.0, and 2x RX/TX serial ports. Like its rivals, it includes a single PEG x16 and 8x PCIe x1 connections that support Intel Optane. The COMe-bCL6 is further enhanced with SPI, LPC, SMB, “Fast” I2C, a watchdog, and an RTC, There’s an 8-20V wide-range power input and ACPI 6.0 power management.

Pricing or availability information was not provided for the COMe-bCL6. More information may be found on Kontron’s COMe-bCL6 product page.