Tag Archives: ARM Cortex

NXP i.MX8M SoC Powered ArmStone MX8M Pico-ITX SBC Runs Linux With 8GB LPDDR4 RAM

F&S Elektronik Systeme has unveiled its latest Pico-ITX format (100 x 72mm) SBC named ArmStone™MX8M. This board is powered by the NXP i.MX processor. Preliminary shipping will not until Q2 of this year.

armStone MX8M Single Board Computer
ArmStone MX8M Single Board Computer

The new ArmStone™MX8M is available with dual or quad-core variants of the 1.5GHz, Cortex-A53 i.MX8M. The SoC combines a Vivante GC7000Lite GPU and VPU, enabling 4K HEVC/H265, H264, and VP9 video decoding with HDR. It also provides a 266MHz Cortex-M4 core for real-time tasks, as well as a security subsystem. This is the first i.MX8M based board to support up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM instead of 4GB. The storage is supported by up to 32GB on eMMC and 1GB SLC NAND memory.

Other major features include the availability of a 10/100 Ethernet port, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. These also a PCIe interface with SIM card support inbuilt. There are 4x USB 2.0 host ports, an RS232 interface, and extra SPI and I2C signals. A Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port is also available as additional I/O option.

The board is going to be shipped with a BSP that includes Linux 4.9.x, U-Boot, Yocto Project 2.2 or optional Buildroot build system and documentation and sample code. Configurations for standard cases (minimal, X11, Qt5, Wayland/Weston, Framebuffer) got very easy with this new board. The BSP release also includes precompiled binary images that can directly be downloaded to the board.

Key specifications of the ArmStone™MX8M:

  • Processor:

NXP i.MX8M (2x or 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); Vivante GC7000Lite GPU; Cortex-M4 @ 266MHz

  • Memory:
    • Up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • Up to 32GB eMMC
    • Up to 1GB SLC NAND
    • Optional SD slot
  • Multimedia:
    • 2x 24-bit LVDS
    • DVI
    • Analog resistive and PCAP touch via I2C
    • MIPI-CSI
    • Audio line-in/out/mic
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
    • Bluetooth 4.1 LE (with BT 2.1+EDR support)
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet port
  • Other I/O Ports:
    • 4x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port
    • CAN
    • RS232
    • 2x TTL UART
    • 4x I2C
    • 2x SPI
    • 32x DIO
  • Power — 5V DC input
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C; optional -20 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 100 x 72mm; Pico-ITX form factor
  • Weight — 60 g
  • Operating system — BSP with Yocto 2.2/Buildroot, Linux 4.9.x, U-boot

More information may be found at F&S Elektronik Systeme’s ArmStone MX8M product page.

STMicroelectronics Introduces STM32WB – A SoC With 32bit Microcontroller And Bluetooth Low Energy 5

The new STM32WB from STMicroelectronics is a new wireless supporting System on a chip (SoC) that comes with a fully-featured ARM Cortex-M4 (@ 64 MHz) based microcontroller to run the main computing processes. It also has an ARM Cortex-M0+ core (@ 32 MHz) to offload the main processor and offer real-time operation on the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5 and IEEE 802.15.4 radio. The SoC can also run other wireless protocols as OpenThread, ZigBee® or other proprietary protocols. It opens many more options for connecting devices to the Internet of Things (IoT).

STM32WB High-performance SoC specifications
STM32WB High-performance SoC specifications

The Cortex-M4 combined with a Cortex-M0+ for network processing makes sure the STM32WB to be the latest ultra-low-power microcontroller to combine superior RF performance with longer battery life. The SoC also combines essential circuitry for connecting to the antenna. It also packs right amount user and system memory, hardware encryption, and customer-key storage for brand and IP protection.

These days, only a few manufacturers offer similar dual-processor wireless chips capable of managing the user application and the radio separately for maximum performance. Alternative chips typically utilize entry-level ARM Cortex-M industry-standard cores, which introduce technical limitations and very low amount of onboard flash memory.

The robust and low-power 2.4GHz radio consumes only 5.5mA in transmit mode of this new STM32WB and as little as 3.8mA when receiving. This device also include STM32 digital and analog peripherals that are engineered for low power consumption and complex functionalities, including timers, ultra-low-power comparators, 12/16-bit SAR ADC, a capacitive touch controller, LCD controller, and industry-standard connectivity including crystal-less USB 2.0 FS, I2C, SPI, SAI audio interface, and a Quad-SPI supporting execution in place.

STM32WB devices will be available in an array of 48-pin UQFN, 68-pin VQFN, or 100-pin WLCSP with up to 72 general-purpose I/Os (GPIO). Each can be specified with any of three memory configurations, giving a choice of 256KB Flash and 128KB RAM, 512KB-Flash/256KB-RAM, or 1MB-Flash/256KB-RAM.

More information is available at the official website.

SudoProc – A solderable 1.8GHz Quad Cortex-A17 module With 4GB RAM and HDMI 2.0

A Slovenia based startup Sudo Systems will soon launch a module called SudoProc. This module is highly compact (65 x 40 x 4.3mm) and solderable. It contains Rockchip’s 1.8GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A17 SoC RK3288 SoC with 600MHz Mali-T764 GPU. The highlighted feature set includes 4GB of dual-channel 1066MHz LPDDR3 RAM. SudoProc also includes an embedded security engine, a Gigabit Ethernet controller, and support for HDMI 2.0 4K with 10-bit H.265 video decoding.

SudoProc module by Sudo Systems
SudoProc module by Sudo Systems

This is only the second, independently available RK3288-based “computer-on-module” available out there. Boardcon’s MINI3288 is also available on its sandwich-style EM3288 SBC. The RK3288 is the backbone of Android mini-PCs and also powers several Linux/Android-based open source Single Board Computers(SBC). The SudoProc supports Android 5.0 to 7.0, as well as Debian, Ubuntu, and an in-house developed SudoOS Linux distribution.

The SudoProc module offers a lot of RAM along with a huge amount of onboard eMMC 4.5 32GB storage. It is expandable up to 512GB. There’s also support for 2x SDIO 3.0. It has HDMI 2.0 for video support and SPDIF and I2S/PCM take care of Audio.

The 218-pin SudoProc is further provided with interfaces including USB 2.0 host and OTG, as well as 5x UART, 5x I2C, 3x SPI, 4x PWM with the interrupt. SudoProc also has up to 100 GPIOs which are programmable as interrupt inputs. Other listed I/Os includes 3-channel, 10-bit SARADC, 8-bit TS stream shared with CIF, a “Host” interface shared with GMAC, and a GPS interface. On-demand optional I/O incorporates HSIC 2.0, PS/2, and Smart Card.

The 5V/3A module supports 1.8V to 3.3V logic level output and allows remote control of the PMIC. Sudo Systems did a good job with its thermal dissipation design. There’s an integrated heatsink to take care of it. With the maximum thermal dissipation of 10W, the module’s estimated workings temperature is 25°C to 85°C.

In February, the SudoProc will open for pre-orders in limited quantities and will be shipped by March. The price is about $300, including a development board of the module. For further information, contact Sudo Systems at info@wearesudo.com.

Update (April 3rd, 2018): In a recent email, Sudo Systems let me know that they’ve decreased the price which is around $270 right now per unit. Universities and students are getting up to 50% discount on that price as well.

MicroZed is a Powerful and Low-Cost ARM + FPGA Linux Development Board

MicroZed is a low-cost development board from Avnet, the makers of the $475 ZedBoard and the entry level MiniZed development boards. Its unique design allows it to be used as both a stand-alone evaluation board for basic SoC experimentation or combined with a carrier card as an embeddable system-on-module (SOM).

The MicroZed processing system is based on the Xilinx Zynq®-7000 All Programmable SoC. The Zynq®-7000 All Programmable SoC (AP SoC) family integrates the software programmability of an ARM®-based processor with the hardware programmability of an FPGA, enabling key analytics and hardware acceleration while integrating CPU, DSP, ASSP, and mixed-signal functionality on a single device. The processing system offers the ability to run standard operating systems like Linux, real-time operating systems, or a combination of the two. The programmable logic provides a unique capability to create custom interfaces or custom accelerators. Together, they provide a versatile, performance optimized solution.

ZedBoard™ is a low-cost development board for the Xilinx Zynq®-7000 All Programmable SoC. This board contains everything necessary to create a Linux, Android, Windows® or other OS/RTOS-based design all at a cost of $495. The MicroZed sells for $199 with close performance and functionality with the ZedBoard. MicroZed contains two I/O headers that provide connection to two I/O banks on the programmable logic (PL) side of the Zynq – 7000 AP SoC device. In stand-alone mode, these 100 PL I/O are inactive. When plugged into a carrier card, the I/O are accessible in a manner defined by the carrier card design. The MicroZed board targets application in the areas of general FPGA evaluation and prototyping, embedded SOM applications, embedded vision, test & measurement, motor control, software-defined radio, industrial network and industrial IoT.

The Zedboard is based on Zynq-7020 with 85K logic cells while the MicroZed is based on the lower Zynq-7010 with a 28K logic cell. The MicroZed has 1GB RAM instead of 512 MB on the ZedBoard and has lesser interfaces as compared to the ZedBoard.

The following below are the features of the MicroZed SoM:

SoC

  • XC7Z010 – 1CLG400C

Memory

  • 1 GB of DDR3 SDRAM
  • 128 Mb of QSPI Flash
  • Micro SD card interface

Communications

  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • USB 2.0
  • USB-UART

User I/0 (via dual board-to-board connectors)

  • 7Z010 Version
    • 100 User I/0 (50 per connector)
    • Configurable as up to 48 LVDS pairs or 100 single-ended I/O

Misc

  • 2×6 Digilent Pmod compatible interface providing 8 PS MIO connections for user I/0
  • Xilinx PC4 JTAG configuration port
  • PS JTAG pins accessible via Pmod
  • 33Mhz oscillator
  • User LED and push switch

The MicroZed Evaluation can be purchased from the Avnet store here and comes with the following: MicroZed board, Micro USB cable, 4GB μSD card, Getting Started Card and a Xilinx Vivado WebPACK support and the Avnet’s MicroZed SOM comes bundled with the Wind River’s Pulsar™ Linux.