Tag Archives: i.MX8M

Seco’s New i.MX8M And i.MX8Quad Based Modules Run Linux

Seco Embedded Creators have launched the i.MX8M based Q7-C25 and i.MX8Quad based Q7-C26. Both can run Linux and Android, and are available in 0 to 60°C and -40 to 85°C models. The 5V modules have many similar features, but the Q7-C26 based on the more powerful, up to hexacore i.MX8Quad adds some extras such as SATA III support.

Seco Q7-C25
Seco Q7-C25

The Q7-C25 utilizes NXP’s dual- or quadcore, 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 i.MX8M. It facilitates a 266MHz Cortex-M4 MCU and a Vivante GC7000Lite GPU. Unlike the Quad and Dual models, the quad-core i.MX8M QuadLite model lacks a VPU.

On the other hand, the Q7-C26 features the more powerful i.MX8Quad, which is available in quad A53 configurations, but clocked to a lower 1.26GHz. All three i.MX8Quad Quad models also accommodate dual Cortex-M4 MCUs and dual GC7000Lite GPUs. The mid-range i.MX8QuadPlus model combines 1x Cortex-A72 core and the high-end QuadMax adds 2x -A72 cores.

Seco Q7-C26
Seco Q7-C26

Both the Q7-C25 and Q7-C26 ship with onboard LPDDR4-3200 RAM, but only the Q7-C25 lists a quantity, which is up to 4GB. They both offer presumably optional eMMC and QSPI flash onboard, but no quantities are listed. Only the Q7-C26 supports SATA III, but it’s a factory option swap-out for one of the 2x PCIe x1 interfaces provided by both modules. Both COMs also combine a GbE controller.

Both the Q7-C25 and Q7-C26 support up to 4096 x 2160p60 video output with HDR via an HDMI 2.0A port. On the Q7-C26 DisplayPort 1.3 is supported, and the Q7-C26 also supports HDCP 2.2. Both modules also provide an HD-ready LVDS interface, I2S audio, and a MIPI-CSI camera interface.

The Q7-C25 supports 5x USB ports compared to 6x on the Q7-C26. Yet on the Q7-C25, two of those are USB 3.0 compared to one on the Q7-C26, which is the only one to support a USB OTG port. Common features on both modules are 2x I2C, 8x GPIO, and single UART, CAN, SPI, and SD connections. They both supply a watchdog and power management signals and the Q7-C26 also features a boot select signal.

Both modulessupport the same 3.5-inch form-factor, cross-platform (Arm and x86) CQ7-A42 carrier board. Another option is a Q7 Dev Kit 2.0 that offers a different and much larger CQ7-A30 board with more legacy connections.

No pricing or availability information was provided for the  Q7-C25 and Q7-C26 modules or related carrier boards and kits as they are currently under development. More information may be found in the following Seco product pages for Q7-C25Q7-C26CQ7-A42 and Q7 Dev Kit 2.0.

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.MX8 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.

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:

SolidRun Unveils Game-Changing i.MX8 Family: SOM, SBC, and new CuBox Pulse mini PC.

After the announcement of the i.MX 8M line of processors from NXP and their collaboration with some companies, we started seeing announcements or devices that use the chip in recent times and some of the devices or boards are beginning to be available for purchase. InnoComm, Emcraft, and Boundary devices have all launched their i.MX 8M processor-based boards, with some even adding a carrier board along with it. SolidRun, one of the announced partners with NXP back in 2017 is not left behind by releasing its own set of i.MX 8M processor-based boards.

Following their successful i.MX6 based family; SolidRun has announced a brand new family of i.MX8M based platforms, including the i.MX8 SOM, HummingBoard Pulse single board computer, and CuBox Pulse fanless mini PC. SolidRun is introducing this new family following NXP’s inclusion of the company as part of a handful of early adopting partners.

The new i.MX8 line of processors are 64-bit, ARM-based chips with support for 4K and they’re expected to come in a few different configurations. The new family will feature up to four 1.5 GHz ARM® Cortex® A53 cores with a Cortex M4 general purpose processor, high-speed connectivity interfaces and flexible memory options, offering 4K UltraHD resolution and HDR video quality, the highest levels of pro audio fidelity and up to 20 audio channels.

SolidRun i.MX8 SOM

The SolidRun i.MX 8M SOM is one of the smallest system-on-module to be released measuring just 47 x 30 mm, a close comparison to the InooComm’s 50 x 50mm SOM. “The i.MX8 SOM will allow developers and OEMs to simplify the production cycle and reduce time-to-market drastically. The company’s mix-and-match concept “will allow users to easily switch between different SOM grades and configurations as needed” says SolidRun. The module is available for purchase on SolidRun site, and they come in different configurations as listed below:

i.MX8M SOM
  • The Dual with 1GB RAM – $80
  • The Quad Lite with 1GB – $90
  • The Quad with 2GB RAM – $105
  • The Dual with 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, and WIFi Plus BT – $140
  • The Quad Lite with 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, and WIFi Plus BT – $150
  • The Quad with 2GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, and WIFi Plus BT – $160

They all have Cortex-A53 cores clocked from 1.3GHz to 1.5GHz, as well as the i.MX8M‘s built-in Cortex-M4 MCU and Vivante GC7000 Lite GPU. All configurations are capable of generating 4K@60 video with HDR.

For more information about the i.MX8M SOM specification see below and check here also.

SolidRun i.MX8M SOM Specification.

HummingBoard Pulse

The HummingBoard Pulse is released as part of SolidRun’s HummingBoard family of SBCs and offers the flexibility and features of the HummingBoard platform paired with the abilities of the i.MX8M processor. The sandwich-style, i.MX8 SOM based HummingBoard Pulse SBC is larger than the original, Raspberry Pi-sized HummingBoard-Pro, which ranked among the earliest open source SBCs on the market.

HummingBoard Pulse SBC

HummingBoard Pulse houses the powerful i.MX8 SOM with either the quad or dual-core ARM Cortex A53 processor configuration. This SBC features up to 4GB LPDDR4 memory, with flexible storage options including eMMC and MicroSD slot. HummingBoard Pulse also offers a range of connectivity options, including USB type C, 2 USB 3.0 ports, Mini PCIe, M.2 and even a SIM card slot. All on a compact ARM-based and energy efficient SBC measuring only 102mm X 69mm.

The HummingBoard is available for purchase here and also comes with different configuration options –

  • HummingBoard Pulse Dual 1.3GHz NXP i.MX8 with 1GB RAM – $160
  • HummingBoard Pulse Quad 1.3GHz NXP i.MX8 with 1GB RAM – $170
  • HummingBoard Pulse Quad 1.3GHz NXP i.MX8 with 2GB RAM – $185
  • HummingBoard Pulse Quad 1.3GHz NXP i.MX8 with 2GB RAM, 8GB eMMC and WiFi plus BT – $240

They all support 7-36V power input, comes with a standard heatsink, and an optional metal enclosure. Despite the i.MX8 SOM‘s industrial temperature support, the Pulse is limited to 0 to 70°C.

CuBox Pulse

CuBox Pulse is a powerful and tiny mini PC based on the i.MX8M processor. The mini-PC measured at only 2″ x 2″ x 2″, the same dimensions as older CuBox mini-PCs. The Cubox Pulse will be great for applications in the areas of home entertainment, digital signage and a host of multimedia-center applications as a result of its 4K UltraHD @60Hz, Dolby Vision and full HDR.

Cubox Pulse mini Pc

CuBox Pulse will be offered in some configurations based around the i.MX8 Dual, Quad and Quad Lite SOMs. It integrates a microSD slot, 2x USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a GbE port with PoE sink support. There’s also a 12V DC input, an RTC, and an IT receiver. The temperature range is 0 to 70°C as seen in the Hummingboard.

The Cubox pulse is available for purchase online in various configurations from $170 to $190. You can choose from the 1GB RAM Dual or 2GB Quad models of the i.MX8 SOM, both with 8GB eMMC and WiFi/Bluetooth.

“NXP’s new i.MX8M processor is a true game-changer with enhanced processing and multimedia features,” states SolidRun CTO Rabeeh Khoury. “Our new i.MX8 based family harnesses the massive benefits of the new processor, and offers developers a set of modular, flexible and powerful platforms for development or as ready to use solutions.” More information can be found in SolidRun’s i.MX8 SOMHummingboard Pulse, and CuBox Pulse product pages.

i.MX8 Powered Nitrogen8m Single Board Computer

Boundary Devices is the company who launched the i.MX6 based Nitrogen6 in 2012, a globally adopted i.MX 6 SABRE Lite development board (now BD-SL-i.MX6). The company has recently announced the availability of its new Nitrogen8M SBC (Single Board Computer) that runs Linux or Android on a quad-core i.MX8M processor. The NItrogen8M will be the first commercially designed and tested i.MX 8M based SBC solution to be available to the embedded market.
Nitrogen8M

The i.MX 8M family of application processors from NXP is based on Arm® Cortex®-A53 and Cortex-M4 cores which provide industry-leading audio, voice and video processing capabilities. They offer support for video quality with full 4K UltraHD resolution and HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG), DSD512 audio capability, flexible memory options as demonstrated in the Nitrogen8, and many other features.

The NXP’s latest i.MX 8M Quad processor powers the Nitrogen8M, an upgrade from the i.MX7 based Nitrogen7. The i.MX 8MQ features 4 Cortex-A53 (1.5GHz) and 1 Cortex-M4F (266MHz) cores. The Nitrogen8M will come standard with 2GB of LPDDR4 of RAM with a 4GB version also available. It features a microSD Card slot, an optional 8GB eMMC version expandable to 128GB,  USB 3.0 for high-speed data communication and of course adhering to the industry latest trend. At 136.7 x 87mm, the Nitrogen8M is slightly larger than the i.MX7 based Nitrogen7 and the earlier i.MX6-based Nitrogen6.

Nitrogen8M includes the latest in network connectivity options to serve IoT applications that employ edge, cloud, and fog computing. The SBC comes with a Gigabit Ethernet port as well as the BD-SDMAC, a pre-certified WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 module based on the QCA9377.  It also includes HDMI (4K@60fps) and 4-lane MIPI-DSI (1080p) display connections; two, 4-lane MIPI-CSI; headphone, microphone, and amplifier interfaces. Nitrogen8M will quickly find applications in the areas of smart-home, smart-speaker, industry, display applications, and many more.

The following are the specification of the Nitrogen8m SBC:

  • CPU — i.MX 8M Quad Core (x4 Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz; Cortex-M4 @ 266MHz)
  • RAM — 2GB LPDDR4 (4GB Optional)
  • Storage — micro SD slot or 8GB eMMC (upgradeable to 128GB)
  • NOR — 16MB (QSPI)
  • GPU — Vivante GC7000Lite
  • Camera — x2 4-lane MIPI-CSI
  • Display —
    • HDMI (w/CEC)
    • MIPI DSI
  • Wireless —
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 ac
    •  Bluetooth 4.1 BD-SDMAC Module (QCA9377)
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O –
    • 3x USB 3.0 Host ports
    • 1x USB 3.0 OTG port
    • 3x I2C
    • 1x SPI
    • 3x RS-232
    • 1x SD/MMC
    • 1x RTC + battery
    • 2x PCIe (1 Mini-PCI-E connector, one on expansion connector)
    • 1x JTAG
  • Power — 5V DC input
  • Operating Temperature — 0 to 70°C (Industrial Optional)

The Nitrogen8M is available now for pre-order, with boards beginning to ship in Spring 2018. Boundary Devices is offering the following three options:

Though the Nitrogen8M is launching with the i.MX 8M Quad processor, an i.MX 8M Dual and QuadLite versions are available on request. More information including a full list of specifications and availability can be found on the Nitrogen8M product page.

InnoComm NXP i.MX8M System on Module – An Advanced Video Processing SoM with Connectivity

Last year (2017), NXP announced its new applications processors, the i.MX 8 series. The i.MX 8M family of applications processors based on Arm® Cortex®-A53 and Cortex-M4 cores provide industry-leading audio, voice and video processing for applications that scale from consumer home audio to industrial building automation and mobile computers. NXP announced a select group of partners that have been engaged in the development of an ecosystem for the i.MX 8M family processor. Taiwan based Innocomm Mobile Technology was one of those selected partners among others and have announced their NXP i.MX 8M quad-core system-on-module – called WB10 with wireless and wired connectivity options.

Innocomm WB10

Innocomm WB10 is a next generation Wireless System-on-Module powered by the NXP i.MX 8M SoC. It offered advanced video processing capabilities and designed for application in the areas of internet audio, home entertainment, smart speakers among many others. With inbuilt Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet connectivity options, the WB10 can quickly find applications in the trending areas of Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial applications.

The WB10 is a small module and measured at just 50 x 50 mm. The WB10 module comes with only 2GB LPDDR4 RAM and an 8GB eMMC flash memory. It provides onboard support for WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Ethernet controller with MIMO 2 x 2 and Bluetooth 4.2. Apart from impressive connectivity options, you also get a host of other interfaces like – USB 3.0 host, USB 2.0 device, 2x I2C, 3x UART, GPIO, PWM, SPI, and PCIe interfaces.

WB10 Block Diagram

The WB10 has an impressive audio and video interfaces with is Media I/O expressed via three 80-pin connectors that include an HDMI 2.0a supporting 4K and HDR, as well as MIPI-DSI, 2x MIPI-CSI, SPDIF Rx/Tx, 4x SAI, and the high-end DSD512 audio interface.

The following are some of the SoM specifications:

  • Processor – NXP i.MX8M Quad, Cortex-A53 x 4 + M4
  • Display  –
    • 4K + HDR
    • HDMI 2.0a
    • MPI DSI
  • RAM – 2GB LPDDR4
  • Flash Memory – 8GB eMMC Flash
  • Connectivity –
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
    • MIMO 2×2 / BT 4.2
    • Ethernet 10/100M/1Gbps
  • Audio –
    • SAI
    • SPDiF Rx/Tx
    • DSD512
  • Dimension – 50 x 50 mm
  • Others –
    • USB 3.0/2.0 Host
    • USB 2.0 Device
    • i2C
    • SPI
    • UART
    • GPIO
    • CSI
    • PWM
    • PCIe
    • 80 pins x 3, board to board connectors
Carrier Board

Although no official software support has been provided, it is expected the SoM should support the usual Android and Linux BSPs as seen in most modules. A development carrier board is made available by the company to extend the SoM interfaces and will surely make development easier. The module connects to the carrier board through three 80-pin board-to-board connectors exposing many of the I/Os provided by the latest NXP processor.

At this point, no pricing or availability information is provided for the WB10. More information about the module can be found on the product page.