Tag Archives: SBC

Banana Pi BPI-W2 SBC – A Multimedia Router And NAS Board That Runs Android Or Linux

SinoVoip has released Banana Pi BPI-W2 multimedia network and smart NAS router SBC. The BPI-W2 has a faster processor and more advanced features than last year’s Banana Pi BPI-R2. However, the new model has only two Gigabit Ethernet ports instead of four.

This SBC is designed for applications such as high wireless performance, home entertainment, home automation, and many more. The BPI-W2 runs on a Realtek RTD1296 SoC with 4x Cortex-A53 cores clocked at up to 1.5GHz with a high-end Mali-T820 MP3 GPU. By comparison, previous year’s BPI-R2 used a quad-core, Cortex-A7 MediaTek MT7623 with a Mali-450 MP4. SinoVoip confirms full support for Android 6.0CentOSDebian 9Raspbian, and Ubuntu 15.04, and the board is also said to support OpenWrt.

Banana Pi BPI-W2
Banana Pi BPI-W2

The updated I/O support is shown in the BPI-W2’s dual SATA III ports, compared to only one on the single SATA interface found on the MT7623-based BPI-R2 and RTD1295-based devices. The BPI-W2 also has 8-64GB eMMC, a microSD slot, and 2GB of DDR4.

Although limited to dual GbE ports, the board also has a GbE WAN port for router applications. Unlike the R2, there is an HDMI input in addition to the HDMI output, and a mini-DisplayPort has replaced the earlier MIPI-DSI connection. In either case, the output resolution is still limited to HD (1080p) only.

Four USB ports are available, including single USB 3.0 and Type-C ports. There is a 40-pin header that is claimed to support Raspberry Pi 3 add-on boards. Other features involve RTC, IR, debug, audio I/O, and a 12V input.

Like other Banana Pi boards, the BPI-W2 is open source, shipping with schematics and other documentation. The AliExpress and wiki pages list and show PCIe 2.0 and 1.1/SDIO slots on the front as well as a single M.2 slot on the back. Yet the PCIe slots are also tagged as M.2 slots (E-Key), and it’s unclear which slots are capable of what. The PCIe slots are capable to support up to 802.11ac WiFi, and there’s also a SIM card slot.

The Banana Pi BPI-W2 is available now for $93 plus shipping on AliExpress. More information may be found on the BPI-W2 wiki page.

Compact COM Express-based subsystem packs plenty of DAQs

Zeta is a Single Board Computer (SBC) from Diamond Systems that combines a COM Express Mini Type 10 module based on Apollo Lake or Bay Trail SoCs with a DAQ-rich carrier, and a heat spreader mounted below. The Zeta COM Express Mini Type 10 supports the quad-core Atom E3940 and Pentium N4200 from Intel’s Apollo Lake generation, as well as a dual-core Atom E3825 from the earlier Bay Trail family. Measures 84mm by 55mm, Diamond, Creators of Zeta do not promote their creation as a standalone Computer -on-Module product mostly because of its extra add-ons and functionality.

Diamond Systems Zeta

According to Diamond, the 84 x 55mm Zeta offers functionality and performance equivalent to Diamond’s Bay Trail-based Aries PC/104 SBC, at just 40 percent of its 116 x 102mm size.

The Zeta processor choice can be obtained in two Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), one has 16x DIO lines while the other has an FPGA-driven data acquisition circuit that replaces the 16x DIO with a 27x DIO connector. The second SKU also adds 4x channels of 16-bit digital outputs, eight 32-bit timers, 16x channels of 16-bit analog inputs among other features.

The Zeta offers 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB RAM depending on the type of processor chosen. There’s also a microSD slot, as well as a mini-PCI express slot with mSATA support. Standard features include 2x GbE, VGA, LVDS, USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, and 4x RS-232/422/485. It also comes with an optional daughter board to act as an expansion set. The daughter board has a full-size mini-PCI express slot, an M.2 M-key 2242 for an SSD, and audio I/O.

General Specifications for the Zeta Serial Board Controller are:

  • Processor — Intel Apollo Lake or Bay Trail:
    • Atom x5-E3940 — 4x Apollo Lake cores @ 1.6GHz/1.8GHz; 9W TDP
    • Pentium N4200 — 4x Apollo Lake cores @ 1.1GHz/2.5GHz; 6W TDP
    • Atom E3825 — 2x Bay Trail cores @ 1.33GHz; 6W TDP
  • Memory & Storage:
    • 2GB (E3825), 4GB (E3940) or 8GB (N4200) RAM
    • MicroSD slot (bootable for Linux)
    • mSATA via mini-PCIe slot
    • M.2 M-key 2242 for SSD on an optional daughterboard
  • Display — VGA; LVDS
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet
  • Expansion Options:
    • Mini-PCIe slot with PCIe, USB, and mSATA support.
  • Expansion daughterboard:
    • Full-size mini-PCIe slot with PCIe and USB
    • HD audio (Realtek ALC892) line-in, mic-in, line-out
    • 16x DIO (via I2C) with configurable 3.3V/ 5V logic levels and Pull-up/down resistors
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0
    • 4x USB 2.0
    • 4x RS-232/422/485 (software-programmable with termination)
    • 16x DIO with selectable 3.3V/5V logic levels
    • Optional DAQ circuit (separate SKU):
    • 27x DIO with selectable 3.3V/5V logic levels (replaces original 16x DIO)
    • 16x 16-bit analog inputs
    • +/-10V, +/-5V, 0-10V, and 0-5V input ranges
    • 100KHz max sample rate with 2048-sample FIFO
    • 8x differential voltage inputs
    • 4x channels of 16-bit analog outputs
    • 8x 32-bit counter/timers.
    • 4x 24-bit PWMs
  • Power — Optional 9-36V input
  • Operating temperature — -40°C to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 84mm x 55mm (COM Express Mini Type 10)
  • Operating system — supports Linux (Ubuntu 16.04) and Windows 10 IoT with optional SDKs
  • Other features — watchdog; heat spreader; dev kit version with cables and SDKs
Block Diagram

Zeta’s small size and high feature density make it an ideal choice for mobile applications. It stands ready to meet the challenges of these environments with a wide range 6-36VDC input voltage, a -40 to +85°C operating temperature range, and fanless heat spreader cooling (heat sink options are available). Zeta is available for order online at an undisclosed price. More information for the Diamond Systems Zeta can be found on the product page.

Octavo Systems Releases OSD3358-SM-RED Beaglebone Black Compatible Board

Octavo Systems back in 2017 released their OSD335x-SM System-In-Package device, a powerful ARM Cortex®-A8 SIP-based package. The OSD335x-SM was a device of its class, measured at just 21mm x 21mm, and the OSD335x-SM is the smallest AM335x processor-based module on the market today that still allows complete access to all the AM335x device I/Os including PRUs. The OSD335x-SM helps in removing the need for DDR routing, power sequencing, complex supply chains and even the need for building larger PCBs to accommodate several components.

Octavo has announced the availability of the OSD3358-SM-RED platform.  The OSD3358-SM-RED platform is the official Reference, Evaluation, and Development platform for the OSD335x-SM SiP family. It is designed by Octavo Systems to allow users to evaluate the OSD335x-SM SiP for their application quickly.

The OSD3358-SM-RED is fully designed around the OSD335x-SM SiP at its core, thus inheriting all the features of the SiP device. The OSD335x-SM integrates a powerful 1GHz Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x processor, DDR3 Memory, two power supplies, and passives into a single easy to use package.  The 256 Ball BGA is 60% smaller than an equivalent design using discrete devices, making it the smallest ARM Cortex-A8 system implementation.

The development board comes included with a Gigabyte Ethernet (10/100/1000 Ethernet), a whopping 5 USB 2.o ports (comes with 4 USB hub ports and 1 micro USB client port), a micro HDMI for display, and two 46 pin expansion headers which makes it compatible with the Beaglebone ecosystem. The OSD3358-SM-RED has a 16GB eMMC on board and a microSD card interface.

The board also adds some onboard sensors providing a possible real-world case study. It comes with a 9-axis IMU that provides acceleration, gyroscope, and magnetometer data; a barometer to provide altitude; and a multi-channel temperature sensor.

Even though the SM-RED shares some compatibility with the BeagleBone it has no onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, but there’s an Ethernet port, and unlike the BB Black and other BeagleBone variants, it’s a GbE port. You also get 16GB eMMC compared to 4GB on the other BeagleBones.

The following are the specifications for the OSD3358-SM-RED:

  • Processor  — TI Sitara AM335x (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz)
    • PowerVR SGX530 GPU
    • 32-bit 200MHz Cortex-M3 based programmable real-time units (PRUs)
  • Memory —  512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage — 16GB eMMC
    • microSD slot with card pre-installed with Debian and drivers
  • Display — Micro-HDMI port
  • Networking — 10/100/1000 Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 2.0 host/device ports
    • Micro-USB client port
    • UART and JTAG
    • 2x BeagleBone Black Cape compatible expansion connectors
  • Other features — 9-axis IMU
    • Barometer and temperature sensors
    • 4x LEDs
    • TPM and secure NOR (currently not supported)
  • Power — 5V input
    • LiPo battery connector
    • Power and reset buttons
    • PMIC (via OSD3358 SiP)
  • Dimensions – 108 x 54 x 32mm
  • Operating system — Debian Linux

The OSD3358-SM-RED platform comes pre-loaded with a Debian Linux distribution complete with driver libraries for the different sensors on the board. All of the design files are freely available and can be used as a known good starting point for new designs. The OSD3358-SM-RED is available from Octavo Systems, Digi-Key, and Mouser for $199. More information may be found on Octavo’s OSD3358-SM-RED product and shopping page.

Microchip’s New Open Source SAMA5D27 SOM Module Runs Mainline Linux

American microcontroller manufacturer company Microchip has unveiled an open source, mainline Linux ready “SAMA5D27 SOM” module. This module is based on a SiP implementation of its Cortex-A5-based SAMA5D27 SoC with 128MB RAM. The 40 x 38mm module is also compatible with a SOM1-EK1 dev board.

SAMA5D27 SOM1

SAMA5D27 SOM1
SAMA5D27 SOM1

The SAMA5D27 SOM is Microchip’s first computer-on-module based on a Linux-ready application processor, and the first SiP-based module built around a SAMA5 SoC. It is mainly designed for rugged IoT applications and the module can be soldered onto a baseboard for versatile ease of use. It offers long-term availability and supports industrial grade -40 to 85°C temperature range.

The SAMA5D27 SOM1 combines the RAM-ready SAMA5D27C-D1G SiP with 64Mb of non-volatile QSPI boot flash and a 10/100 Ethernet PHY.  The module also integrates a 2Kb EEPROM with pre-programmed MAC address. The SOM is further equipped with a PMIC and a 3.3V power supply. Typical power consumption ranges from 120mA to 160mA. There’s also a 60mA idle mode and an ultra-low 30mA mode.

This module has 128 GPIO pins including 2x USB 2.0 host, one USB device, and 2x SD/MMC interfaces with eMMC 4.51 support. There is also support for 10x UART, 7x SPI, 2x CAN, camera and audio interfaces, and much more.

Like the Xplained boards, the module is open source, from the mainline Linux support to the posting of open schematics, design, Gerber, and BoM files for both the SOM and the optional SOM1-EK1 development board.

SAMA5D2 SiP

SAMA5D2 SiP
SAMA5D2 SiP

The newly launched SAMA5D2 SiP is built around the Microchip SAMA5D2. The FreeRTOS-focused 128MB version uses a lower-end SAM5D22 model limited to 16-bit DDR2 RAM while the Linux-ready 512MB and 1GB versions use the higher end SAMA5D27 and SAMA5D28, respectively, with 16/32-bit DDR. All the models are renowned for offering CAN support, and because the SAMA5D28 also adds security features, it’s the only one that is pre-certified for PCI Security.

The SAMA5D has fewer I/O pins and slower performance (166-500MHz) compared to the earlier, 600MHz SAMA5D4, but the power consumption is significantly lower. The SAMA5D2 SoC can run at less than 150mW in active mode at 500MHz with all peripherals activated, and at less than 0.5mW in low power mode with SRAM and registers retention.

SOM1-EK1 development board

SOM1-EK1 Development Board
SOM1-EK1 Development Board

The SAMA5D27-SOM1-EK1 development kit is built around a baseboard with a soldered SAMA5D27-SOM1 module with the 128MB (1Gb) configuration. This board is enhanced with SD and microSD slots, as well as a 10/100 Ethernet port, a micro-USB host port, and a micro-USB device port with power input.

Additional I/O option for this dev board includes USB HSIC, CAN, JLINK, and JTAG interfaces. There’s a tamper connector, 4x push buttons, an LED, supercapacitor backup, and an ATECC508 CryptoAuthentication device. A Linux4SAM BSP is available with Linux kernel and drivers.

The ATSAMA5D27-SOM1 is available for $39, and the ATSAMA5D27-SOM1-EK1 development board is available for $245 each. The ATSAMA5D2 SiP starts at for $8.62 each. More information may be found in Microchip’s SAMA5D2 SiP and SOM announcement and launch page, which points to SOM and SiP pages, as well as the SAMA5D27-SOM1-EK1 dev board page.

OSD3358-SM-RED – A Reference, Evaluation, And Development Board From Octavo Systems

The OSD3358-SM-RED from Octavo Systems is a reference, evaluation, and development board for the OSD335x-SM series of System-in-Package (SiP) devices. It is powered by a 1 GHz processor, ADC, and 1 GB of DDR2 RAM into an enclosure of the size of a coin.

OSD3358-SM-RED single-board computer

The SiP needs a PCB, along with components like an Ethernet jack, power supply, IO pins, and USB sockets to communicate with the other complimentary electronic parts. These boards include several power options, including a micro-USB connector, barrel jack, and solder points for battery usage. Ethernet and USB connectors are included, along with expansion connectors setup so that BeagleBone Black Capes can be connected directly. Finally, a 9-axis IMU, barometer, and temperature sensor are included. Data from sensors can be collected directly without the help of extra hardware or software.

This board is longer and slightly wider than a Raspberry Pi, at an exact dimension of 108 x 54 mm. It’s also thicker at 32 mm due to the decision to mount the Ethernet jack on top of the two USB ports. A micro-SD card slot is included, though WiFi capability is not provided. For internet connectivity, the user needs to rely on wired or dongle connection.

It comes pre-loaded with a Debian Linux distribution, complete with drivers for the onboard sensors already available. It can also boot off of the SD card to load other Operating Systems. This board can be used in one of three ways: as a standalone device, a USB client, or using a UART port as a Linux terminal. In the standalone case, the user simply connects the micro-USB connector to an appropriate power source, then to a monitor via a micro-HDMI to HDMI adapter. Once booted up, the screen goes to a minimal Linux install, allowing the user to access a web browser, terminal, and other necessary tools that a developer can build upon.

At a cost of $199, this board wouldn’t be an appropriate substitute for a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone in standalone situations, but it will certainly be useful for a professional upgrade to OSD335x-SM SiPs.

Hardware Acronyms: SiP, SoC, SoM, CoM, SBC – What Are They?

If you are new into hardware or still familiarizing yourself to the hardware ecosystem, you will realize some common terms often appear which could sometimes sound confusing or something out of rocket science, but it’s not. Here’s a quick look at five common terms used in hardware products or boards and what they denote.

Let’s take a look at them –

System-in-a-Package (SiP)

Cross section of a SiP

A system in package (SiP) contains several ICs (chips) including a microprocessor on a single substrate such as ceramic or laminate. An example SiP can comprise several chips—such as a specialized processor, DRAM, flash memory—combined with passive components—resistors and capacitors—all mounted on the same substrate. This means that a complete functional unit can be built in a multi-chip package so that few external components need to be added to make it work.

SiP dies can be stacked vertically or tiled horizontally, unlike slightly less dense multi-chip modules, which place dies horizontally on a carrier. SiP connects the dies with standard off-chip wire bonds or solder bumps.

The appeal of a SiP is that it can be compact an otherwise complex system into a very simple package, making it easier to integrate into larger systems. It also simplifies PCB layouts.

Unlike a SOC that is based on a single silicon die, SiP can be based on multiple dies in a single package. SiP is believed to provide more interconnection in the future and possibly face out SoCs.

Package-on-a-Package (PoP)

Package on a Package

A Package-on-a-Package stacks single-component packages vertically, connected via ball grid arrays. Packages can be discrete components (memory, CPU, other logic) or a System-in-a-Package stacked with another package for added or expanded functionality.

PoP provides more component density and also simplifies PCB design. It can also improve signal propagation since the interconnects between components is much shorter.

System-on-a-Chip (SoC)

A System-on-a-chip (SoC) is a microchip with all the necessary electronic circuits and parts for a  given system, such as a smartphone or wearable computer, into a single integrated circuit (IC).

An SoC integrates a microcontroller (or microprocessor) with advanced peripherals like graphic processing unit (GPU), Wi-Fi module, or coprocessor.

Think of an SoC as a computer package inside a chip. The SoC integrates all components of a system into one. It may contain digital, analog, mixed-signal, and often radio-frequency functions – all on a single substrate. An SoC can be based around either a microcontroller (includes CPU, RAM, ROM, and other peripherals) or a microprocessor (includes only a CPU). It is also possible for SoCs to be customized for a specific application, including whatever components, memory, or peripherals necessary, ranging from digital/analog signal ICs, FPGAs, and IOs.

One of the major advantages of an SoC is that it is usually cheaper, smaller, easy to scale, and even more energy efficient. It is easier to build around a SoC for a product than to add several components individually. Despite its obvious advantages, SoC still has a significant disadvantage – you are going to be locked into that hardware configuration for life. This could be fine for consumer products, since you don’t expect any hardware upgrade or so but would limit hacking for makers related application.

A good example of an SoC is what we have in the Raspberry Pi; The Raspberry Pi uses a system on a chip as an almost fully-contained microcomputer. SoCs can help engineers speed up a product to market and even the adoption of new protocols, such as those Bluetooth 5 SoCs, that make it easier to integrate Bluetooth 5 into new products.

System on Module (SoM) / Computer on Module (CoM)

Computer on a module

A System on a Module (SoM) and Computer on Module usually refers to the same thing. A Computer-on-a-module is a step above an SoC. It means a computer or system packaged in a single module. CoMs usually provide every piece you need to build a complete system; they incorporate an SoC (most of the time), connectivity, multimedia and display, GPIO, operating system, and others into one single module.

SoM based designs are usually scalable. SoMs/CoMs are usually paired with a carrier board. These carrier boards are usually used to extend out the SoMs functionality or parts. A SoM helps system designers realize a fully customized electronics assembly, complete with custom interfaces and form factor without the effort of a ground-up electronics design. Customers can purchase an off-the-shelf SoM and marry it to an easy to develop custom baseboard to create a solution functionally identical to one that is fully custom-engineered.

CoMs provide a plug-and-play type advantage since a CoM can be replaced or upgraded within a carrier, without having to change the carrier. There are some benefits to the SoM approach vs. ground-up development. These include cost savings, reduced risk, a variety of CPU choices, decreased customer design requirements, and a small footprint.

Unlike an SBC, a computer-on-module is a type of single-board computer made to plug into a carrier board, baseboard, or backplane for system expansion.

Single Board Computers (SBCs)

A Raspberry Pi SBC

single-board computer (SBC) is a complete computer built on a single circuit board, with a microprocessor(s), memory, input/output (I/O) and other features required for a functional computer. Single-board computers were made as demonstration or development systems, for educational systems, or for use as embedded computer controllers.

Single-board computer builds on SoC to provide a full-fledged computer on small circuit board. Examples of popular SBCs are Raspberry Pi boards, Nvidia Jetson, Beaglebone, and several others.

Connect Tech’s V7G System Is An AI-Targeted SBC with 5th Gen Xeon-D CPU And Nvidia Pascal Cards

Connect Tech Inc’s V7G System, which is also listed as the “COM Express Type 7 + GPU Embedded System”, is the first Xeon-D based SBC-like product. The V7G houses a 5th Gen “Broadwell” Xeon-D based COM Express Type 7 module and it can house three Nvidia Pascal-driven graphics boards. No OS support was listed yet, but it is expected to work with Linux or Windows.

This 216 x 164mm footprint system can drive 4x independent display outputs. Alternatively, it could also be used for headless GPGPU CUDA processing for Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence applications.

V7G - COM Express Type 7 + GPU Embedded System
V7G – COM Express Type 7 + GPU Embedded System

The V7G is the successor to its earlier, Xeon-E3 and Type 6-based “COM Express + GPU Embedded System”, which similarly offers the choice of Nvidia Quadro P3000 and P5000 boards. Instead of the V7G’s new Nvidia Tesla P6 option, the earlier model offers Nvidia Tesla M6 and GeForce GTX 1080 or 1050Ti graphics options. The V7G combines 10GbE and HDMI support, as well as new mini-PCIe and M.2 expansion slots.

The user can choose from a 12-core, 1.5GHz Xeon-D1559 or a 16-core, 1.3GHz Xeon-D1577, both with 45W TDP CPUs for the module. The module also comes with up to 48GB DDR4 (2400MT/s) ECC RAM. Both the 100W Quadro P5000 and more recent, 90W Tesla P6 (PDF) offer 2048 CUDA cores. The Quadro P3000, which launched last year, is limited to 1280 CUDA cores but has a lower power consumption of 75W.

The Tesla P6 is a GPU accelerator optimized for blade servers and designed originally for deep learning, visualization, and virtualization. As a drawback of this, the Tesla P6 equipped version of the V7G board lacks HDMI ports.

Storage department includes dual SATA interfaces and dual M.2 M-Key with the support of NVMe. The board implements 4x GbE and 2x 10GbE ports. The design is said to support a future upgrade path to 4x 10GbE ports.

There are also eight USB port, 4x USB 3.0 and 4x USB 2.0 ports, a micro-USB console port, and 8-bit GPIO. For expansion, there are dual mini-PCIe slots and two more M.2 slots with PCIe expansion. A heat spreader is included but the fan is optional.

The V7G (COM Express Type 7 + GPU Embedded System) is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found at Connect Tech’s V7G product page.

New Mini-ITX Form Factor Open-X 8M Development Kit Is Built Around i.MX8M Module

The Canada based company Intrinsyc has announced the Open-X 8M System on Module (SOM) a month ago. Now Open-X 8M is followed up with a Mini-ITX form factor Open-X 8M Development Kit build. The kit includes a GbE port, dual USB 3.0 ports, M2 expansion, and much more user-friendly features.

Open-X 8M SOM

Intrinsyc Open-X 8M SOM front side
Intrinsyc Open-X 8M SOM front side

The Open-X 8M SOM can run Linux and Android 8.0 on the high-end Quad model of the i.MX8M, the same model used by most of the other i.MX8M boards. The i.MX8M Quad has 4x Cortex-A53 cores, single 266MHz Cortex-M4F, VPU, and Vivante GC7000Lite GPU chips. These CPU cores can be clocked in the range of 1.3GHz to 1.5GHz.

The Open-X 8M SOM comes with 3GB LPDDR4 RAM and 16GB eMMC. It includes a wireless module with 2.4/5.0GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with the support of 2×2 MU-MIMO and Bluetooth 4.1. A Gigabit Ethernet controller is also there for wired connectivity. Visual output is available with the help of the module’s 3x 100-pin connectors. There is also support for HDMI 2.0a for up to 4096 x 2160 at a 60Hz resolution and 4-lane MIPI-DSI for up to 1920 x 1080 at 60Hz. There are also dual 4-lane MIPI-CSI2 camera inputs.

The Open-X 8M SOM is moreover equipped with 2x debug UART, 2x USB 3.0, 4-bit SDIO, JTAG, and PCIe Gen2 additional I/O ports. This 3.3V module has an NXP PF4210 PMIC, and it can operate in 0 to 70°C temperature range.

Open-X 8M Development Kit

Intrinsyc Open-X 8M Development Kit
Intrinsyc Open-X 8M Development Kit

The Open-X 8M SOM is the heart of the new Open-X 8M Development Kit. It has a footprint of 170 x 170mm, which classifies as Mini-ITX form factor. The board has a MIPI-DSI connector and choice for mounting an optional, smartphone-sized Open-X LCD/Touchscreen is available.

The Open-X 8M Development Kit includes USB 3.0 host, USB 3.0 Type-C, and HDMI 2.0a ports, as well as a microSD slot. A GbE port is available as an alternative to the module’s WiFi. There’s also a 3.5mm audio output jack. Dual MIPI-CSI2 connectors support is available for optional camera module attachment.

The Open-X 8M SOM and Open-X 8M Development Kit are available now. Though, pricing information is not available yet. More information may be found at Intrinsyc’s Open-X 8M SOM and Open-X 8M Development Kit product page.

Phytec Develops Three PhyCore Modules – i.MX8, i.MX8M, and iMX8X, Driven By Linux

Phytec has updated their product pages for three new PhyCore modules, all of which support Linux. The three modules, which employ three different flavors of i.MX8 SOC is phyCORE-i.MX 8Xi.MX 8M, and i.MX 8 SBCs. The PhyCore COMs are based on NXP’s Cortex-A53 based i.MX8M, its -A53 and -A72 equipped i.MX8 Quad, and its -A35 based i.MX8X.

phyCore-i.MX 8X

phyCORE-i.MX 8X module
phyCORE-i.MX 8X module

The i.MX8X SoC found on the phyCORE-i.MX 8X module. This board focuses on industrial IoT applications. i.MX8X includes up to 4x cores that comply with Arm’s Cortex-A35.

The i.MX8X SoC is further equipped with a single Cortex-M4 microcontroller, a Tensilica HiFi 4 DSP, and a multi-format VPU that supports up to 4K playback and HD encoding.

There’s no onboard wireless support, but support for dual GbE controllers (1x onboard, 1x RGMII) are available. There are MIPI-CSI and parallel camera interfaces, as well as ESAI based audio.

phyCore-i.MX 8M

phyCORE-i.MX 8M module
phyCORE-i.MX 8M module

The phyCORE-i.MX 8M supports the NXP i.MX8M Quad and QuadLite, both with 4x Cortex-A53 cores, as well as the dual-core Dual. All are clocked to 1.5GHz. They all have 266MHz Cortex-M4F cores and Vivante GC7000Lite GPUs, but only the Quad and Dual models support 4Kp60, H.265, and VP9 video capabilities.

In addition to the i.MX8M SoC, which offers “128 KB + 32 KB” RAM, the module ships with the same memory features as the phyCore-i.MX 8X except that it lacks the SPI flash. Once again, you get 512MB to 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and either 128MB to 1GB NAND flash or 4GB to 128GB eMMC. This 3.3V module supports an RTC, watchdog, and tamper protection.

phyCore-i.MX 8

phyCORE-i.MX 8 module
phyCORE-i.MX 8 module

The phyCORE-i.MX 8, is ideal for image and speech recognition. It is the third module to support NXP’s top-of-the-line, 64-bit i.MX8 series. The module supports all three flavors of i.MX8 while the other two COMs we’ve seen have been limited to the high-end QuadMax: Toradex’s Apalis iMX8 and iWave’s iW-RainboW-G27M.

i.MX8 QuadMax features dual high-end Cortex-A72 cores clocked at 1.6GHz plus four Cortex-A53 cores. The i.MX8 QuadPlus design is the same, but with only one Cortex-A72 core, and the quad has no -A72 cores.

The 73 x 45mm phyCORE-i.MX 8 supports up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM. Like the phyCORE-i.MX 8X, the module provides 64MB to 256MB of Micron Octal SPI/DualSPI flash. There’s no NAND option, but you get 4GB to 128GB eMMC.

More information may be found in Phytec’s phyCORE-i.MX 8XphyCORE-i.MX 8M, and phyCORE-i.MX 8 product pages as well as the phyBoard-Polaris SBC product page.

PICO316 – The New Pico-ITX SBC Powered By Intel Apollo Lake Processors

Axiomtek, a Taiwan based company has introduced new Pico-ITX form factor SBCs using Intel’s Apollo Lake processor. This line of SBCs from Axiomtek started with PICO312 with minimal coastline ports, and then followed with a COM-like PICO313. Recently they launched a similar 100 x 72mm PICO316 SBC with more versatile ports than the original PICO312.

 

PICO316 SBC front side
PICO316 SBC front side
PICO316 SBC back side
PICO316 SBC backside

This PICO316 SBC is powered by Intel Pentium N4200 or Intel Celeron N3350 with Intel Gen9 Graphics. It supports up to 8GB DDR3L-1867 RAM. The SBC is compatible with most popular Linux kernels, such as RedhatFedoraUbuntu also runs Windows as well. The IoT focused board also supports Axiomtek’s exclusive device monitoring and remote management software, AXView 2.0.

While the PICO312 and PICO313 were restricted to a single USB 2.0 interface, the PICO316 upgrades to pack three USB 3.0 ports, two of which are Type-C ports. Like the PICO312, the PICO316 has an HDMI port to enhance the LVDS interface. As an extra feature PICO316 provides dual RS-232 interfaces. On the other hand, the new PICO316 loses the previously available DIO and half-size mini-PCIe interfaces found on the PICO313, as well as the pair of general expansion connectors found on both of the earlier models.

The PICO316 is further provided with a SATA III interface, a GbE port,  a full-size mini-PCIe slot with mSATA, an audio out jack, I2C, SMBus, and a watchdog. It runs on 5V, and it adds a -20°C to 70°C option in addition to the standard -20°C to 60°C.

Key Specifications for Axiomtek PICO316:

  • Processor: Intel Pentium N4200 or Intel Celeron N3350 (2.5GHz or 2.4GHz burst)
  • Graphics: Intel Gen9 Graphics
  • Memory: up to 8GB DDR3L-1867 via 1x SODIMM
  • Storage: SATA-600; mSATA via mini-PCIe
  • Display: HDMI port; 18/24-bit single/dual channel LVDS
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O Ports:
  • USB 3.0 host port
  • 2x USB 3.0 Type-C ports
  • 2x USB interfaces
  • 2x RS232 interfaces
  • HD audio line-out jack
  • I2C, SMBus
  • Other features: watchdog, heatsink; an optional heat spreader
  • Operating temperature: -20 to 60°C or optional -20 to 70°C
  • Power: 5VDC input jack and 2x 2-pin connectors; Lithium 3V/220mAH battery; optional 5V/8A 40W adapter, 4-pin plug w/ lock
  • Dimensions: 100 x 72mm; Pico-ITX form factor
  • Operating system: Linux (Red Hat, Fedora, Ubuntu); Windows

The pricing and availability information may be found on Axiomtek’s PICO316 product page.