Tag Archives: SOC

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.

Open-Q 845 HDK Development Board Integrates Snapdragon 845 SoC And Runs Android 8.0

Intrinsyc’s new Open-Q 845 HDK Development Kit has the same Mini-ITX (170 x 170mm) dimensions and sandwich-style design as the Open-Q 835 from the previous year. The main SoC, Snapdragon 845 is integrated into the board topped by a heatsink. This dev board includes a smartphone like 5.7-inch QHD (1440 x 2560) touchscreen controlled via MIPI-DSI, as well as a camera board with dual rear-facing cameras and a front-facing camera.

Open-Q 845 Development Board with optional touchscreen
Open-Q 845 Development Board with optional touchscreen

The Open-Q 845 runs Android 8.0 on the Snapdragon 845 SoC with 6GB LPDDR4x RAM. The Snapdragon 845 SoC is equipped with 4X high-performance Kryo cores (up to 2.80 GHz) and 4X low-power Kryo cores (up to 1.8 GHz) and the graphics processing is handled by the new Qualcomm Adreno 630 GPU. There’s also a microSD slot and a 128GB UFS 2.1 flash drive. Like the Open-Q 835, the board offers Bluetooth 5.0 + BLE along with 2.4/5GHz 2×2 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and the latest WiGig60 802.11ad WiFi with an onboard antenna.

This board is further enhanced with a GNSS daughter card with GPS, GLONASS, COMPASS, and Galileo support and a PCB antenna and SMA connector option. There are mini-PCIe and PCIe slots for further wireless and peripheral expansion.

Video ports include DSI-driven HDMI 1.4 port, USB 3.1 Type-C DisplayPort, and dual 4-lane MIPI-DSI connectors. There are also 3x 4- and 2-lane MIPI-CSI ports on a single 120-pin connector that support dual 16-megapixel or a single 32-megapixel front-facing camera. This kit supports the Snapdragon 845’s capability for 4K @ 60fps, 10-bit HDR video playback and capture using H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC) compression.

Open-Q 845, front view (with optional touchscreen)
Open-Q 845Development Board front view (with optional touchscreen)

The audio department is handled by Qualcomm audio codec driver. It supports a headset jack and analog audio input and output headers. There are several I/O ports like DP-ready USB 3.1 Type-C, 2X USB 2.0 host ports, and a micro-USB serial port. Other additional features include NFC and sensor expansion headers with I2C, SPI, UART, and GPIO. The dev kit includes a power management function, as well as 12V/3A input from wall adapter and a 3000mAh Li-Ion battery.

Intrinsyc’s Open-Q 845 HDK Development Kit is available for pre-order at $1,079. No shipping date information was published to this date. More information may be found on the Open-Q 845 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.

Advantech SOM-5871 Module Introduces The New AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC

Taiwan based Advantech Co. has posted an introductory product page for a SOM-5871 module that appears to introduce the long-awaited next generation of AMD’s embedded R-Series SoC line. The R-Series is based on the same 14nm Zen Core already used in higher-end Ryzen SoCs. The new SoC is introduced as the “AMD Zen CPU Core” on the product pages and is called the AMD V1000 SoC on this Advantech COM Express teaser page.

Advantech SOM-5871 preliminary photo and specs
Advantech SOM-5871 preliminary photo and specs

According to the Advantech SOM-5871 product page, the AMD V1000 supports a core/thread of “2/4/8”. This obscure listing could mean it supports both dual-core, quad-threaded and quad-core, octa-threaded models, which are the configurations listed for the iBase Mini-ITX SBC. The iBase board also had the same memory support as Advantech’s SOM-5871. They both have up to 32GB of dual-channel DDR4-2400/3200 with optional ECC support.

Advantech also lists the SoC can have 1MB or 2MB cache, a 12-54W TDP, an integrated I/O chipset, and an SPI-based AMI 64MB BIOS. No clock speed information is available yet of this SoC. On the other hand, the Vega GPU embedded in this SoC has 11 compute units clocked at 1.5GHz and supports H.265 decode and encode and VP9 decode. The Vega also supports DirectX 12, EGL 1.4, OpenCL 2.1, OpenGL ES 1.1, 2x, and 3x, as well as OpenGL Next/OpenGL 4.6. The SOM-5871 module supports 4K video as well as four independent symmetrical displays.

SOM-5871 front view
SOM-5871 front view

No OS support information was mentioned for Advantech’s board. Most probably Linux and Windows support are available for SOM-5871, but the module is said to support the company’s iManager, WISE-PaaS/RMM, and Embedded Software APIs. In addition to the specs remarked above, the 125 x 95mm SOM-5871 Type 6 Basic module comes with dual GbE controllers (Intel I210 AT and I210 IT) and dual 6Gbps SATA III interfaces.

No pricing or availability information was provided for Advantech’s introductory SOM-5871 module or the iBase Mini-ITX and embedded signage PC products. More information may be found at Advantech’s SOM-5871 product page.

Tiny i.MX7 module runs both Linux and FreeRTOS

F&S announced their tiny PicoCore MX7ULP module, which is able to run Linux or FreeRTOS on an NXP i.MX7 SoC. The board comes with up to 32GB eMMC plus optional WiFi/BT and extended temperature support. The new board measures only 40 x 35mm and will be presented on Embedded World (Feb. 27-Mar. 1) with expected shipment in the third quarter 2018.  The PicoCore module doesn’t have an edge connector, instead interfaces with a 2x 80-pin Hirose DF40C plug connectors.

PicoCore MX7ULP Block Diagram

The PicoCore MX7ULP ships with up to 1GB LPDDR3 RAM, 64MB SPI NOR flash, up to 32GB eMMC, and an optional SD slot. There’s also an option for a wireless module with 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. For display, you get a MIPI-DSI interface that is accompanied with I2C-based resistive and capacitive touch support.

PicoCore MX7ULP, front and back

Additional I/O includes USB OTG, SPI, 2x I2C, 33x general purpose DIO, audio interfaces, and 2x UARTS. The 10-gram board runs on 5V DC power (or a 4.2V battery) and consumes a typical 1W. For more information, please visit F&S Elektronik Systeme’s PicoCore MX7ULP announcement and product page.

Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ SoC module smaller than a credit card

by Julien Happich @ eenewseurope.com:

Enclustra’s Mercury+ XU1 is the company’s fastest SoC module based on the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC. The 74×54mm board accommodates 6 ARM cores, a Mali 400MP2 GPU, up to 4 GB of extremely fast DDR4 ECC SDRAM, numerous standard interfaces, 294 user I/Os and up to 747,000 LUT4 equivalents – all on an area smaller than a credit card.

Built-in interfaces include two Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, sixteen MGTs (with speeds of up to 12.5 Gbps), as well as PCIe Gen2 x4. With up to 4 GB of DDR4 SDRAM with bandwidths of 19.2 GByte/s and ECC, as well as 16 GB eMMC flash memory, the Mercury+ XU1 will handle even the heaviest of resource-hogging applications. The module is available in both commercial and industrial temperature ranges, and needs just a single 5-15 V supply for operation.

Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ SoC module smaller than a credit card – [Link]

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.

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:


  • XC7Z010 – 1CLG400C


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


  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • USB 2.0

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


  • 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.

NanoPC-T3 – Octa-core, 2GB DDR3, eMMC storage, Gbps ethernet, WiFi&BT

FriendlyARM released a new member to NanoPC family. NanoPC-T3. It’s a powerful board for $75 (without shipping).

The NanoPC-T3 Plus octa-core single board computer is designed and developed for professional and enterprise users. It uses the Samsung Octa-Core Cortex-A53 S5P6818 SoC. Compared to the FriendlyELEC NanoPC-T2 the NanoPC-T3 Plus not only has all the T2’s interfaces and ports but also has a more powerful SoC. Its dynamic frequency scales from 400M up to 1.4GHz. The NanoPC-T3 Plus has 16G eMMC onboard, audio jack, video input/output interfaces, built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and Gbps Ethernet port. In addition the NanoPC-T3 Plus) has power management, on board porcelain antenna and serial debug port. To avoid overheat issues the NanoPC-T3 Plus has a heat sink with mounting holes.

The NanoPC-T3 Plus has two camera interfaces: a DVP camera interface and a MIPI-CSI interface, and four video interfaces: HDMI 1.4A, LVDS, parallel RGB-LCD interface and MIPI-DSI interface. It supports RTC and has RTC interface pins. It has four USB ports with three being type A ports and one being 2.54mm pitch pin-headers.

The NanoPC-T3 Plus supports multiple OS systems e.g. Android5.1, Debian and UbuntoCore+Qt. It is an open source project with rich interfaces and ports.


  • SoC: Samsung S5P6818 Octa-Core Cortex-A53, 400M Hz – 1.4G Hz
  • PMU Power Management: Implemented by a Cortex-M0 MCU, support software power-off, sleep and wakeup functions
  • System Memory: 2GB 32bit DDR3 RAM
  • SD Storage: 1 x microSD Card Socket
  • Ethernet: Gbit Ethernet(RTL8211E)
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: 4.0 dual mode
  • Antenna: Porcelain Antenna IPX Interface
  • eMMC: 16GB
  • Video Input: DVP Camera/MIPI-CSI (two camera interfaces)
  • Video Output: HDMI Type-A / LVDS / Parallel RGB-LCD / MIPI-DSI (four video output interfaces)
  • Audio: 3.5 mm audio jack / via HDMI
  • Microphone: onboard Microphone
  • USB Host: 4 x USB 2.0 Host, three type A ports and one 2.54 mm pitch pin-headers
  • MicroUSB: 1 x MicroUSB 2.0 Client, Type A
  • LCD Interface: 0.5mm pitch 45 pin FPC seat, full color RGB 8-8-8
  • HDMI: 1.4A Type A, 1080P
  • DVP Camera: 0.5mm pitch 24 pin FPC seat
  • GPIO: 2.54 mm pitch 30 pin-header
  • I2S/USB: 2.54 mm pitch 14 pin-header
  • Serial Debug Port: 2.54mm pitch 4-pin-header
  • User Key: power, Reset, boot selection
  • LED: 1 x power LED and 1 x system LED
  • Other Resources: CPU’s internal TMU
  • RTC Battery: RTC Battery Seat
  • Heat Sink: 1 x Heat Sink with mounting holes
  • Power: DC 5V/3A
  • PCB: Six Layer
  • Dimension: 100 mm x 64 mm
  • Working Temperature: -40℃ to 80℃
  • OS/Software: uboot, Android and Debian

Wiki: http://wiki.friendlyarm.com/wiki/index.php/NanoPC-T3(2GB)
Store: http://www.friendlyarm.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=69&product_id=210

A multi-protocol SoC for ultra low-power wireless applications

Author: Maurizio Di Paolo Emilio

The nRF52840 SoC of Nordic Semiconductor is based on a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F CPU running at 64 MHz with flash and RAM integrated on chip. Ultra low-power wireless applications can use this advanced multi-protocol SoC with different communication protocols.  The 2.4 GHz transceiver supports Bluetooth low energy (Bluetooth 5), 802.15.4, ANT and proprietary protocols. The transceiver also supports high resolution RSSI measurement and automated processes to reduce CPU load. Moreover, EasyDMA for direct data memory access and packet assembly provides full support for hardware (figure 1). The device maintains the compatibility with existing products such as nRF52, nRF51 and nRF24 series.

ultra low-power wireless applications
Figure 1: Block diagram of the nRF52840 SoC

Bluetooth 5 and SoC

Bluetooth 5 (500kbs e 125kbs) is the latest version of the well-known wireless technology. It increases the range of four times and the throughput of eight times, making this technology much more suitable for ultra low-power wireless applications such as wearable, Smart Home and more generally for Internet-related applications (IoT, IIoT). The ultra low power consumption of the Bluetooth 5 protocol facilitates high performance, advertising extension and modulation schemes.

nRF52840 SoC uses power management resources to maximize job processes and achieve an optimal energy efficiency. The power supply ranges between 1.7V and 5.5V ensures a wide choice of batteries. In addition, SoC can also work with USB direct power supply without external regulators. Especially relevant, all devices have automatic clock management with adaptive features to maintain minimal power consumption.


  • multi-protocol SoC
  • 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F Processor
  • 1.7v to 5.5v operation
  • 1MB flash + 256kB RAM
  • Bluetooth 5 support for long range and high throughput
  • 802.15.4 radio support
  • On-chip NFC
  • PPI –Programmable Peripheral Interconnect
  • Automated power management system with automatic power management of each peripheral
  • Configurable I/O mapping for analog and digital I/O
  • 48 x GPIO
  • 1 x QSPI
  • 4 x Master/Slave SPI
  • 2 x Two-wire interface (I²C)
  • I²S interface
  • 2 x UART
  • 4 x PWM
  • USB 2.0 controller
  • ARM TrustZone CryptoCell-310 Cryptographic and security module
  • AES 128-bit ECB/CCM/AAR hardware accelerator
  • Digital microphone interface (PDM)
  • Quadrature decoder
  • 12-bit ADC
  • Low power comparator
  • On-chip 50Ω balun
  • On-air compatible with nRF52, nRF51 and nRF24 Series

Development kit

The NRF52840-PDK is a versatile development kit based on nRF52840 SoC for the development of projects by using Bluetooth Low Energy, ANT, 802.15.4, and proprietary 2.4GHz protocols. Moreover, It is also hardware-compatible with the Arduino Uno R3 standard, allowing to use third-party compatible shields. Adding an NFC antenna, the kit enables the NFC tag feature (figure 2 and 3).

ultra low-power wireless applications
Figure 2: NRF52840-PDK development kit


ultra low-power wireless applications
Figure 3: block diagram of the NRF52840-PDK development kit