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$129 Wandboard Quad Board With Freescale i.MX 6Quad and 2GB RAM

When Wandboard launches their Wandboard Solo and Wandboard Dual boards, many people asked when there would be a quad core version. At the time, the company said they had no plan for a quad core version to keep costs low. If we are to believe a Wandboard Quad listing on mouser.com, they must have changed their mind of they now offer a Freescale i.MX6 Quad version with 2GB RAM, and SATA support, which will sell for $129 (as shown on Wandboard site) or $139 (mouser.com) once it becomes available.

Wandboard_QuadThe Specifications are very similar to Wandboard Dual, except for the quad core processor, 2GB RAM, and working SATA connector:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX 6Quad quad core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz + Vivante GC2000 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 2x micro SD card slot + SATA connector
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, S/PDIF (optical), Line In, Line Out, and Mic In.
  • Connectivity – 1Gb Ethernet + Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (BCM4329) + Bluetooth
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, + 1x mini USB OTG port
  • Debug – UART port
  • Expansion Headers –  4x 20-pin headers + CSI connector
  • Power Supply – 5V
  • Dimensions – 95 mm x 95 mm

Wandboard Quad is a serious contender to the UDOO QUAD, as long as you don’t need the Arduino headers provided by UDOO boards. You won’t find Linux (Ubuntu) or Android images right now, as the board has not been announced yet, but since it has started to show up on both Wandboard.org and mouser.com, we may get an official announcement this later week [Update: No PR, but they’ve just tweeted about it]. The EDM boards, as well as EDM connectors, standoffs and screws, will also be available for sale in packs of 10-units, if you want to use those in your own baseboard.

[Update: Wandboard has just mentioned the new board will be available in June:

The current status is that we have 60 working samples in our hands and a production run of Wandboard Quad’s will ship to distributors early June.

  1. myfoolishgames
    May 27th, 2013 at 21:54 | #1

    Nice board, shame they didn’t added usb 3.0 controller on the pcie bus, it’s way preferable to my taste than sata.

  2. Ian Tester
    May 28th, 2013 at 02:05 | #2

    Finally having support for SATA is big for me. I hope they modify the existing case (or make a new one) that can accommodate a 2.5″ drive. Then it would make a great little desktop machine.

  3. hroth
    May 28th, 2013 at 06:20 | #3

    The other omission is using an SD for boot instead of NAND or eMMC.

    Does anyone know whether SATA with an SSD would be (latency, not throughput) faster/slower for booting over NAND or eMMC?

    Also, how does one access the PCIe bus physically – is there a PCIe slot on Wandboard’s mainboard?

  4. May 28th, 2013 at 09:10 | #4

    @Ian Tester
    My guts tell me you may have to do it yourself, or wait for a third party to do it.

    Before I though eMMC was a definite advantage over an SD card, but since I got a Class 10 SD card, I’ve somewhat changed my mind, because I found that fast SD cards are nearly as good as eMMC for using Linux/Android. So even though data transfer may be faster with eMMC, there may not that much difference when running the OS.

    There’s no PCIe bus on the baseboard. You’d have to design your own baseboard with PCIe, and use the signals from the EDM module. It may also be possible to access the PCIe signals from the expansion header, but I haven’t taken the time to check. The pins assignment is available in Wandboard quick start guide.

  5. Ian
    May 28th, 2013 at 19:28 | #5

    Don’t forget that SD is just a development of MMC, so there’s little difference between SD and eMMC. The hardkernel site says their eMMC modules (on the Odroid boards) are twice as fast as class 10 SD. Apart from a faster transfer speed I would imagine their other characteristics are identical or nearly so.

    It looks like the easiest way to get PCIe is to use a different carrier board. Technexion, who seem to be the ones behind the EDM standard, have the Fairy:

    It provides two mPCIe slots/sockets but is twice the size of the Wandboard carrier board.

  6. May 28th, 2013 at 19:43 | #6

    My EDM module in Wandboard has a MAC address from Technexion (even though Wandboard said Technexion does not provide the modules to them), and Technexion is apparently also involved in at least parts of software development for the Wandboard Quad, e.g. : http://patchwork.ozlabs.org/patch/246726/ .

  7. May 29th, 2013 at 05:41 | #7

    FYI – Technexion EDM standard modules are commercially supported and provide eMMC instead of an SDCard on Wandboard.
    They are pin compatible. and could drop into the Wandboard carrier.

  8. May 29th, 2013 at 05:42 | #8

    FYI – SATA is built into the Freescale i.MX6 chip, whereas USB3 would be extra silicon.

  9. May 29th, 2013 at 05:59 | #9

    Excuse me my bad english. I would like to ask if someone knows what is the current linux support for this board ?

    I am very interested to use this board in a NAS. With sata and a gigabit lan, I think the performance will be very good.

  10. May 29th, 2013 at 06:03 | #10

    Ops… I got the information I want in the wanboard site.

  11. Paul
    May 30th, 2013 at 04:56 | #11

    myfoolishgames :
    Nice board, shame they didn’t added usb 3.0 controller on the pcie bus, it’s way preferable to my taste than sata.

    That’s new trend starting. When there was no SATA, people preached: “If only it had SATA, I would do something useful with it.” Now that board with SATA are within immediate reach, it’s still not good enough. There’s surely no production ARM SoC with USB3, and standalone chips cost ~$20 (prooflink: http://www.cypress.com/?id=3521&source=header). Wanna pay $20 times 3 more for the end product? Nobody else wants.

  12. May 30th, 2013 at 09:26 | #12

    I agree people never seem to have enough 🙂

    But there’s at least on ARM SoC that supports USB 3.0 natively: Exynos 5.
    However the cheapest devices you can get cost $250: Arndale board and Chromebook XE303

  13. Paul
    May 30th, 2013 at 15:50 | #13

    Yeah, I remember blue port on my Chromebook, but thought it’s a separate chip still. Good to know it’s native. Kinda explains why there’s only one port – they decided not to put extra USB3 hub.

  14. June 14th, 2013 at 09:44 | #14

    Some pictures have started to show up. The heatsink nearly covers the entire module – https://twitter.com/mwnovak/status/345198839239696384/photo/1

  15. Paul Frechette
    August 16th, 2013 at 23:34 | #15

    Was just wondering if anyone knew the power requirements for a Wandboard Quad? I power supply is listed as 5V, but how many watts at 5V?

  16. August 17th, 2013 at 09:42 | #16

    @Paul Frechette
    I’ve used a 5V/3A power supply for my testing, and if you add an hard drive you may probably need that. But 5V/2A power adapter should also be enough. I’ve done some measurements under load and it never got over 8 Watts.

    If your applications is able to all 4 CPUs and the GPU at the same it may go higher than that, but I haven’t tried.

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