ARM Based COM Express Modules by MEN Mikro Electronik and Pactron

A few days ago, in a post listing different system-on-module (SoM) standards, I mentioned COM Express standard was targeting SoMs based on x86 processors, and SMARC was the equivalent for ARM. I still understand it’s the case as COM Express standard defines mechanical dimensions that are usually larger than SoM standard for low power processors, some buses found in ARM and x86 are different (e.g. AFAIK LPC and PCI are not found in ARM SoC), and the standard supports high power signals which are not needed in ARM or MIPS processors. Having said that, I’ve been pointed out to two ARM based COM Express modules, which could make sense if you want to use an ARM based module using existing COM Express compatible baseboards. The COM Express modules below feature Freescale i.MX6 and Marvell Armada XP SoCs, and have been designed respectively by MEN Mikro Electronik and Pactron.

MEN Mikro Electronik CC10C COM Express Module

CC101C COM Express Module (Freescale i.MX6 + Altera FPGA)
CC101C COM Express Module (Freescale i.MX6 + Altera FPGA)

This module actually not only features a Freescale i.MX6 ARM Cortex A9 processors, but also an Altera Cyclone IV FPGA. CC101C has the following specifications:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX6Q quad core processor @ 1.0 GHz with Vivante GC2000 3D GPU. Options: i.MX6 Solo, Dual, or Duallite.
  • FPGA – Altera Cyclone IV EP4CGX30 with 29,440 logic elements, 1,105,920 memory bits.
  • System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 up to 533Mhz. Options: 1 or 4 GB
  • Storage – 4 GB eMMC module (Up to 64GB as an option), 4 MB boot Flash (Options: 8 and 16MB), SATA 2 via COM Express connector
  • Display – 1x LVDS dual-channel, 1x DVI
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 OTG host/client port, 1x USB 2.0 host port, and 4x extra USB 2.0 host ports via PCIe Swidge controllers.
  • Connectivity – 1x 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet channel (CPU) + 1x 10/100Base-T Ethernet channel (FPGA)
  • Expansion – 1x PCI Express
  • Audio – 1x AC’97 audio interface
  • I/Os
    • 2x UART (RS232 or RS485) controlled by Freescale SoC, 4x UART (RS232, RS485 or RS422) controlled by FPGA
    • 2x CAN Bus (FPGA)
    • 64x GPIO lines controlled by onboard FPGA, 4x GPI and 4x GPO lines controlled by i.MX 6 processor
    • 1x PWM
    • 3x I2C, 1x SPI
    • 11x I/O lines usable as COM Express control signals
    • I/Os can be configured to be used by Freescale SoC or Altera FPGA depending on options.
  • Miscellaneous – RTC,  watchdog, temperature measurement
  • Power – +12 V (9 to 16 V)
  • Dimensions
    • 105 mm x 105 mm x 18 mm  (conforming to VITA 59 RCE Compact format)
    • Optional: 95 mm x 95 mm, without conduction cooling wings, without cover and frame. For usage without a carrier board.
  • Standard – Rugged COM Express / VITA 59 RCE
  • Temperature range – Operation & storage: -40..+85°C
  • Relative humidity – max. 95% non-condensing
Block Diagram
CC10C COM Express Block Diagram

The module support U-boot, and Linux and VxWorks operating systems are currently being ported to the platform. The module also support CANopen via MEN Driver Interface System (MDIS for Linux & VxWorks).

Pricing for CC10C module, presumably with the default options, is said to be $598, and delivery is six to eight weeks after receipt of order (ARO). Further technical details can be found on Men Mikro Electronik CC10C page.

Pactron Sherwood COM Express Module and Devkit

Pactron Sherwood COM Express Module Connected to Evaluation Baseboard
Pactron Sherwood COM Express Module Connected to Evaluation Baseboard

Sherwood COM Express module features a Marvell Armada XP ARMv7 SoC that target industrial applications such as single board computer, proxy server, security, Point of Sale (PoS), industrial controller, access point, routers, VPN and storage. The company provide a complete development kit for this ARM based COM Express module with the following key hardware features:

  • SoC – Marvell Armada XP MV78460 ARMv7 quad core processor @ up to 1.6 GHz an 2MB L2 cache.
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 @ 667 MHz
  • Storage – 512 MB NAND flash, 2x SATA interfaces, and a 4-bit SD Card Interface
  • Connectivity
    • 2x 1000Base-X interfaces, via RJ45 connector, based on Marvell 88E1512 PHY
    • 2x 10/100/1000Base-T interfaces, via RJ45 connector, based on Marvell 88E1510 PHY
  • USB – 6x USB 2.0 Ports: two native, and four via an on-board hub.
  • Expansions
    • 4x PCIe x1 Mini-PCIe Interface
    • 2x PCIe x4 Interface
  • Serial – 3x RS-232 interfaces, via DB9
  • Options – HDD or SSD, 802.11n Wi-Fi, BlueTooth, 3G/4G, and USB 3.0
Sherwood COM Express Development Kit Block Diagram

Pactron supports Linux kernel 3.2.40 for their module. Apart from the hardware (COM and baseboard), the development kit is also said to include a startup guide and hardware functional specs document. Detailed technical information about the module is lacking, but you could visit Pactron Sherwood product page to ask more information if you are interested.

Thanks to Guillaume and Linuxium for the tips.

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