Intel Edison is a board made for wearables featuring an SoC with Intel Atom and Quark CPU cores. TechNexion, an embedded systems company based in Taiwan, has decided to make a mechanically and electrically compatible system-on-module featuring Frescale i.MX6 Solo or Duallite ARM Cortex A9 processor called PICO-iMX6. The company is also providing a PICO-DWARF baseboard that’s both compatible with PICO-iMX6 SoM and Edison board. DWARF stands for “Drones, Wearables, Appliances, Robotics and Fun”, so that pretty much explains what the platform is for.
Two version of the modules are available: PICO-iMX6-SD and PICO-iMX6-EMMC, the former with a micro SD slot for storage, and the latter a 4GB eMMC. Both share the followings specifications:
- SoC – Freescale i.MX6 Solo / Duallite single/dual core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1Ghz with Vivante GC880 3D GPU and Vivante GC320 2D GPU (Composition)
- System Memory – 512MB or 1GB DDR3
- Storage – PICO-iMX6-SD: micro SD slot; PICO-iMX6-EMMC: 4GB eMMC
- Gigabit Network RGMII Signals routed to board-to-board connector
- Broadcom BCM4335 802.11ac Wi-Fi
- Broadcom BCM4336 Bluetooth 4.0
- Connectors – 1x Intel Edison compatible connector (Hirose 70-pin); 2x Hirose 70-pin connectors
- I/O Interface Signaling
- Edison I/O @ 1.8V
- 9x GPIO
- 4x PWM
- 2x I²C, 1x SPI, 2x UART
- 1x I²S
- SDIO (4-bit)
- Additional I/O @ 3.3V
- Display I/F – Single Channel LVDS; 24-bit TTL RGB; HDMI 1.4; MIPI DSI Display
- Camera – MIPI CSI Camera
- RGMII (gigabit LAN)
- Edison I/O @ 1.8V
- Video – Decode: 1080p30 + D1; Encode: 1080p30 H.264 BP / Dual 720p
- Power Supply – 3.3 ~ 4.5 VDC input
- Dimensions – 36 x 40 mm
- Weight – 8 grams
- Temperature Range – Commercial : 0° to 60° C; Extended : -20° to 70° C; Industrial : -40° to 85° C (no WiFi possible)
- Relative Humidity – 10 – 90%
- Certification – CE, FCC, RoHS, REACh
Intel Edison board measures 36x25mm, so PICO-iMX6 module is a little bigger, and it might not always be 100% compatible depending on your application’s mechanical requirements. Edison Board comes with 1GB RAM, 4GB eMMC, and features a similar Broadcom BCM43340 wireless module. Beside the 70-pin “Edison compatible” connector, TechNexion SoMs also add two hirose connectors for additional signals.
The company can provide BSP for Linux 3.x, Yocto, Android 4.3, Android 4.4, Android 5.0, and Ubuntu. These are not available for download yet, but you should eventually be able to get the necessary files via the Download Center.
If you think PICO-DWARF baseboard looks familiar, it’s because it’s heavily inspired from Wandboard development board, replacing RS-232 DB9 connector by a MIPI connector, removing optical S/PDIF, and a few other modifications.
While on the other side of the board, the larger EDM module, as been replaced with the tiny PICO-IMX6 SoM.
PICO-DWARF specifications are listed as follows:
- Supported System-on-Module
- Intel Edison connector (1x 70-pin Hirose Connector)
- TechNexion Pico connectors (3x 70-pin Hirose Connector)
- External Storage – 1x SATA data + power connector, 1x micro SD slot
- Connectivity – Gigabit LAN (Atheros AR8031) with RJ45 connector
- Video Output / Display
- Single Channel LVDS (expansion header)
- 24-bit TTL RGB (expansion header)
- MIPI DSI Display on 33-pin FPC Connector
- Camera – MIPI CSI signals on 33-pin FPC connector
- Audio – Freescale SGTL5000 audio codec; Three 3.5 mm jacks for stereo audio in, stereo audio out, and microphone
- Sensors – Altimeter (Freescale MPL3115A2), 3D Accelerometer (Freescale FXOS8700CQ), Gyroscope (Freescale FXAS21002)
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 Host connector, 1x USB 2.0 OTG connector
- Expansion Headers with access to signaling for single Channel LVDS, 24-bit TTL RGB, PCIe, CAN, GPIO, PWM, I²C, SPI, and UART
- Misc – RTC DS1337+ with backup battery
- 5V DC +/- 5% via 5.5 / 2.1mm barrel jack
- LiPo Battery with Freescale MC32BC3770CSR2 based battery charging circuit; 2-pin header for battery
- Temperature – Commercial : 0° to 60° C
- Relative Humidity – 10 – 90%
- Dimensions – 95 x 95 mm
- Weight – 40 grams
- Certification – CE, FCC, RoHS, REACh directives
Please note that SATA won’t be supported by i.MX6 Solo or Duallite processor, so this would only work on future modules featuring Freescale i.MX6 Dual or Quad processor. PICO-DWARF carrier board will be open source hardware, as the company plans to release the schematics, design files, board files and bills of material for the board, just as they’ve done for their previous products.
PICO-DWARF baseboard and PICO-IMX6 modules are expected to start shipping in May and June, with the baseboard and PICO-IMX6-SD first, shortly followed by PICO-MX6-eMMC modules, and a quad core version. PICO-iMX6-SD with Freescale i.MX6 Solo will sell for about $50, while kits based on PICO-iMX6 SoM and PICO-DWARF carrier board will go for $130 to $150 depending on configuration. Further details can be found on TechNexion’s PICO page.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.