Freescale i.MX7 96Boards Compliant Board Coming in Q4 2015

96Boards is an open hardware platform specification for 32-bit and 64-bit processors boards (64+32 = 96), but so far only 64-bit board have been launched or announced, and 32-bit boards were missing from the equation. Freescale will soon change that as they’ve partnered with Arrow Electronics on a 96Boards compliant board powered by Freescale i.MX7 Dual due to be released at the same time as i.MX7 enters mass production, which is scheduled for November 2015.

Freescale_i.MX7_96BoardsFreescale i.MX6 96Boards (MCIMX7 ?) preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX 7Dual with two ARM Cortex A7 cores @ 1.0 GHz, one ARM Cortex M4 core @ 266 MHz, and a 2D image processing engine (no 3D GPU)
  • System Memory – TBD (Probably 512MB or 1GB RAM)
  • Storage – micro SD card slot up to 64GB + flash? (TBC)
  • Video Output – HDMI connector + DSI via HS expansion header
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Qualcomm Atheros module)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 2x micro USB (OTG?) ports
  • Camera – CSI interface via HS expansion header
  • Expansion headers as per 96Boards CE specifications
    • 40-pin LS (Low Speed) Expansion connector – 2x UART, 2x I2C, GPIOs, SPI, Audio, reset, 1.8V and GND, as wekk as 5V/12V cooling fan support
    • HS (High Speed) Expansion connector – DSI, CSI, SDIO, USB, etc…
  • Power Supply – 8-18V / 2A as per 96Boards CE specification (Linear Technologies solution)
  • Dimensions – 85x54x12 mm

Freescale i.MX7 supports both Linux and Android, but the latter is probably limited since there’s no proper GPU, with only some 2D acceleration. I found out about the board in a video recently uploaded to YouTube by Freescale.

The board is expected by the end of the year, and no pricing information has been announced so far.

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7 Comments
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Ian Tester
6 years ago

My two year old Cubietruck also has a dual Cortex-A7 1 GHz CPU.
And 2 GB of RAM, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and SATA.

Bloody hell, 96Boards sucks.

miniNodes
6 years ago

@Ian – While you are correct, this particular Freescale design is not spectacular, 96Boards has been great for dramatically lowering the price on 64-bit ARM hardware. When we first wanted to offer 64-bit at miniNodes, only the AMD Opteron was available – and it was $3,000 each.

Now with 96Boards, the Dragonboard at $75 and HiKey at $129 reduced the barrier to entry by 30x.

=)

Peter Bauer
6 years ago

Is there anything i.mx7 can do which i.mx6 can’t – other than low power ?

Marius Cirsta
6 years ago

Emm… this would have been great news 2-3 years ago … moving on.

anon
anon
6 years ago

MIPS, SPARC, Alpha – had 64-bits ~20 years ago. Get to fishing, folks – there’s *really* new fish in there.

Diego
Diego
6 years ago

Peter Bauer :
Is there anything i.mx7 can do which i.mx6 can’t – other than low power ?

Provide updated software over time, ensure the chip will be available for 10 or 15 years from the product launch:
http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/overview.jsp?code=PRDCT_LONGEVITY_HM
Really, embedded is different to consumer, and most of the ARM SOCs out there are for consumer.

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