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.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.
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.
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.
@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.
Is there anything i.mx7 can do which i.mx6 can’t – other than low power ?
Emm… this would have been great news 2-3 years ago … moving on.
MIPS, SPARC, Alpha – had 64-bits ~20 years ago. Get to fishing, folks – there’s *really* new fish in there.
Provide updated software over time, ensure the chip will be available for 10 or 15 years from the product launch:
Really, embedded is different to consumer, and most of the ARM SOCs out there are for consumer.