iMX7-96 “Meerkat” ARM Cortex A7/M4 Development Board Launched for $109

If you have really good memory, you may remember that Freescale was working on a 96Boards compliant i.MX 7 development board in 2015 that was supposed to be released in Q4 of that year. Yesterday the board was finally launched and demonstrated on 96Boards OpenHours.

i.MX7-96 board (aka Meerkat) is powered by an NXP i.MX 7 dual core ARM Cortex-A7 + 1x Cortex M4 processor, coupled with 512MB RAM, and complies with the Consumer Edition (CE) of 96Boards specifications.

Click to Enlarge

iMX7 96 board specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX 7Dual dual ARM Cortex-A7 processor at 1.2 GHz, with Cortex-M4 @ 200 MHz and 2D accelerator
  • System Memory – 512 MB DRAM
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Connectivity  – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.1 LE (LSR Sterling-LWB module)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 hosts,  1x micro USB 2.0 OTG
  • Camera – 1x  MIPI-CSI
  • Expansion Interfaces
    • 40-pin low speed expansion connector: +1.8V, +5V, SYS_DCIN, GND, UART, I2C, SPI, PCM, PWM,GPIO x12
    • 60-pin high speed expansion connector: 4L-MIPI DSI, USB, I2C x2, 2L+4L-MIPI CSI
  • Misc – 6x LEDs: 4x user controlled, 2x radio (BT and WLAN activity); Power/Reset buttons; 3-pin serial console port
  • Power Supply – [email protected], (inner diameter 1.7mm and outer diameter 4.8mm)
  • Power Consumption – 250 μW standby power
  • Dimensions – 85mm x 54mm

Two Linux images – built with buildroot – are available one headless, and one with XFCE desktop environment. You’ll find hardware design files, source code and documentations on 96Boards’s Github documentation page as well as a separate website. Some basic info can also be found on 96Boards.org.

Click to Enlarge (and see the nice rework…)

iMX7 96 board is a bit different from other 96Boards CE platform, as AFAIK it’s the only one include an MCU class Cortex-M4 core, and it also lack a 3D GPU having only the hardware to accelerated 2D graphics operation like resizing, rotation, or blending.

While Novtech designed the board, it is distributed by Arrow Electronics for $109. i.MX7 96 Board Workshops will be hosted in various locations in Europe (Germany, Poland, UK, and Hungary) in order to “gain practical hands-on experience in combining the Linux Operating System with the Real Time OS of the Cortex M4”.

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