Wandboard launched in 2012 using Freescale i.MX6 Solo/Dual processor, following soon after by Wandbord Quad. We are not hearing much about those boards today, but since the processor comes with 10 to 15-year long term support, they are still being sold, and software keeps getting updated. For example, the board first shipped with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), and the company recently provided Android 7.1 (Nougat) images, and Android 8.x Oreo is likely coming next year.
The company has now unveiled the next generation of Wandboard boards with WandPi 8M powered by NXP i.MX 8M Cortex A53/M4 processors, with up to 2GB DDR4, 16GB eMMC flash, and various network connectivity options and ports.
- SoC – NXP i.MX8M Quad with four ARM Cortex A53 cores, a Cortex M4F real-time core, and Vivante GC7000Lite GPU with support for OpenGL/ES 3.1, OpenGL 3.0, Vulkan, OpenCL 1.2
- System Memory / Storage
- WANDPI-8M-LITE – 1GB DDR4 + 4GB eMMC flash
- WANDPI-8M-PRO – 2GB DDR4 + 8GB eMMC flash
- WANDPI-8M-DELUXE – 2GB DDR4 + 16GB eMMC flash
- Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60Hz
- Video Decode – 4K UltraHD HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG) up to 4Kp60 for H.265, VP9, 4Kp30 for H.264, 1080p60 for MPEG2, MPEG4p2, VC1, VP8, RV9, AVS/AVS+, h.263, DiVX.
- Gigabit Ethernet port via Atheros AR8035 chip
- WANDPI-8M-PRO/DELUXE – Dual band 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi & Bluetooth 4.2 via Atheros QCA9377; MHF4 antenna connector
- USB – 1x USB 3.0 port
- Expansion Header
- 40-pin Raspberry Pi (mostly) compatible GPIO header with I2C, UART, SPI, PWM, GPIO, SAI/I2S, 5V, 3.3V and GND
- mikroBUS socket with SPI/I2C/UART/PWM/GPIO/Analog for MikroElectronika Click Boards (now over 250 modules)
- Debugging – 1x micro USB port for serial console access
- Misc – Reset button
- Power Supply – 5V via USB type C port
- Dimensions – 85 x 56 x 17.5 mm
- Weight – Working on it
- Environment / Reliability –
- Temperature Range – 0 to 50°C
- Humidity – 10 to 90% RH humidity
- MTFB – 50,000 hours
- Shock – 50G/25ms
- Vibration – 20G/0-600Hz
- Certifications – Compliant with CE / FCC / RoHS / REACH directives
The block diagram also reveals MIPI camera display (FPC) and MIPI camera (BTB) which are not listed in the specifications.
Information about software is currently limited, and we just know the boards will run Linux with “open source code and binary images that are easily accessible” as well design guides and schematics just like the previous Wandboards. The company also shows some logos for the Yocto Project, Ubuntu, Android, Kodi, and Debian, so we can expect support for those.
WandPi 8M boards will ship in Q2 2018, but the company is already taking pre-orders for $89 (LITE), $99 (PRO) and $119 (DELUXE). You’ll find purchase links and a few more details on the product page. Those relatively low cost development boards could also be good news for other open source i.MX8 projects such as Purism Librem 5 smartphone, and MNT reform DIY modular laptop, as more developers may be involved on working on i.MX 8M software support.