WandPi 8M Development Board Coming Soon with NXP i.MX8M SoC for $89 and Up

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.

Three versions of the board (Lite, Pro, Deluxe) will be available with the following specifications:

  • 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.
  • Connectivity
    40-pin Header Pinout Diagram
    • 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.

WandPi 8M Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

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.

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25 Replies to “WandPi 8M Development Board Coming Soon with NXP i.MX8M SoC for $89 and Up”

  1. about damn time . the best soc vendor ever has came back with the perfect chip that does everything and more !

    im so happy right now cant wait ! also funded the librem 5 🙂

    it would be interesting if they also use the IMX8 (non m variant) that has the a72 chips

  2. It’s great to see responsible USB usage arriving at the RPi form factor.

    Micro USB provides the serial console so really everyone is able to diagnose early boot problems with a simple Micro USB cable. And fortunately a sane powering method chosen allowing compatibility with RPi enclosures: USB-C.

    When looking at the product page it seems they also ship each board with an USB-C to A cable so the only remaining USB-C problem (shitty cables) is also solved. No more undervoltage drama any more since users should be able to get that they either use the provided cable together with a good USB PSU and when running into troubles simply buy an USB-C charger. The latter will become standard in households soon anyway.

    I really wonder why other board vendors still rely on the crappy idea called ‘Micro USB for DC-IN’…

  3. Broadcom company as an entity is after creating monopoly. They buy other entities sitting on potential monopoly IP to narrow the market options to be the king hence driving the prices up.
    Just look at all the companies they’ve bought last 5-10 years!

    I really hope NOT they are gonna buy Qualcomm nor NXP etc!

  4. Is there a way to encode video stream from camera using MPEG, or h262? Looks like IMX8M does not have HW encoders?

  5. There have been rumors in the press that the entire iMX product line will be shut down in favor of the Snapdragon line as soon as the acquisition happens.

    iMX8 is a nice chip but it is $25+ in volume. Our entire A64 PCB costs less than $25. On the other hand their software support is 10x better than Allwinner’s.

    Specs say it can encode h.264 at 1080P60 so it has some hardware for sure.

  6. NXP Semiconductors N.V. is a Dutch global semiconductor manufacturer headquartered in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The company employs approximately 45,000 people in more than 35 countries, including 11,200 engineers in 23 countries.[1] NXP reported revenue of $6.1 billion in 2015, including one month of revenue contribution from recently merged Freescale Semiconductor.[2]
    NXP Semiconductors N.V. NXP Semiconductors Logo.svg
    (Acquisition by Qualcomm pending)
    Traded as NASDAQ: NXPI
    Industry Electronics
    Founded 1953; 64 years ago
    Headquarters High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, Netherlands
    Key people
    Rick Clemmer, President & CEO
    Products Semiconductors
    Revenue Increase US$ 9.5 billion (2016)
    Operating income
    Decrease US$ -150 million (2016)
    Net income
    Decrease US$ 200 million (2016)
    Number of employees
    45,000 (2016)[1]
    Website nxp.com

    On October 27, 2016, it was announced that Qualcomm would buy NXP.[3]

    Source wikipedia

  7. Qualcomm is an American multinational semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company that designs and markets wireless telecommunications products and services. It derives most of its revenue from chipmaking and the bulk of its profit from patent licensing businesses.[3] The company headquarters is located in San Diego, California, United States, and has 224 worldwide locations. The parent company is Qualcomm Incorporated (Qualcomm), which includes the Qualcomm Technology Licensing Division (QTL). Qualcomm’s wholly owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), operates substantially all of Qualcomm’s R&D activities, as well as its product and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies.

    Source Wikipedia

    Shark eating Shark?

  8. Broadcom Corporation was an American fabless semiconductor company that made products for the wireless and broadband communication industry. It was acquired by Avago Technologies in 2016 and currently operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of the merged entity called Broadcom Limited. The division is headquartered in Irvine, California. Broadcom Corporation was founded by professor-student pair Henry Samueli and Henry Nicholas from UCLA in 1991.

    Source Wikipedia

    When top aquatic predators start eating each other, it is a sign of not enough food in the water.

    Consolidation is King for the day, a attempt to buy market share andl licences as someone else noted.

  9. @Jon Smirl
    Better (software) support is probably far more valuable, when you aren’t selling huge numbers or producing consumer facing products. That plus long term availability are probably the biggest selling points of the western semiconductor companies. Also from a cursory glance at the datasheet the A64 appears to lack explicit can support, pcie and the integrated Cortex-m core. I think they cater to different market segments, though of course there will be some overlap and the documentation+support might even catch up simply because of the economies of scale.

    Snapdragon replacing imx is possible with Qualcomms attempts at establishing the brand in the embedded sector, but they might just keep the imx brand and sell a hybrid chip with the best of both worlds.

  10. @Jon Smirl
    Note that this is the iMX8M, not the iMX8, so in this case there doesn’t seem to be any kind of video encoding hardware built in – https://www.nxp.com/products/media-and-audio-processing/media-processors/multimedia-processors/i.mx-8m-family-industry-leading-audio-voice-and-video-processing:i.MX8M
    That said, the available information is fairly limited, but normally these things would be in the block diagram and it’s not there in this case.

  11. I hope nobody buy NXP, i like lpc mcu…
    but Qualcomm is ok to open source, so a lot of worst alternatives!

    maybe later can release wandpi w/ a72 imx8, similar to rk3399 but maybe better/open drivers n docs

  12. WandPi boards should start shipping in a couple of weeks. There were delays to due DDR4L and MIPI issues, so they had to make a new board revision. 2k+ boards have been pre-ordered so far.

    1. On April 15th I ordered a WAND-PI-8M-PRO and today I got an email from the TechNexion Sales Support Team with a DHL Tracking Number.
      According to DHL, the parcel has been on its way to me since September 28 and has left the DHL station in Hong Kong today.
      Since I read last Friday, at Mouser Electronics, that the WAND-PI-8M-PRO is in stock Not Available and at Lifecycle Obsolete, I thought, the board is not coming anymore.

  13. WandPi 8M seems to have gone to SBC heaven.
    The product page is gone, and I’ve never seen anybody use one.

    1. Just realized I’m wrong. WandPi 8M has just been renamed to “PICO-PI-IMX8M”.

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