Variscite DART-MX8M is a Compact NXP i.MX 8M System-on-Module

NXP has recently launched their i.MX 8M evaluation kit and released documentation, so we can expect multiple products based on the family in 2018. The new NXP i.MX 64-bit processors include three families with i.MX 8, i.MX 8X, and i.MX 8M, but so far it looks like many companies are launching products based on the latter.

The Embedded World Conference 2018 at the end of February should be the occasion for many product launches, especially systems-on-module and related development kit, but several companies have already posted information about their i.MX 8(M) modules minus pricing, and one of those is Variscite DART MX8M a company (55x30mm) module with i.MX 8M processor, up to 4GB LPDDR4, up to 64GB eMMC flash, as well as 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Variscite DART-MX8M specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX8M with dual or quad core Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz, Cortex-M4 real-time core @ 266 MHz, and Vivante GC7000Lit 2D/3D graphics accelerator
  • System Memory – 1 – 4 GB LPDDR4
  • Storage – 4 – 64 GB eMMC  flash, 4K I2C EEPROM
  • Connectivity – On-module Wi-Fi 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n & Bluetooth 4.2 LE (via Sterling LWB5), and Qualcomm Atheros AR8031 Gigabit Ethernet tranceiver
  • Video Acceleration – Up to 4K HEVC/H265, H264, VP9 Decode plus HDR
  • Audio – Audio codec on-module
  • 3x 90-pin board-to-board connectors with:
    • Video Inputs – 2x MIPI-CSI2 (4-Lane, each)
    • Display
      • HDMI 2.0 up to 4Kp60
      • Display Port eDP1.4/DP1.3 up to 4Kp60
      • MIPI-DSI 1080p60
      • LVDS Dual channel support 1920×1080 60fps
    • Networking – 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
    • Audio
      • Analog & digital microphone I/F
      • Up to x5 I2S(SAI), SPDIF
      • Line In Yes
    • 1x SD/SDIO/MMC
    • 2x USB 3.0/2.0 OTG
    • 4x UART up to 4 Mbps
    • 3x I2C 3x SPI, 2x QSPI
    • RTC (on carrier)
    • 2 x PCIe 2.0 (1-Lane, each)
  • Supply voltage – 3.4 – 4.5 V
  • Digital I/O voltage – 3.3 V
  • Dimensions – 30.0 mm x 55.0 mm x 4.7 mm
  • Temperature range – Commercial: 0 to 70°C; Industrial: -40 to 85°C
Click to Enlarge

The company will provide Linux and Android BSPs for the module, but Windows Embedded Compact will not be supported. A DART MX8M kits will also be offered to speed up the early stage of development, with a module, with/without a 7″ WVGA capacitive touch display (VAR-DVK-MX8M/VAR-STK-MX8M) …

VAR-DVK-MX8M Kit

and VAR-DT8MCustomBoard carrier board with the following specifications:

 

  • SoM Interface – B2B socket for DART-MX8M module
  • Storage – SD Card Socket
  • Display
    • HDMI 2.0a
    • DP 1.3
    • 18-bit / 24-bit LVDS connector
    • Backlight Driver (PWM Control)
  • Touch Panel
    • 4-wire resistive touch panel (4-pin FFC/FPC)
    • capacitive touch panel (6-pin FFC/FPC)
  • Audio
    • Headphone – 3.5 mm connector
    • Line in – 3.5 mm connector
    • On-board digital microphone
  • USB – 2x USB3.0/2.0 ports, 1x USB3.0/2.0 type C connector
  • Network – Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps, RJ45
  • Camera interfaces –  Serial Camera
  • Serial Ports
    • USB to serial bridge via Micro USB port
    • FTDI Header for debugging
    • 2x RS232 header
  • Expansion
    • 2x mini PCIe connectors
    • Headers with QSPI, UART, SPI, I2C, GPIOs, JTAG, SAI, S/PDIF
  • Misc – RTC Backup battery socket (CR1225), buttons, LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V DC input, 2.5 mm DC jack
  • Dimensions – 15 cm x 9 cm x 2.9 cm
Click to Enlarge

The kits also come with a micro USB cable, an optional Ethernet cable, optional 5V power supply, an antenna, a boot/rescure SD card, and a carrier board design package. There may also be a camera module offered in the future.

The module is shown as “coming soon” and we don’t have price information yet. More details may be found on the module page, where you’ll also find details about the kits and carrier board (Supporting Products tab). The company is also working on VAR-SOM-MX8 SoM based on NXP i.MX 8 Cortex A72/A53 processor, but less details are available for now.

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Jon Smirl
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Modules from this company in a usable configuration run $70-100. They are fine for prototypes. But if you are cost sensitive, look elsewhere.

Note that for prototyping you’ll also need to buy a base board.

Jose Xavier
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Jose Xavier

@Jon Smirl
Which other manufacturers can you recommend?

Paul M
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Paul M

@Jose Xavier
what kind of specs do you want?