Many systems-on-module are equipped with one Gigabit Ethernet transceiver / PHY, but NXP LS1028A powered Kontron SMARC-sAL28 SoM is equipped with two Gigabit Ethernet PHY, and can optionally support up to 5 TSN-capable Gigabit Ethernet ports directly from the controller thanks one PCIe line that can be used as a QSGMII (Quad Serial Gigabit Media Independent Interface) port. Furthermore, the module comes with up to 4GB non-ECC or ECC memory.
“What is TSN?” you may ask. It stands for “Time-Sensitive Networking“, provides distributed time synchronization and deterministic communication using standard Ethernet networks for applications such as distributed synchronized measurements, coordinated distributed data logging, next-generation computer numeric control machining, automotive networks, and more as explained on National Instruments website.
But let’s go back to Kontron SMARC-sAL28 system-on-module with the hardware specifications:
- SoC – NXP LS1028A dual Arm Cortex A72 processor, 3D GPU
- System Memory – Up to 4GB DDR3L ECC or non-ECC
- Storage – 2 to 64GB eMMC flash, SPI boot flash, 2x EEPROM
- Up to 2x 10/100/1000 MBit Ethernet
- Alternate function on PCIe C/D: SXGMII or UXGMII to connect Ethernet bridge PHY directly on the carrier (allows up to 5x TSN capable 1GB LAN ports)
- Other I/Os via 314-pin MXM 3.0 connector
- Panel Signal – 1x LVDS dual channel, alternatively eDP as BOM option
- Display – HDMI, DP as BoM options
- Storage – 1x SDIO
- USB – Up to 6x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0
- Serial – 4x serial interfaces (2x RX / TX only)
- Expansion – Up to 2x PCIe x1 or 2x PCIe x2 or 1x PCIe x4
- Others – I2S, 2x I2C, 2x SPI, 12x GPIO, 1x CAN
- Misc – Security Chip with support for Kontron Approtect on request, optional RTC
- Debugging – JTAG
- Power Supply
- 3V-5.25 V operates directly from single level Lithium-Ion cells
- Fixed 3.3V-5 V power supplies
- Dimensions – 82 x 50 mm (SMARC 2.0 “short size” form factor)
- Temperature Range – Operating: -40 °C to + 85 °C; storage: -40 °C to +85 °C
- Humidity – 93% relative humidity at 40 °C, non-condensing (according to IEC 60068-2-78)
The company will provide a Linux + U-boot image built with the Yocto Project for the module. The board is said to be ideally suited for use in industrial IoT or industrial 4.0 systems based on Ethernet protocol standards.
Kontron did reveal any information about a carrier board for the SoM, but since it’s a SMARC module, it should work with any of the SMARC 2.0 carrier boards on the market including the one from the company. Having said that, it would make sense to come up with a new carrier board to leverage the 5 TSN-capable Gigabit Ethernet ports available from the module.
Kontron SMARC-sAL28 is still shown as coming soon, but eventually more details should surface on the product page.
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.