MaaXBoard NXP i.MX 8M Raspberry Pi Compatible Board Runs Android 9.0 or Yocto Linux

When we looked for information about PICO-PI-IMX8M single board computer, we noticed another Raspberry Pi shaped board powered by NXP i.MX 8M processor: MaaXBoard by Embest, an AVNET company.

The board comes with up to 4 GB DDR4 RAM, a MicroSD card slot or eMMC flash for storage, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi & Bluetooth, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0 port, MIPI CSI & DSI ports, and of course a the 40-pin “Raspberry Pi” expansion header.

MaaXBoardMaaxBoard specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX 8MQ quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor, Cortex-M4F real-time core, and Vivante GPU with OpenGL/ES 3.1, OpenGL 3.0, Vulkan, OpenCL 1.2
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR4 SDRAM (up to 4GB)
  • Storage – MicroSD card slot or optional eMMC flash up to 64GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz, MIPI DSI display connector
  • Video Playback – 4Kp60 with High Dynamic Range (H.265, VP9), 4Kp30 (H.264), 1080p60 (MPEG2, MPEG4p2, VC1, VP8, RV9, AVS/AVS+, H.263, DivX), MJPEG – 8×8
  • Audio
    • 2x Audio connectors with SAI/I2S and S/PDIF with support for up to 20 audio channels each @ 384KHz
    • DSD512 audio capability
    • Audio output via Bluetooth and HDMI
  • Camera I/F – MIPI CSI connector
  • Connectivity
    • Gigabit Ethernet
    • Dual-band 802.11ac WiFi 5, BLE 4.x
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x USB type-C port
  • Expansion
    • 40-pin Raspberry Pi partially-compatible header for 3.3V I/Os
    • Extra GPIO connector
  • Misc – Back, Home, and Power buttons, 2x user LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V via USB-C port
  • Power Consumption – 2.5W typ.
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56 x 12mm
  • Temperature Range – 0 ~ 70 Celsius
  • Humidity – 20% ~ 90%

MaaXBoard supports Android 9.0 and the Yocto Project 2.5 “Sumo” with U-Boot 2018.03, Linux 4.14.78, and Qt 5.10.1 or greater. Software & hardware documentation is shared in a Dropbox folder, and it’s not a bad thing since the company’s website is really slow.

Typical applications include Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI),  entertainment,  AI device, building automation, education, machine vision, medical imaging, and embedded computing.

MaaXBoard vs Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

Based on a presentation posted in early July, but likely written a few weeks earlier before Raspberry Pi 4 launch, the company placed MaaXBoard has a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B competitor, and at the time the offer was compelling with much better features compared to the RPi board. But now that Raspberry Pi 4 is out most of the advantages are gone. The board should still be more power-efficient, video and audio features are slightly better, and Android 9.0  is not properly supported on RPi 4 so far.

The board ships in an anti-static bag with a generic safety leaflet. That means you need to source your own USB-C power supply and cables. Price is fair for an i.MX 8M SBC at $60 for the 2GB RAM and MicroSD slot version. More details may be found on the product page. There’s also MaaXBoard Mini with NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor in the works that should be even more efficient thanks to the 14nm processor, but the price has not been announced yet.

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4 Replies to “MaaXBoard NXP i.MX 8M Raspberry Pi Compatible Board Runs Android 9.0 or Yocto Linux”

  1. Isn’t it a bit too late to flood the market with all these i.MX8M cortex A53 based SBCs?
    Plenty of of affordable SBCs with multicore Cortex-A72/A73 SOCs such as the RK3399, BCM2711B0(RPi4), AMLogic S922X, A311D e.t.c.

    1. These are different boards. For example the imx8m has a cortex-m4 that shares the same peripheral bus and can be used for several things.

      Also this board seems to come with a Yocto BSP, which is a big plus for custom distros and do development.

      The negative I see is that, since the imx8m is not mainlined, you can’t use a PREEMPT-RT kernel.

  2. You cannot buy it via internet store. You cant register your account. All phone format are wrong. I think its only for phone number from China

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