Novasom M7+ SBC Adds FFC HDMI Connector, USB & RS-485 Headers, Improves on Raspberry Pi 3 SW Compatibility

We previously wrote about Novasom M7 Rockchip RK3328 SBC being promoted as a drop-in replacement for Raspberry Pi 3 in industrial projects. That’s despite the different port arrangement, and instead, the company bases the claim on the availability of the 40-pin header, mounting holes matching RPI 3 board design, as well as software compatibility thanks to a library that allows customers to re-use the code written for Raspberry Pi boards.

Based on feedback from customers, the company has made some changes to their design and launched Novasom M7+ SBC, and made several improvement to the software to be even more compatible with Raspberry Pi 3 board.

Novasom M7+

Specifically there are five changes:

  1. Ability to power the board via the USB type-A port (5V) as an alternative to the 12V power barrel jack
  2. Stronger Backlight Driver for display  up to 6A @5V) t
  3. FFC cable for HDMI output – The dimension of the HDMI cable and its rigidity may make it hard to integrated into your project, so they’ve added an FFC HDMI connector where you can use an FFC flat cable to connect to the extension board shown below.HDMI FCC cable adapterThe full HDMI port is still available under the board.
  4. Extra 10-header to access to the USB bus right under the 40-pin Raspberry Pi connector
  5. Additional RS485 header and transceiver to meet the needs of customers designing kiosks and vending machines among others.RS485 Header

The rest of the specifications are the same with up to 4 GB DDR3 RAM, up to 256 GB eMMC Flash, MicroSD slot, HDMI 2.0 output up to to 4K @ 60 Hz, LVDS via external adapter, Fast Ethernet and so on.

SBC-M7 Raspberry Pi Alternative Industrial Design
Novasom M7/M7+ Board – Click to Enlarge

The company also announced further work on the Raspmood library and the kernel to make their Raspbian image even more compatible with software developed for the Raspberry Pi 3. Few details were provided, but Gianfranco Catolla, EVP, Sales & Marketing for the company explained it’s now even easier:

Before it was possible to reuse the SW because we implemented Debian (RPi name it Raspbian) but making the SW compilation some (few) channels have to be renamed. Now this is solved. Recompiling with our Kernel and our library everything works immediately.

You may find more information and inquire the company for pricing and availability on the product page.

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