NXP i.MX 8M Mini and i.MX 8M Nano are lower cost and lower power variants of NXP i.M 8M processors manufactured using a 14nm FinFET process, and cutting some features such as HDMI and embedded DisplayPort, or hardware video decoder.
NXP i.MX 8M Mini has been announced for over two years, so we’ve already written about many boards and systems-on-module (SoM) including Boardcon EM-IMX8M-MINI SBC, TechNexion XORE LGA SoM, or Congatec conga-SMX8-Mini SMARC 2.0 module among others.
NXP i.MX 8M Nano is more recent, and we only covered a few announcements so far namely iWave Systems iW-RainboW-G34M-SM SoM and Conga-SMX8-Nano SMARC 2.0 computer-on-module. There’s now at least a third company working on a “Nano” module with Variscite announcing VAR-SOM-MX8M-NANO SoM together with a “Mini” version called VAR-SOM-MX8M-MINI, and Symphony carrier board and development kits.
Both modules are part of Variscite VAR-SOM Pin2Pin family, and share the following key features & specifications:
- MINI – NXP i.MX8M Mini quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.8 GHz with Arm Cortex-M4 real-time co-processor @ 400 MHz, Vivante GC320/GC Nano 2D/3D GPUs, 1080p60 video encode and decoding
- NANO – NXP i.MX 8M Nano single to quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Arm Cortex-M7 real-time co-processor @ 650 MHz, Vivante GC7000UL 2D/3D GPU
- System Memory
- MINI – 1 to 4 GB DDR4
- NANO – 1 to 2GB DDR4
- Storage – 128 to 512 MB SLC NAND, 8 to 64 GB eMMC flash
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet PHY, certified single-band 802.11 b/g/n or dual-band 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2 LE
- 200-pin edge connector with
- Storage – SD / MMC
- MIPI-DSI 1920×1080 24-bit
- Dual Flatlink 1920×1080 24-bit LVDS
- Touch controller (Resistive, Capacitive)
- Headphone driver
- Digital, Analog (stereo) microphone
- Digital audio serial interfaces – 5 x I2S(SAI), S/PDIF, PDM 8-CH (NANO) or PDM 4-CH (MINI)
- Line In/Out
- Camera – MIPI-CSI2 interface
- Networking – Gigabit Ethernet
- USB – MINI: 2x USB 2.0 OTG; NANO: 1x USB 2.0 OTG
- 4x UART up to 4 Mbps
- 3x SPI, 1x CAN Bus, 3x I2C (MINI) or 4x I2C (NANO)
- MINI only – PCI-Express Gen 2.0
- Debugging – Optional JTAG
- Misc – RTC support (On-carrier)
- Supply & I/O Voltage – 3.3V
- Dimensions – 67.8 x 33.0 mm
- Temperature Range – Commercial: 0 to 70°C; Extended: 0 to 85°C; Industrial: -40 to 85°C; storage: -40 to 85°C
- Humidity – 5% to 95% (storage)
The modules support Linux (Yocto, Debian), Android, and FreeRTOS with the latest running on the Cortex-M core.
Variscite will provide two evaluation kits for the module: a Starter Kit and a Development kit with more accessories. But both are based on the same Symphony carrier board with the following features:
- Compatible with SO-DIMM200 “Pin2Pin” VAR-SOM modules
- Storage – MicroSD Card socket
- Display I/F – 18-bit / 24-bit LVDS with PWM backlight Driver, 4-wire resistive touch, or 6-pin capacitive touch
- Audio – 3.5mm headphone hack, 3.5mm Line-in, digital microphone
- Camera – MIPI CSI-2 via edge connector (left side on the photo above).
- Networking – 10/100/1000 Mbps, RJ45
- USB – 1x USB type-A, 1x USB type-C
- Expansion – mini-PCIe connector
- Serial – 1x CAN Bus
- Power Supply – 12V DC
You’ll also notice some ports that are not in the specifications like an extra Ethernet port, or a SATA port, but those are probably not listed because they are not supported by the MINI/NANO processors.
The Starter Kit ships with Symphony board, a VAR-SOM-MX8M-MINI module, an antenna, boot/rescue SD cards, a carrier board design package, while the Development Kit adds a 7″ WVGA display with capacitive touchscreen, a micro USB debug cable, an Ethernet cable, and a power supply.
You may have noticed most photos above are about VAR-SOM-MX8M-MINI module and kits, and that’s because the latter was officially launched, we can access the product page and technical documentation, and we already know pricing starts at $53 per unit for 1Kpcs orders. But VAR-SOM-MX8M-NANO SoM was not launched just yet, and the module is “coming soon” with only the key features and specifications available 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.
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