Overview and List of System-on-Module and Computer-on-Module Standards – Q7, SMARC, COM HPC, and More

QSeven_vs_SMARC

A System-on-Module (SoM), also known as a Computer-on-Module (CoM), is a small board with the key components of a computer such as SoC, memory, and possibly others components such as PMIC (Power Management IC), an Ethernet PHY, as well as one or more connectors used to connect to a baseboard, also called carrier board, which features standard ports such as Ethernet (RJ45), USB ports, SATA, power jack and so on. The advantages of using of baseboard + SoM design compared to a single board are at least twofold: Most of the PCB design complexity is often around the CPU/SoC and high-speed buses connected to the CPU/SoC. So you could buy an SoM, design your own baseboard and get a complete design relatively in a short amount of time, with reduced development resources and costs. The design is modular, so you could easily upgrade from one SoM to another one. For […]

PICO-PI-IMX7 NXP i.MX7 SBC offered for under $20 (Promo)

TechNexion PICO-Pi-IMX7 single board computer was introduced a few years ago with an NXP i.MX 7Solo or 7Dual Cortex-A7 Intel Edison compatible CPU module, in a form factor similar to Raspberry Pi 3, and supported by Android Things that was still a thing at the time… It looks like Arrow Electronics is trying to get rid of some stock, as the company is selling the Amazon version of the PICO-PI-IMX7 board for $19.58 including free shipping for ArrowPerks members, instead of the usual $120+ price tag. We had written about the PICO-iMX6 module and PICO-PI-iMX8 SBC previously, but never about the i.MX7 version, nor the PICO-PI-IMX7 board, so let’s have a closer look at what the board has to offer. PICO-Pi-IMX7 specifications: PICO-iMX7 system-on-module SoC – NXP i.MX 7Dual dual-core Cortex-A7 processor @ 1 GHz with Cortex-M4 real-time core System Memory – 512MB DDR3L Storage – 4GB eMMC flash Connectivity […]

TechNexion Unveils EDM and AXON SoM’s Powered by NXP i.MX8M Plus SoC

A few days ago we wrote about Variscite’s NXP i.MX 8M Plus-powered AI systems-on-modules and devkits, and now it’s TechNexion’s turn to introduce its own SoM’s for artificial intelligence applications. Just like variscite, the company has two variants with EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS following the EDM standard with a 260-pin edge connector, and AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS part of the AXON family with board-to-board connectors better suited to vibration-prone applications. Besides the form factor and different default storage  capacities, both SoM’s share the same specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX8M Plus quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.8 GHz with Cortex-M7 real-time core @ 400 MHz, Vivante GC520L 2D GPU, Vivante GC7000UL 3D GPU, 1080p60 hardware decoder (HEVC, H.264, VP9, and VP8) and encode (H.265/H.264), and 2.3 TOPS NPU System Memory – Up to 8 GB LPDDR4 Storage AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS – 32 GB eMMC flash by default EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS – 16 GB eMMC flash by default Networking Chips Qualcomm […]

Linux 5.4 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.4: Not a lot happened this last week, which is just how I like it. And as expected, most of the pull requests I got were for the 5.5 merge window, which I’ll obviously start working through tomorrow. What little there is here is mostly some networking updates (mix of network drivers and core networking), and some minor GPU driver updates. Other than that it’s a small collection of random other things all over. The appended shortlog is small enough that you might as well just scroll through it. Anyway, this obviously opens the merge window for 5.5. It’s not ideal timing with Thanksgiving week coming up, but it hopefully shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If I fall behind (not because I’m all that big of a fan of the indiscriminate and relentless turkey-killing holiday) it’s because we’ve got […]

TechNexion XORE is a tiny NXP i.MX 8M Mini LGA System-on-Module

There are several ways to design a system-on-module to carrier board interface, and the most common solutions are edge connectors (e.g. SO-DIMM), board-to-board connectors (placed under the module), and castellated holes where the board is soldered directly to the baseboard. Another less common method is to design an LGA (Land Grid Array) module, which also have to be soldered straight unto the carrier board, but enables much more compact system-on-modules, and that’s exacty what TechNexion has done with their XORE family of LGA system-on-module currently powered by the 14-nm NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor. XORE-IMX8M-Mini Module TechNexion XORE module specifications: SoC (one of the other) NXP i.MX8M Mini Solo single Arm Cortex-A53  @ 1.8 GHz + M4 processor, Vivante GC7000Lite 3D GPU NXP i.MX8M Mini Dual 2x Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.8 GHz + M4 processor, Vivante GC7000Lite 3D GPU NXP i.MX8M Mini Quad 4x Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.8 GHz + M4 […]

TechNexion AXON and FLEX SoM Families Feature i.MX 8M Mini SoC, FPGA Fabric

Taiwan based Technexion has introduced several new products at Embedded World 2019 including two new SoM families: AXON and FLEX. AXON is a product family of small form factor (58 x 37 mm) modules designed for specialized embedded applications requiring extra I/O flexibility, while FLEX series is a low-cost family making use of the standard LPDDR4 SO-DIMM connector. Specifically, the company launched new AXON and FLEX modules powered by NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor with AXON-IMX8M-MINI featuring AXON Fabric programmable logic, a specialized IC that provides additional functions including nearly infinite pinmuxing, and FLEX-IMX8M-MINI that offers HD multimedia streaming and integrated 3D graphics for cost sensitive applications. AXON-IMX8M-MINI SoM AXON-IMX8M-MINI SoM specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX 8M Mini Solo, Dual or Quad Arm Cortex-A53+M4 processor FPGA – “Axon Fabric” making use of a Lattice MachXO3LF FPGA with 2100 LUTs (LookUp Tables) System Memory – Up to 4GB LPDDR4 RAM Storage […]

Gumstix AutoBSP Automatically Generates Device Tree Files for Hardware Designed with Geppetto

Gumstix launched Geppetto Design-To-Order (D2O) system back in 2013, and at the time you could design complete baseboard for their Overo CoMs right in your Chrome or Firefox web browser, and once complete, order the board from the website. The system is meant to save you time, and “design” here does not mean drawing schematics, and laying out PCBs, but instead selecting board size, and adding ports as needed. Since then, the company has added support for more modules, and you can now easily build you own baseboard for Raspberry Pi Compute Module, Technexion PICO-IMX6 module, Toradex Colibri SoM, 96Boards Mezzanine, and they even have Beaglebone Black and 96Board CE or IoT connectors, among others. Support for Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c, Atmel (Arduino) , and STMicro platforms is also being worked on. Their latest feature – AutoBSP – automatically generates device tree files for your custom boards, so you can simply […]

Wandboard QuadPLUS Development Board Gets i.MX 6QuadPlus Processor, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1

The first Wandboard development boards launched in 2012 nearly 5 years ago based on Freescale i.MX6 Solo and Dual processor, with Wandboard Quad launched a few months later. The boards were fairly popular at the time due to their better specifications, and especially Freescale’s much better documentation and software compared to the competition such as Broadcom (Raspberry Pi) and Allwinner (Cubieboard). Since the boards are based on TechNexion EDM system-on-modules they could also be used by companies working on their own products based on the system-on-module. It’s also a good platform if you want to test various version of Android, because the company released Jelly Bean, Kitkat, Lollipop, and Marshmallow images for the boards, and I’m expecting a Lollipop version soon. However, albeit the company worked on other NXP boards such as PICO-IM6UL Android Things, there had not been any hardware upgrade for Wandboard for nearly 4 years, but last […]