Latest UP Board Combines Whiskey Lake with AI Core X Modules

By Eric Brown

Aaeon has posted specs for a Linux-ready “UP Xtreme” SBC with a 15 W, 8th Gen Whiskey Lake-U CPU, up to 16 GB DDR4 and 128 GB eMMC, 2x GbE, 6x USB, SATA and optional AI Core X modules via M.2 and mini-PCIe.

Aaeon’s community-backed UP project, which most recently brought us the Intel Apollo Lake based Up Squared and UP Core Plus SBCs, has announced an UP Xtreme hacker board built around Intel’s 8th Gen Whiskey Lake U-series Core processors. This is likely the fastest open-spec, community-backed SBC around, depending on your definition.


 
UP Xtreme and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)
Despite lacking full schematics, the UP boards barely qualify for our catalog of open-spec Linux hacker boards. However, DFRobot’s maker-oriented LattePanda boards, including the Kaby Lake based LattePanda Alpha, do not. In any case the 1.6 GHz/2.6 GHz, dual quad-thread Core m3-7Y30 on the LattePanda Alpha would not match the performance of the quad-core UP Xtreme model. Other boards that come close include Hardkernel’s more fully open-spec, quad-core Gemini Lake based Odroid-H2.

The only SBCs we’ve seen announced with the 14nm fabricated Whiskey Lake are Congatec’s 3.5-inch Conga-JC370 and thin Mini-ITX Conga-IC370. The Whiskey Lake U-series chips are notable for providing quad-core configurations with the same 15W TDPs of Intel’s earlier dual-core U-series chips. The quad-core models offer a performance increase of up to 40 percent compared to previous U-Series processors.

Aaeon appears to support all five Core i7/i5/i3 models, all but one of which are dual-threaded. The models range from the 1.8GHz (4.6GHz Turbo), quad-core Core i7-8565U to the 1.8 GHz (3.9 GHz Turbo), dual-core Core i3-8145U. Congatec clocks the latter’s base speed at up to 2.1 GHz, but Aaeon lists only 1.8 GHz base frequency for all the models.

The Whiskey Lake processors integrate Intel Gen9 UHD Graphics 620 with 24 EUs. They’re also notable for supporting USB 3.1 Gen2 with up to a 10 Gbps transfer rate. Sadly, however, the UP Xtreme does not include a USB 3.1 port, perhaps to reduce costs.

Even still, the board is not likely to make our under-$200 cut-off for the hacker board catalog. As noted in the CNXSoft post that first revealed the SBC, the lowest cost i3-8145 Whiskey Lake model sells for $281, suggesting the lowest Xtreme price might be about $350 to $400.

At 120 x 120mm, this is the largest UP board yet. The SBC supports up to 16GB DDR4 and up to 128GB eMMC. In addition to offering a powered SATA interface, there’s a SATA option on the M.2 “B/M” key slot, and mSATA is available via the similarly multi-purpose mini-PCIe slot, which is accompanied by a SIM slot. An M.2 Key E slot is also onboard.



UP Xtreme detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The stacked HDMI and DisplayPorts will no doubt give you 4K video, and you can probably get triple 4K displays if you use the onboard 3DP header with backlighting. Audio headers are also available.

The UP Xtreme is further equipped with 2x GbE and 4x USB 3.0 ports, plus additional USB and RS232/422/485 headers. There’s also a pair of STM32 I/O headers, which may offer GPIO related to the STM32 MCU. Like other UP boards, further expansion is available via a 40-pin “HAT” GPIO connector, which suggests it can run some Raspberry Pi HATs.

AI Core X support

There’s no explanation for the 100-pin docking connector, which appears to offer four different options for I/O daughtercards (see spec list below). The UP Core Plus offers dual 100-pin connectors for various AI-enhanced add-ons such as the Cyclone 10GX-based AI Plus and the Myriad 2 based Vision Plus. However, the brief marketing copy on the UP Xtreme teaser page suggests that the UP Xtreme’s touted AI capabilities are instead launched via the M.2 and mini-PCIe slots.



AI Core X models
(click image to enlarge)
Aaeon notes the ability to add AI Core X Neural Compute Engine modules with 1TOPs neural acceleration performance. Equipped with Intel’s new Movidius Myriad X VPU, which also drives Intel’s new Intel Neural Compute Stick 2, the AI Core X modules are available in a variety of M.2 and mini-PCIe models.



AI Core X specs
(click image to enlarge)
The Myriad X VPU based AI Core X modules are also available now for the UP Core Plus. The Myriad X VPU provides a dedicated hardware neural network inference accelerator to deliver up to 10X higher performance than the Myriad 2 “for applications requiring multiple neural networks running simultaneously.”

Specifications listed for the UP Xtreme include:

  • Processor — Intel 8th Gen “Whiskey Lake” U-series — 2x or 4x Whiskey Lake @ 1.8GHz (up to 3.9 GHz or 4.6 GHz Turbo) with Intel Gen9 UHD Graphics 620 (24 EU) at 300 MHz base and 1 GHz max dynamic; Intel 300 series chipset
  • Memory — up to 16 GB of DDR4 via dual sockets
  • Storage:
    • 16GB to 128GB eMMC 5.1
    • SATA with SATA power
    • M.2 Key B/M with support for 2x SATA, and mini-PCIe with support for mSATA (see expansion below)
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Intel i210/i211 and 1219LM)
  • Media I/O:
    • DisplayPort
    • HDMI port
    • eDP with backlight header
    • I2S audio and audio out/mic in with ALC887 codec
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.0 host ports
    • 2x USB 2.0 headers
    • 2x RS232/422/485 (10-pin Fintech F81801 connectors)
    • HSUART
    • 2x STM32 I/O headers
  • Expansion:
    • 40-pin “HAT” header — By MAX5: 28x GPIO, 2x SPI, 2x I2C, ADC, I2S, 2x PWM, UART, 3V3, 5V, GND
    • 100-pin docking connector for 1) 12V, GND; 2) 3x PCIe x1; 3) 2x PCIe x1 or USB 3.0; 5) 2x USB 2.0
    • M.2 Key B/M (2242/2280) with 2x PCIe/2x SATA
    • M.2 Key E (2230) with PCIe/USB 2.0)
    • Mini-PCIe slot for mSATA/USB 2.0 with SIM slot
  • Other features — RTC with battery; heatsink; humidity resistance; optional AI Core X modules via M.2 or mini-PCIe
  • Power — Lockable 12-65V DC input; power button
  • Operating temperatures — 0 to 60°C
  • Dimensions — 120 x 120mm
  • Operating system – Linux (Ubuntu, Yocto); Android; Windows 10

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the UP Xtreme. More information may be found at Aaeon’s UP community UP Xtreme product page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on March 19.

Aaeon UP | up-board.org

i.MX8M-Driven Pico-ITX SBC Features Dual-DSP Audio Module

By Eric Brown

Estone is launching an “EMB-2238” Pico-ITX board for audio and voice control applications that runs Linux on an i.MX8M and offers a dual-DSP audio hub and DAC, 40-pin GPIO, and optional PoE and second GbE.

Toledo, Ohio based Estone Technology (known for its former Habey brand) offers a variety of Linux-friendly Pico-ITX boards, including boards based on the i.MX6 (EMB-2230), i.MX6 UL (EMB2200) models, and Intel Cherry Trail EMB-2610. The company recently announced (via Electronics Weekly) an EMB-2238 board with the same 100 x 72mm form factor. The SBC builds on the audio strengths of NXP’s i.MX8M SoC with the help of high-end audio circuitry from Cirrus Logic.


 
EMB-2238
(click images to enlarge)
The EMB-2238 uses the quad-core version of the 1.5GHz, Cortex-A53 equipped i.MX8M, which also includes a GPU and 266MHz Cortex-M4 chip. Estone provides a Yocto Project stack based on Linux kernel 4.9, Qt, and Wayland. It also supports Android 8.1.0.

Other i.MX8M Pico-ITX boards we’ve seen include Kontron’s dual-GbE pITX-iMX8Mand F&S Elektronik Systeme’s up to 8GB LPDDR4 armStone MX8M. There’s also a larger, 136.7 x 87mm Nitrogen8M SBC from Boundary Devices.

All these boards tap the i.MX8M’s extensive digital audio skills to varying degrees, but the EMB-2238 is even more focused on audio and voice control applications. It adds a Cirrus Logic CS47L24 smart codec module with a dual-core, 300-MIPS DSP and audio hub. The triple-DAC device offers a 115 dB dynamic range, an 8-192kHz sample rate, and Enhanced DRE processing (eDRE) for 121dB SNR.


 
EMB-2238 (left) and Cirrus Logic CS47L24 audio module block diagram
(click images to enlarge)
The CS47L24 drives the EMB-2238’s dual digital MEMS microphone header, which features multi-mic noise suppression and acoustic echo cancellation (AEC). A 40-pin expansion header provides omni-directional, spatial 8-channel digital audio/DMIC inputs (SAI5) for the mic array, among other I/O including PCIe. Additional audio features on the SBC include a Class D, 2W mono speaker, an 8-channel digital input and output (SAI1), and SPDIF and QSPI audio interfaces.

The EMB-2238 ships with the Amazon AVS (Alexa Voice Service) Device SDK, as well as Sensory’s TrulyHandsfree wake word engine. It also supports the Snips AI voice control assistant, including support for off-line operation (see video demo farther below).

You can purchase the SBC with 2GB to 4GB LPDDR4, and a microSD slot and 8GB iNAND are also available. For communications there’s a WiFi/BT module and a GbE port with optional an Power-over-Ethernet (IEEE 802.3af) or PoE+ (802.3at) module that can also power an attached LCD panel. A separate option provides a second GbE port via a PCIe add-on card that also integrates a 9-36V DC input, GPIO, an ambient sensor, and an LED control for light bars.


 
Optional PoE (left) and GbE add-ons
(click images to enlarge)
The EMB-2238 is equipped with a 4K-ready micro-HDMI port and HD-ready MIPI-DSI with optional 10.1-inch touch-panel. Other features include a MIPI-CSI camera interface, USB 3.0 OTG Type-C port, dual USB 2.0 host ports, and 2x internal USB interfaces.

The SBC provides a RS-232/RS-485 terminal block, RS-232 header, and the 40-pin header. A 5V DC header offers an alternative to the optional PoE and 9-36V input. The board also provides a watchdog and 0 to 60°C support. As usual with Estone, you get comprehensive documentation.

Specifications listed for the EMB-2238 include:

  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); Vivante GC7000Lite/GC7000VLX for OpenGL/ES 3.1, OpenGL 3.0, Vulkan, OpenCL 1.2 GPU; Cortex-M4 @ 266MHz
  • Memory/storage:
    • 2GB to 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • 8GB iNAND flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wireless — 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.10 module (USB-based)
  • Networking — GbE port with optional PoE; optional second GbE via PCIe add-on with GPIO, 9-36V input, LED control etc.
  • Display/camera I/O:
    • Micro-HDMI port for up to 4096 x 216 0 @60Hz
    • MIPI-DSI (4-lane) for up to 1920 x 1200 and I2C-based support for LCD touchpanels
    • MIPI-CSI (4-lane)
  • Audio/voice control I/O:
    • Class D 2W mono speaker
    • 2x HP out header
    • 8-channel digital in and out (SAI1) with 32-bit @ 384 kHz fs and TDM support
    • SPDIF, QSPI
    • Cirrus CS47L24 smart codec with 2x-core, 300-MIPS DSP with 3x DAC and audio hub with SoundClear Control
    • 2x digital MEMS mic header (via CS47L24) with multi-mic noise supp., AEC
    • Omni-directional spatial 8 ch. digital audio/DMIC inputs (SAI5) for mic array (via 40-pin)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 OTG Type-C port
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • 2x USB 2.0 headers
    • RS-232/RS-485 terminal block
    • RS232 header
    • 4x+ GPIO, 2x I2C for TP and MIPI CSI
  • Expansion — 40-pin connector with PCIe x1, GPIO, font panel control, PoE, 8 ch. audio in etc.
  • Other features — Watchdog timer; 10 to 15-year support longevity
  • Power — 5V DC header or optional PoE or optional 9-36V input (GbE add-on)
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C
  • Dimensions — 100 x 72mm; Pico-ITX form factor
  • Operating system — Yocto Project (Linux kernel 4.9, Qt, Wayland); Android 8.1.0; ships with Amazon AVS and Sensory TrulyHandsfree Wake Word Engine


EMB-2238 Snips and AVS voice control demos

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the EMB-2238 SBC. More information may be found at the Estone Technology EMB-2238 product page.

Estone Technology is demostrating the board at Embedded World in Nuremberg (Feb 26-28) at Hall 1 stand 1-129.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on February 15.

Estone Technology | www.estonetech.com

i.MX6-Based SBC Offers Global Cellular Expansion

VersaLogic has announced the Swordtail SBC that features models with either the NXP i.MX6 Quad (quad core), or the i.MX6 DualLite (dual core) processors. The SBC includes on-board Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a cellular plug-in socket. At home in hostile environments the compact 95 mm x 95 mm computer board is rated for operation at full industrial temperature range (-40° to +85°C). Unlike many Arm-based “modules”, VersaLogic’s new Arm-based products are complete board-level computers. They do not require additional carrier cards, companion boards, connector break-out boards, or other add-ons to function.

Swordtail boards have been designed to enable transmission of maintenance or diagnostic information without the need for a wired connection. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios are included on board, and a NimbleLink Skywire socket supports a wide range of optional cellular and other wireless plug-ins. The Swordtail embedded computer board is suited for deployment into demanding industrial, smart city and transportation applications requiring rugged, long-life, power efficient and industrial temperature rated solutions.

Both Swordtail models feature soldered-on memory, and a variety of I/O connections. In addition to wireless capability, the on-board I/O includes a Gbit Ethernet port with network boot capability, two USB 2.0 Ports, serial I/O (RS-232), CAN Bus, microSD socket, and I2C interface. The boards can accommodate up to 32 GB of on-board flash storage.

Designed for COTS and MCOTS users, Swordtail can be modified for specific applications in quantities as low as 100 pieces. Many applications that require lower power or lower heat dissipation also need very high levels of reliability. Designed and tested for industrial temperature (-40° to +85°C) operation, VersaLogic’s Swordtail also meets MIL-STD-202H specifications to withstand high impact and vibration. Carefully engineered and validated, Swordtail excels in unforgiving environments.

Like other VersaLogic products, the Swordtail is designed for long-term availability (10+ year typical production lifecycle). The Swordtail single board computers (EPC-2702), will be available Q2 2019 from both VersaLogic and Digi-Key. OEM pricing starts at $236.

VersaLogic | www.versalogic.com

Odroid-N2 SBC has Hexa-Core Amlogic S922X and $63 to $79 Price

By Eric Brown

Hardkernel announced an “Odroid-N2” SBC with a Cortex-A73 and -A53 based Amlogic S922X SoC plus 2-4GB DDR4, 4x USB 3.0, HDMI 2.1, an audio DAC, and a 40-pin header.

Hardkernel unveiled its open-spec, Ubuntu-ready Odroid-N1 SBC a year ago with a Rockchip RK3399 SoC. Since it was scheduled for June shipment, we included it our reader survey of 116 hacker boards. Yet, just before we published the results, including a #16 ranking for the N1, Hardkernel announced it was shelving the board due to sourcing problems and switching to a similar new board with an unnamed new SoC. The Odroid-N2 would also switch to DDR4 RAM from the previously announced DDR3, which was in short supply.


 
Odroid-N1 with heatsink (left) and within black case
(click images to enlarge)
The Odroid-N2 will arrive in April about four months later than intended, but with a much lower $63 (2GB RAM) and $79 (4GB) price compared to the original Odroid-N1 goal of “about $110.” The new model has also advanced to a similarly hexa-core, but much faster Amlogic S922X SoC, which was unveiled in September along with the quad-core -A53 Amlogic S905X2 and S905Y2.

Amlogic has yet to post a product page for the 12nm-fabricated S922X, which integrates 4x Cortex-A73 cores instead of the RK3399’s 2x 2.0GHz -A72 cores. The S922X also has 2x -A53 cores that clock to 1.9GHz instead of 4x 1.5GHz -A53 cores on the high-end version of the RK3399 used by the N1. The N2 also moves up to a Mali-G52 GPU with 6x 846MHz execution engines, which the Odroid project benchmarks as 10 percent faster.


 
Odroid-N2 CPU benchmark comparison (left) and block diagram 
(click images to enlarge)
Hardkernel has posted benchmarks that claim around 20 percent faster CPU performance than the RK3399-driven N1. The inclusion of a substantial metal heatsink and the placement of the SoC and RAM on the bottom of the board enable top speeds “without thermal throttling,” says the Odroid project. With the 4GB version (the only configuration announced for the N1), the N2’s 1320MHz DDR4-RAM is claimed to be 35 percent faster than the N1’s 800MHz DDR3.

Although it may not make much sense to compare the Odroid-N2 to a board that never shipped, it should be noted that the Odroid-N1’s PCIe-based SATA connectors (also found on a few other RK3399 boards) have disappeared. However, you get 4x USB 3.0 host ports instead of a split between 3.0 and 2.0.



Odroid-N2 detail view (see legend farther below)
(click image to enlarge)
The USB ports sit next to a faster GbE port (about 1Gbps) and a 4K-ready HDMI port which is variablly listed as 2.0 and 2.1. For wireless, you’ll need to use one of the USB ports.



Legend for detail view above
(click image to enlarge)
The Odroid-N2 is slightly smaller than the N1 at 90 x 90 x 17mm and has a different design. Several ports such as the micro-USB OTG port and new IR sensor and composite A/V jack appear on the opposite coastline. The A/V jack includes a high-quality audio DAC (384Khz/32bit) with dynamic range, near-100dB SNR, and Total-Harmonic-Distortion lower than 0.006 percent, claims the Odroid project.

The 40-pin expansion header provides 25x GPIO, 2x I2C, SPDIF, and other 3.3V interfaces except for the dual 1.8V ADC signals. The pinout is said to be similar to the Amlogic S905 based Odroid-C2. There’s a wide-range 7.5-20V DC jack, and power consumption is listed as 1.8W idle to 5.5W CPU stress. No operating range was listed, but benchmarks suggest it runs run fine at 35°C.

The Odroid-N2 is available with 64-bit Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Linux 4.9.152 LTS and Android 9 Pie “with full source code BSP and pre-built image together.” There is no X11 GPU driver and the Mali G52 GPU Linux driver currently works only on the framebuffer, but there’s a hardware-accelerated VPU driver. A Linux Wayland driver and Vulkan capable GPU driver for Android are in the works.


 
Odroid-N2 in white case (left) and GPIO pinout
(click images to enlarge)
The board ships with 8MB SPI along with a boot select switch and a Petitboot app. It requires removal of any bootable eMMC while you’re making the switch.

Odroid boards, such as the ever popular Odroid-XU4 have usually scored high in our reader surveys due to solid HW/SW quality, vigorous open source support, and a devoted community. The Odroid project recently branched into x86 territory with its Intel Gemini Lake based Odroid-H2.

Specifications listed for the Odroid-N2 include:

  • Processor — Amlogic S922X (4x Cortex-A73 @ 1.8GHz, 2x Cortex-A53 @ 1.9GHz); 12nm fab; Mali-G52 GPU with 6x 846MHz EEs
  • Memory/storage:
    • 2GB or 4GB DDR4 (1320MHz, 2640MT/s) 32-bit RAM
    • eMMC socket with optional 8GB to 128GB
    • MicroSD slot with UHS-1 SDR104 support
    • 8MB SPI flash with boot select switch and Petitboot app
  • Wireless — Optional USB WiFi adapter
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port (Realtek RTL8211F); about 1Gbps
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 2.1 port for up to 4K@60Hz with HDR, CEC, EDID
    • Composite video jack with stereo line-out and 384Khz/32bit audio DAC
    • SPDIF audio via 40-pin
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.0 host ports (340MB/s typical)
    • Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port (no power)
    • Serial console interface
    • Fan connector
  • Expansion — 40-pin GPIO header (25x GPIO, 2x i2C, 2x ADC, 6x PWM, SPI, UART, SPDIF, various power signals, etc.)
  • Other features — RTC (NXP PCF8563) with battery connector; IR receiver; metal heatsink; 2x LEDs; optional $4 acrylic case
  • Power — 7.5-20V DC jack; 12V/2A adapter recommended; consumption: 1.8W idle to 5.5W stress
  • Dimensions — 90 x 90 x 17mm
  • Operating system — Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Kernel 4.9.152 LTS and Android 9 Pie BSPs

Further information

The Odroid-N2 will go on sale in late March with shipments beginning in April. Some engineering samples will head out to a lucky few over the next week. Pricing is $63 (2GB RAM) and $79 (4GB) price. More information may be found on Hardkernel’s Odroid-N1 announcement and product page and wiki.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on February 13.

Odroid by Hardkernel | forum.odroid.com

Open-Spec, i.MX6 UL-Based SBC Boasts DAQ and Wireless Features

By Eric Brown

Technologic Systems has announced an engineering sampling program for a wireless- and data acquisition focused SBC with open specifications that runs Debian Linux on NXP’s low-power i.MX6 UL SoC. The -40°C to 85°C tolerant TS-7180 is designed for industrial applications such as industrial control automation and remote monitoring management, including unmanned control room, industrial automation, automatic asset management and asset tracking.


 
TS-7180, front and back
(click images to enlarge)
Like Technologic’s i.MX6-based TS-7970, the TS-7180 has a 122 mm x 112 mm footprint. Like its 119 x 94mm TS-7553-V2 SBC and sandwich-style, 75 mm x 55 mm TS-4100, it features the low power Cortex-A7 based i.MX6 UL, enabling the board to run at a typical 0.91 W.

Like the TS-4100, the new SBC includes an FPGA. On the TS-4100 this was described as a Lattice MachX02 FPGA with an open source, programmable ZPU soft core for controlling GPIO, SPI, I2C and daughtercards. Here, the manual mentions only that the unnamed FPGA enables the optional, 3x 16-bit wide quadrature counters, which are accessible via I2C registers. The “quadrature and edge-counter inputs provide access to” dual, optional tachometers, says Technologic.


 
TS-7180 (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)
The quadrature counters and tachometers are part of a DAQ subsystem with screw terminal interfaces that is not available on its other i.MX6 UL boards. The digital acquisition features also include analog and digital inputs, DIO, and PWM.

Technologic boards typically have a lot of wireless options, but the TS-7180 goes even further by adding a cellular modem socket that supports either MultiTech or NimbeLink wireless modules. You also get Wi-Fi/BT, optional GPS, and a socket for Digi’s XBee modules, which include modems for RF, 802.15.4, DigiMesh, and more. There are also dual 10/100 Ethernet port with an optional Power-over-Ethernet daughtercard.


 
TS-7180 with cellular socket populated with NimbeLink wireless module (left) and with populated XBee socket
(click images to enlarge)
The TS-7180 ships with up to 1 GB RAM and 2 KB FRAM (Cypress 16 kbit FM25L16B), which “provides reliable data retention while eliminating the complexities, overhead, and system level reliability problems caused by EEPROM and other nonvolatile memories,” says Technologic. You also get a microSD slot and 4GB eMMC, which is “configurable as 2 GB pSLC mode for additional system integrity.”

The SBC provides a USB 2.0 host port, as well as micro-USB OTG and serial console ports. There’a also mention of a “coming soon” internal USB interface. Five serial interfaces, including TTL and RS485 ports, are available on screw terminals along with a CAN port.

Other features include an RTC and an optional enclosure and 9-axis IMU. The board runs on an 8-30V input with optional external power supply and Technologic’s TS-SILO SuperCap for 30 seconds of battery backup.

As usual, the board is backed up with open schematics and comprehensive documentation. If it wasn’t over our $200 limit, it would be included in our new catalog of 122 open-spec hacker boards. Two SKUs are available: a basic $315 model with 512MB RAM and a $381 model with 1GB RAM that adds GPS and IMU.

Specifications listed for the TS-7180 include:

  • Processor — NXP i.MX6UL (1x Cortex-A7 core @ up to 696MHz); FPGA
  • Memory/storage:
    • 512MB or 1GB DDR3 RAM
    • 2KB FRAM
    • 4GB MLC eMMC; opt. standard eMMC up to 64GB (special request)
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11b/g/n with antenna
    • Bluetooth 4.0 BLE
    • Cell modem socket (MultiTech or NimbeLink)
    • Optional GPS
    • XBee interface
  • Networking – 2x 10/100 Ethernet ports with optional PoE via daughtercard
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • Micro-USB OTG port
    • Micro-USB serial console device port
    • 4x serial (1x TTL UART, 3x RS-232) via screw terminals
    • RS-485 (via screw terminal)
    • CAN (via screw terminal)
    • SPI, I2C headers
  • DAQ I/O:
    • 7x DIO (30 VDC tolerant) via screw terminal
    • 4x analog inputs (10V or 4-20 mA) via screw terminal
    • 4x digital inputs via screw terminal
    • PWM header
    • 2x optional quadrature counters
    • 2x Optional tachometers
  • Other features — battery backed RTC; temp. sensor; optional 9-axis accelerometer/gyro; TS-SILO Super Capacitor; optional enclosure
  • Power — 8-30 DC input; 0.91W typical consumption (0.59 min to 6.37 max); optional 24V external DIN-rail mountable “PS-MDR-20-24” power supply
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 122 x 112mm
  • Operating system — Linux 4.1.15 kernel with Debian image

Further information

The TS-7180 is available in an engineering sampling program for $315 with 512 MB RAM or $381 model with 1GB RAM, GPS, and IMU. 100-unit pricing is $254 and $320. More information may be found in Technologic’s TS-7180 announcement and product page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on January 4.

Technologic Systems | www.embeddedarm.com

 

Mini-ITX SBC Sports AMD Ryzen APU SoC

WIN Enterprises has announced the MB-73480 which supports the AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 processor family. The AMD processors combine the performance of the AMD “Zen” CPU and “Vega” GPU architectures in an integrated SoC solution. In addition, the AMD Ryzen processors deliver discrete-GPU caliber graphics and multimedia processing. Compute performance clocks to 3.61 TFLOPS with thermal design power (TDP) as low as 12 W and as high as 54 W.

The advanced AMD Ryzen CPUs and its other features make the MB-73480 well suited for applications requiring high performance graphics and advanced processing power. Applications include: gaming machines, digital signage, medical imaging, industrial control/automation, thin client, office automation and communication infrastructure. WIN Enterprises will customize the PL-81280 based on a customer’s more specific market needs.

MB-73480 Features:

  • AMD embedded components ensure long product life
  • AMD V1000 Socket FP5 BGA Type CPU mounted onboard (Zen Core-4/8 cores with 2 MB L2 Cache) drawing up to 54 W
  • Supports 4x Independent Displays with 4x DP++ Output
  • AMD Radeon™ Vega core, up to 11 Compute Units
  • Dual DDR4 SO-DIMM Socket and supports from DDR4 1333~3200 SO-DIMM (ECC or non-ECC)
  • 2x RJ45 Port with 10/100/1000 Mbps Transfer speed (Intel I211AT)
  • 5x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 5x COM, 1x CFast Card, 1x M.2 2280 Socket (B+M key),1x Audio-Jack
  • 2x SATA III Ports with 5 V Power; supports 2x 8G UMLC SATA DOM
  • TPM 2.0
  • 0°C to +60°C operating temperature

WIN Enterprises | www.win-ent.com

 

Congatec Doubles RAM Support for Server-on-Modules

Congatec has announced that its Intel Atom C3000 processor-based conga-B7AC Server-on-Modules now support up to 96 GB DDR4 SO-DIMM memory on 3 sockets. This is twice the previously supported capacity. The company is touting this as a new milestone for COM Express Type 7 based designs, because memory is one of the most important performance levers for embedded edge server technologies. This increase was possible because the Intel Atom C3000 family supports the newly available 32 GB SO-DIMMs. The new Server-on-Modules with a high-speed memory bandwidth of 2400 MT/s are available now and can be ordered with and without ECC support.

High memory capacity is essential for server applications, because the fastest way to read and write values from a database is to fully load them into memory, according to Congatec. The larger the databases, the more memory capacity is needed. There are many database applications in the field of embedded edge computing, such as network appliances for content delivery in video surveillance applications, IoT gateways or OPC UA servers in automation.

A large RAM is also a good intermediate buffer for Big Data analytics on the fly so that only smaller results need to be stored. Servers that host many virtual machines also benefit immensely from the doubled memory capacity. With 96 GB RAM, 12 virtual machines now have 8 GB RAM available on each partition, making them well-suited for standard Linux or Windows installations.

The conga-B7AC Server-on-Modules with up to 96 GB RAM can be ordered in the following configurations and include personal integration support for OEMs off the shelf:

Processor Cores Cache [MB] Clock [GHz] TDP [W]  Temperature range
Intel Atom C3958 16 16 2.0 31 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3858 12 12 2.0 25 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3758 8 16 2.2 25 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3558 4 8 2.2 16 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3538 4 8 2.1 15 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3808 12 12 2.0 25 -40 to +85 °C
Intel Atom C3708 8 16 1.7 17 0 to +60 °C
Intel Atom C3508 4 8 1.6 11.5 -40 to +85 °C
Intel Atom C3308 2 4 1.6 2.1 0 to +60 °C

Congatec | www.congatec.com

3.5-inch SBC Features Intel Coffee Lake Chips

By Eric Brown

In August, Commell launched the LV-67X, one of the first industrial Mini-ITX boards with Intel’s 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” CPUs. Now, it has followed up with a Coffee Lake based 3.5-inch LS-37L board. The SBC has the same FCLGA1151 socket, supporting up to 6-core, 65W TDP Coffee Lake S-series processors such as the 3.1GHz/4.3GHz Core i5-8600.

Commell lists only Windows drivers on the product page, but the user manual notes support for Linux. The company also recently announced a Coffee Lake based, PICMG 1.3 form factor FS-A79 board.

 
LS-37L and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)
The only other 3.5-inch (146 x 101mm) Coffee Lake board we’ve seen is Avalue’s ECM-CFS. Like that board, the LS-37L has a 0 to 60°C range and supports up to 16GB DDR4 (2666MHz). Other features are very close, with the main difference being the LS-37L’s wide-range 9-25V supply in place of a standard 12V input. The LS-37L also offers more USB and serial headers and adds a PS/2 interface, an RTC with battery, an LCD inverter, and a SIM slot. However, it lacks the Avalue board’s ACPI power management and optional TPM.

Like the ECM-CFS, Commell’s board features triple display support, but instead of dual HDMI ports plus LVDS you get a choice of two configurations. The standard LS-37L model supplies an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, and internal DVI, VGA, and LVDS interfaces. The LS-37LT SKU replaces the DisplayPort with a second VGA or LVDS header.


 
LS-37L detail views
(click images to enlarge)
The LS-37L is equipped with 2x GbE, 2x SATA III, 4x USB 3.1, and a single RS-232 COM port. Internal I/O includes 3x RS232/422/485, 2x RS-232, and GPIO. Like the Avalue SBC, Commell’s board provides a mini-PCIe slot with mSATA support. Yet, the slot also supports other mini-PCIe cards, and there’s a SIM slot for wireless.

Specifications listed for the LS-37L include:

  • Processor — Intel 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” Core, Celeron, and Pentium CPUs up to 65W (FCLGA1151 socket); Intel HD Graphics Gen9 and Intel Q370 chipset
  • Memory — Up to 16GB DDR4 (2666MHz) via 1x SODIMM
  • Storage — 2x SATA 3.0; mSATA via mini-PCIe
  • Display/media:
    • HDMI port
    • DisplayPort (LS-37L) or second VGA or LVDS header (LS-37LT)
    • LVDS, VGA, and DVI headers
    • LCD inverter
    • Triple-display support
    • Audio mic-in/line-in and line-out jacks (Realtek ALC262)
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Intel I211AT and 1219LM); LM port supports iAMT 12.0
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 3.1 ports Gen 2
    • 4x USB 2.0 headers
    • 4x RS-232 (includes 1x COM port)
    • 2x RS232/422/485 headers
    • GPIO
    • SMBus, PS/2
  • Expansion — Mini-PCIe slot (mSATA/PCIe); SIM slot
  • Other features — Watchdog; RTC with battery
  • Power — 9-25V DC input
  • Operating temperatures — 0 to 60°C
  • Dimensions — 146 x 101mm (“3.5-inch form factor”)
  • Operating system — Windows 10 drivers; supports Linux

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the LS-37L SBC. More information may be found in Commell’s LS-37L announcement and product page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on December 6.

Commell | www.commell.com.tw

Catalog of 122 Open-Spec Linux Hacker Boards

Circuit Cellar’s sister website Linuxgizmos,com has posted its 2019 New Year’s edition catalog of hacker-friendly, open-spec SBCs that run Linux or Android. The catalog provides recently updated descriptions, specs, pricing, and links to details for all 122 SBCs.

CHECK IT OUT HERE!

Rugged PC/104 SBC Sports Dual Core Bay Trail SoC

Versalogic has announced “SandCat”, a low-cost rugged new PC/104-Plus SBC. Based on Intel’s dual-core Bay Trail SoC, SandCat is an entry level PC/104-Plus SBC that provides a cost optimized performance level and I/O capability. The SandCat is designed and tested for industrial temperature (-40° to +85°C) operation and meets MIL-STD-202G specifications to withstand high impact and vibration. Latching connectors and fanless operation provide additional benefits in harsh environments.

SandCat’s I/O connectivity includes a Gigabit Ethernet port with network boot capability, four USB 2.0 ports, two serial ports (RS-232/422/485), I2C, and eight digital I/O lines. A SATA 3 Gbit/s interface supports high-capacity rotating or solid-state drives. A Mini PCIe socket with mSATA capability provides flexible solid-state drive (SSD) options.

The board’s SandCat’s Mini PCIe socket allows easy on-board expansion with plug-in Wi-Fi modems, GPS receivers, and other mini cards such as MIL-STD-1553, Ethernet and analog. For stacking expansion using industry-standard add-on boards, the SandCat supports PC/104-Plus expansion, including ISA and PCI based modules. The on-board expansion site provides plug-in access to a wide variety of expansion modules from numerous vendors, all with bolt-down ruggedness.

Like other Versalogic products, the SandCat is designed for long-term availability (10+ year typical production lifecycle). Customization services to help customers create unique solutions are available for the SandCat, even in low OEM quantities. Customization options include conformal coating, revision locks, custom labeling, customized testing and screening.

The SandCat single board computer, part number VL-EPM-39EBK, is in stock at both Versa;ogic and Digi-Key. OEM quantity pricing starts at $370.

Versalogic | www.versalogic.com

SBC Showcases Qualcomm’s 10 nm, Octa-core QCS605 IoT SoC

By Eric Brown

In April, Qualcomm announced its QCS605 SoC, calling it “the first 10nm FinFET fabricated SoC purpose built for the Internet of Things.” The octa-core Arm SoC is available in an Intrinsyc Open-Q 605 SBC with full development kit with a 12V power supply is open for pre-orders at $429. The products will ship in early December.

 
Open-Q 605, front and back
(click images to enlarge)
The fact that Qualcomm is billing the high-end QCS605 as an IoT SoC reveals how demand for vision and AI processing on the edge is broadening the IoT definition to encompass a much higher range of embedded technology. The IoT focus is also reinforced by the lack of the usual Snapdragon branding. The QCS605 is accompanied by the Qualcomm Vision Intelligence Platform, a set of mostly software components that includes the Qualcomm Neural Processing SDK and camera processing software, as well as the company’s 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and security technologies.

The QCS605 can run Linux or Android, but Intrinsyc supports its Open-Q 605 board only with Android 8.1.

Intrinsyc also recently launched an Open-Q 624A Development Kit based on a new Open-Q 624A SOM (see farther below).

Qualcomm QCS605 and Vision Intelligence Platform

The QCS605 SoC features 8x Kryo 300 CPU cores, two of which are 2.5GHz “gold” cores that are equivalent to Cortex-A75. The other six are 1.7GHz “silver” cores like the Cortex-A55 — Arm’s more powerful follow-on to Cortex-A53.

The QCS605 also integrates an Adreno 615 GPU, a Hexagon 685 DSP with Hexagon vector extensions (“HVX”), and a Spectra 270 ISP that supports dual 16-megapixel image sensors. Qualcomm also sells a QCS603 model that is identical except that it offers only 2x of the 1.7GHz “Silver” cores instead of six.

Qualcomm sells the QCS605 as part of a Vision Intelligence Platform — a combination of software and hardware starting with a Qualcomm AI Engine built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) software framework. The NPE provides analysis, optimization, and debugging tools for developing with Tensorflow, Caffe, and Caffe2 frameworks. The AI Engine also includes the Open Neural Network Exchange interchange format, the Android Neural Networks API, and the Qualcomm Hexagon Neural Network library, which together enable the porting of trained networks.

The Vision Intelligence Platform running on the QCS605 delivers up to 2.1 TOPS (trillion operations per second) of compute performance for deep neural network inferences, claims Qualcomm. The platform also supports up to 4K60 resolution or 5.7K at 30fps and supports multiple concurrent video streams at lower resolutions.

Other features include “staggered” HDR to prevent ghost effects in high-dynamic range video. You also get advanced electronic image stabilization, de-warp, de-noise, chromatic aberration correction, and motion compensated temporal filters in hardware.

Inside the Open-Q 605 SBC

Along with the Snapdragon 600 based Open-Q 600, the Open-Q 605 is the only Open-Q development board that Intrinsyc refers to as an SBC. Most Open-Q kits are compute modules or sandwich-style carrier board starter kits based on Intrinsyc modules equipped with Snapdragon SoCs, such as the recent, Snapdragon 670 based Open-Q 670 HDK.


Open-Q 605 
(click image to enlarge)
The 68 x 50mm Open-Q 605 ships with an eMCP package with 4GB LPDDR4x RAM and 32GB eMMC flash, and additional storage is available via a microSD slot. Networking depends on the 802.11ac (WiFi 5) and Bluetooth 5.x radios. There’s also a Qualcomm GNSS receiver for location and 3x U.FL connectors.

The only real-world coastline port is a USB Type-C that supports DisplayPort 1.4 with 4K@30fps support. If you’d rather use the Type-C port for USB or charging a user-supplied Li-Ion battery, you can turn to an HD-ready MIPI DSI interface with touch support. You also get 2x MIPI-CSI for dual cameras, as well as 2x analog audio.

The Open-Q 605 has a 76-pin expansion header for other interfaces, including an I2S/SLIMBus digital audio interface. The board runs on a 5-15V DC input and offers an extended -25 to 60°C operating range.

Specifications listed for the Open-Q 605 SBC include:

  • Processor — Qualcomm QCS605 with Vision Intelligence Platform (2x up to 2.5GHz and 6x up to 1.7GHz Krait 300 cores); Adreno 615 GPU; Hexagon 685 DSP; Spectra 270 ISP; Qualcomm AI Engine and other VIP components
  • Memory/storage — 4GB LPDDR4X and 32GB eMMC flash in combo eMCP package; microSD slot.
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11b/g/n/ac 2×2 dual-band WiFi (Qualcomm WCN3990) with planned FCC/IC/CE certification
    • Bluetooth 5.x
    • Qualcomm GNSS (SDR660G) receiver with Qualcomm Location Suite Gen9 VT
    • U.FL antenna connectors for WiFi, BT, GNSS
  • Media I/O:
    • DisplayPort 1.4 via USB Type-C up to 4K@30 with USB data concurrency (USB and power)
    • MIPI DSI (4-lane) with I2C touch interface on flex cable connector for up to 1080p30
    • 2x MIPI-CSI (4-lane) with micro-camera module connectors
    • 2x analog mic I/Ps, speaker O/P, headset I/O
    • I2S/SLIMBus digital audio interface with 2x DMIC ports (via 76-pin expansion header)
  • Expansion — 76-pin header (multiple SPI, I2C, UART, GPIO, and sensor I/O; digital and analog audio I/O, LED flash O/P, haptic O/P, power output rails
  • Other features — 3x LEDs; 4x mounting holes; optional dev kit with quick start guide, docs, SW updates
  • Operating temperature — -25 to 60°C
  • Power — 5-15V DC jack and support for user-supplied Li-Ion battery with USB Type-C charging; PM670 + PM670L PMIC; 12V supply with dev kit
  • Dimensions — 68 x 50 x 13mm
  • Operating system — Android 8.1 Oreo

Open-Q 624A
Development Kit

Open-Q 624A Development Kit

Back in May, Google preannounced the Open-Q 624A Development Kit as an official Android Things 1.0 development board along with Intrinsyc’s Snapdragon 212 based Open-Q 212A, Innocomm’s i.MX8M based WB10-AT, and a MediaTek MT8516 development platform. Now, Intrinsyc is pitching the Open-Q 624A Development Kit, as well as the Open-Q 624A SOM module it’s based on, as an Android 8.0 platform aimed at the home hub market. There is no longer any mention of Android Things.

The Open-Q 624A SOM offers 2GB RAM, 4GB eMMC, WiFi-ac, BT 4.2, and an octa-core -A53 Qualcomm Snapdragon 624 SoC based on the Snapdragon 625. The kit is equipped with a USB 3.0 Type-C port, 2x USB host ports, micro-USB client and debug ports, MIPI-CSI and MIPI-DSI interfaces, sensor expansion and haptic output, and an optional GPS receiver. You also get extensive audio features, including I2S/SLIMBUS headers.

Available for $595, the sandwich style kit will ship in mid-December. For more details, see our earlier Android Things development board report.

Further information

The Open-Q 605 SBC is available for pre-order in the full Development Kit version, which costs $429 and ships in early December. The SBC will also be sold on its own at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Intrinsyc’s Open-Q 605 announcement, as well as the product page and shopping page.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on November 14.

Intrinsyc | www.intrinsyc.com

Signage-Oriented Mini-STX SBC Taps Ryzen V1000

By Eric Brown

Sapphire, which makes AMD-based graphics cards and motherboards, offers a 147.3 mm x 139.7 mm Mini-STX (5×5-inch) form factor SBC that runs Ubuntu 16.04 or Windows on AMD’s new Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC. AMD’s Ryzen V1000 is highly competitive on CPU performance with the latest Intel Core chips, and the Radeon Vega graphics are superior, enabling four 4K displays to run at once.


FS-FP5V
(click image to enlarge)
The only other Ryzen V1000 based SBC we’ve seen is Seco’s open-spec, 120 x 120mm Udoo Bolt, which ships to Kickstarter backers in December. Sapphire’s commercial FS-FP5V is available for sale now with shipments beginning later this month, according to the Tom’s Hardware post that alerted us to the product.

The FS-FP5V starts at $325 for a model equipped with the dual-core, quad-thread V1202B version of the Ryzen V1000 with lower-end Vega 3 graphics. The three models with the quad-core, octa-threaded versions of the SoC go for $340, $390, and $450, with ascending clock rates and graphics ranging from Vega 8 to 11.



AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 models, all of which are available with the FS-FP5V
(click image to enlarge)
Pricing, which does not include RAM or storage, seems to be a bit higher than the Udoo Bolt. The Bolt also adds an Atmega32U4 MCU for Arduino and Grove compatibility but is limited to the two lower-end V1000 SoC models. The Bolt seems more like a general purpose embedded board while the FS-FP5V, which has up to 4x DisplayPorts, is more directly aimed at digital signage and other media-centric applications including electronic gaming, medical imaging, thin clients, and POS terminals.

Unlike the Udoo Bolt, there’s no microSD slot or eMMC. There is however, a SATA III slot with power headers, as well as an M.2 M-key 2280 slot for SATA III or PCIe. A separate M.2 E-key 2242 connection supports PCIe devices including WiFi modules.

 
FS-FP5V portside views
(click images to enlarge)
It’s unclear if the cited prices include all four DP++ ports, which are listed as “up to 4x.” The board is further equipped with an audio jack, 2x GbE ports, serial and GPIO headers, and 3x USB 2.0 host ports. There’s also a USB 3.1 Type-C port, which does not appear to be used for DP. It’s unclear if it’s used for power.

 
Bleujour Kubb enclosure for FS-FP5V (left) and upcoming FS-FP5V-based 2×2 display wall from Seneca Data
(click images to enlarge)
This is Sapphire’s first Mini-STX SBC. Its other AMD-based motherboards include AMD R-Series based Mini-ITX boards and some 4×4-inch eNUC form factor boards such as the G-Series based LX 210.

In the YouTube video farther below, a Sapphire rep says his company can make custom boards based on the Ryzen V1000. The video also shows a Kubb enclosure for the FS-FP5V from Bleujour, as well as an upcoming 2×2 digital signage display wall from Seneca Data that taps the FS-FP5V to generate 4x 4K displays.

Specifications listed for the FS-FP5V include:

  • Processor — AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 (see chart above)
  • Memory — 0GB to 32GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM up to 3200MHz with ECC support via 2x sockets
  • Storage:
    • M.2 M-Key 2280 slot for SATA III or PCIe x4)
    • SATA III connector with 5V SATA power
  • Wireless — M.2 E-Key 2242 for WiFi and other PCIe x1
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (Realtek RTL8111G)
  • Display/media:
    • Up to 4x DisplayPort++ available via 2x dual-role USB 3.0 Type-C ports
    • 4x simultaneous 4K@60 displays
    • Radeon Vega 3, 8, or 11 graphics with DirectX 12, EGL 1.4, IOMMU 2.0, OpenCL 2.1, OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.x, and 3.x (Halti), OpenGL Next (Vulkan), OpenGL 4.6, 10-bit HEVC decoder (H.265), VP9 decoder, up to 10-bit, limited profile 2, Eyefinity
    • 3.5mm audio jack (ALC262 HD 4CH)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.1 Type-C port
    • 3x USB 2.0 host ports
    • RS232/422/485 header
    • GPIO headers
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 50°C
  • Dimensions — 147.3 x 139.7mm
  • Operating system — Ubuntu 16.04 with Linux 4.9 or 4.14.14; Windows 7/8.1/10 etc.


 

AMD’s promo video for FS-FP5V
Further information

The FS-FP5V is available now starting at $325, with shipments due later this month. More information may be found at Sapphire’s FS-FP5V product page, which links to an order form.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on July 9.

Sapphire | www.sapphiretech.com

Quad Core i3-Based Type 6 COM Express Board

ADLINK has announced the addition of the quad-core Intel Core i3-8100H processor to its recently released Express-CF COM Express Basic size Type 6 module based on the 8th Generation Intel Core i5/i7 and Xeon processors (formerly Coffee Lake). The Express-CF/CFE is the first COM Express COM.0 R3.0 Basic Size Type 6 module supporting the Hexa-core (6 cores) 64-bit 8th Generation Intel Core and Xeon processor (codename “Coffeelake-H”) with Mobile Intel QM370, HM370, CM246 chipset.

Whereas previous generations Intel Core i3 processors supported only dual cores with 3 MB cache, the Intel Core i3-8100H is the first in its class to support 4 CPU cores with 6 MB of cache. This major upgrade results in a more than 80% performance boost in MIPS (million instructions per second), and an almost doubling of memory/caching bandwidth, all at no significant cost increase compared to earlier generations. Intel Core i3 processors are widely recognized as the best valued processor and are therefore preferred in high-volume, cost-sensitive applications. They are popular choices in gaming, medical and industrial control.

These Hexa-core processors support up to 12 threads (Intel Hyper-Threading Technology) as well as an impressive turbo boost of up to 4.4 GHz. These combined features make the Express- CF/CFE well suited to customers who need uncompromising system performance and responsiveness in a long product life solution. The Express-CF/CFE has up to three SODIMM sockets supporting up to 48 GB of DDR4 memory (two on top by default, one on bottom by build option) while still fully complying with PICMG COM.0 mechanical specifications. Modules equipped with the Xeon processor and CM246 Chipset support both ECC and non-ECC SODIMMs.

Integrated Intel Generation 9 Graphics includes features such as OpenGL 4.5, DirectX 12/11, OpenCL 2.1/2.0/1.2, Intel Clear Video HD Technology, Advanced Scheduler 2.0, 1.0, XPDM support, and DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) support for full H.265/HEVC 10-bit, MPEG2 hardware codec. In addition, High Dynamic Range is supported for enhanced picture color and quality and digital content protection has been upgraded to HDCP 2.2.

Graphics outputs include LVDS and three DDI ports supporting HDMI/DVI/DisplayPort and eDP/VGA as a build option. The Express-CF/CFE is specifically designed for customers with high-performance processing graphics requirements who want to outsource the custom core logic of their systems for reduced development time. In addition to the onboard integrated graphics, a multiplexed PCIe x16 graphics bus is available for discrete graphics expansion.

Input/output features include eight PCIe Gen3 lanes that can be used for NVMe SSD and Intel Optane memory, allowing applications access to the highest speed storage solutions and include a single onboard Gbit Ethernet port, USB 3.0 ports and USB 2.0 ports, and SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Support is provided for SMBus and I2C. The module is equipped with SPI AMI EFI BIOS with CMOS backup, supporting embedded features such as remote console, hardware monitor and watchdog timer.

ADLINK Technology | www.adlinktech.com

Variscite’s Latest DART Module Taps Headless i.MX6 ULZ

By Eric Brown

Variscite is spinning out yet another pin-compatible version of its 50 mm x 25 mm DART-6UL computer-on-module, this time loaded with NXP’s headless new i.MX6 ULZ variant of the single Cortex-A7 core i.MX6 UL. Due for a Q4 launch, the unnamed module lacks display or LAN support. It’s billed as “a native solution for headless Linux-based embedded products such as IoT devices and smart home sensors requiring low power, low size and rich connectivity options.”


DART-6UL with iMX6 ULZ 
(click image to enlarge)
The lack of display and LAN features mirrors the limitations of the i.MX6 ULZ, which NXP refers to as a “cost-effective Linux processor.” The headless, up to 900  MHz Cortex-A7 ULZ SoC offers most of the I/O of the of the i.MX6 UL/ULL, including ESAI, S/PDIF, and 3x I2S audio interfaces, but it lacks features such as the 2D Pixel acceleration engine and Ethernet controllers.


NXP i.MX6 ULZ block diagram
(click image to enlarge)
Last year, Variscite spun the Linux-ready DART-6UL into a faster, 696MHz v1.2 upgrade, which added the option of NXP’s power-efficient i.MX6 ULL SoC in addition to the i.MX6 UL. A few months later, it followed up with a DART-6UL-5G model that boasts an on-board, “certified” WiFi/Bluetooth module with dual-band, 2.4 GHz/ 5 GHz 802.11ac/a/b/g/n.


DART-6UL-5G (left) and DART-6UL v1.2
(click images to enlarge)
The upcoming i.MX6 ULZ based version, which we imagine Variscite will dub the DART-6ULZ, has the same Wi-Fi-ac module with Bluetooth 4.2 BLE. Like the latest versions of the other DART-6UL modules, the module can be clocked to 900 MHz.

The “cost effective” ULZ version differs in that it lacks the other models’ touch-enabled, 24-bit parallel RGB interface and dual 10/100 Ethernet controllers. Other subtracted features compared to earlier models include dual CAN, parallel camera, and “extra security features.”

The new module is also limited to a 0 to 85°C range instead of being available in 0 to 70°C or -40 to 85°C versions. The i.MX6 ULZ SoC itself has a slightly wider range of 0 to 95°C.

The pin compatible DART-6UL with iMX6 ULZ will offer the i.MX6 ULZ SoC with “optional security features,” which include TRNG, AES crypto engine, and secure boot. The 50 mm x 25mm module will ship with 512MB DDR3L, which was the previous maximum of the now up to 1 GB RAM DART-6UL. The storage range is similar, with a choice 512 MB NAND and up to 64 GB eMMC.

The DART-6UL with i.MX6 ULZ will support 2x USB 2.0 OTG host/device ports, audio in and out, and UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, and ADC interfaces. OS support is listed as “Linux Yocto, Linux Debian, Boot2QT.”

The ULZ version of the DART-6UL will support existing development kits, which are based on the VAR-6ULCustomBoard. This 100 mm x 70 mm x 20 mm carrier board offers a microSD slot, a USB host port, and micro-USB OTG and debug ports, as well as features that are inaccessible to the ULZ, including dual GbE, RGB, LVDS, CAN and camera interfaces.

This week Variscite announced another DART module based on another new NXP SoC. The DART-MX8M-Mini module taps a 14nm-fabricated i.MX8M Mini SoC variant of the i.MX8M with one to four 2GHz Cortex-A53 cores and a 400 MHz Cortex-M4, plus scaled down 1080p video via MIPI-DSI.

Further information

The DART-6UL with iMX6 ULZ will be available in the fourth quarter. The DART-6UL/ULL/ULZ product page notes that the lowest, volume-discounted price is $24, which likely pertains to the ULZ part. More information may be found in Variscite’s announcement.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on September 19.

Variscite | www.variscite.com

Rugged, Sandwich-Style SBC is Based on Sitara AM5718 MCU

By Eric Brown

Forlinx Embedded Technology, the Chinese company behind Linux-friendly SBCs such as the Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara AM3354 based OK335xS-II and the Forlinx i.MX6 SBC, has posted details on a new OK5718-C SBC. Like the OK335xS-II, it’s a Sitara based board, in this case tapping TI’s single-core, Cortex-A15 based Sitara AM5718. Like the i.MX6 SBC, it’s a sandwich-style offering, with the separately available FET5718-C module hosting the up to 1.5GHz AM5718.


OK5718-C
The OK5718-C was announced (translated) in China back in May, and the product page was recently spotted by CNXSoft. The FET5718-C module and OK5718-C SBC both support -40 to 85℃ temperatures and feature an optimized Linux distro with Linux 4.9.41, Qt 5.6, and Wayland. The BSP includes PCIe host and slave mode optimizations, a simplified file system for faster boot and flashing, and an image system to allow Weston virtual keyboards and easy Qt image stacking, says Forlinx.

FET5718-C module

The FET5718-C module’s Sitara AM5718 SoC may have a somewhat old-school CPU, but it provides plenty of extras. You get both a PowerVR SGX544 3D GPU and Vivante GC320 2D GPU, as well as a 750MHz TI DSP-C66X digital signal processor and video accelerator. There’s also the same, 200MHz programmable PRU subsystem found on the BeagleBone, as well as dual, 213MHz Cortex-M4 microcontrollers.



FET5718-C 

The combination of the DSP with the real-time MCUs enables robotics, machine vision, medical imaging, automotive, and facial recognition applications. Industrial automation and building automation applications are also supported.

The FET5718-C module adds 1GB DDR3L, 8GB eMMC, a TPS659162RGZR power management unit, and a 3-port Gigabit Ethernet switch subsystem. The 12-layer, 70 x 50mm COM runs on 5V power and has a 320-pin board-to-board connector.

OK5718-C board

The 4-layer, 190 x 130mm OK5718-C baseboard expands upon the FET5718-C features with ports popping out on all sides. The board provides 2x GbE ports, onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, and a mini-PCIe slot with optional 3G/4G. There are single USB 3.0 host and micro-USB 2.0 device ports and a pair of USB 2.0 host ports.

The OK5718-C is further equipped with an HDMI port, an SD slot, a CAN port, and dual audio jacks. Onboard I/O includes SATA 2.0 with power, DVP and 2x MIPI-CSI camera interfaces, and other I/O as detailed below.



OK5718-C detail view
(click image to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the OK5718-C SBC include:

  • Processor (via FET5718-C module) — TI Sitara AM5718 (1x Cortex-A15 core @ up to 1.5GHz; PowerVR SGX544 3D GPU; Vivante GC320 2D GPU; 750MHz TI DSP-C66X; IVA-HD image/video accelerator; 200MHz PRU-ICSS; 2x 213MHz Cortex-M4
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB DDR3L (via FET5718-C)
    • 8GB eMMC (via FET5718-C)
    • QSPI flash (via FET5718-C)
    • SD slot (SD, SDHC, SDXC support)
    • SDIO interface
    • SATA 2.0 interface with SATA power
  • Wireless — 802.11b/g/n with Bluetooth
  • Networking — 2x GbE ports
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 1.4a port for up to 1080P@60Hz
    • RGB 888 LCD interface
    • Dual display support
    • 2x MIPI-CSI
    • DVP 8-bit 5MP camera interface
    • Mic and headphone jacks; speaker headers
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Micro-USB 2.0 device port
    • 3x UART
    • 2x I2C
    • Serial debug port
    • CAN 2.0, SPI, GPMC, HDQ, JTAG
  • Expansion — Mini-PCIe slot with optional Huawei 3G/4G card
  • Other features — 2x LED; 3x user keys; RTC with coin-cell battery; boot config switch
  • Power — 12V DC input; power and reset switches
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 190 x 130mm
  • Operating system — Custom Linux with Kernel 4.9.41, Qt 5.6, and Wayland

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the OK5718-C SBC or FET5718-C module. More information may be found on the Forlinx OK5718-C and FET5718-C product pages. There’s also a product page at Faststream Technologies.

This article originally appeared on LinuxGizmos.com on August 20.

Texas Instruments | www.ti.com