30 W DC-DC Converters Blend High Power Density, Compact Size

MINMAX Technology has announced the MINMAX MJWI30 series range of 30 W isolated DC-DC power modules with ultra-wide input ranges in the compact 1” x 1” package measuring only 1.0” × 1.0” × 0.4”. The devices offer a very high-power density up to 75 W/in3. This level of integration offers system designers the opportunity to reduce overall PCB layout area or add more features into existing PCB profiles. The MJWI30 family of DC-DC converters consists of 14 models offering 9-36 or 18-75 VDC input ranges with single output models ranging 3.3–24 VDC and dual output models ±12 V or ±15 V delivering 30 W of output power.

All models feature: I/O Isolation of 1, 500 VDC, key performance featuring high efficiency up to 90%, operating ambient temperature range of -40°C to +80°C , faster start-up; fully regulated outputs with high precision, no minimum load requirement, very low no-load power consumption, shielded metal package and under-voltage/overload/short-circuit protection.

MJWI30 Series need few peripheral components to meet EN55032 Class A & Class B. EMS EN61000-4-2/3/4/5/6/8 approved with criteria A, and EN61000-4-4/5 need few peripheral components. (UL/cUL/IEC/EN 62368-1 Safety Approval & CE Marking is undergoing.)

Features:

  • Ultra-compact 1″×1″ Package
  • Ultra-wide 4:1 Input Voltage Range
  • Fully Regulated Output Voltage
  • Excellent Efficiency up to 90%
  • I/O Isolation 1500 VDC
  • Operating Ambient Temp. Range -40℃ to +80℃
  • No Min. Load Requirement
  • Very low no load power consumption
  • Under-voltage, Overload/Voltage and Short Circuit Protection
  • Remote On/Off Control, Output Voltage Trim
  • Shielded Metal Case with Insulated Baseplate
  • UL/cUL/IEC/EN 62368-1 Safety Approval & CE Marking

MINMAX Technology | www.minmaxpower.com

NanoPi Neo4 SBC Breaks RK3399 Records for Size and Price

By Eric Brown

In August, FriendlyElec introduced the NanoPi M4, which was then the smallest, most affordable Rockchip RK3399 based SBC yet. The company has now eclipsed the Raspberry Pi style, 85 mm x 5 6 mm NanoPi M4 on both counts, with a 60 mm x 45 mm size and $45 promotional price ($50 standard). The similarly open-spec, Linux and Android-ready NanoPi Neo4, however, is not likely to beat the M4 on performance, as it ships with only 1 GB of DDR3-1866 instead of 2 GB or 4 GB of LPDDR3.

 
NanoPi Neo4 and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

This is the first SBC built around the hexa-core RK3399 that doesn’t offer 2GB RAM at a minimum. That includes the still unpriced Khadas Edge, which will soon launch on Indiegogo, and Vamrs’ $99 and up, 96Boards form factor Rock960, in addition to the many other RK3399 based entries listed in our June catalog of 116 hacker boards.

NanoPi M4

Considering that folks are complaining that the quad -A53, 1.4 GHz Raspberry Pi 3+ is limited to only 1GB, it’s hard to imagine the RK3399 is going to perform up to par with only 1GB. The SoC has a pair of up to 2GHz Cortex-A72 cores and four Cortex -A53 cores clocked to up to 1.5GHz plus a high-end Mali-T864 GPU.

Perhaps size was a determining factor in limiting the board to 1 GB along with price. Indeed, the 60 mm x 45 mm footprint ushers the RK3399 into new space-constrained environments. Still, this is larger than the earlier 40 mm x 40 mm Neo boards or the newer, 52 mm x 40mm NanoPi Neo Plus2, which is based on an Allwinner H5.

We’re not sure why FriendlyElec decided against calling the new SBC the NanoPi Neo 3, but there have been several Neo boards that have shipped since the Neo2, including the NanoPi Neo2-LTS and somewhat Neo-like, 50 x 25.4mm NanoPi Duo.

The NanoPi Neo4 differs from other Neo boards in that it has a coastline video port, in this case an HDMI 2.0a port with support for up to 4K@60Hz video with HDCP 1.4/2.2 and audio out. Another Neo novelty is the 4-lane MIPI-CSI interface for up to a 13-megapixel camera input.


 
NanoPi Neo4 with and without optional heatsink
(click images to enlarge)
You can boot a variety of Linux and Android distributions from the microSD slot or eMMC socket (add $12 for 16GB eMMC). Thanks to the RK3399, you get native Gigabit Ethernet. There’s also a wireless module with 802.11n (now called Wi-Fi 4) limited to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

The NanoPi Neo4 is equipped with coastline USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 host ports plus a Type-C power and OTG port and an onboard USB 2.0 header. The latter is found on one of the two smaller GPIO connectors that augment the usual 40-pin header, which like other RK3399 boards, comes with no claims of Raspberry Pi compatibility. Other highlights include an RTC and -20 to 70℃ support.

Specifications listed for the NanoPi Neo4 include:

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 at up to 2.0 GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 at up to 1.5 GHz); Mali-T864 GPU
  • Memory:
    • 1GB DDR3-1866 RAM
    • eMMC socket with optional ($12) 16GB eMMC
    • MicroSD slot for up to 128GB
  • Wireless — 802.11n (2.4GHz) with Bluetooth 4.0; ext. antenna
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Media:
    • HDMI 2.0a port (with audio and HDCP 1.4/2.2) for up to 4K at 60 Hz
    • 1x 4-lane MIPI-CSI (up to 13MP);
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • USB 2.0 Type-C port (USB 2.0 OTG or power input)
    • USB 2.0 host port
  • Expansion:
    • GPIO 1: 40-pin header — 3x 3V/1.8V I2C, 3V UART, SPDIF_TX, up to 8x 3V GPIOs, PCIe x2, PWM, PowerKey
    • GPIO 2: 1.8V 8-ch. I2S
    • GPIO 3: Debug UART, USB 2.0
  • Other features — RTC; 2x LEDs; optional $6 heatsink, LCD, and cameras
  • Power — DC 5V/3A input or USB Type-C; optional $9 adapter
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 70℃
  • Dimensions — 60 x 45mm; 8-layer PCB
  • Weight – 30.25 g
  • Operating system — Linux 4.4 LTS with U-boot 2014.10; Android 7.1.2 or 8.1 (requires eMMC module); Lubuntu 16.04 (32-bit); FriendlyCore 18.04 (64-bit), FriendlyDesktop 18.04 (64-bit); Armbian via third party;

Further information

The NanoPi Neo4 is available for a promotional price of $45 (regularly $50) plus shipping, which ranges from $16 to $20. More information may be found on FriendlyElec’s NanoPi Neo4 product page and wiki, which includes schematics, CAD files, and OS download links.

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

FriendlyElec | www.friendlyarm.com

SMARC 2.0 Module Serves up NXP i.MX8 Processor

Congatec has announced the conga-SMX8, the company’s first SMARC 2.0 Computer-on-Module based on the 64-bit NXP i.MX8 multi-core Arm processor family. The Arm Cortex-A53/A72 based conga-SMX8 provides high-performance multi-core computing along with extended graphics capabilities for up to three independent 1080p displays or a single 4K screen. Further benefits of this native industrial-grade platform include hardware-based real-time and hypervisor support along with broad scalability as well as resistance against harsh environments and extended temperature ranges. The SMARC 2.0 module is designed to meet the recent performance and feature set needs for low power embedded, industrial and IoT as well as new mobility sector.The new SMARC 2.0 modules with NXP i.MX8 processors, hardware based virtualization and resource partitioning are well suited for a wide range of stationary and mobile industrial applications including real-time robotics and motion controls. Since the modules are qualified for the extended ambient temperature range from -40°C to +85°C, they can also be used in fleet systems for commercial vehicles or infotainment applications in cabs, buses and trains as well as new electric and autonomous vehicles.

The new conga-SMX8 modules feature up to 8 cores (2x A72 + 4x A53 + 2x M4F), up to 8 GByte of LPDDR4 MLC or pseudo SLC memory and up to 64 GByte of non-volatile memory on the module. The extraordinary interface set includes 2x GbE including optional IEEE1588 compliant precision clock synchronization, up to 6x USB including 1x USB 3.1, up to 2x PCIe Gen 3.0, 1x SATA 3.0, 2x CAN bus, 4x UART as well as an optional onboard Wi Fi/Bluetooth module with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and BLE.

Up to 3 displays can be connected via HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2, 2x LVDS and 1x eDP 1.4. For video cameras, the modules support 2 MIPI CSI-2 video inputs. The new NXP i.MX8 based SMARC 2.0 modules come as application-ready super components including U-Boot and complete Board Support Packages for Linux, Yocto and Android.

Congatec | www.congatec.com

Gumstix Inks Global Distribution Deal with Mouser

Mouser Electronics has entered into a distribution agreement with Gumstix.. As part of the agreement, Mouser Electronics becomes an authorized distributor of Gumstix’s comprehensive portfolio of SBCs and embedded boards for the industrial, Internet of Things (IoT), smart home, medical, military and automotive markets.

The Gumustix Overo COMs are available from Mouser Electronics in three varieties to provide engineers with design flexibility: the entry-level Overo EarthSTORM COM, graphics-focused Overo IceSTORM COM, and Overo IronSTORM-Y COM (shown) with Bluetooth 4.1 low energy technology and 802.11b/g/n wireless communications with Access Point mode.

To enable engineers to test LoRa protocol solutions based on an Overo COM, the Overo Conduit LoRa Gateway includes a Microchip LAN9221 controller for 10/100 Base-T Ethernet capabilities, plus headers to connect to a RisingHF RHF0M301 module and an Overo COM.

For engineers using a BeagleBone Black for prototyping, Gumstix offers two capes. The BBB Astro Cape is a capacitive-touchscreen-ready expansion board with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies. The BBB Rover Cape is a “robot-ready” expansion board with 9-axis inertial module, GPS capabilities, wireless connectivity, and pulse-width modulators (PWM) for servo control.

To support Raspberry Pi boards and the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, engineers can take advantage of expansion boards from Gumstix. The Pi Compute FastFlash provides a compact, cost-effective solution that quickly flashes the embedded memory of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module. The Pi Newgate breakout board enables engineers to connect to all of the module’s external signals via 0.1-inch-pitch pins to monitor digital, analog, and differential signals. The Pi Compute Dev Board is a complete multimedia expansion board for portable devices and IoT boards with camera and HDMI capabilities.

Mouser is also stocking a series of GPS and camera peripherals for Gumstix devices. The Pre-GO PPP (Precise Point Positioning), with either surface mounted antennae or SMA antenna connectors, provides a high level of global positioning accuracy. The Tiny Caspa parallel camera sensor board delivers reliable video feeds directly to the Overo family of COMs and to many expansion boards and SBCs in the Gumstix line.

Additionally, Mouser offers the Gumstix Pepper and more advanced Poblano single board computers. Running on Android or Yocto Project, the Pepper 43C and Pepper 43R boards feature an Arm Cortex-A8 processor, 512 MB of DDR3, 802.11 b/g/n connectivity with AP mode, and Bluetooth 4.1 and Bluetooth low energy. The boards are supported by the Pepper 43 Handheld Development Kits, which come equipped with a 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen, audio in/out, and a Texas Instruments WiLink 8 combo-connectivity module.

The Poblano 43C features a powerful TI Sitara AM438 processor, 3D graphics processor, multi-touch capabilities, Wi-Fi, camera connector, and embedded NAND flash storage. The board is supported by the Poblano 43C Handheld Development Kit, which contains a Poblano 43C board, 4.3-inch LCD capacitive touch display, USB cable, 5V power adapter, U.FL antenna, and SD card pre-loaded with Yocto Linux.

Gumstix | www.gumstix.com

Mouser Electronics | www.mouser.com/gumstix.

Tiny i.MX8M Module Focuses on Streaming Media

By Eric Brown

Innocomm announced a 50 mm x 50 mm “WB10” module with an NXP i.MX8M Quad SoC, 8 GB eMMC, Wi-Fi-ac, BT 4.2, GbE, HDMI 2.0 with 4K HDR and audio I/O including SAI, SPDIF and DSD512.Among the many embedded products announced in recent weeks that run NXP’s 1.5 GHz, Cortex-A53-based i.MX8M SoC, Innocomm’s 50 mm x 500 mm WB10 is one of the smallest. The top prize goes to Variscite’s SODIMM-style, 55 mm x 30 mm DART-MX8M. Like Emcraft’s 80 mm x 60mm i.MX 8M SOM, the home entertainment focused WB10 supports only the quad-core i.MX8M instead of the dual-core model. Other i.MX8M modules include Compulab’s 68 mm x 42mm CL-SOM-iMX8.

WB10 (above) and NXP i.MX8M block diagram (below)
(click images to enlarge)
No OS support was listed, but all the other i.MX8M products we’ve seen have either run Linux or Linux and Android. The i.MX8M SoC incorporates a Vivante GC7000Lite GPU and VPU, enabling 4K HEVC/H265, H264, and VP9 video decoding with HDR. It also provides a 266MHz Cortex-M4 core for real-time tasks, as well as a security subsystem.

The WB10 module offers only 2 GB LPDDR4 instead of 4 GB for the other i.MX8M modules, and is also limited to 8GB eMMC. You do, however, get a GbE controller and onboard 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with MIMO 2×2 and Bluetooth 4.2.

The WB10 is designed for Internet audio, home entertainment, and smart speaker applications, and offers more than the usual audio interfaces. Media I/O expressed via its three 80-pin connectors include HDMI 2.0a with 4K and HDR support, as well as MIPI-DSI, 2x MIPI-CSI, SPDIF Rx/Tx, 4x SAI and the high-end DSD512 audio interface.

WB10 block diagram (above) and WB10 mounted on optional carrier board (below)
(click images to enlarge)

You also get USB 3.0 host, USB 2.0 device, 2x I2C, 3x UART and single GPIO, PWM, SPI, and PCIe interfaces. No power or temperature range details were provided. The WB10 is also available with an optional, unnamed carrier board that is only slightly larger than the module itself. No more details were available. Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the WB10. More information may be found on Innocomm’s WB10 product page.

Innocomm | www.innocomm.com

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

Compact Board Sports Celeron J3455

American Portwell Technology has announced the launch of WUX-3455, a small form factor (SFF) embedded system board featuring the Intel Celeron processor J3455, formerly code-named Apollo Lake. The Intel Celeron processor J3455 integrates the low power Intel Gen9 graphics engine up to 18 execution units, enabling enhanced 3D graphics performance and greater speed for 4K encode and decode operations. The WUX-3455 is well suited as a solution supporting visual communications and real-time computing applications in medical, digital surveillance, industrial automation, office automation, retail and more.

Portwell’s WUX-3455 embedded system board, designed with a compact footprint (101.6 mm x 101.6 mm; 4˝ x 4˝), also features DDR3L SO-DIMM up to 8 GB supporting 1866/1600 MT/s; 6x USB ports; one DisplayPort (DP) and one HDMI with resolution up to 4096 x 2160; one COM port for RS-232 on rear I/O (RJ45 connector); and multiple storage interfaces with 1x SATA III port, 1x microSD 3.0 socket and support for onboard eMMC 5.0 up to 64G. Moreover, it integrates the M.2 interface, which provides wireless connectivity including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, allowing ideal communication and connectivity for IoT edge devices and designs.

The WUX-3455  operates with thermal design power (TDP) under 6W/10W for fanless applications. It also supports a wide voltage of power input from 12 V to 19 V for rugged applications. With its ingenious design and superior performance—up to quad-core processing power via Intel® Celeron processor J3455 and high capability—the Portwell WUX-3455 embedded system board is equipped with the ability to execute an extensive array of applications from digital signage in public spaces through manufacturing robots and machinery transforming industrial automation, to video analytics-based appliances enhancing intelligent digital security and surveillance, to end-to-end solutions for IoT use cases.

American Portwell Technology | www.portwell.com