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3.5-inch i.MX6 board runs Linux at a cool 2.3 Watts

Jan 16, 2014  |  Eric Brown
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[Updated May 1] — Advantech’s first ARM Cortex-A9 based SBC is a signage oriented 3.5-inch board that runs Linux on a Freescale i.MX6, running just 2.3 Watts.

After rolling out the Cortex A9-powered ROM-7420 Qseven COM (computer-on-module) earlier this month, Advantech has added its first ARM Cortex-A9 based single board computer: the “RSB-4410,” which is implemented on the time-honored 3.5-inch SBC form-factor. The company’s only previous ARM-based SBC appears to be the similarly 3.5-inch-sized RSB-4210, based on an 800MHz, Cortex-A8-equipped Freescale i.MX53 SoC and released in mid-2012.



Advantech’s i.MX6-based, 3.5-inch RSB-4410 SBC
(click images to enlarge)

Both boards ship with the same relatively high-end, HD-ready, Cortex-A9 Freescale i.MX6 SoC , which we can safely call the unofficial embedded Linux ARM SoC of the year. Whereas only a few years ago, TI’s OMAP chips were the go-to SoCs for embedded Linux boards, the 1GHz i.MX6 has increasingly dominated the space.


Block diagrams: Advantech RSB-4410 SBC; Freescale i.MX6 SoC
(click images to enlarge)

The RSB-4410 gives you a choice of the single- (Solo) or dual-core (Dual) i.MX6 models, both of which enable Advantech to claim a low 2.3-Watt consumption figure for the board. With the help of the SoC’s 1080p video, 3D graphics, and image accelerators, Advantech is steering its SBC at the digital signage and kiosk market.

The board offers 512MB of onboard DDR3 RAM for the Solo version and 1GB for the Dual. Both SBC models offer 4GB of flash for the pre-installed Linux 3.0.35 distribution, as well as an SD slot for storage. There’s support for triple independent displays with the board’s LVDS interface and coastline VGA and HDMI ports.

For networking, there’s a coastline gigabit Ethernet port, as well as a mini-PCI Express slot that can accommodate WiFi or Bluetooth radio cards. There’s even a SIM slot for use with 3G cellular cards. Other coastline I/O appears to include RS232, USB, and debug ports. Additional onboard connectors include two UARTs and two internal USB channels.

The supplied Linux 3.0.35 BSP includes Advantech’s middleware software, including Linux signage APIs and SUSI APIs. The APIs are said to support watchdog , GPIO , I2C, VGA control, and H/W monitor applications.

Specifications listed for the RSB-4410 include:

  • Processor — Freescale i.MX6 (1x or 2x Cortex-A9 cores @ 1GHz) with 2D and 3D graphics and video acceleration
  • Memory:
    • 512MB (Solo) or 1GB (Dual) DDR3 1066MHz RAM
    • 4GB eMMC NAND flash
    • 4MB SPI NOR flash
    • SD slot
  • Display:
    • HDMI port
    • VGA port
    • LVDS (18/24-bit single-channel) pin header
    • Triple display and 1080p video codec
  • Wireless — SIM card slot for 3G/HSDPA
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • RS232 port
    • Serial debug port
    • 3x RS232 UARTs
    • USB Type A port
    • 2x USB pin headers
    • Audio line out
    • 2x SDIO
    • IR pin header
  • Expansion — Mini-PCIe slot
  • Other features — RTC battery; watchdog
  • Power — 12V; DC-in; 2.3 Watt consumption
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60° C
  • Dimensions — 146 x 102 x 20mm; 3.5-inch form-factor
  • Operating system — Linux 3.0.35 BSP; supports Android

 
Further information

Samples of the RSB-4410 SBC are available now, says Advantech, which did not list pricing. More information should eventually appear on Advantech’s 3.5-inch SBC product page.
 

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