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Low power Sitara SBC has dual GbE’s and M.2 for WiFi/BT

Jul 14, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1352 views

Advantech’s 3.5-inch “RSB-4221” SBC runs Android or Linux on a TI Sitara AM3358 SoC and features dual GbE, USB and serial I/O, and an M.2 slot for wireless.

Here at LinuxGizmos, we have covered numerous Sitara AM335x-based SBCs and also a lot of 3.5-inch SBCs, so it’s surprising that Advantech’s RSB-4221 is the only AM335x-based 3.5-inch SBC we’ve seen aside from Embedian’s SBC-SMART-BEE and SBC-SMART-MEM. The Embedian boards aren’t even fully comparable since they’re sandwich style COM-plus-carrier combos rather than integrated SBCs, and they have lower-end AM3352 and AM3354 models instead of the RSB-4221’s AM3358, which adds a PowerVR SGX 530 3D GPU and dual PRU-ICSS chips.

RSB-4221, front view
(click image to enlarge)

As usual with SBCs based on the Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x, which most notably include the AM3358-based BeagleBone Black, the main sell here isn’t performance, but rather power efficiency combined with an extensive industrial I/O complement. The 1GHz, Cortex-A8 SoC enables the RSB-4221 to run at a cool 2 Watts under typical conditions, says Advantech. Suitable for smart grid, industrial, and machine automation applications, the 146 x 102mm RSB-4221 follows in a line of power-sipping, 3.5-inch Advantech SBCs such as the i.MX6-based RSB-4410.


The RSB-4221 is equipped with 512MB DDR3 RAM and 4GB eMMC flash, and features an optional SD slot. There’s also an M.2 slot for adding WiFi and Bluetooth modules. The spec sheet says the SD slot is “optional w/ M.2,” suggesting that the M.2 may itself be optional. This is the first ARM-based 3.5-inch board we’ve seen with the high-throughput M.2.

Two GbE ports are available on the coastline along with a pair of USB 2.0 host ports, and there are two more internal USB headers. The SBC is additionally equipped with an LVDS interface, four RS232 ports, and an RS232/422/485 port. The photo suggests two DB-9 ports on the coastline, which are likely assigned to the RS232/422/485 port and one of the RS232 ports. Other features include CAN, I2C, 12x GPIOs, a recovery button, a watchdog, and a 12V input.

RSB-4221 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The RSB-4221 supports both Linux 3.2.0 and Android 4.2, and ships with an evaluative Android image. A BSP provides source code examples and tools for testing and evaluation, and supports Qt 4.8. Complete documentation and reference guides are also available.

Specifications listed for the RSB-4221 include:

  • Processor — TI AM3358 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz); PowerVR SGX 530 3D GPU; 2x PRU-ICSS programmable subsystems
  • Memory/storage:
    • 512MB DDR3 (800MHz)
    • 4GB eMMC flash (for OS)
    • 4MB SPI NOR flash (for ADV loader)
    • Optional SD slot (with M.2)
  • Display — 18-bit LVDS for up to 1366 x 768 (with touch via USB signal)
  • Wireless — M.2 E-key slot (possibly optional and linked to SD option) for WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Networking — 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 2.0 host (2x ports, 2x headers)
    • 4x 2-wire RS232
    • 1x 4-wire RS232/422/485
    • I2C, CAN
    • 12x GPIO
  • Other features — Watchdog; recovery button
  • Power — 12V 2-pole lockable DC-in; 2W typical consumption
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C
  • Dimensions — 146 x 102 x 1.6mm (3.5-inch form-factor)
  • Operating system — Android 4.2; Linux 3.2.0

Further information

The RSB-4221 is available now at an unstated price. More information may be found at the RSB-4221 product page.


(advertise here)

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2 responses to “Low power Sitara SBC has dual GbE’s and M.2 for WiFi/BT”

  1. crb3 says:

    “Call for price”, when I’ve already chased links into the vendor’s eStore, says to me “Go away, we only want to sell quantity, you Makers are more trouble than you’re worth.” Stupid policy in my opinion, but why don’t all those who have this attitude delegate single-unit sales through a single vendor and have done? That way they might sell something.

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