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Compact i.MX6 UL gateway offers WiFi, 4G, LoRa, and ZigBee

Jan 15, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 1159 views

Forlinx’s “FCU1101” is a compact embedded gateway with -35 to 70℃ support that runs Linux on an i.MX6 UL and offers 4x isolated RS485 ports, a LAN port, and WiFi, 4G, LoRa, and ZigBee.

A year ago, the wireless studded, serial connected FCU1101 might have been called an IoT gateway, but the name seems to be going out of fashion. A similar system with a more powerful processor than the FCU1101‘s power-efficient, Cortex-A7 based NXP i.MX6 UltraLite (UL) might today be called an edge server. Forlinx calls its mini-PC sized, 105 x 100 x 33mm device what we used to call them back in the day: an embedded computer.



FCU1101 without antennas
(click image to enlarge)

The FCU1101 is notable for being one of the few embedded systems we’ve seen without a USB port. Instead, the device turns its limited real estate over to 4x RS485 ports deployed with terminal connectors. The serial ports are 1.5KV-isolated and protected against electrostatic discharge per ESD Level 4. They also support ModBus protocols.


FCU1101 with antennas

The other major component is a set of four wireless radios and three external antennas. The 2.4GHz ZigBee and 433MHz LoRa modems share an antenna. The 4G module and the 802.11b/g/n radio with optional STA and AP mode support have their own antennas.

The antenna for the Netcom 4G module, which lists support only for Chinese carriers, is a tethered, standalone unit to avoid cross-interference. There’s also a SIM slot for 4G and a 10/100 Ethernet port. The spec list suggests there is a similar system available that adds GPS and an audio interface.



FCU1101 front detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The FCU1101’s 528MHz, single-core i.MX6 UL SoC is backed up with 256MB LVDDR3 RAM, 256MB to 1GB NAND flash, and a microSD slot. There are also reset and boot buttons, 2x LEDs, and an RTC.


FCU1101 rear detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The system supports -35 to 70℃ temperatures (0 to 70℃ when using WiFi), and appears to offer two different power inputs, neither of which are shown in the detail views above. There’s a 12V input that is said to support 9-36V and offer anti-reverse and over-current protection, as well as a 24V input with 12-24V support and reverse protection.

The Linux 3.14.38 stack ships with a Yaffs2 file system, MQTT, and a wide range of web server and network protocol support.

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Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the FCU1101. More information may be found on the Forlinx FCU1101 product page.
 

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