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

Jan 15, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 908 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.

 
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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