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Cortex-A7 module debuts with optional Pico-ITX carrier

Feb 25, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 321 views

DH unveiled a “DHCOM STM32MP1” module that runs Linux on ST’s Cortex-A7/M4 SoC with up to 1GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, and WiFi/BT. “DH PicoITX2” and “DH PDK” carriers are also available.

DH Electronics, which built the Avenger96 96Boards SBC for Arrow, has returned with a module based on the same STM32MP1 SoC. The SODIMM-style, 67.6 x 36.7 x 8.1mm DHCOM STM32MP1 module is smaller than the module on the Avenger96.

DHCOM STM32MP1, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The DHCOM STM32MP1 is available with two carrier boards, which already serve other DHCOM modules in i.MX6, i.MX6 UL, i.MX25x, and TI Sitara AM335X and AM35x flavors. Like the DHCOM STM32MP1, the Pico-ITX form factor DH PicoITX2 provides -40 to 85°C support and is designed for direct deployment. The 208.5 x 185.5mm DH PDK2 (Premium Developer Kit) is a more feature-rich prototyping board (see farther below).

The module supports all six single- and dual Cortex-A7 STM32MP1 models up to the STM32MP157, which includes a 533MHz Vivante 3D GPU with OpenGL ES 2.0 support. The STM32MP157 enables 24-bit parallel RGB displays at up to WXGA (1280×800) at 60fps and is the only model with MIPI-DSI support.

All the models clock the Cortex-A7 core(s) to 650MHz. There is also a 209MHz Cortex-M4 chip with an FPU, MPU, and DSP instructions. Security features include hardware encryption and secure boot. Other modules based on the SoC include Ka-Ro’s QSMP, among many others.

Earlier this week, ST announced it is supporting the STM32MP1 with Sequitur Labs’ EmSPARK Security Suite for STM32MP1. EmSPARK, which is also available with Arrow’s Microchip SAMA5D27 based, 96Boards IoT Edition Shield96 Trusted Platform SBC, works with Arm TrustZone and provides trusted ID, encrypted boot chain, key and certificate management, and firmware authentication with secure updates. ST also announced a new X-LINUX-AI OpenSTLinux Expansion Package for the STM32MP1.

DH Electronics supports the DHCOM STM32MP1 with a Linux BSP with Debian and Yocto support. CNXSoft found out about the module in a changelog for the new Linux 5.11 kernel release. The module supports mainline Linux and the Etnaviv open-source graphics drivers.

DHCOM STM32MP1 and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The DHCOM STM32MP1 is equipped with 256MB to 1GB DDR3 and 4GB to 16GB eMMC along with 2MB SPI NOR boot flash. There is also a microSD slot, an RTC, a PMIC, and a 3.3V or 5V DC input. The dual-band wireless module with 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 5.0 appears to be optional and is available with a PCB antenna and a U.FL connector.

The 10-year available module provides dual 10/100 Ethernet controllers and I/O including MMC/SD, I2S, USB OTG, 2x USB 2.0 host, 2x CAN, 3x UART, 2x SPI, and 2x I2C. There are also MIPI-CSI and dual MIPI-DSI interfaces plus up to 1366 x 768, 24-bit RGB with touch support. Other features include 24x GPIOs, PWM, 4x ADC, and 2x DAC. A parallel 16-bit bus can be used for options such as connecting an FPGA.


DH PicoITX2 and DH PDK carriers

The 100 x 72mm DH PicoITX2 carrier extends the DHCOM STM32MP1 with 10/100, USB host, and micro-USB OTG ports. Serial interfaces include CAN (optionally without transceiver), as well as RS232, RS232 or optional RS485, and UART.

DH PicoITX2 (left) and DH PDK
(click images to enlarge)

The DH PicoITX2 is equipped with 24-bit RGB with 4-wire resistive touch support and optional, on request single-channel LVDS with display and backlight supply. Headers are available for SPI, I2C, PWM, and 4x GPIOs. There is also an opto-coupler input and open collector output, which are listed as “optional additional” to CAN.

DH PicoITX2 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The DH PicoITX2 has a 9-28VDC input, a CR2032 battery connector, and a DH 5-Cent Cooling Solution (the yellow circle in the middle). Dual LEDs are also onboard.

Unlike the industrial temperature DH PicoITX2, the larger DH PDK carrier is limited to a 0 to 70°C range. Other features include GbE, 2x 10/100, 3x USB host, and a micro-USB OTG port. The board has a microSD slot, an HDMI port, 3x audio jacks, and all the I/O of the DH PicoITX2 and more, including I2S.

The DH PDK is equipped with DHDIB display and MIPI-CSI-2 connectors and offers mini-PCIe and mSATA slots. There is a 24VDC power supply.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the DHCOM STM32MP1 module and DH PicoITX2 and DH PDK carriers. More information may be found in DH Electronics’ DHCOM STM32MP1, DH PicoITX2, and DH PDK product pages, as well as the software wiki.

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