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Eensy-weensy i.MX8M Mini module also powers SBC

Feb 20, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 800 views

CompuLab’s Linux-driven, 38 x 28mm “UCM-iMX8M-Mini” module features an i.MX8M Mini, WiFi/BT, and up to 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC. The COM also ships on a sandwich-style “SBC-iMX8M-Mini” SBC.

CompuLab unveiled a Linux-driven computer-on-module with NXP’s new i.MX8M Mini SoC. At 38 x 28 x 4mm, the UCM-iMX8M-Mini is considerably smaller than CompuLab’s i.MX8M-based, 68 x 42mm CL-SOM-iMX. The module is also smaller than the two other Mini-based COMs we’ve seen so far: F&S Elektronik Systeme’s 40 x 35mm PicoCore MX8MM and Variscite’s 55 x 30mm DART-MX8M-Mini.



UCM-iMX8M-Mini, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The UCM-iMX8M-Mini module can be purchased as part of a sandwich-style SBC-iMX8M-Mini board (see farther below). Other Mini-based boards include Boundary Devices’ Nitrogen8M-Mini SBC and Solectrix’s SX Mobile Device Kit, which can also be used a general-purpose SBC.

CompuLab is aiming its new module at applications including professional handheld devices, autonomous drones, portable instrumentation with HMI, and wearables, including medical devices. The device is available in 0 to 70°C, -20 to 70°C, and -40 to 85°C versions, and offers 50g/20ms shock and 20G/0-600Hz vibration resistance.

NXP’s i.MX8M Mini is a newly shipping i.MX8M variant with lower video resolution than the i.MX8M, but with a more advanced 14LPC FinFET process that enables a smaller footprint, lower power consumption, faster clock rates and support for hardware video encoding. The UCM-iMX8M-Mini supports the Dual, DualLite, and Quad versions, all clocked to up to 1.8GHz. There’s also an HD-ready, 2D/3D GC NanoUltra GPU and a Cortex-M4 core, which other vendors have listed at 400MHz — faster than the usual 266MHz MCUs found on other i.MX SoCs.



UCM-iMX8M-Mini (left) and i.MX8M Mini block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

The UCM-iMX8M-Mini module is available with 1GB to 4GB LPDDR4 and 4GB to 64GB eMMC. There’s also an optional GbE controller (MAC+PHY) and an optional, precertified BCM4335 wireless module with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 BLE.

Features expressed via dual 100-pin connectors include 2x USB 2.0 OTG, 4x UART, 3x SPI. 3x I2C, 4x PWM, up to 85x GPIOs, and single MMC/SD/SDIO and PCIe Gen 2.1. Media connectivity includes HD-ready MIPI-DSI with capacitive touch support and an equally 4-lane MIPI-CSI interface. For audio you get up to 3x I2S/SAI plus SPDIF I/O.

The 7-gram module has 3.45V to 4.4V supply voltage and 3.3V I/O voltage. It ships with an RTC and a JTAG interface.

The UCM-iMX8M-Mini is provided with a full BSP and ready-to-run images for Linux and Android. The BSP ships with mainline Linux kernel 4.14, a Yocto Project file-system, and U-Boot boot-loader.

Extensive HW/SW documentation and mechanical drawings are available for the module. The SB-UCMIMX8 carrier board that forms the SBC-iMX8M-Mini offering is available with schematics, mechanical drawings, and layout files.

 
SB-UCMIMX8 carrier and SBC-iMX8M-Mini SBC

The SBC-iMX8M-Mini SBC combines the UCM-iMX8M-Mini module with the open-spec SB-UCMIMX8 carrier board. There’s also an EVAL-UCM-iMX8M eval kit that adds a 5-inch WXGA capacitive touchscreen, as well as a 5-megapixel LI-OV5640 camera module, 12V power supply, WiFi antenna, various cables, and a year of technical support.



EVAL-UCM-iMX8M eval kit
(click image to enlarge)

The SBC-iMX8M-Mini builds upon the UCM-iMX8M-Mini foundation with GbE, USB 2.0 host, and two micro-USB ports, one of which is devoted to serial debug. There’s also an ultra-mini serial debug port


SBC-iMX8M-Mini (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The SBC-iMX8M-Mini is further equipped with a microSD slot, MIPI-DSI and -CSI connectors, and analog audio and SPDIF I/O jacks. In addition to a 34x GPIO header, you get 2x UART, 2x I2C, and a single SPI interface. A full-size mini-PCIe slot supports cellular connections.

The 118 x 118 x 22mm, 125-gram SBC provides an 8-18V input and a coin-cell battery for the RTC. Ruggedization specs are the same as with the UCM-iMX8M-Mini module.

 
Further information

The UCM-iMX8M-Mini starts at $54 in 1K plus quantities. The SBC-iMX8M-Mini’s SB-UCMIMX8 carrier (without the COM) starts at $67 at 1K and $201 in single units. If you just want the SBC-iMX8M-Mini with the UCM-iMX8M-Mini module in single units, the combo starts at $236. The full EVAL-UCM-iMX8M eval kit starts at $385 in single units.

More information may be found on CompuLab’s UCM-iMX8M-Mini and SBC-iMX8M-Mini product pages.
 

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