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i.MX6 ULL module runs Linux with real-time patch

Mar 22, 2018 — by Eric Brown — 875 views

Artila’s “M-X6ULL” COM runs Linux 4.14 with the PREEMPT_RT patch on an 800MHz i.MX6 ULL, and offers dual LAN controllers, 4GB eMMC or an optional microSD slot, and an optional carrier board.

The M-X6ULL, which follows other Artila i.MX based modules such as the i.MX537 based M-5360A, measures only 68 x 43mm. Still, that’s hardly a record for modules featuring NXP’s Linux-driven, power-sipping i.MX6 ULL. MYIR’s MYC-Y6ULX measures 39 x 37mm.



M-X6ULL with optional microSD (left/bottom) and 4GB eMMC
(click image to enlarge)

NXP’s i.MX6 ULL, whose Cortex-A7 core is here clocked at up to 800MHz, is almost identical to the i.MX6 UL except for having a slightly lower price and improved power management with lower-powered sleep modes. There are also some minor I/O changes such as multi-channel audio, improved 24-bit CSI, and e-reader support.

Artila’s M-X6ULL module is notable for offering Linux 4.14 with the PREEMPT_RT real-time patch for applications in which “real-time interactive interfaces and connectivity are crucial requirements,” says Artila. The Linux BSP also includes gcc 6.2.x + glibc 2.24, U-Boot, X11 GUI engine, several web servers, a number of file systems, and more. You also get free PHP, Python, Perl, Node.js, and Node-RED programs, which can be updated from the Artila repository via the apt-get command.

You can boot the module from the onboard 4GB eMMC, which can be swapped out for an equally bootable microSD slot. The module ships with 512MB of DDR3 RAM and 16MB NOR flash, as well as dual 10/100 Ethernet controllers.



M-X6ULL simplified detail views, front and back
(click image to enlarge)

The M-X6ULL’s 200 expansion pins provide signals for CAN, UART, USB, SD, I2S, GPIO, and I2C. The 24-bit digital parallel display interface supports an 85MHz display clock and up to WXGA (1366 x 768) resolution at 60Hz. The module also offers 4-wire and 5-wire resistive touch. Other features include a watchdog and RTC. The 5V module runs at a typical 0.75 Watts.

 
M-X6ULL Starter Kit

An optional M-X6ULL Starter Kit board expands upon the module with a microSD slot, dual Fast Ethernet ports, a USB 2.0 host port, and micro-USB OTG and micro-USB console debug ports. There are three DB9 serial ports, including an RS-232 port and dual isolated RS-485 ports. Dual CAN bus 2.0 A/B compliant ports are also available.

The M-X6ULL Starter Kit is further equipped with a 24-bit LVDS interface with resistive touch support and an audio output jack. There’s a mini-PCIe slot, micro-SIM socket, a relay output, and 3x digital input channels. An IMU with gyro, accelerometer, and magnetometer are onboard along with a GNSS location module.

 
Further information

The M-X6ULL is available now at an undisclosed price. (There were no availability details on the Starter Kit.) More information may be found at the Artila Linux Arm module page.
 

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