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i.MX8M and i.MX8M Mini SMARC modules debut with 3.5-inch carrier

Oct 31, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 313 views

Ibase’s rugged “RM-N8M” SMARC module runs Linux on an i.MX8M with 3GB soldered LPDDR4 and up to 64GB eMMC. There’s also an upcoming “RM-N8MMI” SMARC that taps the i.MX8M Mini and a new 3.5-inch “RP-103-SMC” carrier.

Ibase announced an RM-N8M Series SMARC 2.0 form-factor module equipped with an NXP i.MX8M SoC. While poking around the Ibase website to see if the company had launched any previous SMARC modules, we found that indeed there is an i.MX6-based RM-F6 SMARC 1.0 module. We also saw a “preliminary” RM-N8MMI Series SMARC 2.0 module with an i.MX8M Mini that we cover farther below.



RP-103-SMC preliminary image
(click image to enlarge)

Both of the new modules adopt the “short” 82 x 50mm SMARC form-factor. While the earlier RM-F6 uses Ibase’s RP-1-2-SMC carrier board, the two new modules use a smaller, 3.5-inch RP-103-SMC SMARC 2.0 carrier, which is also listed as preliminary (see farther below). The new modules support Yocto v2.5 and Android 9, both based on Linux kernel 4.14.62.

 
RM-N8M

The RM-N8M is designed for smart factory, imaging, machine vision, gateway, and in-flight entertainment, as well as rolling stock passenger information, entertainment, and communications systems. It follows other i.MX8M-based SMARC modules including Axiomtek’s SCM180, Embedian’s SMARC-iMX8M, and Seco’s SM-C12.



RM-N8M, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Like these competitors, the RM-N8M offers a -40 to 85°C operating range with dual- or quad-core i.MX8M SoCs clocked to 1.3GHz. There are is also a 0 to 70°C model support that can clock up to 1.5GHz. Both SKUs are available with dual- and quad-core versions of the i.MX8M, which also provides a Cortex-M4 chip and a GC7000Lite GPU.

Like the Seco SM-C12, the RM-N8M provides soldered RAM. However, it is limited to 3GB DDR4 while the others support up to 4GB. The module is further equipped with 8GB to 64GB MLC eMMC for the dual-core models and 16GB to 64GB TLC eMMC on the quad-core models.

The RM-N8M integrates a GbE controller and expresses I/O including 2x USB 3.0, 2x PCIe x1 Gen2, 4x UART, 2x SPI/eSPI, 4x I2C, 2x MMC/SDI, and 12x GPIO. Media features include 1080p-ready MIPI-DSI and HDMI v2.0a with up to 4K resolution and HDCP2.2/HDCP1.4 support. You also get 2x 4-lane MIPI-CSI-2 interfaces plus 2x I2S and SPDIF for audio.

 
RM-N8MMI

The yet-to-be-announced RM-N8MMI module is equipped with the i.MX8M Mini, which is faster and more power efficient than the similarly up to quad-core, Cortex-A53 i.MX8M but is limited to HD video. The Mini similarly includes a Cortex-M4 MCU and it offers GCNanoUltra and Vivante GC320 graphics processors. The preliminary product page lists only the quad-core module, which is clocked to 1.8GHz with 0 to 70°C support and 1.6GHz with -40 to 85°C.



RM-N8MMI preliminary image
(click image to enlarge)

The RM-N8MMI is equipped with 2GB LPDDR4. It appears it might be soldered just like the RM-N8M’s RAM. There’s also 8GB to 64GB eMMC and a GbE controller.

I/O is the same as on the RM-N8M except that there’s no HDMI interface, the USB ports are 2.0 instead of 3.0, and there’s only one PCIe and MIPI-CSI interface instead of two. Other Mini-based SMARC modules include Congatec’s Conga-SMX8-Mini and Avnet’s MSC SM2S-IMX8MINI.

 
RP-103-SMC

Ibase’s “preliminary” RP-103-SMC carrier board for SMARC 2.0 modules is a 147 x 102mm 3.5-inch board with a 12V to 24VDC wide-range input. Features include GbE, HDMI 2.0, RS232/422/485 (DB9), and micro-USB 2.0 OTG ports, as well as 2x USB 3.0 host ports.



RP-103-SMC and detail views (preliminary)
(click images to enlarge)

The RP-103-SMC provides internal headers and connectors for all the I/O supported by the RM-N8M and RM-N8MMI modules plus SATA II with power, 2x CANBus 2.0b, and 18/24-bit dual Channel LVDS with backlight and I2C touch support. You also get a microSD slot, a full-size mini-PCIe slot, an M.2 E-key 2230 socket, and a SIM card slot.

The RP-103-SMC is further equipped with headphone, mic, and speaker audio interfaces. The -40 to 85°C ready board also provides power, reset, boot select, backlight, and LCD buttons or switches.

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the RM-N8M, but it will likely ship before the “preliminary,” i.MX8M Mini based RM-N8MMI module and RP-103-SMC carrier board. More information may be found in Ibase’s RM-N8M announcement and its product pages for the RM-N8M, RM-N8MMI, and RP-103-SMC.

 

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