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i.MX8M and Snapdragon 820E SBCs run Linux and Android

Feb 19, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 478 views

Geniatech’s new “APC810” SBC has an NXP i.MX8M SoC plus 3GB LPDDR4, GbE, WiFi/BT, USB 3.0, HDMI in and out ports, and eMMC, microSD, and M.2 storage. The company has also began shipping its previously revealed Snapdragon 820E-based Development Board 8.

Geniatech announced a 118 x 105mm SBC referred to both as the APC810 and NXP i.MX 8M Board. The board is notable for offering an HDMI 1.4a input in addition to HDMI 2.0 and MIPI-DSI outputs. It also offers an optional ATSC TV tuner and an M.2 slot for SATA storage.



APC810
(click image to enlarge)

Previous SBCs from Geniatech include the Raspberry Pi-like, Amlogic S905X based XPI-S905X and the DragonBoard 410c-like Development Board IV with a 96Boards CE form factor, but no mark of compliance from 96Boards.org. The company also offers a pair of sandwich-style COM/carrier boards based on the i.MX7 (CBD-iMX7D-00) and i.MX6 (APC3710).

Last March, Geniatech unveiled a DragonBoard 820c like “Developer Board 8” SBC with a Snapdragon 820E SoC and 96Boards CE Extended form factor that was due to ship in late 2018. Geniatech is now promoting this as a new product, suggesting that it has recently begun shipping. (See farther below).

 
APC810

The APC810 runs Android 9.0 and an unnamed flavor of Linux on the quad-core model of NXP’s up to 1.5GHz, Cortex-A53 i.MX8M. This heir to the i.MX6 legacy also integrates a Vivante GPU and 266MHz Cortex-M4 chip.

Like most of the i.MX8M-based SBCs we’ve seen to date, this is a commercial board without open specifications. Some, however, such as the recent, audio-focused EMB-2238 Pico-ITX (100 x 72mm) SBC from Estone Technology, offer far more extensive documentation and BSPs. (It should be noted that Geniatech supplies a datasheet link, but it was not working at publication time.)

Other i.MX8M based SBCs include Pico-ITX boards like Kontron’s dual-GbE pITX-iMX8M and F&S Elektronik Systeme’s up to 8GB LPDDR4 armStone MX8M. There’s also a larger, 136.7 x 87mm Nitrogen8M SBC from Boundary Devices.



APC810
(click image to enlarge)

The APC810 is equipped with 3GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, a microSD slot, and an M.2 slot that is listed only with SATA support. A GbE port is onboard along with a WiFi/BT module with 802.11ac.

The HDMI 2.0 output port supports 4K output. There’s also a USB 3.0 host port, and although not mentioned on the product page specs, a micro-USB port. It’s unclear if that offers a power input option in addition to the 12V jack. No temperature range or other details were evident from the product page.

Specifications listed for the APC810 include:

  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); Vivante GC7000Lite/GC7000VLX for OpenGL/ES 3.1, OpenGL 3.0, Vulkan, OpenCL 1.2 GPU; Cortex-M4 @ 266MHz
  • Memory/storage:
    • 3GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • 16GB eMMC flash
    • MicroSD slot for up to 64GB
    • M.2 slot with SATA support
  • Wireless — 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO and Bluetooth 4.0
  • Networking — GbE port
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 2.0 output port (4K)
    • HDMI 1.4a input port
    • MIPI-DSI with LCD support
    • Optional ATSC TV tuner plug
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • Micro-USB port
  • Power — 12V /3A DC input
  • Dimensions — 118 x 105 x 22mm
  • Operating system — Android 9.0; Linux

 
Development Board 8

Geniatech first revealed its Development Board 8 (DB8) in Mar. 2018, and the Snapdragon 820E based SBC has begun shipping in recent months. Like its earlier Development Board IV, the DB8 closely follows a 96Boards form factor, but has yet to receive compliance approval from 96Boards.org. It also similarly mimics an Arrow-built, Qualcomm-backed DragonBoard SBC, in this case the DragonBoard 820c.



Development Board 8
(click images to enlarge)

The DB8 similarly follows the 96Boards CE Extended (100 x 85mm) format and incorporates the Snapdragon 820E, an almost identical, embedded, 10-lifecycle year variant of the Snapdragon 820 with the same 4x Kryo cores — two at 2.35GHz, and two at 1.6GHz. The SoC also offers a 624MHz Adreno 530 GPU, a Hexagon 680 DSP, and a 14-bit Spectra ISP. The only other 820E-based embedded devices we’ve seen are VIA Technologies’ VIA ALTA DS 3 Edge AI mini-PC/gateway and SOM-9X20 compute module.

The Development Board 8 layout is a bit different from the DragonBoard 820c, with the GbE port and power jack joining the other coastline ports along one side of the board. The feature set is almost identical, however. The DB8 lacks the mini-PCIe slot, camera connector, and IMU of the Arrow board, but offers a broader -25 to 70°C operating range.

Highlights of the DB8 include 4GB LPDDR4, 64GB eMMC, and a microSD slot plus a GbE port, WiFi-ac with Bluetooth 4.2 module, and a GPS chip. You also get a 4K-ready HDMI port, dual USB 3.0 ports, and a micro-USB 2.0 device port.

The Development Board 8 provides the usual single 40-pin low-speed connector and dual 60-pin high-speed links plus dual analog connectors for audio. Android 6.0 and Linux 4.14 are actively supported, and Geniatech suggests that it also runs Windows 10 IoT.

 
Further information

Geniatech’s APC810 (NXP i.MX 8M Board) and Development Board 8 appear to be available now with pricing undisclosed. More information may be found on the APC810 and Development Board 8 product pages.

 

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