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i.MX8M Mini based handheld dev kit has dual Linux BSPs

Feb 19, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 777 views

Solectrix is prepping an “SX Mobile Device Kit” for developing handhelds with Debian and Yocto Linux BSPs, an i.MX8M Mini SoC, an optional 5-inch touchscreen, WiFi, BT, GNSS, and mini-PCIe, and features for prototyping CSI-2 camera sensors.

These days we rarely cover mobile computers, most of which are rugged field-service handhelds that run Android, such as Two Technologies’ N5Print. Yet, Solectrix’s SX Mobile Device Kit (MDK) seemed of particular interest since it’s a development kit with Linux BSPs and NXP’s new i.MX8M Mini SoC.

In addition, a Solectrix GmbH rep informed us that optional features like GbE and USB Type-A host and GbE ports enable the MDK to be used as a general-purpose embedded development board. Purchase options range from buying the 125 x 78mm PCB by itself all the way up to a fully equipped handheld with a 5-inch screen. Yocto Project and Debian Linux BSPs are available, and the board also supports Android 9 Pie.



SX Mobile Device Kit render, front and back (left) and exploded view
(click images to enlarge)

The SX MDK, which will be formally announced at next week’s Embedded World show in Nuremberg, showcases the low power consumption of NXP’s Cortex-A53 based i.MX8M Mini — an i.MX8M variant with lower video resolution, but a more advanced 14LPC FinFET process. The process enables a smaller footprint, lower power consumption, and faster clock rates. The SX MDK uses the quad-core version clocked to up to 2.0GHz. There’s also a 400MHz Cortex-M4 core and an HD-ready, 2D/3D GPU.

Other Mini-based boards include computer-on-modules from F&S Elektronik Systeme (PicoCore MX8MM) and Variscite (DART-MX8M-Mini). Boundary Devices offers a Nitrogen8M-Mini SBC.

The SX MDK ships with 2GB LPDDR4, 8GB eMMC, and a microSD slot. A Redpine RS9116 module supplies dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 5.0 with both classic and BLE modes. There’s also a Quectel L86 GNSS module with GPS, GLONASS, and QZSS support. As noted, a Gigabit Etherent port is optional.



SD MDK (left) and i.MX8M Mini block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

A 4-lane MIPI-DSI interface supports an up to a 5-inch, 720 x 1280 capacitive touchscreen. A DEM 7201280A Display Module with those specs is optional.

A 4-lane MIPI-CSI-2 interface lets you try out a variety of optional camera sensors, which are connected via a sensor extension interface. Other camera features include an I2C interface for sensor configuration, GPIO signals for flash and illumination control, and a power supply for sensor extension boards.

Audio features include a Maxim MAX98357A PCM Class D amplifier, a 0.7W / 88dB magnetic speaker, and a PDM mic. A micro-USB OTG port and dual USB Type-C ports (one for charging only) are onboard, and there’s an optional USB Type-A host port. You also get a mini-PCIe slot for cellular expansion, as well as an FT232 USB-to-UART interface. The SX MDK is equipped with an 18650-mAh Li-Ion battery holder, TI charger and fuel gauge parts, a wireless charging extension connector, and a PMIC.

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the SX Mobile Device Kit. More information should eventually appear at Solectrix GmbH website. The SX MDK will be demonstrated at Embedded World on Feb. 28 at 2PM at Exhibitor’s Forum, Hall 2, 2-510. Reps from Scandit AG will describe their use of the product to design an upcoming handheld.
 

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