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Pico-ITX SBC and embedded computer feature i.MX8M Plus

Mar 9, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 453 views

Advantech’s “RSB-3720” Pico-ITX SBC and “EPC-R3720” system run Linux on an i.MX8M Plus with up to 6GB LPDDR4, 2x GbE, 2x USB, HDMI, serial, M.2, mini-PCIe with SIM, and expandable I/O.

Advantech has posted product pages for a Pico-ITX SBC and compact fanless industrial computer that appear to be its first products based on NXP’s NPU-equipped i.MX8M Plus. A modified version of the RSB-3720 appears to be the mainboard of the EPC-R3720 embedded computer.



RSB-3720 (left) and EPC-R3720
(click images to enlarge)

The 14nm-fabricated i.MX8M Plus has up to 4x 1.8GHz Cortex-A53 cores plus Vivante GC7000UL 3D and GC520L 2D GPUs. There is also an 800MHz Cortex-M7 MCU, an 800MHz HiFi4 DSP, dual ISPs, and a 2.3-TOPs NPU for AI acceleration.

The RSB-3720 SBC is the first monolithic SBC we have seen based on the i.MX8M Plus. It joins the sandwich-style HummingBoard Mate Pico-ITX, which is powered by a iMX8M Plus CoM, as well as Technexion’s similarly community-backed Wandboard IMX8M-Plus, which based on a Wandboard IMX8M-Plus module. Other i.MX8M Plus modules with optional starter kits include F&S’ PicoCore MX8MP and Variscite’s VAR-SOM-MX8M-PLUS and DART-MX8M-PLUS.

The RSB-3720 supports the i.MX8M Plus with Yocto Project or Android. The board supports up to 6GB LPDDR4 along with 8MB QSPI flash for board data, 16GB eMMC, and a microSD slot.



RSB-3720, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Coastline ports include dual GbE, HDMI, USB 3.1 Gen1, and USB 2.0. Internal connections include LVDS or optional MIPI-DSI plus dual MIPI-CSI interfaces and audio I/O. There are RS-232/422/485 and CAN headers but they cannot be used simultaneously.

Expansion features include an optional choice of three UIO40-Express daughtercards with various mixes of additional RS-232, CAN, USB 2.0, and GbE ports. There are also mini-PCIe and M.2 E-key slots accompanied by a nano-SIM slot with optional WiFi/BT and LTE modules.



RSB-3720 block diagram (left) and UIO40-Express options
(click images to enlarge)

The 12V board is available in an optional -40 to 85°C model. There are also options for cable and antenna kits.

Specifications listed for the RSB-3720 include:

  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M Plus (4x Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.8GHz); Vivante GC7000UL 3D and GC520L 2D GPUs; 2.3 TOPS NPU; 800MHz Cortex-M7; 800MHz HiFi4 DSP, 2x ISPs
  • Memory/storage:
    • 4GB or 6GB LPDDR4 (4000MT/s)
    • 8MB QSPI NOR flash (for board info)
    • 16GB eMMC
    • MicroSD slot
  • Networking:
    • 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports
    • Wireless options available via M.2, mini-PCIe, and nano-SIM
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 2.0a port at up to up to 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz
    • Single- or dual-channel, 24-bit LVDS with backlight power and optional 7-inch touchpanel
    • MIPI-DSI (4-lane) BOM option to replace LVDS
    • 2x 4-lane MIPI-CSI
    • Mic-in, line-out audio headers
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.1 Gen1 host port
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • RS-232/422/485 (4-wire) header
    • CANBus or CAN-FD headers (shared with RS-232/422/485 header)
  • Expansion:
    • Optional choice of 1x of 3x UIO40-Express expansion daughterboards:
      • UIO-4030 — RS-485, RS-232, DIO ports (4x DI, 4x DO)
      • UIO-4032 — 2x RS-232, 2x USB 2.0, and GbE ports
      • UIO-4034 — 2x RS-232, CANbus ports
    • M.2 E-key 2230 slot (USB/PCIe/SDIO/UART/I2S) with optional WiFi/BT module
    • Mini-PCIe full-size slot (USB only) with optional 4G LTE module
    • Nano-SIM card slot
  • Other features — Watchdog; RTC with battery (per block diagram) 2x LEDs; optional antenna and cable kits
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C or -40 to 85°C
  • Power — 12V lockable DC jack or BOM-optional header; optional 100-240V 36W supply; NXP PMIC; 7.13W consumption
  • Dimensions – 100 x 72 x 19mm (Pico-ITX/2.5-inch form factor)
  • Operating system — Yocto Linux; Android

 
EPC-R3720

— ADVERTISEMENT —


The 174 x 108 x 25mm EPC-R3720 embedded computer based on the RSB-3720 offers similarly configurable I/O. Different models offer up to 6x LAN (possibly all GbE), 4x USB, dual serial, and dual CAN, depending on the model.



EPC-R3720 front (left) and side views
(click images to enlarge)

All the models are equipped with an HDMI port, microSD slot, and the same allotment of RAM, QSPI, and eMMC. The M.2, mini-PCIe, nano-SIM, and watchdog features are also the same as on the RSB-3720, and 4x antenna holes are available.

Here are the four configurations, starting with the standard model:

  • 2x GbE, USB 3.1 Gen1, USB 2.0, RS-232/422/485, CANBus
  • 2x GbE, USB 3.1 Gen1, USB 2.0, 2x RS-232, CANBus, CAN-FD
  • 3x GbE, 4x USB, 2x RS-232, CANBus
  • 6x GbE (2x plus hub), USB 3.1 Gen1, USB 2.0, CANBus



EPC-R3720 top view (left) and rear view of model with 6x LAN ports
(click images to enlarge)

The presumably fanless EPC-R3720 has a lockable 12V jack with a reset button plus -40 to 70°C support. Options are similar to those of the RSB-3720, except for the lack of LVDS display options. There are also wall and DIN-rail mounting options.

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the RSB-3720 SBC, which we saw on CNXSoft, or the EPC-R3720 system based on it. More information may be found on Advantech’s RSB-3720 and EPC-R3720 product pages, both of which are marked with “New” icons.
 

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