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Qseven module goes i.MX6, runs on 3 Watts

Jan 2, 2014  |  Eric Brown
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Advantech has launched a Linux- and Android-ready Qseven module called the ROM-7420 equipped with a Freescale i.MX6 SoC, capable of running on 3 Watts.

The ARM Cortex-A9-based Freescale i.MX6 system-on-chip has been a popular choice among embedded board and module vendors over the last two years. In part, this is because you can select how many cores you want. The i.MX6 also offers an interesting mix of low power consumption, multimedia-oriented features, and industrial I/O, including CAN support. The only other full-sized i.MX6 based Qseven computer-on-module we’ve heard of, however, is the MSC Q7-IMX6. In addition, Seco offers a half-size “µQseven” module called the µQ7-i.MX6.



ROM-7420, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

 

Unlike either of those products, the Advantech ROM-7420 is limited to the single- (Solo) and dual-core (Dual) i.MX6 models, and does not support the quad-core version. Both SoC models support 3D graphics, but only the Dual provides 1080p video hardware acceleration.

Compliant with Qseven 1.2, the COM measures a compact 70 x 70mm and weighs just 21 grams. Maximum power consumption is said to be a low 3.12 Watts, or less than 1 watt in power saving mode. With these attributes, the ROM-7420 is well suited for portable devices and mobile communications, as well as low-power signage, HMI, and industrial automation devices, says Advantech.

The ROM-7420 ships with up to 1GB of DDR3 RAM and 4GB of flash. It supports up to four independent displays, including dual LVDS displays, alongside HDMI and VGA sessions. I/O, which is extendible via the Qseven MXM connectors, include a gigabit Ethernet port, USB host and OTG ports, and SATA and SDIO storage. The module supports dual CAN buses, as well as SPI, I2S, I2C, GPIO, and UARTs. A PCI Express lane is also supplied.



ROM-7420 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

 

Options are said to include a “thermal solution,” which appears to be the same as a separately cited heatsink. This presumably extends the operating range beyond the standard 0 to 60°C. Additional options include Mini-PCIe WiFi or 3G cellular radios.

Specifications listed for the ROM-7420 include:

  • Processor — Freescale i.MX6 (1x or 2x Cortex-A9 cores @ 1GHz) with 2D and 3D graphics and video acceleration
  • Memory:
    • 512MB or 1GB DDR3 RAM
    • 4GB eMMC NAND flash
    • 4MB SPI NOR flash for Advantech boot loader
  • Display:
    • 2x 24-bit LVDS (1366 x 768 for 1ch., 1920 x 1080 for 2ch.)
    • VGA (1920 x 1080)
    • HDMI (1920 x 1080)
    • 4x simultaneous displays
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet controller
  • Other I/O (via Qseven MXM connectors):
    • SDIO/MMC (4-bit)
    • SATA II
    • USB 2.0 host
    • USB 2.0 OTG
    • I2S HD audio
    • 2x CAN 2.0B
    • 4x serial UART (2x with 2-wire 3.3V)
    • 3x I2C
    • SPI
    • PCIe x1 Gen2
  • Other features — RTC; watchdog; optional WiFi and 3G modules
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C; “thermal solution” optional
  • Power — 5V; 3.16W max. consumption, <1W standby
  • Dimensions — 70 x 70mm; Qseven 1.2
  • Operating system Linux kernel v3.0.35; supports Android 4.2.2

 
ROM-DB7500 evaluation board

A ROM-DB7500 development board is available for the ROM-7420 module, offering a 12V DC power input, and a variety of interfaces. Many of them appear to be full-sized coastline ports, including an HDMI port, an SD slot, the gigabit Ethernet port, and at least some of the three available USB host ports and OTG port. Other I/O available on the 170 x 170mm board include the VGA port, dual LVDS interfaces, four UARTs, a SATA connection, dual CAN ports, and GPIO headers.



ROM-DB7500 evaluation board

 

Schematics and layout checklists are available for carrier board development, along with a Linux 3.x board support package (BSP), test and design utilities, and reference codes, says the company. Advantech also offers its “RISC Design-in Support Services,” including planning, design, integration, and validation. Additional services include evaluative image, BSP, and custom design services.

 
Further information

The ROM-7420 module and ROM-DB7500 evaluation carrier board are available now at an unstated price. More information may be found at the ROM-7420 and ROM-DB7500 product pages, respectively.

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