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Raspberry Pi CM3 carrier has an Artik MCU for offline Bluetooth

Mar 20, 2018 — by Eric Brown — 946 views

Resin.io’s fleet-oriented “Fin” carrier runs its Docker-friendly ResinOS and Resin.io IoT framework on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module. It offers RPi 3 like ports, plus a mini-PCIe slot and an Artik 020 MCU for offline Bluetooth links.

Resin.io, the company behind the Linux/Javascript-based Resin.io IoT framework for deploying applications as Docker containers, as well as the related ResinOS 2.0 Linux distribution, has announced its first hardware product. Due to ship later this Spring for about $129, its Project Fin carrier board expands upon the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 Lite to support fleet operations.



Fin, front and back (with RPi CM3)
(click images to enlarge)

Resin.io developed Project Fin for its many customers who use the technology for controlling in-vehicle computers in fleet operations. Like many embedded boards, including the Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, and Odroid-C1, the Raspberry Pi CM3 is optimized to run the Yocto Project based, Docker-optimized ResinOS distribution. However, the Fin can also act as a general-purpose carrier board running other RPi compatible Linux distributions. The board will be “open spec, but not fully open source,” Resin.io tells us.

Resin.io recently announced an update about the delays in moving beyond Beta to release the full ResinOS based Resin.io IoT framework as an open source platform, saying that it is now targeting a September release. (For more details on ResinOS and the Resin.io framework, see our earlier coverage, here and here.)


RPi CM3

The rugged (-25 to 70°C) board is equipped with an automotive friendly 6-30V power input. It supports the $25 Lite version of the RPi CM3, which instead of offering 4GB eMMC, gives you a connector that lets you choose whether to add eMMC or a microSD slot. Here, Resin.IO uses the feature to offer a choice of 8GB to 64GB of eMMC 5.1.

The Fin is notable for offering a Samsung Artik 020 module built around the Silicon Labs Wireless Gecko, a 40MHz Cortex-M4F SoC with floating point and a Bluetooth 4.2 radio. The Gecko provides the 15 x 12.9 x 2.2mm module with its 32KB RAM, 256KB flash, and a crypto chip with random number generator.

The Artik 020 can operate — and access the Fin’s RTC — even when the CM3 is turned off, “thereby enabling the Fin to perform well in real-time and low-power scenarios,” says Resin.io. The Artik can “programmatically shut down and spawn back up” the CM3, says Resin.io.



Block diagrams: Artik 020/030 (left) and Silicon Labs Wireless Gecko
(click images to enlarge)

In addition to the Artik’s Bluetooth module, the Fin provides dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi-ac, and supports an external antenna for WiFi and Bluetooth. A mini-PCIe slot is paired with a nano-SIM slot for adding cellular radios. The Fin is equipped with 10/100 Ethernet, HDMI, and dual USB host ports, plus MIPI-DSI and -CSI connectors and a 40-pin RPi HAT compatible expansion connector.

Specifications listed for the Project Fin carrier with Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 Lite include:

  • Processor:
    • CPU (via RPi CM3) — Broadcom BCM2837 (4x Cortex A53 @ 1.2GHz; 400MHz VideoCore IV GPU
    • MCU — Samsung Artik 020 (32-bit Cortex M4 core @ 40MHz)
  • Memory (via RPi CM3) — 1GB of LPDDR2 RAM
  • Storage — 8/16/32/64 GB eMMC 5.1
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI port with CEC
    • MIPI-DSI (RPi compatible)
    • MIPI-CSI (RPi compatible)
  • Wireless:
    • Dual-band 802.11ac/a/b/g/n 2.4/5GHz WiFi
    • Bluetooth 4.2 Smart (via Artik 020)
    • WiFi/BT ant. Connector
    • Nano-SIM card slot for mini-PCIe cellular
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • 40-pin RPi HAT compatible connector (I2C, SPI, UART, GPIO, ADC)
  • Expansion — Mini-PCIe slot (USB, UART and I2C(; nano-SIM slot
  • Other features — RTC with coin cell (via I2C); 10x LEDs including programmable RGB LED; optional consumer and industrial enclosures
  • Power — 6 to 30V (5V @ 2.5A via HAT)
  • Operating temperature — -25 to 70°C
  • Operating system — Any RPi compatible Linux; supports ResinOS with Resin.io IoT framework.

 
Further information

The Fin is expected go on sale later this Spring for $129 for the basic 8GB eMMC model, not including the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 Lite ($25-$30). More information may be found in Resion.io’s Project Fin announcement.
 

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