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Tiny i.MX6 module has a trim little carrier too

Dec 1, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1565 views

E-Con’s Linux-ready “eSOMiMX6-micro” COM offers an i.MX6 SoC, optional WiFi/BT and GbE, and a 54 x 20mm footprint. Its “Meissa-I” carrier is only 80 x 40mm.

In 2014, we called the E-Con Systems eSOMiMX6 computer-on-module “tiny” because it used the 70 x 45mm “μQseven” form-factor to expand upon the i.MX6 SoC. Now E-Con has bested that with a eSOMiMX6-micro model that similarly supports NXP’s 800MHz, dual- or quad-core i.MX6, but with an even smaller 54 x 20mm (1,080 sq. mm) footprint. This doesn’t quite match Variscite’s 50 x 20mm (1,000 sq. mm) DART-MX6, but it beats out others including Mistral’s 44 x 26mm (1,144 sq. mm) Nano SOM.

eSOMiMX6-micro (left) and size comparison with older eSOMiMX6
(click images to enlarge)

If the eSOMiMX6-micro is not quite the smallest i.MX6 module around, it ships with what appears to be the smallest i.MX6 carrier board. The “Meissa-I” development kit has a carrier board that measures only 80 x 40mm compared to 135 x 90mm for the previous “Ankaa” kit.

The $340 Meissa-I kit is available through Dec. 15 at a special price of $299, including the eSOMiMX6-micro module. The kit ships with schematics, hardware user manual, bill of material, application notes, as well as Linux drivers. Android Marshmallow drivers are in the works. Intended applications include handhelds, wearables, and medical devices.

The feature set of the eSOMiMX6-micro is much the same as the μQseven version except that E-Con has switched from up to 1GB DDR3 to 1GB LPDDR2. Once again, you get 4GB eMMC flash, expandable to 64GB, plus optional GbE and WiFi-n/Bluetooth 4.0 BLE. Other options include “fuse to boot” to SD, SPI, and eMMC.

eSOMiMX6-micro block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Media features are also similar, with 2x LVDS, MIPI-DSI, and HDMI connections, as well as Parallel and 4-lane MIPI-CSI camera interfaces. USB 2.0 host and OTG ports are on tap along with PCIe and a host of industrial interfaces like FlexCAN and PWM. The SATA support and 50x GPIO seem to have disappeared, however, and the industrial temperature option is -35 to 85°C instead of -40 to 85°C. The standard version is 0 to 70°C.

Meissa-I Development Board

The 80 x 40mm Meissa-I carrier is smaller than a credit card, but features all the basics needed to get started with the eSOMiMX6-micro. There’s no GbE port, so you’ll need the WiFi option on the COM. The carrier is equipped with an HDMI port and dual LVDS connectors, and both a micro-USB OTG port and a mini-USB port for debug.

Meissa-I carrier board (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

Additional features include a microSD slot, audio jack and onboard mic, I2C interface, and RTC with battery socket. Both Parallel and MIPI-CSI interfaces are onboard, with the latter supporting an optional, $149 3.4-megapixel camera add-on board with an AR0330 sensor and S-mount interchangeable lens holder.

The Meissa-I board is available in the same temperature ranges as the eSOMiMX6-micro. Other features in the kit include an HDMI to HDMI Cable, USB to serial port cable, 12V power supply, and preinstalled Linux BSP with Uboot. OEM customization services are also available.

Further information

The eSOMiMX6-micro module is available starting at $89, and the $340 Meissa-I development kit is discounted through Dec. 15 starting at $299, plus $149 for the optional camera among other options. More information may be found on the E-Con Systems eSOMiMX6-micro and Meissa-I product pages.

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