SolidRun has updated its tiny, Linux-ready i.MX6 based MicroSoM modules with optional eMMC and NOR flash, improved FlexCAN, and TI WiLink8 wireless.
SolidRun has refurbished its NXP i.MX6-based MicroSoM computer-on-modules with new rev 1.5 versions featuring optional eMMC and/or NOR flash, among other additions. Despite some minor mechanical redesigns, the modules have the same 47 x 30mm dimensions, and are backward compatible. They can be plugged into existing MicroSoM companion products such as SolidRun’s sandwich-style, open-spec HummingBoard SBCs and CuBox-i mini-PCs. All the modules continue to run Linux or Android.
MicroSoM Rev 1.5 (left) and Rev 1.3
SolidRun calls the modules the industry’s smallest i.MX6-based COMs, but then clarifies this statement by saying the platform “the smallest SoM available to feature all of the necessary subsystems and connectivity options needed for consumer, automotive and industrial grade IoT applications.” However, Variscite’s 50 x 20mm DART-MX6 appears to be the smallest.
i.MX6 MicroSoM Rev 1.5 (left) and Rev 1.3 angled views
(click images to enlarge)
The Rev 1.5 modules offer several new features that were previously reserved for the carrier board on the Rev 1.3 version. Improvements are said to include memory and power management, FlexCan, multiple UART interfaces for supporting RS232 and RS485, as well as options for 4GB eMMC and/or SPI NOR flash. It’s unclear whether there’s a microSD option on the module or only on the HummingBoard carriers.
MicroSoM Rev 1.5 block diagram (left) and Rev 1.3 diagram
(click images to enlarge)
The previous Broadcom BCM4329 wireless module has been upgraded to a more industrial TI WiLink 8 module with 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1. SolidRun has also added a second U.FL antenna connector. There are still a pair of 80-pin Hirose DF40 board-to-board headers, but the additional 70-pin header is now said to be optional.
As before, there are separate models depending on whether you choose Solo, DualLite, Dual, or Quad-core versions of the Cortex-A9-based i.MX6. All the cores are upgradable from 1GHz to 1.2GHz. Vivante GPUs are available in GC880 versions for the SOM i1 and i2 (Solo and DualLite) or more advanced GC2000 versions for the SOM i2ex (Dual) and i4Pro (Quad).
SolidRun makes no mention of having moved to NXP’s new i.MX6 DualPlus and QuadPlus versions, which are the same as the originals except for an improvement of memory utilization by more than 50 percent. NXP has updated its SABRE development board with the QuadPlus, and in May, iWave updated its Qseven SOMs. Last month VIA Technologies announced that a number of its i.MX6 based products had made the switch to the Plus SoCs, as well.
Once again, RAM depends on the MicroSoM SKU, with 512MB of DDR3 available on the SOM i1, 1GB on the i2ex, and 2GB on the i4Pro. A GbE controller is onboard, along with display interfaces including HDMI, DSI, Parallel, and LVDS, with dual display support. Supported interfaces include USB 2.0 host and OTG, S/PDIF, PCIe 2.0, CAN, JTAG, 1-Wire, and digital audio serial.
SATA II is available on the the i2ex and i4Pro, which also get 4-lane CSI instead of 2-lane. Additional I/O includes 3x serial, 3x I2C, 3x SPI, 4x PWM, and 75x GPIO. The 5V modules have 3.3V I/O voltage, and all four models have commercial (0 to 60°C), industrial (-40 to 85°C), and automotive (-40 to 105°C) temperature ranges.
“Our MicroSoM was purposefully designed to be small yet flexible and is offered in low-power single core applications for consumer products to powerful quad core applications for advanced products like robotics,” stated Kossay Omary, SolidRun co-founder and technology leader. “Additionally, we offer a wide array of options like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, storage and a CAN bus to serve the automotive industry as well as the growing number of industrial IoT products driving the Industry 4.0 revolution.”