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Tiny i.MX6 UL module loves Android Things

Jun 2, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 1,130 views
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Murata’s “Aquila 6UL” is a 40 x 40mm COM with WiFi, Bluetooth, and 4GB eMMC, that runs Android Things or Linux on an NXP i.MX6 UL.

Electronics component vendor Murata has introduced the Aquila 6UL, which appears to be its first computer-on-module. It’s also one of the first boards we’ve seen aside from Wandboard.org’s similarly i.MX6 UL-based PICO-IMX6UL-KIT SBC to support Google’s IoT focused Android Things revamp of its previous Brillo OS. The Aquila 6UL is the first of a series of Murata Aquila SOM modules optimized for Android Things.



Aquila 6UL
(click image to enlarge)

The 40 x 40 x 5mm Aquila 6UL is not the smallest module to adopt NXP’s single-core, 528MHz Cortex-A7 i.MX6 UL (UltraLite). Other UL-based entries include Digi’s 29 x 29mm ConnectCore 6UL and TechNexion’s 40 x 34mm PICO-IMX6UL module. Yesterday, we saw the tiniest COM based on the similarly low power, small footprint i.MX7, with Compulab’s 30 x 27mm UCM-iMX7.

The Aquila 6UL is designed for IoT applications such as sensor networks, audio, video, device control, medical and healthcare, and M2M applications. The module runs Linux in addition to Android Things.

The key component of the Aquila 6UL aside from the i.MX6 UL is a wireless module based on the Cypress CYW4343W chipset, which provides 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1. There’s also an RF front end and both an onboard chip antenna and U.FL antenna connector.

The wireless module appears to use Murata’s own Type 1DX, although we saw no mention of it. It provides a maximum transfer rate of 65Mbps, as well as +17dBm @ 11Mbps transmission power in WiFi mode and -89dBm @ 11Mbps receiver sensitivity.



Aquila 6UL block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The Aquila 6UL COM is equipped with 512 MB RAM and 4GB eMMC. Dual 80-pin board-to-board connectors provide Ethernet, as well as MIPI-CSI, LCD, and USB host and OTG interfaces. Other I/O includes ADC, CAN, I2C, I2S, JTAG, PWM, SPI, UART, and GPIO. The 5V module integrates a PMIC and an LED, and can operate at 0 to 70°C.


Murata IoT SOM EVK
(click images to enlarge)

The Aquila 6UL is available with a Murata IoT SOM EVK, an evaluation kit that combines the module with a Murata bridge board that connects to a larger NXP MCIMX6UL-BBPF baseboard via a SODIMM interface. The baseboard includes an Ethernet port, USB host and OTG ports, an audio jack, and an LCD interface. Also available on the board-set is an accelerometer, digital magnetometer, and gyroscope.

 
Further information

The unpriced Aquila 6UL is said to be under development. More information may be found at Murata’s Aquila 6UL product page.
 

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