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Tiny i.MX8M Mini module plugs into carrier via M.2

Aug 13, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 691 views

InnoComm’s audio focused “WB15” module is built around an i.MX8M Mini SoC and ships with 1GB LPDDR4, 8GB eMMC, WiFi/BT, and connectors that plug into dual M.2 expansion slots on the $195 “WB15EVK” dev kit.

InnoComm has launched a tiny, 50 x 45mm compute module equipped with NXP’s quad-core, Cortex-A53 i.MX8M Mini SoC. The WB15 is designed for streaming audio applications including wireless smart speakers. This is the first module we’ve seen that connects to its carrier board via a pair of M.2 E-Key expansion slots. (See farther below for more on the WB15EVK dev kit.)



WB15 alone (left) and plugged into WB15EVK carrier via dual M.2 slots
(click images to enlarge)

InnoComm’s WB15 follows its i.MX8M-based WB10 module, which was spun into an Android Things specific WB10-AT product. The WB10-AT was pulled from the market along with boards from Intrinsyc and MediaTek when Google discontinued its public Android Things development support. The WB10 is now available as the WB10-P. As with the WB15, no OS support was listed, but Linux is NXP’s featured OS choice for both the i.MX8M and Mini.

InnoComm did not list a clock rate for the 14nm-fabricated i.MX8M Mini, which typically goes to 1.8GHz. Although the power-efficient Mini is faster than the larger i.MX8M, it’s limited to 1080p60 instead of 4K video.

The Mini SoC has GCNanoUltra (3D) and GC320 (2D) graphics cores and a speedy, 400MHz Cortex-M4 MCU. Other Mini-based modules include Emtrion’s emCON-MX8MM, Keith & Koep’s Trizeps VIII, iWave’s iW-RainboW-G34M-SM, Variscite’s DART-MX8M-Mini, and SolidRun’s i.MX 8M Mini SOM.

The WB15 module is equipped with 1GB LPDDR4, 8GB eMMC, a native GbE controller, and onboard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (MIMO 2×2) with Bluetooth 4.2. There’s also a Rohm PMIC.



WB15 (left) and i.MX8M Mini block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

Media features include a MIPI-DSI display connector and digital audio I/O including SAI/I2S, S/PDIF, PDM, and DSD512. The module supports single USB 2.0 host and USB 2.0 OTG ports, as well as I2C, SPI, SDIO, UART, PCIe, GPIO, PWM, and MIPI-CSI.

 
WB15EVK dev kit

The optional WB15EVK development kit for the WB15 module is a double-board design that appears to be roughly the size of a Raspberry Pi. It also supplies a Pi-style 40-pin expansion header with I2Cs, UARTs, eCSPI, PWM, GPIOs, and power interfaces.



Underside view of WB15EVK development kit with WB15 module attached

The WB15EVK provides a microSD slot, as well as GbE, USB 2.0 host, micro-USB OTG, and micro-USB debug ports. There’s an SAI audio connector, as well as a single 4-lane MIPI-DSI interface and 2x MIPI-CSI (4- and 2-lane) links. Power and reset buttons are also available.

In place of the dual M.2 slots, you can order the module — and the WB15EVK dev kit — with an optional 60-pin board-to-board connector. This option would appear to replace the M.2 sockets, which would not be available for general expansion.

 
Further information

No pricing information was available for the WB15 module, but the WB15EVK dev kit that includes it sells for $195.13 with free shipping at Arrow. More information may be found on Innocomm’s WB15 product page and the WB15EVK product and Arrow shopping pages.
 

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