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Tiny LGA module and carrier board showcase i.MX8M Mini

Oct 7, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 499 views

TechNexion has launched a rugged “XOREIMX8MM” module with a 30 x 30mm LGA form factor that runs Linux on an i.MX8M Mini with up to 4GB LPDDR4 and 16GB eMMC. There’s also an “XCORE-WIZARD” carrier in the works.

We’ve seen a lot of tiny compute modules based on the i.MX8M Mini, which is understandable considering the up to quad-core, 14nm fabricated Mini has a small footprint and is aimed at IoT devices such as smart speakers. Yet, TechNexion’s 30 x 30mm XOREIMX8MM (or XORE-IMX8M-MINI) beats them all on miniaturization, including the previous size leader, CompuLab’s 38 x 28mm UCM-iMX8M-Mini.

Other extremely small Mini modules include TechNexion’s own, 40 x 37mm PICO-IMX8M-Mini, which has just been updated with Qt BSP support (see farther below) and InnoComm’s recent, M.2 form-factor WB15, which has a 50 x 45mm footprint. TechNexion also offers a larger, customizable AXON-IMX8M-Mini and a SODIMM-style FLEX-IMX8M-Mini module that were announced with the PICO-IMX8M-Mini.



XOREIMX8MM, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The XOREIMX8MM uses a Land Grid Array (LGA) form-factor, which is the last stop toward extreme integration on the way to the even more integrated System-in-Package (SiP) technology. Like castellated edge modules, LGA modules can be soldered directly onto a carrier board for easier integration. Other LGA modules we’ve seen include the BeagleCore BeagleBone Black clone and Dog Hunter’s WiFi-enabled, Atheros AR9331 based Chiwawa module, which appeared on the Arduino Industrial 101.

TechNexion is selling single units of the XOREIMX8MM for $75, and it will presumably be available with cheaper volume discounts once the module reaches full production. The CNXSoft story that alerted us to this unannounced product found a YouTube video (embedded farther below) that mentions an upcoming development board for the module — and which pronounces the XORE as “CORE.”

The XOREIMX8MM supports Solo, Dual, and Quad versions of NXP’s i.MX8M Mini. The SoC supplies speedy, 1.8GHz Cortex-A53 cores and a Cortex-M4 real-time chjp. Its Vivante GC7000Lite GPU is limited to HD video instead of 4K on the slower, more feature rich i.MX8M. OS support is listed as Linux, Yocto, Ubuntu, and Android.



XOREIMX8MM and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

Weighing a mere 5 grams, the module has a combo module that incorporates 2GB or 4GB of LPDDR4 and a default allotment of 16GB eMMC, expandable to 32GB or 64GB. There’s also a ROHM BD71847 PMIC to monitor the 5V DC power.

The XOREIMX8MM offers a 4-lane MIPI-CSI interface, as well as I/O including MIPI-DSI, PCIe, and an RGMII interface for enabling Ethernet. You also get USB, USB OTG, I2S, SDIO, UART, SPI, I2C, PWM, and GPIO.

You can purchase the module in commercial (0 to 60°C), extended (-20 to 70°C), and industrial (-40 to 85°C) versions. Other ruggedization features include 15G, half-sine, 11ms shock resistance, as well as 1Grms, random, 5-500Hz hr/axis vibration tolerance and a 10-90% humidity range.

 
XCORE-WIZARD-IMX8M-Mini

The upcoming XCORE-WIZARD-IMX8M-Mini development board described in the video below solders the XOREIMX8MM directly to the board,. The XCORE-WIZARD is equipped with micro-USB, micro-USB serial debug, USB Type-C, and dual USB host ports. Other features include an Ethernet port, audio jack, MIPI-CSI connector, and a MIPI-DSI connector for modules that connect an optional, up to 10-inch touchscreens or a module that enables dual-channel LVDS.



XCORE-WIZARD-IMX8M-Mini, front and back

The XCORE-WIZARD comes with a pre-certified PIXI-9377-S wireless radio module based on a Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 5.0. For expansion, there’s a mini-PCIe slot and M.2 slot plus dual SIM card slots on the back. Also on the back are dual MikroE Click connectors for adding sensors and wireless modules.


XCORE-WIZARD side view

The carrier includes a 40-pin GPIO connector for adding Raspberry Pi HATs such as a TechNexion Voice Hat kit with 2x mics, 2x speakers, 8x buttons, and 5x LEDs. Other features include a power jack and reset button.



XOREIMX8MM and XCORE-WIZARD-IMX8M-Mini introduction on YouTube

 
TechNexion modules gain Qt support

On Oct. 3, TechNexion posted its first press release since late February, announcing the availability of Qt Board Support Packages (QBSPs) for the previously mentioned PICO-IMX8M-Mini. There’s also a QBSP for the similar, but i.MX8M-based PICO-IMX8M.



PICO-IMX8M-Mini (2GB with WiFi) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

 
Further information

The XOREIMX8MM module is sampling in single units for $75. No pricing or availability information was yet available for the XCORE-WIZARD-IMX8M-Mini carrier board. More information may be found on TechNexion’s XOREIMX8MM product and shopping pages.
 

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