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$149 Nano-ITX carrier extends Verdin SoMs including upcoming i.MX8M Plus module

Jul 28, 2020 — by Eric Brown — 413 views

Toradex has launched an open-spec “Dahlia” carrier for its i.MX8M Mini and Nano based Verdin modules with GbE, 2x USB 3.0, 3x USB Type-C, MIPI-CSI, DSI-based HDMI, and mini-PCIe. Toradex also revealed a Verdin module with the NPU-enabled i.MX8M Plus.

When Toradex announced a new family of Linux-driven, i.MX8M driven Verdin compute modules at Embedded World this year, it also launched a high-end Verdin Development Board along and revealed an upcoming, open-spec Dahlia carrier. The 120 x 120mm, Nano-ITX form factor Dahlia has now arrived with a surprisingly low $148.90 price.



Dahlia
(click images to enlarge)

Toradex also announced it is planning a Verdin iMX8M Plus module using NXP’s new AI-enhanced i.MX8M Plus. No more details were available on the Verdin iMX8M Plus, which runs Linux on the 1.8GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A53 i.MX8M Plus. The currently sampling SoC features a 2.3 TOPS NPU that can process AI algorithms on MobileNet v1 at over 500 images per second, claims NXP. Other features include a 3D GPU, a Cortex-M7 MCU, a HiFi4 DSP, and dual ISPs.

 
Dahlia

The Dahlia carrier board supports the Verdin iMX8M Mini and Verdin iMX8M Nano, as well as the upcoming Verdin iMX8M Plus. The modules are based on NXP’s i.MX8M Mini, as well as the slightly scaled down i.MX8M Nano and the AI-enhanced Plus model, all with up to 4x Cortex-A53 cores and Cortex-M MCUs.



Verdin modules supported by Dahlia carrier
(click image to enlarge)

The Verdin form factor has a 69.6 x 35mm footprint that is similar to that of Toradex’s earlier Colibri family but supports 260 I/O pins on its SODIMM connector compared to 200. Verdin has a more battery-friendly design with a wide 3.3 to 5V input range and low-power 1.8V I/Os.


Verdin iMX8M Mini/Nano, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The Dahlia is more limited than the $318, 250 x 200mm Verdin Development Board, but more feature-rich than Gumstix’s $145 Verdin EdgeAI carrier. The Verdin EdgeAI, however, offers the advantage of board customization within the Geppetto online service, as well as a more compact 125 x 85mm footprint and an M.2 slot instead of the mini-PCIe on the Dahlia. There is also a new VSC4436 Verdin carrier from Linear Computing that we will cover in a separate report.


Dahlia detail view (left) and USB portion of gigantic Dahlia block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The Dahlia’s most notable feature is the presence of 3x USB 2.0 Type-C ports. One is devoted to power input with both power delivery (PD) and battery charging (BC) support. Power delivery is also available on a dual-role Type-C OTG port, and if that’s not enough there is a barrel jack that supports 5-27V DC input.

The third Type-C port supports 2x UART, serial debug, and JTAG, which is also available via a pin header. According to Toradex, JTAG will probably not be required unless you need to do advanced programming of the i.MX8M SoCs’ Cortex-M cores.

The Dahlia is further equipped with 2x USB 3.0 host ports, a GbE port, and microSD, mini-PCIe, and nano-SIM card slots. CAN is available via a spring-loaded connector, and other headers include 4x UART, 3x I2C, 4x analog inputs, 3x PWM, 47x GPIO, and single SPI and QSPI interfaces.

Media features include a 4-lane MIPI-DSI connector that can be converted to an HDMI port via a bundled adapter. You also get 4-lane MIPI-CSI2, a 3.5mm audio I/O jack, and line-in and -out headers. The board supports 0 to 70°C temperatures and offers power, reset, and recovery buttons.

The Dahlia carrier ships with the Verdin Linux BSP. The package includes a Yocto-based reference image and Toradex’s easy-to-use, container-enabled Torizon distro, which is also based on Yocto. The board ships with validated PDF schematics, Bill of Materials (BOMs), and Altium project files, including schematics, layout and IPC-7351 compliant component libraries,

 
Further information

The Dahlia is available for $148.90 plus your choice of Verdin modules, which range from $78.80 to $131.40 for Verdin iMX8M Mini modules in single units to $67.95 to $113.05 in over 500-unit quantities, depending on number of cores, RAM, and other features. The iMX8M Nano should be available soon and the iMX8M Plus is farther off. More information may be found in Toradex’s announcement and product page.

 
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