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COM Express module runs Linux on a 2.3GHz Tegra K1

Mar 4, 2015 — by Eric Brown 3,059 views

[Updated Aug. 10] — Seco is prepping a Linux-friendly COM Express Type 6 Compact module with a quad-core, 2.3GHz Tegra K1 SoC and optional extended temperature support.

When we covered the Nvidia Jetson TK1 single board computer last March, we didn’t realize the manufacturer was Seco. In addition to the Jetson TK1 (Seco product page here), Seco is now adding a COM Express Type 6 Compact computer-on-module called the SECOMExp-TK1, which similarly runs Linux on an Nvidia Tegra K1 SoC.

The SECOMExp-TK1 is not alone in spinning the Tegra K1 into a COM. Last week, GE Intelligent Platforms unveiled a rugged COM Express Type 10 Mini module called the mCOM10K1 that similarly runs Linux on a K1. Both Seco and GE are listed by Nvidia as Jetson TK1 support partners, along with Avionic Design, ICD, and Toshiba DME.

(click image to enlarge)

The Tegra K1 is equipped with four Cortex-A15 cores running at up to 2.3GHz, along with a 192-core Mobile Kepler GPU. The Tegra K1 has already been superseded by two new Tegra models. Last October, Nvidia released a 64-bit, dual-core “Denver” version of the K1, which fuels Google’s HTC-manufactured, Nexus 9 tablet.


Last month, Nvidia advanced to the 64-bit, 20nm fabricated Tegra X1. The X1 SoC, which drives the newly announced STB version of the Nvidia Shield Android TV gaming console, incorporates four Cortex-A57 cores and four -A53 cores along with a 256-core Maxwell GPU. The X1 is claimed to deliver twice the performance and twice the power efficiency of the K1.

Although Seco does not specify shock and vibration specs for the SECOMExp-TK1, in contrast to those listed for GE’s mCOM10K1, both modules feature soldered RAM and eMMC flash, for enhanced ruggedness and reliability. The Seco module is optionally available rated for -20 to 85°C operation, whereas the GE module appears to be limited to 0 to 65°C.

Block diagrams: SECOMExp-TK1 COM (left) and its Tegra K1 SoC

The Seco module is a somewhat more feature rich, though larger, COM than the GE module. The SECOMExp-TK1 supports up to 4GB of soldered DDR3L RAM, and up to 16GB of optional eMMC. Multimedia I/O includes HDMI with 4K support, as well as a choice of LVDS or eDP. A CSI camera interface is also available.

The SECOMExp-TK1 is equipped with a gigabit Ethernet controller, and supports a generous four USB 3.0 ports and eight USB 2.0 ports. You also get SATA 2.0, audio I/O, a pair of serial interfaces, and four PCIe x1 lanes. Other interfaces include GPIO, SPI, I2C, LPC, and SMBus.

The module features watchdog timer, a real time clock, and an optional second, low-power RTC. A “Linux for Tegra” BSP is also available.

Specifications listed for the SECOMExp-TK1 include:

  • Processor (soldered) — Nvidia Tegra K1 (4x Cortex-A15 cores @ up to 2.3GHz with 192-core Mobile Kepler GPU and power management core)
  • Memory — up to 4GB soldered DDR3L RAM; up to 16GB optional eMMC flash
  • Multimedia I/O (via COM Express Type 6 interface):
    • HDMI up to 4096 x 2160 (4K)
    • Single channel 18/24-bit LVDS up to 1920 x 1200 or eDP at up to 3840 x 2160
    • 2x MIPI CSI camera interfaces
    • Dual independent display support
    • Supports OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenGL 4.4, DirectX, 11.1, CUDA 6, 2160p30 HW encoding and decoding
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet controller
  • Other I/O (via COM Express Type 6 interface):
    • SATA 2.0
    • 4x USB 3.0
    • 8x USB 2.0
    • HD audio interface
    • 2x UARTS (TTL, TX/RX only)
    • 8x GPIO
    • SPI, I2C, LPC, SMBus
    • Up to 4x PCIe x1 lanes
  • Other features — watchdog, RTC with optional additional low-power RTC; thermal, fan, power management
  • Power — 12V input (5V optional)
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C; optional -20 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 95 x 95mm; COM Express Type 6 Compact
  • Operating system — Linux for Tegra (L4T) with flashing utilities, bootloader, kernel, Tegra hardware acceleration libraries, reference file system for evaluating Linux

Further information

The SECOMExp-TK1 will begin sampling in June, with mass production expected in September. More information may be found at Seco’s SECOMExp-TK1 product page.

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One response to “COM Express module runs Linux on a 2.3GHz Tegra K1”

  1. Daniel says:

    “Single channel 18/24-bit LVDS up to 3840 x 2160 or eDP up to 1920 x 1200”
    I think that it supports 1920 x 1200 via LVDS and 3840 x 2160 via eDP.

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