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Customizable compute module and eval kit run Linux on i.MX8X

Aug 21, 2019 — by Eric Brown 618 views

CompuLab’s rugged “CL-SOM-iMX8X” module runs Linux on a quad -A35 i.MX8X and offers up to 4GB LPDDR4 and 64GB eMMC, up to 2x GbE, and optional 802.11ac/BT 4.2. There’s also a $395 eval kit.

CompuLab, which has previously launched NXP i.MX8M-based CL-SOM-iMX8 and i.MX8M Mini based UCM-iMX8M-Mini modules, has now returned with a module that supports the i.MX8X. Like the CL-SOM-iMX8, the new CL-SOM-iMX8X is a SODIMM-style module. It’s designed for industrial HMI, building control, image processing systems, IoT gateways, medical devices, and metering systems.

CL-SOM-iMX8X (left) and EVAL-iMX8X kit
(click images to enlarge)

NXP’s power-efficient, Cortex-A35 based i.MX8X is clocked to 1.2GHz and includes a 266MHz Cortex-M4 chip and a Tensilica HiFi 4 DSP. CompuLab is offering only the quad-core i.MX8X QuadXPlus rather than the dual-core models. It’s available with or without a 4-shader Vivante GT7000Lite GPU.

Other i.MX8X-based modules include Kontron’s SMARC-sAMX8X, Congatec’s Qseven-based Conga-QMX8X, F&S’ efus MX8X, Phytec’s phyCORE-i.MX 8X, Variscite’s VAR-SOM-MX8X, and the Toradex Colibri iMX8X and Digi ConnectCore 8X.

Block diagrams for CL-SOM-iMX8X (left) and NXP’s i.MX8X
(click images to enlarge)

The CL-SOM-iMX8X is available with 1GB to 4GB LPDDR4 and 4GB to 64GB eMMC. CompuLab will optionally preload a downloadable Linux BSP with ready-to-run images. It includes mainline Linux kernel 4.14, a Yocto Project SDK, the U-Boot bootloader, and an RTOS BSP for the MCU.


As usual with CompuLab, there are a lot of options, and pricing is detailed in an online configurator. You can purchase it with or without a certified wireless module with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2, which uses up your sole PCIe Gen 3.0 interface. You can also choose between one, two, or no Gigabit Ethernet controllers at all.

Even the USB interfaces are a la carte. A USB 2.0 OTG interface is standard, and if you haven’t already used up the PCIe connection for wireless, you can use it to add a USB 2.0 host interface. For only $2 more, you can add a USB hub with three more USB 2.0 host interfaces. Additional I/O includes up to 4x UARTs, 3x CAN-FD, 4x SPI, 3x I2C, 4x PWM, 5x ADC, and 96x GPIOs.

If you purchase the standard i.MX8X model with GPU, you can drive dual independent displays via 2x MIPI-DSI (4-lane) and 2x single/dual channel LVDS, both at up to 1080p resolution with capacitive touch support. Other media features include 4-lane MIPI-CSI, S/PDIF audio I/O, and “up to” 1x I2S/SAI digital audio.

The 68 x 38 x 5mm, 14-gram module is further equipped with an RTC, a JTAG debug interface, and a 4.0V to 4.5V input that delivers 3.3V I/O voltage. Ruggedization features include a choice between 0 to 70°C, -20 to 70°C, and -40 to 85°C temperature ranges, as well as standard 10% to 90% humidity, 50G/20ms shock, and 20G, 0-600Hz vibration resistance.

EVAL-iMX8X evaluation kit

The CL-SOM-iMX8X is supported with an EVAL-iMX8X evaluation kit built around an SB-iMX8X carrier board. The 160 x 136 x 22mm SB-iMX8X board is equipped with 2x GbE, 2x USB 2.0 host, and micro-USB OTG and debug ports.

SB-iMX8X carrier and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

There’s a combined MIPI-DSI/LVDS header and a MIPI-DSI FPC connector with capacitive touch that supports an optional, 5-inch LCD panel. The CSI connector supports an optional camera module.

The SB-iMX8X board is further equipped with full-size mini-PCIe and SD slots and various I/O headers. There’s an 8-18V input and the same ruggedization features found on the CL-SOM-iMX8X module.

The EVAL-iMX8X kit includes WiFi antennas, USB and MIPI-DSI to HDMI adapters, a 12V power supply, and various cables. You also get a 12-month technical support contract, schematics, bill of materials, and layout files for the carrier board.

Further information

The CL-SOM-iMX8X module starts at $73 for 1K volume orders, and the EVAL-iMX8X evaluation kit is available for $395, including the module. More information may be found in CompuLab’s CL-SOM-iMX8X announcement and product page, as well as the SB-iMX8X (EVAL-iMX8X) product page.

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