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First i.MX8 QuadMax SBC breaks cover

Mar 14, 2019 — by Eric Brown 2,948 views

Seco announced a 3.5-inch “SBC-C43” that runs Linux or Android on an up to hexa-core i.MX8 with up to 8GB soldered DDR4 and 32GB eMMC plus WiFi/BT, 2x GbE, 3x USB, HDMI 2.0 in and out, 2x M.2, and -40 to 85°C support.

We’ve seen about a half dozen compute modules based on the high-end, Cortex-A72 enabled i.MX8, mostly recently including Variscite’s VAR-SOM-MX8 and SPEAR-MX8. Seco’s 3.5-inch SBC-C43, however, is the first SBC we’ve encountered. The 3.5-inch SBC offers soldered memories and optional industrial temperature support. It’s designed for biomedical and medical devices, digital signage and infotainment, edge computing, industrial automation, IoT, smart vision, and vending.

SBC-C43, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The SBC-C43 offers NXP’s default Yocto Project Linux stack, as well as Wind River Linux and Android. The SBC supports all three flavors of i.MX8, including the QuadMax with 2x Cortex-A72 cores and 4x Cortex-A53 cores, the QuadPlus with a single Cortex-A72 and 4x -A53, and the Quad with no -A72 cores and 4x -A53. No clock rates were listed but Toradex’s Apalis iMX8 module clocks the -A72 cores at 1.6GHz and the -A53 cores at 1.26GHz.

All three models also feature 2x Cortex-M4F real-time cores and 2x Vivante GPU/VPU cores. The QuadMax integrates the GC7000XSVX GPU while the other two models have the Lite version. Video support is the same, however, with 4K30 decoding and the ability to drive up to 4x displays at once. Note, however, that you’re sharing the 4K resolution between the different outputs.


The SBC-C43 supports up to 8GB DDR4 and up to 32GB eMMC, both soldered to the board for greater reliability. There’s also some boot flash, a microSD slot, and SATA support via the M.2 Key B slot, which can alternatively load a modem card or other M.2 PCIe add-ons.

There’s also a non-storage ready M.2 Key E slot and an accompanying SIM card slot. The SBC supplies 2x GbE ports and a WiFi 5 (ac) with Bluetooth module plus internal antennas.

SBC-C43 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Media I/O includes HDMI 2.0a output and input ports, an optional eDP connector, and dual-channel LVDS. You also get 4-lane MIPI-CSI and an audio I/O connector. USB 3.0 and 2.0 host ports are available along with a micro-USB 2.0 OTG port. Internal I/O includes 2x USB, 3x serial, 3x CAN, 6x GPIO, and more.

Specifications listed for the SBC-C43 include:

  • Processor — NXP i.MX8 with VPU with H.265 (4K30) and H.264 (1080p60) decoding and H.264 (1080p30) encoding:
    • i.MX 8QuadMax — 2x Cortex-A72, 4x Cortex-A53, 2x Cortex-M4F, 2x Vivante GC7000 / XVSX GPU/VPU
    • i.MX 8QuadPlus — 1x Cortex-A72, 4x Cortex-A53, 2x Cortex-M4F, 2x GC7000Lite / XVSX GPU/VPU
    • i.MX 8Quad — 4x Cortex-A53, 2x Cortex-M4F, 2x GC7000Lite / XVSX GPU/VPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • 2GB, 4GB, 6GB, or 8GB soldered, 1600MHz DDR4
    • 4MB Quad SPI NAND flash (boot only)
    • Up to 32GB soldered eMMC 5.1
    • MicroSD slot
    • SATA via M.2 Key B (see expansion below)
  • Networking/wireless:
    • 2x GbE ports
    • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac + BT LE 4.2 module with ceramic SMT antennas
    • M.2 slots (see expansion below)
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 2.0a output port up to 4K
    • HDMI 2.0a input port
    • Optional eDP to 4K
    • Dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS up to 1080p
    • Quadruple display support
    • 2x 4-lane MIPI-CSI
    • I2S audio codec
    • Mic-in, line-out via single combo TRRS connector
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port
    • USB 2.0 header plus up to 2x more via M.2 slots
    • 3x UARTs (RS-485/RS-422, RS-232, TTL)
    • 3x CAN
    • 6x GPIO
    • 4x analog inputs
    • SPI, I2C
  • Expansion:
    • M.2 Key E for PCIe/USB wireless, etc.
    • M.2 Key B for SATA, PCI-e x1, etc. (see memory/storage above)
    • SIM slot
  • Other features — RTC
  • Power — 12VDC input
  • Operating temperature — 0 to or 60°C or -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 146 x 102mm (3.5-inch)
  • Operating system — Yocto, Wind River Linux, Android

Further information

The SBC-C43 is still listed as being in “development” stage rather than sampling. More information may be found on Seco’s SBC-C43 product page.


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