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Five-port Arm networking SBC offers LVDS link

Oct 27, 2020 — by Eric Brown — 3614 views

Forlinx has a new “OK1028A-C” networking board based on a “FET1028A-C” module that runs Linux on a dual -A72 NXP LS1028A. The SBC features 5x GbE ports with TSN plus an LVDS link for HMI.

Last year, Forlinx launched the headless OK1043A-C and OK1046A networking SBCs, which run Linux on NXP’s quad-core, Cortex-A53 LS1043A and quad -A72 LS1046A SoCs, respectively. Now, the Chinese company has posted details on a similarly sandwich style OK1028A-C SBC with a FET1028A-C module loaded with a 1.5GHz, dual-core, Cortex-A72 LS1028A. The SBC supplies an LVDS interface to enable HMI (Human-Machine Interface) applications. The boards are supported with Ubuntu 18.04 with Qt 5.9.9.



FET1028A-C (left) and OK1028A-C
(click images to enlarge)

The FET1028A-C module that drives the OK1028A-C SBC supports up to 5x 2.5GbE ports, as well as SerDes technology, but the SBC is limited to 5x 1GbE ports. This is compared to up to 6x or 7x 1GbE ports on the OK1043A-C and OK1046A, respectively. Those earlier boards also feature a 10GbE port and the OK1046A adds a 10GbE SFP+ or SFP-GE cage.

Unlike the earlier boards, the OK1028A-C offers both a display interface and TSN (Time-Sensitive Networking). TSN, which is often used as a cheaper, easier alternative to proprietary fieldbus technologies, provides Ethernet time synchronization for guaranteed latency and Quality of Service (QoS). The technology is baked into the Layerscape LS1028A in the form of a 4-port TSN switch. TSN was recently introduced on the industrial variants among Intel’s recent Elkhart Lake Atom x-6000 and 11th Gen Tiger Lake processors.

NXP’s dual-core, 1.5Ghz LS1028A, which has a single-core LS1018 sibling, is the only Layerscape SoC with a 3D GPU. There are also headless LS1027A and LS1017A variants with no GPU. Other products based on the LS1028A include MicroSys’ miriac MPX-LS1028A module and miriac SBC-LS1028A-TSN SBC, Kontron’s SMARC-sAL28 module, and TQ-Embedded’s TQMLS1028A module, MBLS1028A-IND SBC, and LBoxLS1028A box PC.

 
FET1028A-C

The 65 x 42mm FET1028A-C module ships with 2GB DDR4 and 8GB eMMC and features DP 1.3 and eDP 1.4 interfaces up to 4Kp60. Other I/O includes up to 2x USB 3.0, 2x CAN FD, 4x UART, 6x I2C, 6x I2S, 2x SPI, and SD 3.0. The module has a -40 to 85℃ operating range.



FET1028A-C with conceptual diagram showing Ethernet with TSN
(click image to enlarge)

The FET1028A-C provides a 4-port TSN switch with 2.5GbE support as well as support for a fifth 2.5GbE port and a GbE port. Five of these native GbE ports can be configured by SerDes with SATA III and 2x up to 8GT/s PCIe 3.0 in various combinations with SGMII and QSGMII Ethernet.

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OK1028A-C

The OK1028A-C builds on the FET1028A-C’s capabilities with 5x GbE ports with TSN, as well as a microSD slot, USB 3.0 host port, 2x CAN-FD ports, SATA III with SATA power, and a UART debug DB9 port. The LVDS interface is accompanied by a PWM backlight control and a headphone jack and speaker. The CNXSoft post that alerted us to the OK1028A-C mentions an optional, 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 display, but we did not see it.



OK1028A-C detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The OK1028A-C provides a mini-PCIe slot that supports an optional 5G module and an M.2 B-key slot supports an optional 4G module, both with the help of a SIM card slot. There is also an M.2 E-key module with PCIe Gen2 that supports an optional, dual-band WiFi module.

Additional interfaces include JTAG, SPI, 3.3V UART, and 2x I2C. The board provides a 12V jack with power and reset switches, 2x programmable LEDs, and an RTC with battery.

 
Further information

The FET1028A-C module and OK1028A-C SBC appear to be available at an undisclosed price. More information may be found on the Forlinx FET1028A-C and OK1028A-C product pages.
 

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