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Gateworks Venice SBC runs Ubuntu on i.MX8M Mini

Sep 23, 2020 — by Eric Brown 2,301 views

Gateworks unveiled a “Venice” family of SBCs that run Ubuntu on an i.MX8M Mini, starting with a “GW7300” model with 2x GbE with PoE, USB host and OTG, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and 3x mini-PCIe with SIM.

Our readers seem to like Gateworks SBCs despite the fact the San Luis, Obispo, Calif. based company often equips its boards with aging processors such as the NXP i.MX6, found on SBCs like the Ventana GW5913 and Ventana GW5910. Now there is even more to like as Gateworks has moved to an up-to-date i.MX8M Mini with its new Venice family of SBCs.

Venice GW7300, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The new Venice GW7300 is the first of four Venice SBCs equipped with the quad-core, Cortex-A53 i.MX8M Mini. We have seen numerous Mini-based SBCs, including Avnet’s recent MaaxBoard Mini.

Unlike the i.MX8 and i.MX8M, the i.MX8M Mini lacks 4K video, but it’s faster and more power efficient than the i.MX8M. Gateworks clocks it at 1.6GHz, but the SoC can go to 1.8GHz. There are also GCNanoUltra (3D) and GC320 (2D) graphics cores with HD video support and a 400MHz Cortex-M4 MCU.

Venice family feature comparison (left) and Venice GW7300 block diagram
(click images to enlarge)


The Venice GW7300, which has the same 105 x 100mm dimensions as Gateworks’ Octeon TX based Newport GW6300, is one of the two high-end Venice models along with the upcoming, 140 x 100mm GW7400, which appears to have identical features except for the addition of a fourth mini-PCIe slot. There will also be smaller 100 x 35mm GW7100 and 100 x 70mm GW7200 boards with fewer mini-PCIe slots and in the case of the GW7100, only single GbE, USB host, and serial ports (see preliminary Venice family chart above).

All the Venice boards will ship with the quad-core Mini along with 1GB to 4GB LPDDR4, 8GB to 64GB eMMC, and I2C, SPI, DIO, PoE, RTC, and nano-SIM slot. They all ship with an Ubuntu Linux BSP with U-Boot and provide -40 to 85°C support and wide-range 8-60V DC inputs with 3-8W consumption.

Venice GW7300 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The Venice GW7300 supplies dual Gigabit Ethernet ports — one with passive PoE and the other with active PoE. You also get optional WiFi/BT and GPS plus 3x mini-PCIe slots. Other features include USB 2.0 host and OTG ports, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, I2S audio, and a variety of serial and I/O headers. The SBC is equipped with a watchdog, accelerometer, PMIC, and more.

Specifications listed for the Venice GW7300 include:

  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M Mini Quad (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.6GHz); Cortex-M4F @ 400MHz; GCNanoUltra for 3D, GC320 for 2D GPUs; 1080p60 H.264, VP8/1080p60 H.265, H.264, VP8, VP9 video
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB LPDDR4-2133 RAM (option for up to 4GB)
    • 8GB eMMC (option for up to 64GB)
    • MicroSD slot (with nano-SIM slot)
  • Networking:
    • 2x GbE ports (1x with passive PoE, 1x with active 802.3at/af)
    • Optional 802.11b/g/n with BT/BLE 4.2 (Laird Sterling module) with U.FL ant. connector
    • Optional u-blox GPS receiver with MMCX ant. connector
  • Media I/O:
    • MIPI-DSI for up to 1080p60
    • MIPI-CSI
    • I2S audio
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port
    • RS232/RS485, serial TTL
    • I2C, SPI, DIO, ADC, fan
  • Expansion:
    • 3x mini-PCIe slots with USB and up to 5G support
    • Nano-SIM slot built into microSD
    • Optional mini-PCIe cards including LTE CATM1/4, 802.11ac; sub-1GHz, Iridium
  • Other features — RTC with battery; watchdog; serial EEPROM; digital 3-axis MEMS accelerometer; pushbutton switch; tamper switch; JTAG programmer and cables with Dev Kit bundle
  • Power — 8-60V DC input jack or via active PoE; 6W@25°C typical consumption; reverse voltage protection; PMIC with remote management; power supply with Dev Kit bundle; 15W power to mini-PCIe
  • Operating temperature — 40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions – 105 x 100 x 21mm; 74 g
  • Operating system – Ubuntu BSP with U-Boot

Further information

The Venice GW7300 appears to be available for order at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Gateworks’ announcement and product page.

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