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i.MX6 module adds QuadPlus support

Jun 4, 2018 — by Eric Brown 455 views

Variscite has released a new version of its wireless-enabled “VAR-SOM-MX6” module that adds support for the i.MX6 QuadPlus SoC. The QuadPlus offers 50 percent better graphics performance.

Variscite’s VAR-SOM-MX6 module predates LinuxGizmos’ launch in 2013. In 2014 we covered a VAR-SOM-MX6-V2 model, which added WiFi, Bluetooth, and up to 64GB of eMMC. Now, Variscite is rev’ing the old COM up again with a model that adds support for NXP’s QuadPlus in addition to the i.MX6 Solo, DualLite, Dual, and Quad versions. The module runs Linux 4.9.11 and Android 8.0 (Oreo).

VAR-SOM-MX6 module with QuadPlus support

The i.MX6 QuadPlus, which is also available on the Wandboard Reload SBCs, iWave’s i.MX6 COMs, and other boards, has the same, up to 1.2GHz quad-core CPU as the Quad, but offers an improved Vivante GC2000+ GPU with 50 percent greater graphics performance. The SoC also provides HD-resolution H.264 decode and encode.

The 2018 version of the VAR-SOM-MX6 is otherwise identical with the pin-compatible earlier models. You can load up to 4GB DDR3 RAM and store data via 4GB to 64GB eMMC and 128MB to 1GB NAND flash.


There’s a GbE controller, although with the usual i.MX6 bandwidth limits. The 802.11n WiFi, which is accompanied by Bluetooth 4.1 with BLE, is available with optional 2×2 MIMO.

The 67.8 x 51.7mm module includes dual 24-bit LVDS interfaces with resistive touch, as well as HDMI and DSI interfaces. The extensive list of peripherals includes dual CAN, SATA, PCIe, MIPI-CSI, and much more. The module supports -40 to 85°C temperatures.


In addition to the VAR-SOM-MX6, Variscite sells a smaller, 68 x 33mm VAR-SOM-SOLO module. The SOLO is limited to a single-core, 1GHz i.MX6 Solo SoC with a lower-end Vivante GPU. There’s a maximum of 1GB RAM and 512MB NAND, but you get the same standard 8GB eMMC. The module omits the larger COM’s SATA interface, as well as the EIM (External Interface Module), which is designed to interface with an external FPGA.

VAR-SOM-MX6 eval kits

Since our 2014 VAR-SOM-MX6_V2 story, Variscite has added a variety of evaluation kits. All the kits ship with a VAR-MX6CustomBoard carrier. Major ports include GbE, HDMI, DB-9 serial, micro-USB OTG, and 3x USB 2.0 ports. You also get two audio jacks, an onboard mic, and microSD, PCIe, mini-PCIe, and SIM slots. A camera module is optional.

VAR-SOM-MX6 Development Kit
(click image to enlarge)

The $399 VAR-SOM-MX6 Starter Kit includes the carrier board with the VAR-SOM-MX6 module, an antenna, a debug cable, a microSD card, and a carrier board design package. The $499 Development Kit version adds a 12V power supply, an Ethernet cable, and a 7-inch resistive touch panel. The $549 Development Kit Pro advances to a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen.

Further information

The VAR-SOM-MX6 module with QuadPlus support is available now starting at $52 per unit in volume. The development kits start at $399. More information may be found in Variscite’s VAR-SOM-MX6 with QuadPlus announcement and product page.


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