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Security-minded i.MX6 UL COM doubles up on Ethernet and CAN

Mar 2, 2017 — by Eric Brown 638 views

The Aries “M6UL” COM expands on an i.MX6 UltraLite SoC with 4GB eMMC, dual Ethernet ports, and dual CAN ports, as well as DRM ID, encryption, and secure boot.

Germany-based Aries Embedded has announced a “M6UL” computer-on-module as a drop-in replacement for its earlier i.MX28-based M28 COM. The new device keeps the SODIMM-style form factor, but advances to NXP’s i.MX6 UltraLite (UL) SoC.

M6UL COM (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The low-power, IoT oriented i.MX6 UL has a single, 528MHz Cortex-A7 core and a stripped down WXGA display interface. It also offers security, tamper detection, and power management features not found on earlier i.MX6 models.

The SoC has made it to a number of Linux-driven COMs such as Digi’s ConnectCore 6UL. Aries offered no OS details, but the company’s service page cites development expertise in Linux and FPGAs.


The 70 x 35mm M6UL supports up to 256MB DDR3, and offers 4GB eMMC and 4MB SPI NOR flash. The device provides dual 10/100 Ethernet controllers, as well as I/O including 2x CAN, 2x USB OTG, LCD, and SD. Other interfaces include UART, I2C, SPI, GPIO, and I2S.

The M6UL provides a PMIC and an optional Li-Ion/Li-Pol charge control. The module taps the i.MX6 UL’s security features to provide read-only unique IDs for DRM, on-the-fly AES-128-based DRAM encryption, and High Assurance Boot (HAB).

MA5D4EVK carrier, which appears to work with the M6UL (left) and the MA5D4 COM it was originally designed for
(click images to enlarge)

There’s no mention of a carrier board for the M6UL, but its product page, which is limited to a render of the new module, is tagged with a thumbnail photo of what appears to be the MA5D4EVK. This is listed as the carrier board for the Aries MA5D4, a SODIMM-style COM that taps Atmel’s Linux-oriented, Cortex-A5 based SAMA5D4.

MX10, MCVEVP, and more

Aries also announced a new MX10 module with a similar, 70 x 35mm SODIMM design, but with an Intel/Altera MAX 10 FPGA. According to Aries, a tailored MX10 Evaluation Kit will be available in Q3 2017.

Cyclone V based MCV module (left) and its new MCVEVP carrier board
(click images to enlarge)

In addition, Aries announced a new MCVEVP carrier board for its MCV COM, which builds upon an Altera Cyclone V ARM/FPGA SoC. The Cyclone V typically runs Linux on its dual Cortex-A9 cores. The company also sells an M53 COM based on the old-school, typically Linux-driven i.MX53 SoC.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the M6UL, but judging from the lack of a photo, it does not appear to be shipping. More information may be found at the Aries Embedded M6UL product page. Aries will show off its new products at Embedded World in Nuremberg, Mar. 14-16, hall 3, booth 261.

(advertise here)

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2 responses to “Security-minded i.MX6 UL COM doubles up on Ethernet and CAN”

  1. Matthew says:

    What is a CAN port? I have never heard of CAN ports before.

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