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i.MX8M based SMARC module available with new carrier board

Feb 26, 2019 — by Eric Brown 740 views

Embedian has launched a “SMARC-iMX8M” module that runs Linux on an i.MX8M SoC with up to 4GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, and -40 to 85° support. There’s also a new carrier designed for SMARC 2.0 modules.

Embedian has long developed Linux-powered SMARC modules based on NXP i.MX SoCs, such as its i.MX6 based SMARC-FiMX6 and i.MX7 based SMARC-FiMX7. Now it has returned with an 82 x 50mm SMARC 2.0 module built around the 64-bit, Cortex-A53 i.MX8M. The SMARC-iMX8M runs Yocto Project, Ubuntu 16.04 ARM64 LTS, Debian 9, or Android 8.1 “Oreo” on Dual, Quad Lite, and Quad Core i.MX8M modules.

(click image to enlarge)

The SMARC-iMX8M is equipped with 2GB LPDDR4 on the Dual and QuadLite models and up to 4GB on the Quad. Standard operating support on all the boards is to 0 to 85°. There’s an option for -45 to 85°, but if you load up with 4GB RAM, the range is limited to -30 to 85°.

Like the QuadLite, the Quad has 4x up to 1.5GHz -A53 cores with a Vivante GC7000Lite GPU, and like the Dual, it also adds a VPU (video processing unit). The i.MX8M SoCs also integrate a 266MHz Cortex-M4 MCU, which Embedian supports with FreeRTOS. Other i.MX8M based SMARC 2.0 modules include Axiomtek’s SCM180 and Seco’s SM-C12.

SMARC-iMX8M and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The SMARC-iMX8M is further equipped with 16GB eMMC 5.1 and a GbE controller (Qualcomm Atheros AR8035 PHY). Dual PCIe Gen 2.0 interfaces enable wireless radios on a carrier such as Embedian’s new SMARC 2.0-compatible EVK-STD-CARRIER-S20 (see farther below).


Media I/O transmitted through the SMARC golden finger include single or dual-channel 24 bit LVDS at up to 1920 x 1200 @60fps, as well as HDMI 2.0a and DP/eDP for up to 4096 x 2160 at 60Hz. You also get 4- and 2-lane MIPI-CSI2 and 2x I2S for audio.

The module supports 5x USB ports overall, all supplied with PHY. These include 2x USB 3.0/2.0 host. 2x USB 2.0 host, and USB 2.0 OTG. Additional interfaces include SDIO, QSPI, 2x SPI, 5x I2C, 2x CAN, 12x GPIO, and 4x async serial (2x with data only).

A real-time clock and watchdog are onboard along with various power and system signals and 3-pin boot source select. The module runs on 3V to 5.25V power, with typical consumption listed as 3W (Dual) and 3.5W for the two quad-core options.


The new EVK-STD-CARRIER-S20 SMARC 2.0 evaluation board updates the EVK-STD-Carrier found on Embedian’s earlier SMARC modules. It similarly offers a 170 x 170mm Mini-ITX form factor, but provides more features, such as dual GbE ports instead of one.

(click images to enlarge)

The EVK-STD-CARRIER-S20 is equipped with 2x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0 host ports and a mini-USB client port. You also get 2x RS422/485 or RS-232 DB9 ports and two more RS232 interfaces.

Both a DP and HDMI port are onboard along with LVDS with backlight and the 2- and 4-lane MIPI-CSI connections. The board includes a SATA connector, as well as a single PCIe x4 slot and 2x mini-PCIe slots. Other features include an SD port, 2x CAN, audio jacks, 14-pin GPIO, RTC battery holder, watchdog reset, and a buzzer.

The board’s 12-24V DC input is joined by a 12V/3A power supply. You also get various cables and screws, as well as a 4GB SDHC card with pre-installed Linux. Technical support is also available.

Further information

The SMARC-iMX8M module and EVK-STD-CARRIER-S20 board are available now, with pricing undisclosed. More information may be found at Embedian’s SMARC-iMX8M and EVK-STD-CARRIER-S20 product pages. The module is being demonstrated through Feb. 28 at Embedded World 2019 at Embedian booth 2-518.

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