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i.MX8M Plus comes to Qseven form factor

Sep 16, 2021 — by Eric Brown 241 views

Congatec’s Qseven form-factor “Conga-QMX8-Plus” module runs Linux or Android on the NPU-equipped i.MX8M Plus with up to 6GB LPDDR4, up to 128MB eMMC, a microSD slot, GbE with TSN, and optional -40 to 85°C support.

Congatec announced the first Qseven-form-factor module we have seen build around NXP’s i.MX8M Plus, which it has already deployed in its Conga-SMX8-Plus SMARC module. The Conga-QMX8-Plus, which follows earlier i.MX8 family Qseven modules, including the i.MX8X based Conga-QMX8X, runs Linux, Yocto, or Android on the 14nm 1.8GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A53 SoC.

The i.MX8M Plus is further equipped with a Cortex-M7 MCU, Vivante GC7000UL 3D and GC520L 2D GPUs, an 800MHz HiFi4 DSP, dual ISPs, AES encryption, and other security features. The most notable features, however, is a 2.3-TOPs NPU for AI acceleration.

Conga-QMX8-Plus, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The announcement was made in conjunction with the 15th anniversary of the Qseven form-factor, which preceded SMARC. The MXM-inspired, 70 x 70mm compute module standard was announced 13 and a half years ago in early 2008 by a Qseven Consortium led by Congatec, MSC Vertriebs, and Seco. Qseven was formally released in July of that year, with Congatec showing off the first prototype in Dec. 2008 with a Conga-QA module based on an Intel Atom Z5xx with 1GB DDR2 and up to a 4GB SSD.


These days, you can pack a lot more onto a 70 x 70mm footprint. The Conga-QMX8-Plus supports up to 6GB of 4000 MT/s LPDDR4, including inline ECC RAM. The module can load up to 64MB SPI NOR flash and up to 128GB eMMC 5.1 storage. There is even a microSD slot.

The Conga-QMX8-Plus is equipped with a GbE controller with IEEE 1588 and TSN support. Other interfaces include dual-role USB 3.0, 3x USB 2.0, 2x I2C, and 12x GPIO (14x per the announcement).

Individual I/Os include SDIO, PCIe 3.0, SPI, and CAN FD. The specs mention a single UART with handshake, but the announcement says there are 4x UARTs. There is also support for JTAG and an RTC.

Conga-QMX8-Plus block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Media features include HDMI 2.0a, which the i.MX8M Plus limits to HD resolution. However, there is an optional “Conga-DP/HDMI adapter 4k” accessory that Congatec says supports 4K video.

Other display interfaces include dual-channel, 24-bit LVDS and 4-lane MIPI-DSI, which shares a signal with a second LVDS interface. You also get 2x 4-lane MIPI-CSI for up to 12-megapixel resolution and 2x I2S for digital audio.

The Conga-QMX8-Plus is available in 0 to 60°C and -40 to 85°C operating ranges (in which case the clock rate drops to 1.6GHz). There is 10-90% non-condensing relative humidity tolerance, and the module runs on 2-5W of power.

Options include heatspreaders, active coolers, an 8MP Basler dart camera, and various cables. Congatec also provides its Conga-QEVAL Qseven carrier board.

““We are celebrating the 15th anniversary of Qseven this year,” stated Ansgar Hein, Chairman of SGET, which is the current manager of the Qseven standard. “With this new module generation offering long-term availability of at least 10 years, I am more than confident that we will also be around to celebrate the 25th anniversary.”

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the Conga-QMX8-Plus. More information may be found in Congatec’s announcement and product page.

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