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IoT gateway runs mainline Linux on i.MX7

Feb 27, 2017 — by Eric Brown 1,825 views

Compulab’s “IOT-GATE-iMX7” gateway runs mainline Linux on its CL-SOM-iMX7 COM, and offers optional GbE, 3G, WiFi, BT, and ZigBee.

Compulab has launched a Linux-driven Internet of Things gateway built around its CL-SOM-iMX7 COM, featuring NXP’s power-sipping i.MX7 SoC. The embedded world is awash in i.MX6-based IoT gateways, but this is the first i.MX7 based model we’ve seen.

(click image to enlarge)

The fanless, 108 x 83 x 24mm IOT-GATE-iMX7 taps the 1GHz, dual-core Cortex-A7 i.MX7 option available on the SODIMM-style, 68 x 42mm CL-SOM-iMX7 module. The i.MX7 is limited to a 2D image processor, but integrates a 200MHz Cortex-M4 MCU supported with an asymmetric multi-core architecture. Like the CL-SOM-iMX7, the IOT-GATE-iMX7 gateway ships with a Linux BSP based on mainline Linux 4.1.15, a Yocto Project filesystem, and U-Boot.


As usual with Compulab products, the IOT-GATE-iMX7 is available in various SKUs with different option mixes. A barebones version with 512MB RAM and 4GB eMMC, but without wireless, Ethernet, or a power supply, starts at $107, but only when purchased in volumes of 1K or more.


The gateway is available with up to 2GB DDR3L-1066, up to 32GB eMMC, and a microSD slot. An audio I/O jack and a DVI/HDMI port with up to 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution are standard.

Other standard features include a full-size mini-PCIe slot, 4x USB 2.0 host ports, an RS485/RS422 RJ11 port, and an ultra-mini RS232 port. There’s also a micro-USB based serial console port, an RTC, 12x GPIO headers, and UART, SPI, and I2C headers.

IOT-GATE-iMX7 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

You can optionally configure the unit with up to 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports with optional PoE. WiFi/Bluetooth choices include a TI WiLink 8 WL1837 module with dual-band 2×2 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 BLE, or a WiLink 8 WL1801 with single-band WiFi. Other wireless options include an NXP JN5168 ZigBee module and a package that includes a 3G mini-PCIe card and a micro-SIM socket.

The IOT-GATE-iMX7 supports unregulated 8-24V power, and delivers 3.3V digital I/O voltage. A fit-uptime UPS is optional. The aluminum-housed gateway defaults to 0 to 70°C operation, but can be purchased in -20 to 70°C and -40 to 85°C models.

An Evaluation Kit SKU that starts at $475 includes a 12V power supply, DIN-rail and wall-mounting brackets, dual WiFi antennas, and various cables and adapters. It also provides a 45-day trial period and a year of tech support.

Further information

The IOT-GATE-iMX7 gateway is available starting at $107. More information may be found at Compulab’s IOT-GATE-iMX7 product page.

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One response to “IoT gateway runs mainline Linux on i.MX7”

  1. Brandon says:

    I’m fairly certain there is no i.MX7 support in the mainline Linux kernel as of 4.1.15. Perhaps they mean that they use the NXP 4.1.15 Linux kernel – quite different.

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