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LGA module and dev kit run Linux on i.MX8M Plus

Jun 1, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 241 views

TQ’s LGA form-factor “TQMa8MPxL” module runs Linux on a 2.3-TOPS NPU enabled i.MX8M Plus with up to 4GB LPDDR4 and 256GB eMMC. It also powers a “STKa8MPxL” dev kit with 2x GbE, 3x USB 3.0, 2x CAN, M.2, and multiple A/V links.

TQ Embedded has launched a solderable, 38 x 38mm land grid array (LGA) module and starter kit featuring NXP’s i.MX8M Plus. The extended temperature TQMa8MPxL module and STKa8MPxL kit support embedded applications that require AI/ML smarts and a “very flat and robust design,” says TQ. These include camera applications, medical technology, building and industrial automation, machine control, access control, and HMI control.



TQMa8MPxL (left) and STKa8MPxL
(click images to enlarge)

The TQMa8MPxL follows TQ’s identically sized TQMa8MxML LGA module, which supports the i.MX8M Mini and i.MX8M Nano. The new TQMa8MPxL uses the NPU-equipped i.MX8M Plus, which is found on a several dozen compute modules including eight more announced in March at Embedded World. Only a few are equally small and solderable, including Ka-Ro’s QFN form-factor QXSP Series, which measures 29 x 29mm.

The i.MX8M Plus shares the same 14nm foundation as the Mini, providing 2x or 4x 1.8GHz -A53 cores plus Vivante GC7000UL 3D and GC520L 2D GPUs. Unlike the i.MX8M, the SoC is limited to 1920 x 1080 @ 60fps encoding and decoding. However, it includes a 2.3-TOPs NPU, 800MHz Cortex-M7 MCU, 800MHz HiFi4 DSP, and 2x ISPs for up to a 12MP camera.

Quad-core i.MX8M Plus options appear to include models without NPU and VPU. The module ships with a Linux BSP, and Android support is available on request.

You can order the module with up to 4GB LPDDR4, up to 256MB QSPI flash, and up to 256GB eMMC. The module has an RTC, EEPROM, PMIC, temperature sensor, and CPU JTAG interface. Many of these features appear to be optional, although they are included in the standard SKUs. There is also and an assembly option for an NXP EdgeLock SE050 secure element.



TQMa8MPxL block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The TQMa8MPxL’s 362 LGA pins express support for dual GbE ports (1x with TSN) plus a wide range of interfaces indicated on the block diagram above. Highlights include 2x CAN FD, 2x USB 3.0 host, PCIe 3.0, HDMI 2.0, and MIPI-DSI and -CSI. Digital audio interfaces include SPDIF, I2S, and 8x PDM microphone connections.

The TQMa8MPxL has a 5V power input and typically operates at a low 4W. You can choose between -25 to 85°C and -40 to 85°C models.

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STKa8MPxL Starterkit

A new STKa8MPxL Starterkit equipped with the soldered TQMa8MPxL can be used as an evaluation board, reference design, or as an SBC ready for deployment. The kit is based on a 160 x 100mm MBa8MPxL mainboard and includes a power supply, cables, and a 4GB microSD card.



STKa8MPxL (MBa8MPxL mainboard) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The STKa8MPxL ships with a TQMa8MPxL with 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC. Major ports include 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0 host, micro-USB 3.0 OTG, micro-USB 2.0 debug, and 2x galvanically isolated CAN FD ports. Media features include DP and HDMI ports plus 2x LVDS, 2x 4-lane MIPI-CSI, and 3x audio jacks.


STKa8MPxL detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The STKa8MPxL is further equipped with microSD, M.2, and SIM card slots, as well as an antenna connector. The board provides 4x digital 24V input/outputs for controlling external peripherals and has a coin cell slot for the RTC.

Additional features include a GPIO connector with 2x analog inputs among other interfaces. The board also supplies 3x user LEDs, user buttons, boot switch, fan, and JTAG connections.

 
Further information

The TQMa8MPxL module and STKa8MPxL Starterkit are available now with undisclosed pricing. More information may be found in TQ’s announcement, as well as the TQMa8MPxL and STKa8MPxL product pages.
 

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