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Linux-driven COM duo taps i.MX8M Plus

Sep 30, 2020 — by Eric Brown 466 views

TechNexion’s rugged “EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS” and “AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS” modules run Linux on NXP’s 2.3 TOPS i.MX8M Plus with up to 8GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, WiFi/BT, and starter kits. There are also new i.MX8M Mini and Nano EDM modules.

TechNexion has posted product pages for two compute modules that feature NXP’s i.MX8M Plus. The EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS is essentially the same as the wireless enabled Wandboard IMX8M-Plus-4G module option on the sandwich-style Wandboard IMX8M-Plus SBC announced in August. However, it offers up to 8GB LPDDR4 instead of 4GB. The AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS provides essentially the same capabilities but in TechNexion’s more rugged, 58 x 37mm AXON form-factor, which was used on the i.MX8M Mini-based AXON-IMX8M-Mini module.

(click images to enlarge)

NXP’s i.MX8M Plus is like a faster version of the i.MX8M Nano, but with a 2.3-TOPs NPU and more coprocessors. The 14nm-fabricated SoC features Vivante GC7000UL 3D and GC520L 2D GPUs, an 800MHz Cortex-M7 MCU, and an 800MHz HiFi4 DSP. The SoC is available with dual ISPs with support for stereo vision or a single 12-megapixel camera. Other i.MX8M Plus based modules include the Variscite VAR-SOM-MX8M-PLUS and Toradex’s upcoming Verdin iMX8M Plus.

AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS rear view (left) and i.MX8M Plus block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS and AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS ship with up to 8GB LPDDR4, which is twice the limit of the Variscite VAR-SOM-MX8M-PLUS. You also get 16GB eMMC and a NXP PCA9450 PMIC.

The modules provide a Qualcomm Atheros AR8035 GbE controller and an optional Atheros QCA9377 wireless module with 802.11ac and Bluetooth. An MHF4 antenna connector is optional.


Media I/O includes HDMI, LVDS, MIPI-DSI, dual-channel MIPI-CSI plus I2S for audio. Other interfaces include PCIe, USB, USB OTG, SDIO, CAN, UART, SPI, I2C, PWM, and GPIO.

Both i.MX8M Plus modules are available in 0 to 60°C or -40 to 85°C versions. The 5V modules provide 15G shock and 1Grms vibration resistance, as well as 10 to 90% relative humidity tolerance. The 58 x 37mm AXON form factor offers a more durable 80-pin Hirose B2B connector compared to the SODIMM-style, 260-pin EDM edge connector.

The EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS and AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS modules are available with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Yocto Project 3.0 with Linux 5.4, and Android 10. There is also support for for FreeRTOS running on the Cortex-M7.

Starter kits

To get started with the EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS, you can pre-order a Wandboard IMX8M-Plus SBC. The video below offers more details on the starter kits available with the AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS. Both were briefly previewed in our AXON-IMX8M-Mini report.

AXON-Pi loaded with AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS (left) and AXON-WIZARD-IMX8M-MINI Starter Kit
(click images to enlarge)

The first is the Raspberry Pi-like AXON-Pi, which is fully detailed on this AXON-PI-IMX8M-MINI-4G-DEV product page. The page links to a shopping page where it sells for $279 including a 5-inch touchscreen, 5MP camera, antenna, and cables.

The second option, which was previously called the AXON-Neuron, is a Mini-ITX board. The i.MX8M Mini version, called the AXON-WIZARD-IMX8M-MINI, sells for $275 with a similar kit. This 12V board lacks the 40-pin I/O of the AXON-Pi but offers dual GbE ports and 5G-ready M.2 and mini-PCIe slots with micro-SIM slots, among other additions.


When researching TechNexion’s new modules, which we saw on CNXSoft and were announced via the YouTube video posted farther below, we saw there were also some new EDM modules built around the i.MX8M Mini and i.MX8M Nano. The product pages for the EDM-G-IMX8M-MINI and EDM-G-IMX8M-NANO show specs that are similar to EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS except that the Nano module is limited to 4GB RAM. Like the EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS, the pages point to shopping pages that lack pricing.

(click images to enlarge)

The three i.MX8M family EDM modules share the same SODIMM-like dimensions, which are smaller than those of earlier EDM modules. TechNexion’s earlier EDM1-CF-IMX6UL, EDM1-CF-IMX6SX, and EDM1-CF-LS1021A modules adopted the EDM standard’s smallest, 82 x 60mm EDM1 format. Yet, the newer EDM modules have even smaller dimensions.

Overview of AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS and its starter kits

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS and AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS. More information may be found on TechNexion’s EDM-G-IMX8M-PLUS and AXON-E-IMX8M-PLUS product pages.

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