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SODIMM-style COM sharpens IoT focus with i.MX6 ULL SoC

Apr 6, 2017 — by Eric Brown 766 views

iWave has replaced an earlier i.MX6 UL module with an almost identical “iW-RainboW-G18M-SM” COM equipped with the more power efficient i.MX6 ULL.

iWave has re-released its two-year old iW-RainboW-G18M computer-on-module as a new iW-RainboW-G18M-SM COM that cashes in the old i.MX6 UltraLite (UL) SoC for NXP’s even more energy efficient i.MX6 ULL. The original COM still has its own pull-down menu entry, but when you click on it you are redirected to the new iW-RainboW-G18M-SM. The similarly Linux-driven, SODIMM-style module seems to be identical except for the new SoC. There is, however, a new Pico-ITX development platform, which we cover below.

iW-RainboW-G18M-SM (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

iWave’s replacement strategy differs from that of Variscite, which recently re-released its DART-6UL module with a new DART-6UL v1.2 COM that adds support for the i.MX6 ULL in addition to the UL. Variscite’s new version also boosts the clock rate with both SoC options from 528MHz to 696MHz. Toradex, meanwhile, has built an entirely new, SODIMM style Colibri iMX6ULL COM based only roughly on its earlier i.MX6-based Colibri i.MX6.

NXP’s i.MX6 ULL is itself almost identical to the i.MX6 UL except for costing less and offering improved power management with lower-powered sleep modes. The IoT-oriented SoCs both have single Cortex-A7 cores and 2D PXP video co-processors. There are also some minor I/O changes such as multi-channel audio, improved 24-bit CSI, and e-reader support. (For more details, see our Colibri iMX6ULL coverage.)


The iW-RainboW-G18M-SM keeps its i.MX6 ULL clocked to 528MHz and offers 256MB each of DDR3 RAM and NAND flash, both of which are said to be expandable. Other possibilities include optional eMMC and QSPI flash and an optional microSD slot.

Dual Fast Ethernet controllers are available, along with I/O including dual USB 2.0 OTG, 24-bit RGB, dual Parallel camera interfaces, and dual CAN ports. Other interfaces include SD, I2S, I2C, PWM, UART, GPIO, and debug connectors.

The 68 x 29mm module offers 0 to 70°C and -40 to 85°C support. Its Linux BSP has been upgraded to Linux 4.1.15. (For more details, see our earlier iW-RainboW-G18M report.)

iW-RainboW-G18D carrier

iWave has released the iW-RainboW-G18M-SM with a ULL-specific iW-RainboW-G18D development kit. (No carrier was announced for the original iW-RainboW-G18M in 2015.) The 100 x 72mm, Pico-ITX form factor board is available with an optional 4.3-inch resistive touchscreen.

iW-RainboW-G18D equipped with W-RainboW-G18M-SM (left) and with optional touchscreen

The iW-RainboW-G18D offers dual Fast Ethernet ports, dual USB 2.0 host ports, and a micro-USB device port. There’s also an audio jack and a microSD slot.

Onboard connectors include 8-bit CSI, a CAN PHY, and headers for UART, GPIO, JTAG, and SPI. The 5V @ 1A DC board offers 0 to 60°C support, an RTC coin cell, and various switches.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the iW-RainboW-G18M-SM COM and iW-RainboW-G18D carrier. More information can be found at iWave’s iW-RainboW-G18M-SM and iW-RainboW-G18D product pages.

(advertise here)

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