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Linux-friendly COM Express duo taps PowerPC based QorIQs

Jun 29, 2017 — by Eric Brown 536 views

Artesyn’s rugged line of COMX-T modules debut with COMs using NXP’s quad-core QorIQ T2081 and QorIQ T1042 SoCs, clocked to 1.5GHz and 1.4GHz, respectively.

Artesyn Embedded Computing has launched a line of 125 x 95mm COM Express Basic Type 6 COMX-T Series computer-on-modules that run Linux on NXP’s Power Architecture based QorIQ T processors: The COMX-T2081 offers a quad-core, dual threaded QorIQ T2081 for eight virtual cores, and the COMX-T1042 has a quad-core, single-threaded QorIQ T1042. Both of these pin-compatible SoCs have appeared in products such as the X-ES Xpedite 6101 mezzanine module.

COMX-T2081 (left) and COMX-T1042
(click images to enlarge)

Tempe, Arizona based Artesyn, known for its Astec power supplies, owns an Artesyn Embedded Computing unit based on the earlier acquisition of Motorola Computer Group. The unit offers network computing solutions including application-ready platforms, SBCs, enclosures, blades, and COMs. According to an Artesyn rep, “most of Artesyn’s embedded computing products are either primarily driven by Linux or it’s certainly an option.” The exception is its VxWorks-based ControlSafe rail safety product line.

Previous Artesyn COMs include a COMX-P line of COM Express Basic and Compact modules that run older PowerPC based QorIQs like the P4080. The COMs have appeared in uses cases such as infrared radar systems, helicopter-based data communications routers, and in-flight entertainment servers. The QorIQ T2081 and QorIQ T1042 are newer, having debuted in 2013. In recent years, NXP has expanded its networking-focused QorIQ line into ARM SoCs.


The new COMX-T modules support -40 to 71°C temperatures and offer conformal coating and high-altitude support. They provide 30g/11mS shock resistance and vibration resistance including a Sine (10min/axis) rating of 5G, 15 to 2000Hz, and a Random (1hr/axis) rating of .04g2/Hz, 15 to 2000Hz (8Grms). Applications include telecom, networking, aerospace, military/defense, industrial, and Internet of Things.

The COMX-T2081 features the quad-core, but dual-threaded, octa-core like QorIQ T2081 backed up with soldered, dual-channel 8GB DDR3L-1866 with ECC. The COMX-T1042 steps down to a quad-core QorIQ T1042 which is clocked to 1.4GHz instead of the T2081’s 1.5GHz, and ships with soldered, dual-channel 4GB DDR3L-1600 with ECC. Both use NXP’s e6500 Power Architecture cores.

Group shot of COMX-T2081 and COMX-T1042 (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

Both COMs provide dual redundant caches of 128MB NOR flash, as well as 8GB NAND flash and a generous 128GB of eMMC. They each offer 8x configurable SERDES lanes that support a variety Ethernet and PCIe interfaces in various configurations. The COMX-T2081 supports GbE, 2.5GbE, 10GbE, and PCIe 2.0 and 3.0, and the COMX-T1042 gives you GbE, 2.5GbE, PCIe 2.0, and SATA 2.0.

I/O on both modules include up to 2x GbE ports (in addition to any SERDES GbE ports), as well as 2x USB 2.0, 4x UART, 8x GPIO, 2x I2C, and up to 2x MDC/MDIO. Other features include SDHC, IEEE 1588 control, tamper detection, IFC bus, watchdog, RTC, and an SPI bus with 4x chip selects. The COMX-T1042 also provides several features missing on the COMX-T2081: LVDS and DVI display interfaces and a TDM interface.

Accessories include a heatsink, fansink, heat spreading plate, and a COMX-CAR-P1 carrier board for development. The products ship with an NXP QorIQ SDK 2.0 with Linux 4.1 kernel, and optionally support “by customer demand,” Wind River VxWorks 6.8 and 7.0 AMP and SMP, as well as Green Hills Integrity.

Further information

The COMX-T2081 and COMX-T1042 are now available to selected customers, with general availability planned for November. More information may be found on Artesyn’s COMX-T2081 and COMX-T1042 product page.

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