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Module and dev kit extend octa-core MediaTek i500

Mar 14, 2022 — by Eric Brown 405 views

Vecow’s “ESOM-MT-500” module runs Linux on MediaTek’s octa-core -A73 and -A53 i500 SoC with up to 4GB RAM and 16GB eMMC. A dev kit extends the module with 2x LAN, WiFi/BT, HDMI, MIPI-DSI/CSI, 2x USB, and mini-PCIe.

Last week when we covered Vecow’s first compute module, the Elkhart Lake powered, Compact Type 6 VCOM-1600, we saw that another module was waiting in the wings. Vecow tells us that the ESOM-MT-500 is available now and will be formally announced in the second quarter when it announces additional members of its new ESOM module family.

ESOM-MT-500-EV kit contents
(click image to enlarge)

The 70 x 55mm ESOM-MT-500, which is also available in an ESOM-MT-500 development kit, is built around the MediaTek i500 with support for Android 10 and a Linux stack based on Yocto 2.6. The i500 features 4x Cortex-A73 and 4x Cortex A53 cores, all clocked at 2.0GHz. There is also an 800MHz Arm Mali-G72 MP3 and a 500MHz AI accelerator referred to as an APU.

The i500, which has appeared on VIA’s VAB-950 SBC and VIA’s OLogic-built Pumpkin i500 EVK, is part of MediaTek’s “AI IoT platform” along with the quad-core, Cortex-A35 MediaTek i300. There is also a quad -A53 MediaTek i350, as well as the camera-oriented MediaTek i700, which has with 2x 2.2GHz -A75 and 6x 2.0GHz -A55 cores.


The MediaTek i500 is unusual in that it offers a powerful CPU and GPU but with limited video decoding, networking, and I/O support. The i500’s H.265 and H.264 decode is limited to 1080p resolution and there is no native LAN controller. The SoC lacks the ISP (Image Signal Processor) of the i700 and has a less powerful APU.

ESOM-MT-500 and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The ESOM-MT-500 is available with 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4 and 16GB eMMC. Media support includes MIPI-DSI at up to 1920 x 1080 @ 60Hz plus a 4-lane MIPI-CSI-2 interface for up to 5MP cameras. Audio I/O is based on the MediaTek MT6358 codec.

I/O includes USB 2.0, 2x UART, 12x GPIO, 5x I2C, I2S, and SPI. The 4.2VDC powered module has a 0 to 60°C operating range with 5-95% non-condensing humidity tolerance. Shock and vibration resistance comply with IEC 60068-2-27 and IEC 60068-2-64, respectively.

ESOM-MT-500-EV dev kit

The 140 x 100mm ESOM-MT-500-EV extends the ESOM-MT-500 with a carrier board, a power supply, antenna, heatsink, thumb drive, and cables. A 10.1-inch touchscreen and a 5-megapixel MIPI-CSI camera are optional.

ESOM-MT-500-EV carrier board and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

As with the VIA VAB-950, Ethernet is limited to dual 10/100 ports derived from USB 2.0. The board also comes with a MediaTek MT7668 module with dual-band 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0. A mini-PCIe slot is accompanied by a micro-SIM card slot, and there are 3x IPEX antenna connectors.

The ESOM-MT-500-EV carrier is equipped with HD-ready HDMI and MIPI-DSI connections along with a touchscreen connector. You also get a 4-lane MIPI CSI-2 link, an audio I/O jack, a mono speaker-out connector, and 2x volume buttons. There are USB 2.0 host and micro-USB ports (for firmware updates) plus internal RS-232, debug console, I2C, SPI, and 12x GPIO.

The ESOM-MT-500-EV has a 12VDC input jack and header, as well as a battery charger connector. Power and reset buttons are also available.

Further information

The ESOM-MT-500 and ESOM-MT-500-EV kit are available with pricing undisclosed. More information may be found on the ESOM-MT-500 landing page.

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