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Pico-ITX SBC loaded with options, including choice of i.MX8M Mini or Nano

Sep 29, 2021 — by Eric Brown 741 views

iWave’s “iW-RainboW-G34S” Pico-ITX SBC runs Linux on an i.MX8M Mini or Nano with up to 4GB LPDDR4 and 128GB eMMC plus up to 2x GbE and 3x USB, WiFi/BT, HDMI, MIPI-CSI, and an M.2 B-key slot.

Last year, iWave Systems announced a sandwich-style iW-RainboW-G34D Pico-ITX development kit for NXP’s i.MX8M Mini via its iW-RainboW-G34M-SM module. The company has now returned with a monolithic iW-RainboW-G34S SBC for both the i.MX8M Mini and Nano designed for mass production and backed up with a 10+ year longevity guarantee.

iW-RainboW-G34S, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The feature set is much like the iW-RainboW-G34D, with the key addition of an M.2 B-key slot plus an optional eSIM or Nano-SIM slot for cellular support. Other new features include a CAN header, a wide-range 7-24VDC input, and an optional enclosure. There is a wider 0 to 70°C standard operating range plus a new -40 to 85°C option.

The iW-RainboW-G34S provides even more options, starting with the processor. You can choose from 12 SKUs split up equally between the Mini and the similarly Cortex-A53 powered, but slightly slower Nano. The Nano lacks the Mini’s VPU but offers a 600MHz Cortex-M7 instead of a 400MHz Cortex-M4. There are standard and Lite versions of both SoCs in quad-, dual-, and single-core models. The Mini Lite models lack a VPU, but still provide the Vivante GC7000UL 3D/2D GPU available on both while the Nano Lite models also lack the GPU.


iWave supplies Linux 5.4.70, Ubuntu 20.04, Buildroot 2021.02, and Android 11, and offers “an extensive BSP support team and continuous updates.” It appears there may be schematics, 3D files, and other open hardware resources available, but only to registered customers. There was no mention of the NXP “eIQ ML” image recognition software featured on the iW-RainboW-G34D, but this is presumably still available, although possibly only on the Mini version.

iW-RainboW-G34S block diagram and enclosure version
(click images to enlarge)

You can order the 100 x 72mm SBC with up to 4GB (Mini) or 2GB (Nano) LPDDR4, as well as 8GB to 128GB eMMC. Other features include a microSD slot, 2x (Mini) or 1x (Nano) GbE ports, 2x USB 2.0, and a micro-USB OTG port, which is optional on the Nano model. You also get WiFi/BT, RS232/485, GPIO, and an optional GNSS receiver.

Media features include MIPI-DSI driven HDMI and LVDS and optional 2-lane MIPI-DSI. The announcement suggests that the LVDS interface is an optional swap-out for HDMI. Judging from the product page and block diagram, it looks like you choose any two out of three display interfaces, but in any case, the maximum resolution will be 1080p.

There is also an I2S-driven audio jack and speaker header and additional optional digital audio features on the GPIO connector. A MIPI-CSI connector can be ordered with an optional dual-OV5640 camera daughter board.

Specifications listed for the iW-RainboW-G34S include:

  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M Mini or i.MX8M Nano Solo, Dual or Quad (all in standard or Lite versions) with up to 4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.6GHz (Mini) or 1.5GHz (Nano); Vivante GCNanoUltra GPU 3D/GC320 2D standard (Mini) or optional (Nano); VPU optional on Mini; Cortex-M4F @ 400MHz (Mini) or Cortex-M7 @ 600MHz (Nano)
  • Memory/storage:
    • 2GB (Nano) or 4GB (Mini) LPDDR4 RAM
    • 8GB to 128GB eMMC
    • MicroSD slot
  • Networking/wireless:
    • 1x Nano) or 2x (Mini) Gigabit Ethernet ports
    • 802.11 b/g/n/ac with Bluetooth 5.0
    • Optional GNSS receiver (GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/BeiDou)
    • Cellular available via M.2 (see expansion)
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI port up to HD
    • LVDS (possible option to HDMI)
    • Optional 2-lane MIPI-DSI
    • Touch header (USB-based)
    • MIPI-CSI with optional camera daughter board with 2x OV5640 sensors
    • 2x I2C for touch and CSI
    • 2x digital MEMS mic inputs
    • 3.5mm audio I/O jack (via I2S)
    • 3W amp (via I2S)
    • Audio line-in/speaker out (via I2S)
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port (optional on Nano)
    • RS232/485 (or optional RS-232)
    • CAN
    • Optional serial debug and JTAG headers
    • GPIO connector with GPIO, UART, UART debug, and optional I2C, SAI, and eCSPI
  • Expansion:
    • M.2 B-key socket with USB 2.0, I2S, and PCIe 2.0 (PCIe available only with Mini)
    • Optional eSIM or Nano-SIM slot
  • Other features — RTC with battery connector; boot mode switch; optional heatsink and heatspreader; optional enclosure with antenna
  • Power — 7-24V DC jack; PMIC
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C or -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 100 x 72mm (Pico-ITX form factor)
  • Operating system — Ubuntu 20.04.2; Linux 5.4.70; Buildroot 2021.02; Android 11.0

Further information

The iW-RainboW-G34S appears to be available for order at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in iWave’s announcement and product page.

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