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Rugged, fanless i.MX6 SBC matches COM Express Basic footprint

Feb 2, 2018 — by Rick Lehrbaum 797 views

Versalogic has revealed preliminary details of its first Arm-based SBC. The quad-core i.MX6-powered “Tetra” features up to 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC, and 128K MRAM, plus I/O including GbE, SATA, LVDS, HDMI, USB, serial, CAN, microSD, and miniPCIe, and runs fanless over -40 to 85°C.

Versalogic, a decades-old designer and manufacturer of x86-based single board computers for embedded and industrial applications, has posted preliminary product details for its first-ever Arm SBC. Referred to as “Tetra” (aka VL-EPC-2700), the new SBC puts NXP’s ubiquitous i.MX6 SoC to work on a rugged, fanless board that’s well endowed with networking, storage, graphics, USB, serial, and GPIO interfaces, and also supports modular expansion with mini-PCIe, mSATA, and microSD cards.

Two views of the Versalogic Tetra
(click images to enlarge)

Blackbird EPU

Interestingly, the Tetra board matches the 95 x 125mm footprint defined by the COM Express Basic computer-on-module specification. This design choice seems consistent with the company’s recent releases of a series of sandwich-style x86 SBCs, dubbed “Embedded Processing Units” (EPUs), that each combine a COM Express module with a same-sized carrier board. These have included the COM Express Compact (95 x 95mm) sized Raven and Condor, and the COM Express Basic (95 x 125mm) sized Blackbird (pictured to the right).

Tetra SBC details
(click image to enlarge)

Versalogic’s embrace of Arm follows similar migrations by several other long-term makers of x86-based SBCs aimed at industrial, embedded, and IoT applications. Examples include the Micro/sys RCB1626, the WinSystems SBC35-C398, and the Diamond Systems Quantum SBC.


Tetra preliminary specs

Versalogic lists the following preliminary specifications for the Tetra SBC:

  • Processor — NXP i.MX6; up to quad-core, clocked at 800MHz
  • Memory:
    • SDRAM — 2GB or 4GB DDR3L SDRAM
    • Nonvolatile RAM — 128KB Magnetic RAM (option)
  • Storage
    • SATA II (option)
    • mSATA (option, via miniPCIe socket)
    • eMMC up to 32GB (option)
  • Networking — 1x Gigabit Ethernet
  • Graphics:
    • HDMI v1.4
    • LVDS, supporting 18- and 24-bit panels, up to 1366 x 768
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • 2x serial ports (1x 3.3V; 1x RS232)
    • 2x CAN bus
    • 3.3V GPIO (3.3V)
    • Audio in/out
    • MIPI CSI (2-lane) camera input
    • 8x GPIOs (3.3V); 3x lines usable as PWM outputs
    • Other — 1x SPI, 2x I2C
  • Other features — 6-axis acceleromater/magnetometer
  • Expansion:
    • 1x full-size miniPCIe socket (option; supports mSATA)
    • 1x MicroSD socket (supports SSD drives)
  • Operating temperature — TBD (standard); -40 to 85°C (extended option)
  • Dimensions — 125 x 95 x 21mm; compatible with COM Express Basic footprint and mounting holes
  • Shock/vibration — per MIL-STD-202G
  • Power — 8 to 17 VDC input; consumption ~ 5W typical
  • Operating system — compatible with most Arm operating systems including Linux; U-Boot bootloader

Further information

Additional preliminary details on Versalogic’s Tetra SBC (aka “VL-EPC-2700”) are available on board’s product page, which notes that it’s currently “in early release and subject to very limited availability.” OEM pricing “starts at $318,” adds the product page.

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