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Rugged i.MX6 touch-panel has optional Nimbelink and supercap backup

Oct 12, 2017 — by Eric Brown 582 views

Technologic’s open-source, 7-inch “TS-TPC-7990” panel PC runs Linux on an i.MX6, and offers optional WiFi, BT, Nimbelink, supercap, and cabinet.

The TS-TPC-7990 touch panel is designed for HMI applications like industrial automation, medical, automotive, self-service kiosks, and retail point-of-sale terminals. The panel PC is built around NXP’s tried-and-true i.MX6 SoC in either single-core Solo or quad-core Quad Cortex-A9 models. It uses a custom mainboard instead of Technologic’s new i.MX6 based TS-7970 SBC or TS-4900 COM.

TS-TPC-7990 (left) and mainboard
(click images to enlarge)

The 7-inch panel PC follows a very similar 10-inch touch panel released in Feb. 2016 called the TS-TPC-8950-4900 that starts at $606 in 100-unit quantity compared to $406 for the TS-TPC-7990. Like the TS-TPC-8950-4900, the fanless TS-TPC-7990 ships with -20 to 70°C support, and there’s also a -20 to 60°C model.

Unlike the 10-inch model, the TS-TPC-7990 offers a 1024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen option in addition to an 800 x 480 resistive screen, both at 800 nits luminance. It also supplies more wireless and power options, as well as a new option for a lockable cabinet with IP66 waterproofing.

TS-TPC-7990 in optional TS-CAB799 cabinet (left) and TS-TPC-7990 block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

A number of features are available only on the quad-core model, which is clocked to 1GHz vs. the 800MHz Solo model. The i.MX6 Quad SKU adds a mini-PCIe, which can be used for mSATA, and is accompanied by an optional SIM socket. The Quad model also adds 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 with BLE, which is available separately, leaving the mini-PCIe free. There’s also a heatsink.


Other features are standard to both models, including 1GB DDR3 RAM, a microSD slot, and either 2GB SLC or 4GB MLC eMMC storage, with options for up to 64GB eMMC. The system can boot from either microSD or eMMC.

The TS-TPC-7990 has both a Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as an optional S-DC799-POE daughter card for Power-over-Ethernet. You also get dual USB 2.0 host ports and micro-USB device port.

Internal interfaces include 4x RS-232, 3x RS-485, 2x CAN, 9x GPIO, 9x DIO, 3x PWM, and I2C and SPI connections. There’s also a AC97 audio code, headphone and mic headers, an onboard speaker, a watchdog, and a battery backed RTC.

TS-TPC-7990 mainboard with Nimbelink and mSATA card (left) and with TS-SILO backup option
(click images to enlarge)

The TS-TPC-7990 provides a dedicated socket that supports optional NimbeLink cellular modems. There’s also an option for a standard cellular modem daughter card that supports serial data transmission via TCP, UDP or SMS.

The power supply lets you choose between 5VDC or 8-28 VDC modes, and the system typically runs on less than 8 Watts. There’s a 6mW sleep mode, plus a timer- or touch-activated wake-from-sleep mode.

The TS-TPC-7990 supports an optional TS-SILO supercapacitor backup add-on board. The TS-SILO provides up to 30 seconds of reserve power in the event of a power failure, enabling graceful power down to ensure file system integrity. You can’t use the TS-SILO and PoE card at the same time, however.

Debian and Android 7.1.1 BSPs with source code, Linux 4.1 kernel, and U-Boot are available, as well as a Yocto stack running the Linux 3.10 kernel, enabling booting to shell in under 6 seconds. As usual with Technologic, this is an open source board with schematics, toolchain, binaries, and extensive documentation. A 10+ year lifecycle is guaranteed.

Further information

The TS-TPC-7990 is available this month starting at $406 in 100-unit volume. A detailed price breakdown is provided on Technologic’s TS-TPC-7990 product page.


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