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Rugged wireless-ready box-PC runs Linux on Cortex-A9

Jan 12, 2016 — by Tom Williams 1,220 views

Axoimtek’s rugged, fanless, wireless-ready “rBOX630” box-PC runs Linux on a dual-core i.MX6 SoC and targets mobile, IoT, and light industrial apps.

The rBOX630 is based on the NXP (formerly Freescale) i.MX6 dual-core 800MHz ARM Cortex-A9 SoC and comes with 1GB of DDR3 RAM. It boots its OS from 4GB of eMMC flash, and supports one SDHC card for additional storage. With its multiple wireless options and support for dual external antennas, Axiomtek is positioning the DIN-rail-mountable system as a platform for in-vehicle surveillance, retail, building automation, factory automation, energy metering, and mobile Internet of Things deployments.

rBOX630 details
(click image to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

The rBOX630’s support for fanless operation over a wide temperature range of -40 to 70°C suits it for extreme operating environments, and it’s also rated for vibration of 5G at 10-150Hz, adding mobile to the mix. The system’s IP30 ingress protection certifies it as protected from objects over 2.5mm (e.g. wire and small tools), but not against the penetration by liquids. The steel and aluminum enclosure is not fitted with a heat sink, most likely because the system’s low power consumption of roughly 3W does not generate much heat.


The rBOX630 offers one HDMI port (accompanied by a lock screw), a departure from earlier systems like the rBOX510, introduced last February, that featured a single VGA port. The new system’s single USB 2.0 OTG interface is accessed via a Phoenix connector. Digital I/O includes 8 inputs and 8 outputs, with the inputs handling up to 30V DC and the outputs supplying 200mA with a nominal output voltage of 24V. A pair of Ethernet ports — one Gigabit and the other 10/100Mbps — and they each feature magnetic isolation of up to 1.5 kV. Four RS232/422/485 serial ports are accessed via DB9 connectors, and there are also two CAN 2.0 ports, located on a Phoenix connector.

Flexible expansion is offered by a pair of Mini-PCIe slots. One is USB-only, while the other carries both USB and PCIe signals. Both slots are associated with external antenna connectors and SIM card slots, enabling support for a range of WiFi, cellular, and GPS options as needed. Unlike Axiomtek’s earlier rBOX610 and rBOX510 models, wireless capability is not supplied in the basic model but can be added as an option.

rBOX630 internal expansion slots
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A console port for configuration settings and debugging is available via a DB9 connector. Additionally, there is an alarm contact in the form of a single relay. There are two redundant power ports with a terminal block and power can be supplied at 12 to 48VDC with both over- and under-voltage protection.

Axiomtek supports the rBOX630 with an embedded Linux BSP based on Yocto Project tools and sources, and with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS as the recommended development environment. An extensive rBOX630-FL Software User’s Manual is available for download from the company’s website.

Further information

The For more details about the rBOX630, including pricing and availability, visit Axiomtek’s rBOX630 product page.

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