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SODIMM-style i.MX6 COMs include an UltraLite model

Jun 23, 2015 — by Eric Brown 1,911 views

iWave announced two Linux-friendly, SODIMM-style COMs. One supports up to a quad-core i.MX6 SoC, while the other has the new i.MX6 UltraLite.

In conjunction with this week’s Freescale Technology Forum (FTF), iWave Systems unveiled two Linux-ready computer-on-modules that extend the Freescale i.MX6. The iW-RainboW-G18M-SODIMM i.MX6UL follows TechNexion’s similarly SODIMM form-factor EDM1-CF-IMX6UL, as well as its 36 x 25mm PICO-IMX6UL module in supporting the new i.MX6 UltraLite SoC. A similar new iW-RainboW-G15M-SODIMM i.MX6 supports all the earlier i.MX6 SoCs up to the iMX6 Quad (see farther below).

iW-RainboW-G18M-SODIMM i.MX6UL, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Like the i.MX6 SoloX, the i.MX6 UltraLite (i.MX6UL) SoC is a low-power, single-core SoC aimed at IoT endpoint applications. Also like the SoloX, it is kind of an oddball, bridging the i.MX6 generation with the newly announced i.MX7.

While the Cortex-A9-based SoloX shares features with the i.MX7 including a Cortex-M4 MCU, heterogeneous core management, and additional security features, the UltraLite instead shares its Cortex-A7 foundation with the i.MX7, and also features more advanced security than other i.MX6 models. The i.MX6UL SoC has a single Cortex-A7 core clocked to 528MHz, but lacks a GPU. Instead, you get a 2D PXP video co-processor.

iW-RainboW-G18M-SODIMM i.MX6UL block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

At 68 x 29mm, the iW-RainboW-G18M-SODIMM i.MX6UL can’t match the tiny footprint of Freescale’s recently announced, i.MX6 Dual based SCM-i.MX6D module, but you get a lot more features. The i.MX6UL module is equipped with 256MB of DDR3 RAM, which is said to be expandable, presumably to the 1GB supported by the UltraLite SoC. The 256MB of NAND flash is also expandable.


Other possibilities include optional eMMC and QSPI flash and an optional microSD slot. The NAND can operate alongside the eMMC and QSPI, but if you instead want to use a microSD card, you can only use it with the QSPI flash, says iWave.

Dual Fast Ethernet controllers are available, but if you want to sacrifice one of them, you can instead load three more UARTs, a 4×4 keypad, or an RMII interface. Interfaces expressed via the SODIMM connector include dual USB 2.0 OTG, 24-bit RGB, dual Parallel camera interfaces, and dual CAN ports. Other I/O includes SD, I2S, I2C, PWM, UARTs, GPIO, and debug connectors.

The i.MX6UL module supports both commercial and industrial -40 to 85°C temperatures. Freescale’s newly announced PF3000 PMIC is also onboard.

Specifications listed for the iW-RainboW-G18M-SODIMM i.MX6UL include

  • Processor — Freescale i.MX6UL (1x Cortex-A7 @ 528MHz)
  • Memory/storage:
    • 256MB DDR3 RAM (expandable)
    • 256MB NAND flash (expandable)
    • Optional microSD slot
    • Optional eMMC flash
    • Optional QSPI flash
  • Networking –- 2x 10/100 Ethernet controllers
  • Other I/O (via 200-pin SODIMM connector):
    • 2x USB 2.0 OTG
    • SD (4-bit)
    • 24-bit RGB display
    • 2x 8-bit Parallel camera ports
    • I2S audio or JTAG
    • Debug UART
    • 2x CAN
    • 2x UART
    • GPIO
    • PWM
    • I2C
  • Power — 3.3 @ 1A via SODIMM edge; Freescale PF3000 PMIC with DVFS support
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C; -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 68 x 29mm
  • Operating system — Linux 3.14.28

iW-RainboW-G15M-SODIMM i.MX6

The new iW-RainboW-G15M-SODIMM i.MX6 is another SODIMM-style COM, but it instead runs Linux 3.10.17 on the regular old i.MX6, including Solo to Quad models at up to 1GHHz. Slightly larger than the i.MX6UL, at 67.6mm X 37mm, the device ships with 1GB DDR3 (or 512MB for the Solo version). You also get 4GB eMMC and 2MB SPI NOR flash, all of which are expandable, although once again, iWave does not say to what.

iW-RainboW-G15M-SODIMM i.MX6, front and back

A gigabit Ethernet controller is provided, along with interfaces including USB 2.0 host and OTG, three PCIe, and SATA and SD for storage. Multimedia I/O is said to include LVDS, 24-bit RGB, 8-bit camera, and I2S audio.

iW-RainboW-G15M-SODIMM i.MX6 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Additional I/O includes PWM, GPIO, dual I2C connections, and serial and JTAG debug. The module supports the same industrial temperature range as the UL version, and offers a power supply listed as “3.3V , 3.5A input through SODIMM edge.” While the UL version has seven-year support, this standard model has five.

Other i.MX6-based modules from iWave Systems include the Qseven form-factor iW-RainboW-G15M-Q7 and the MXM style iW-RainboW-G15M-MXM.

iW-RainboW-G15M-Q7 (left) and iW-RainboW-G15M-MXM
(click images to enlarge)

Both models support Linux and Android, and offer industrial temperature support. You can load 1GB to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and choose from a variety of onboard and flash expansion options.

Further information

The i.MX6 UltraLite based iW-RainboW-G18M-SODIMM i.MX6UL is expected to begin sampling in the fourth quarter, with volume production due in Q1 2016. The iW-RainboW-G15M-SODIMM i.MX6 is now sampling, but only the Solo version is currently available in volume. There was no timetable for volume production of other versions. More information may be found in the iW-RainboW-G18M-SODIMM i.MX6UL and iW-RainboW-G15M-SODIMM i.MX6 product pages, respectively.

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