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Tiny ARM9 COM and SBC support dual Ethernet and CAN

Apr 25, 2016 — by Eric Brown 1,267 views

Boardcon’s 40 x 40mm “MINI287” COM runs Linux on an NXP i.MX287 SoC, offers dual Ethernet and CAN ports, and is also available as a sandwich-style SBC.

Thanks to the cost and power consumption sensitivities of the IoT market, old-time ARM9 system-on-chips continue to arrive in new embedded boards. Boardcon’s tiny (40 x 40mm) MINI287 computer-on-module taps the NXP/Freescale i.MX287, the highest-end member of the power-sipping i.MX28x SoC family, differentiated by its dual CAN interfaces, dual Ethernet ports, and L2 switch support. Boardcon recently released an Android-ready MINI3288 COM based on a Rockchip RK3288 SoC.

Boardcon MINI287 COM and sandwich-style SBC
(click images to enlarge)

MINI287 module

The MINI287 runs Linux 2.6.39 on the 454MHz NXP i.MX287, and is designed for industrial, medical, and sensing and instrumentation applications. The COM provides 128MB of DDR2 RAM, as well as 256MB MLC NAND flash, or optionally 512MB or 1GB flash.


The module’s 10/100 Ethernet controller supports two ports, as seen on Boardcon’s EM2000 carrier board (see farther below). A WiFi module appears to be optional.

The MINI287 supports an LCD with touch control, as well as dual CAN, USB OTG and host, and audio I/O via its WM8731 audio chip. The module is further equipped with signals for “SD card, I2S, SPI, external interrupt, etc.,” says Boardcon. The 8-layer module runs from 3.3V DC input.

EM2000 carrier

In addition to supporting the MINI287, the EM2000 carrier board can combine with two other ARM9-based, 40 x 40mm Boardcon modules, to form sandwich-style single board computers.

EM2000 edge view
(click image to enlarge)

The other options are the 400MHz Samsung S3C2416X based MINI2416 and 400MHz Atmel AT91SAM9X35 based CM9X35.

Boardcon COMs supported by the EM2000 carrier, left to right: MINI287, MINI2416, CM9X35
(click images to enlarge)

The resulting I/O configurations differ according to the module added. With the MINI287, you get dual Fast Ethernet ports, dual CAN ports, and USB 2.0 host and OTG ports.

EM2000 details
(click image to enlarge)

Features common to all three configurations include a 160 x 105mm carrier board footprint, a 5V/2A DC power supply, optional WiFi, and a 40-pin FPC connector for an up to 10.1-inch LCD screen with 4-wire resistive touch support. The EM2000 provides an SD slot, an audio I/O jack, three RS232 ports, and an RS485 port. There’s also an RTC, plus reset and power buttons, and a 3-pin boot select button.

Further information

The MINI287 COM and EM2000 carrier board appear to be available now, although pricing for the COM, carrier, and combination (sandwich-style SBC) are currently unstated. More information may be found at Boardcon’s MINI287 and EM2000 product pages.

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