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Tiny i.MX8M Mini module also ships on dev kit with Digi XBee

Jun 21, 2021 — by Eric Brown 250 views

Digi’s rugged “ConnectCore 8M Mini” module runs Linux or Android on an i.MX8M Mini with Digi TrustFence security, up to 2GB LPDDR4 and 8GB eMMC, and 802.11ac/Bluetooth 5.0. A dev kit offers mini-PCIe and Digi XBee expansion.

Digi has launched a Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini module and development kit that feature NXP’s i.MX8M Mini and support for Digi XBee modules including cellular add-ons. The ConnectCore 8M Mini has the same 45 x 40 x 3.5mm dimensions as the i.MX8X based Digi ConnectCore 8X module from 2018. We missed a similarly sized, i.MX8M Nano based ConnectCore 8M Nano from 2019, which has many of the features of the ConnectCore 8M Mini but is limited to 1GB RAM instead of 2GB.



Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

There have been plenty of i.MX8M Mini modules announced in recent years, including a few that are even smaller than the compact ConnectCore 8M Mini, such as Keith & Koep’s Myon II. Digi claims this is the first i.MX8M Mini module to offer both onboard Bluetooth 4.0 and built-in cellular support.

The Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini is also touted for its proprietary Digi TrustFence security framework, secure element, and other security features. There is also a Cortex-M0 based Digi Microcontroller Assist core that works with the NXP PCA9450 PMIC to support ultra-low ultra-low <3µA power modes.

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NXP’s quad-core, Cortex-A53 i.MX8M Mini is clocked here at up to 1.6GHz instead of 1.8GHz to enable -40 to 85°C operation. The Mini uses a more advanced 14nm FinFET process than the i.MX8M but lacks support for 4K HDMI 2.0 and USB 3.0. The SoC is equipped with a 266MHz Cortex-M4 core and Vivante GC7000UL 3D/2D GPUs. Unlike the Nano, it includes a VPU for up to 1080p60 video.

The Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini supports IoT, HMI, equipment monitoring, audio/voice, edge, and machine learning applications. Digi is supporting the module with “complete, open-source” Digi Embedded Yocto Linux and Digi Embedded Android distributions. The Digi Remote Manager application is also available.



Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini (left) and i.MX8M Mini block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

The module is equipped with up to 2GB of LPDDR4 and up to 8GB eMMC and integrates dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 5.0. There is also a GbE controller “+ AVB.”

Interfaces expressed via the module’s 118 castellated pins include 2x USB 2.0 OTG with PHY, 4x UART, 4x I2C, 3x SPI, 3x uSDHC, 4x PWM and PCIe 2.0. For media, you get 4-lane MIPI-DSI with an LCDIF display controller plus 4-lane MIPI-CSI. The block diagram also indicates audio features including S/PDIF, 20x I2S, and 8-channel PDM microphone I/Os.

The -40 to 85°C tolerant module can handle 5% to 90% (non-condensing) relative humidity. Vibration and shock resistance are said to comply with IEC 60068-2-6, IEC 60068-2-64, and IEC 60068-2-27. There is also a secure RTC and secure JTAG.

 
Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini Development Kit

The 210 x 130mm Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini dev kit, which is also called the CC-WMX8MM-KIT, has the same temperature and humidity ranges as the module. The board is available with a microSD slot and GbE, 2x USB 2.0 host, micro-USB console, and HDMI ports. Other I/Os include CAN-FD, RS-485, and 5x GPIOs.



Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini Development Kit carrier board (left) and kit contents
(click images to enlarge)

Additional media features include MIPI-DSI and LVDS with backlight and I2C touch support, which cannot be used simultaneously. There is a 2-lane MIPI-CSI connector with another 2-lane interface available via an expansion connector. You also get a pair of 3.5mm audio jacks for headphone and microphone plus line-out and line-in headers and 2x speaker outputs.

The Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini Development Kit supplies a full-size, USB-ready mini-PCIe slot with micro-SIM slot. There are also 2x Digi XBee sockets, one of which supports Digi XBee Cellular modules (LTE CAT1, LTE-M, and NB-IoT), as well as WiFi, 802.15.4, sub-1GHz, DigiMesh, and other XBee radios. A dual-band SMA antenna is available.

The dev kit has a 5VDC input jack with power supply, supercap backup, and a battery connector. Other features include reset, power, and 2x user buttons, as well as 3x LEDs, JTAG, and SW for MCA (Tag-connect) debug. The kit is available with “reference designs for LVDS, HDMI and CAN-FD,” says Digi.

 
Further information

The Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini module and the Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini Development Kit are available now with undisclosed pricing. More information may be found in Digi’s announcement and module product page, as well as the dev kit product page.

 

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