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Tiny i.MX286 SBC runs Debian on less than a Watt

Apr 29, 2014 — by Eric Brown 4,170 views

Technologic announced a tiny, open spec SBC that runs Linux on Freescale’s i.MX286 SoC, supports industrial temperatures, and draws as little as 0.5W.

The “TS-7400-V2” single-board computer is a lower-cost, faster, drop-in replacement for the first-generation TS-7400, says Technologic Systems. The single board computer maintains the earlier model’s 4.7 x 2.9 x 0.8-inch dimensions, general board layout, and Debian Linux OS support, says the company.

The new SBC adopts Freescale’s i.MX286 system-on-chip, which features an ARM926EJ-S core clocked to 454MHz. The SoC can run on as little as 0.5 Watts, the same lower threshold claimed for the TS-7400-V2, with the upper operating limit topping out at a still chill 1.2 Watts.

TS-7400-V2, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Power consumption can be dynamically controlled via the Debian stack’s power management firmware. Standby mode consumes 250mW, and can wake in as little as 250ms, claims Technologic. Sleep mode is said to consume only about 9mW, with the ability to wake up after an arbitrary timeout with a 1-second resolution.


Combined with its soldered components and support for -40 to 85°C temperatures, this low-power profile makes the TS-7400-V2 a good choice for point-of-sale (PoS), vending, data acquisition, and data recorder devices, says Technologic. The board is also touted for its fast boot times.

The SBC ships with 128MB or 256MB of RAM, as well as 2GB of soldered NAND flash. A microSD slot is available, along with an optional SD slot. Standard features include a 10/100 Ethernet port and a pair of USB host ports.

Freescale i.MX28x SoC block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Technologic sells the board in several versions. One SKU boosts RAM TO 256MB and adds a battery-backed real-time clock (RTC). A “full” SKU also adds a CAN port, two RS232 ports, and an 8-28VDC voltage power regulator. A Developer Kit SKU ships with a boot/console peripheral board, a 4GB bootable Debian microSD card, a USB-SD adapter, a regulated DC power supply, and all needed cables. Most of these features are also available as separate options, such as the $125 boot/console peripheral board.

TS-7400-V2 in basic (left) and fully loaded versions
(click images to enlarge)

The TS-7400-V2 is equipped with four serial interfaces, with two real-world RS232 ports available as options. A 40-pin header provides access to CAN, ADC, GPIO, SPI, I2C, I2S, and UART signals, with a real-world CAN port available as a option.

The TS-7400-V2 ships with Linux kernel version 2.6.35 and full Debian “Wheezy” preinstalled with GNU development tools, including Busybox. The board also ships with full software and hardware documentation, including schematics, mechanical drawings, and manuals.

The Linux stack includes a UBIFS filesystem preinstalled on NAND flash. This successor to JFFS2 provides faster mounting, quicker access to large files, and improved write speeds, says Technologic. It is also said to preserve or improve upon JFFS2’s on-the-fly compression, recoverability, and power fail tolerance.

Specifications listed for the TS-7400-V2 include:

  • Processor — Freescale i.MX286 (1x ARM926EJ-S core @ 454MHz)
  • RAM — 128MB to 256MB DDR2
  • Storage:
    • 2GB soldered NAND flash
    • MicroSD slot with optional 4GB Debian card
    • Optional SD slot
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB host ports
    • 4x RS-232/TTL COM interfaces (optional 2x RS-232 ports)
    • 2x expansion headers, with DIO, SPI, I2C, I2S, CANBus, UART, 4x ADC, GPIO, etc.
    • Optional CANBus port
  • Other features:
    • Watchdog
    • Optional RTC with battery
    • Temperature sensor
    • Optional boot/console “TS-9441” peripheral board with RC-DB9 cable (standard in Dev Kit SKU)
    • Optional aluminum enclosures
    • Guaranteed availability until 2025
  • Power supply — 5VDC nominal min.; optional 12VDC wall-mounted supply; optional 8-28VDC voltage power regulator
  • Power consumption — 0.5W to 1.2W operating; 250mW standby; 9mW sleep
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 4.7 x 2.9 x 0.8 inches (approx. 120 x 74 x 20mm)
  • Operating system — Debian “Wheezy” Linux (Linux 2.6.35v kernel)

Further information

The TS-7400-V2 is available now in the following configurations, as well as additional options, with price breaks at 100- 50-, 25-, and 10-unit quantities:

  • TS-7400-V2-128 (128MB RAM) — $119 quantity 1; $84, quantity 100
  • TS-7400-V2-256-RTC (256MB RAM, RTC) — $144 quantity 1
  • TS-7400-V2-256-FULL (adds CAN, 2x RS232, 8-28VDC regulator) — $164 quantity 1

More information may be found at the Technologic Systems TS-7400-V2 product page.

(advertise here)

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3 responses to “Tiny i.MX286 SBC runs Debian on less than a Watt”

  1. Suresh says:


    SODAQ : 34$ ( + IMX233-OLINUXINO-MICRO : 33.96$

    Power Efficiency :

    Any suggestions/recommendations ?

  2. Linux User says:

    Rather [poor] price to performance ratio. These days chinese computers and modules go as low as $50 at 2-4 core Cortex A7 … A9, 1Gb RAM and so on. ARM926 is a really ancient thing.

  3. Chris says:

    Go ahead and put one of those cheap Chinese SBCs in an outdoor application that needs to boot up in sub 0 weather and not lose its FS when power is lost without notice. Then you will appreciate what TS is offering. You want a media player for your kids room that you could care less if you have to reboot often or reformat or replace and SD card to make work again, feel free to go the cheap route, but please do not try to compare passion fruit to rotten grapes. This is not a hobbyist platform. This is an industrial grade, reliable SBC computer for doing real work, where it may never get power cycled. And do not think I work for TS, I am just a very happy customer who appreciates what they offer and hate to see someone compare the SBC hobby garbage that is flooding the market to true embedded SBCs meant for real commercial or industrial applications. Ask RaspPi how long they guarantee production? Go ahead and put that crap in your product and see how long you stay in business. Sorry for the rant, I am just sick of people comparing crap to real products meant for real applications.

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