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Verdin i.MX8M Mini module gains customizable carrier for edge AI

May 7, 2020 — by Eric Brown — 335 views

Gumstix has launched a $145 “Verdin EdgeAI” carrier for Toradex’s Linux-driven, $138 Verdin i.MX8M Mini module. The board has an M.2 slot designed for an Google card equipped with its Edge TPU, and supports customization within the Geppetto service.

Gumstix has opened $145 pre-orders for its Verdin EdgeAI carrier board for Toradex’s Verdin iMX8M Mini module with shipments due by the end of the month. The company also added the i.MX8M Mini based module to its Geppetto online board design and manufacturing service. Toradex announced the module in February along with the NXP i.MX8M Nano powered Verdin iMX8M Nano.

Geppetto already supports Toradex’s similar Colibri modules. The Colibri iMX7 is built into Gumstix’s Geppetto-customizable Chatterbox for the Colibri iMX7 carrier board aimed at Alexa Voice Service development.



Gumstix Verdin EdgeAI, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The 69.6 x 35.0 x 6.0mm Verdin compute module family is similar in size to Colibri but supports 260 I/O pins on its SODIMM connector compared to 200. Verdin has a more battery-friendly design with a wide 3.3 to 5V input range and low-power 1.8V I/Os.

Toradex is shipping a 250 x 200mm, $327 Verdin Development Board, which will be followed later this year by a yet-to-be-priced, 120 x 120mm Dahlia Carrier Board. The Gumstix Verdin EdgeAI has a more compact, 125 x 85mm footprint.

Although it provides fewer standard features than either board, the Verdin EdgeAI offers an M.2 M-key slot instead of mini-PCIe on Toradex’s designs. The slot is optimized to support Google’s $35 M.2 Accelerator B+M key equipped with the Edge TPU AI chip. The Edge TPU is also integrated in Google’s i.MX8M-based Coral Dev Board and the upcoming, MediaTek 8167s powered Coral Dev Board Mini.

NXP’s i.MX8M Mini was built with a more advanced 14LPC FinFET process than the earlier i.MX8M, leading to lower power consumption and higher clock rates for the 1x, 2x, or 4x Cortex-A53 (1.8GHz) and single Cortex-M4 (400MHz) cores. The Mini also provides GCNanoUltra (3D) and GC320 (2D) graphics cores, which support 1080p60 instead of 4K on the i.MX8M.



Verdin iMX8M Mini/Nano, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The Verdin iMX8M Mini Quad module, with 4x -A53 cores clocked to 1.6GHz, is available now with 2GB LPDDR4 and 16GB eMMC for $137.90. The DualLite, which ships with 1GB LPDDR4 and 8GB eMMC, is still in development. The Quad adds a wireless module with dual-band 802.11ac 2×2 MU-MIMO WiFi and Bluetooth 5. The modules are supported with a Yocto-based Linux reference image, as well as Toradex’s Yocto-bsaed, container-enabled Torizon distro.


Verdin iMX8M Mini module block diagram (left) and Google’s M.2 Accelerator B+M key
(click images to enlarge)

The Verdin EdgeAI board is equipped with a microSD slot, a GbE port, a USB 2.0 host port, and 2x micro-USB device ports, one of which supports a serial console interface. Neither micro-USB port supplies power, which is handled by a 20V barrel connector. The second micro-USB, which supports flashing or WiFi dongles, is not shown in the prototype photos shown here, but will appear on the final product.


Verdin EdgeAI and feature diagram
(click images to enlarge)

In addition to the M.2 M-key slot, there are MIPI-CSI and -DSI camera and display connectors. You also get PWM, I2C, ADC, SPI, and multiple serial headers plus switches and LEDs. The production board also adds metal standoffs to connect a DSI to HDMI adapter available from Toradex.


Geppetto design page for Verdin EdgeAI
(click image to enlarge)

The precise feature set and placement do not matter so much if you intend to customize the Verdin EdgeAI board in the Gumstix drag-and-drop Geppetto online board design service. As with all Geppetto designs, users can preview a 3D view and download free CAD files and schematic of saved designs. Manufacturing services are also available.

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Further information

The Gumstix Verdin EdgeAI carrier is available for pre-order at $145, with shipments due by the end of the month. The price does not include the cost of the Verdin Quad module, which Toradex sells for $137.90 in single units, so the whole package costs $282.90 or $317.90 with the Google accelerator card.

More information may be found in the Gumstix product/shopping page and Geppetto page.

 

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