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Vybrid-based SODIMM-style COM starts at $26

Oct 31, 2013 — by Eric Brown 2,842 views

[Updated Nov 5] — Toradex has launched a pair of Linux-ready SODIMM style computer-on-modules that incorporate the Freescale Vybrid SoC and start at as little as $26 in volume. The Colibri VF61 COM incorporates the Vybrid VF6xx SoC, which combines a 500MHz Cortex-A5 processor running Linux with a 167MHz Cortex-M4 microcontroller, while the low-cost Colibri VF50 COM uses the VF5x SoC model which omits the Cortex-M4 and runs at 400MHz.

Freescale’s Vybrid SoC is seeing growing adoption in the embedded community, part of a greater trend of integrating microcontrollers with higher-end processors on boards and modules. Single-board computers that use Vybrid include the community-backed Cosmic and Cosmic+ boards, while COMs include Phycore’s Phycore Vybrid module and the iWave Rainbow-G16M-µMXM.

Colibri VF61 (left) and VF50
(click images to enlarge)


Now Toradex steps in with its Colibri VF61 and Colibri VF50 COMS — SODIMM-style modules that measure 67.6 x 36.7 x 6.2mm. The VF61 adopts the Vybrid F series, or VF6xx, which combines a 500MHz ARM Cortex-A5 processor running Linux with a 167MHz Cortex-M4 microcontroller running Freescale’s MQX real-time operating system (RTOS). The VF50 COM uses the Vybrid VF5x model, which omits the Cortex-M4 chip. The VF50 also spins down the Cortex-A5 to 400MHz, and lacks the VF61’s 512KB of L2 cache, A/D converter, and security features. The latter include secure boot, anti-tamper, anti-clone, and various cryptographic accelerators, says Toradex.


Toradex cites a broad range of embedded applications for both models, from medical devices to robotics, but the main focus appears to be on industrial automation, especially for the microcontroller-enabled VF61. Industrial (-40 to 85°C) temperature ranges are available at extra cost.

Colibri VF61 (left) and VF50 block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)


Both boards provide a Fast Ethernet PHY with IEEE1588 time stamping, and also supply an RMII interface via the 200-pin SODIMM that enables a second 10/100 port on an attached baseboard. All other I/O uses the same SODIMM connector, with a wide range of GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, USB 2.0, SD, camera, S/PDIF, and CAN interfaces, among others.

The HMI-targeted, 24-bit LCD interface can handle up to 1024 x 768 resolution, with resistive touch support. The Cortex-A5 cores offer NEON, but no 3D or video accelerators.

I/O is very similar between the two models except for the VF61’s exclusive ADC video inputs and Wolfson audio codec. Both COMs are said to offer an easy migration path from the current Colibri PXAxxx and Colibri T20/30 modules, featuring electrical pin compatibility. In most interface categories, some of the I/O signals are said to be incompatible, but at least one compatible pin is offered for each interface.

Colibri VF61 front and back, as seen at ARM TechCon 2013
(click images to enlarge)


The Colibri VFxx modules are provided with an embedded Linux Image, and a Windows Embedded Compact image should be ready soon, says Toradex. Android and other OSes can be accommodated at extra cost.

Specifications listed for the Toradex VF61 and VF50 modules include:

  • Processor:
    • VF61 — Freescale Vybrid VF6xx, with Cortex-A5 @ 500MHz, Cortex-M4 @ 167MHz, 512KB L2 cache (on A5)
    • VF50 — Freescale Vybrid VF5xx, with Cortex-A5 @ 400MHz
  • Memory:
    • VF61:
      • 256MB DDR3 (16-bit)
      • 128MB DDR3 with ECC (8+2-bit)
      • 1GB NAND flash (8-bit)
      • 1MB SRAM (512KB with ECC)
    • VF50:
      • 128MB DDR3 (16-bit)
      • 64MB DDR3 with ECC (8+2-bit)
      • 128MB NAND flash (8-bit)
      • 1.5MB SRAM (512KB with ECC)
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet (Micrel KSZ8041NL) with auto MDI/MDI-X and IEEE1588; RMII interface for 2nd Ethernet PHY on baseboard via SODIMM
  • Other I/O (via SODIMM connector):
    • LCD RGB (24-bit), up to 1024 x 768
    • 4-wire resistive touch
    • USB 2.0 host
    • USB 2.0 OTG
    • 2x SD/SDIO/MMC
    • Camera (10-bit)
    • IrDA
    • 2x CAN
    • 4x I2C
    • 4x SPI
    • 2x QSPI
    • 5x UART
    • 17x PWM
    • 101x (max.) GPIO
    • 2x ref. clock out
    • Serial audio interface (I2S, AC97 compatible)
    • S/PDIF in and out
    • Audio I/O and Wolfson WM9715L codec (VF61 only)
    • 12x audio ADC (12-bit)
    • 2x audio DAC (12-bit) on VF50 only
    • 4x analog video ADC in for PAL and NTSC (VF61 only)
    • 6x anti tamper signals (VF61 only)
  • Security features (VF61 only) — secure boot, tamper detection, run-time security checker, random number generator, secure JTAG and RTC, unique ID, crypto accelerators (AES, DES/3DES, SHA-1, SHA-224, SHA-256)
  • Power – 3.3V input
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C standard; -40 to 85°C on request
  • Dimensions — 67.6 x 36.7 x 6.2mm
  • Operating system — Linux image standard; Windows Embedded Compact coming soon; Android upon request; Freescale MQX for Cortex-M4 (VF61 only)

The VFxx COMs are supported with several carrier board options. These include the top-of-the-line Colibri Evaluation Board (200 x 200mm), featuring camera and CAN support, as well as the Orchard Carrier Board (160 x 100mm), and the Iris Carrier Board (100 x 72mm). More information may be found on the Colibri carrier board product page, as well as our earlier Colibri T30 coverage.

Colibri VF61 being demoed at ARM TechCon 2013
(click images to enlarge)


The Colibri VFxx modules are sampling now. The VF61 is priced at $69, or as low as $39 in 1,000-plus volumes. The VF50 costs $47 individually down to $26 in volume, says Toradex. More information may be found at the Toradex Colibri VF61 and Colibri VF50 product pages, respectively.

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