Linux-driven modules illuminate I MX8X and I MX8 M Mini and Nano.
TQ-Embedded launches the TQMa8Xxx and SMARC TQMa8XxS form factor module, which runs under Linux on the NXP i.MX8X platform. TQ also uses the TQMa8MxML LGA module, which is based on i.MX8M Mini/Nano.
TQ-Embedded, an integrated module of the German company TQ-Systems, has released several modules that run Linux on NXP i.MX8 processors. The company has just announced two new modules – TQMa8Xxx and SMARC 2.1 that are compatible with TQMa8XxS – that will run on the low power i.MX8X. In March, TQ announced the release of the TQMa8MxML module, which supports the i.MX8M Mini or Nano. All three modules will be completed on the 15th. May, which according to TQ is the official starting date for mass deliveries of i.MX8X.
TQMa8Xx (left) and TQMa8XxS
(click to enlarge)
Also in March, TQ announced the release of a module based on NXP’s Layerscape LX2160A, following the January announcement of SBC based on the Layerscape LS1028A. We’ll tell them both in a separate story. The SBC is based on the TQMLS1028A
module, reported in March 2019, and modules based on Intel Whiskey Lake and NXP T1022. At about the same time, Macnica Americas announced the start of distribution of TQ tables in North America.
TQMa8Xxx and TQMa8XxxS
Form Factor TQMa8Xxx 55 x 44 mm, SMARC 2.1 form factor TQMa8XxS is designed for medical equipment, HMIs, industrial controllers, IoT gateways, building automation systems, transportation and robotics. The two modules we read about on the EENews Embedded support Linux, with Android and QNX on request.
The NXP is energy efficient, up to the four-core i.MX8X based on the Cortex-A35, and has a clock frequency of 1.2 GHz. TQ supports Dual, Dual Plus and Quad Plus (also known as DualX, DualXPlus and QuadXPlus) models. Plus models are equipped with a Live GT7000Lite 4-shader GPU and Dual with a GT7000UltraLite 2-shader GPU. All three processors contain the 266 MHz Cortex M4 chip and Tensilica HiFi 4 DSP.
Both TQMa8Xxx and TQMa8XxS support up to 2GB DDR3L with optional ECC support, as well as up to 256MB NOR QSPI flash memory and up to 64GB eMMC. Both have a double GbE controller, an RTC and a temperature sensor.
The modules are available in models with temperatures ranging from -25 to 85°C or -40 to 85°C. They work with 3.3 V DC inputs and the TQMa8XxS also has an optional 3.3-5.25 V input. Typical power consumption is specified as 4 W.
Block diagrams TQMa8Xx (left) and TQMa8XxS
(click on images to enlarge)
The main difference between the modules is that the TQMa8XxS SMARC module has a computer interface with 4K support, while the TQMa8Xxx module offers MIPI-DSI with HD support. Both offer 2x LVDS and MIPI-CSI.
Almost all other interfaces are listed in the same way. While the TQMa8XxS focuses on the display, the TQMa8X performs better on the audio side with 2x SPDIF and 4x ESAI. The SMARC module does not have these signals, but offers an I2S interface.
Both offer a USB 3.0 OTG interface and the TQMa8XxS offers 5x USB 2.0, while the TQMa8Xxx has 2x USB 2.0 OTG. TQMa8X has more serial interfaces with 4x UART and 3x CAN FD. It also has more SPI (4x), I2C (8x) and GPIO (32x) connectors. Both devices have the same SDIO and PCIe interfaces and an optional JTAG.
Each module has its own evaluation kit – STKa8Xxx or STKa8XxS – loaded with 1 GB DDR3L and 8 GB eMMC modules. The cards are equipped with a 4GB SD card, dual GbE, PCIe and dual LVDS. The other I/O’s are different, with different serial, CAN FD, USB and other numbers. A power supply unit and cables are also available. In Starter versions, a TQ display set is added. A Wiki program and full documentation are also available.
Other modules based on i.MX8X that will also be delivered in the coming weeks are Advantech’s ROM-5620 SMARC module and Compulab’s CL-SOM-iMX8X, Kontron’s SMARC-sAMX8X, Kontron’s Qseven based Conga-QMX8X, F&S’ efus MX8X, Phytec’s phyCORE-iMX8X module.MX 8X, Variscite’s VAR-SOM-MX8X, and Toradex Colibri iMX8X and Digi ConnectCore 8X.
TQMa8MxML has an LGA form factor of 38 x 38 mm. The module supports both i.MX8M Mini and i.MX8M Nano (see details below), as well as up to the A53 quadrupole, albeit slightly lowered. The other computer modules that both support the SoC are Variscite VAR-SOM-MX8M-MINI and Toradex Verdin.
TQMa8MxML and block diagram
(click on the images to enlarge).
The TQMa8MxML supports all mini- and nano-kernel configurations and comes with Linux and, if desired, Android. You can download up to 4 GB LPDDR4 on the i.MX8M Mini version and 2 GB on the Nano version. You also get up to 64 GB eMMC and 256 Mb NOR Flash QSPI.
The TQMa8MxML is equipped with an optional GbE controller, temperature sensor, RTC and JTAG. The 5V module has a typical power consumption of 4W and supports the same temperature ranges as the TQMa8Xxx and TQMa8XxS.
Media features include 4-band DSI and CSI MIPI, as well as a variety of audio functions, including SPDIF, up to 20x I2S and up to 8x PDM microphones. With the exception of a USB 2.0 host interface, all of the following inputs/outputs are listed as above. This includes 1x or 3x USB 2.0 OTG links, depending on the conflict list, as well as 4x UART, 4x I2C, 3x SPI, 3x SDIO/eMMC and a single QSPI and PCIe 2.0.
The additional evaluation kit STKa8MxML makes it possible to load 2 GB LPDDR4 and 8 GB eMMC module. The carrier card comes with a 4 GB SD card and a 2x USB 2.0 host and a Micro-USB OTG 2.0 and GbE port. Media ports include eDP, LVDS, MIPI-CSI and audio. There is a mini-PCIe lock with a SIM card slot and a power supply and cables. The starter kit version adds a screen.
The NXP i.MX8M Mini and i.MX8M Nano SoC use a more advanced 14LPC FinFET process than the i.MX8M. For Mini this translates into lower power consumption and a higher clock frequency for the 1, 2 or 4x Cortex-A53 (1.8 GHz) and Cortex-M4 (400 MHz) cores. The Mini also features GCNanoUltra (3D) and GC320 (2D) graphics cores with 1080p60 video acceleration instead of 4K for the i.MX8M.
The new, smaller i.MX8M Nano also offers up to 4x-A53 cores, but reaches a maximum of 1.5 GHz. Nano, which is compatible with Mini, has a Live 3D/2D GPU GC7000UL, but no VPU. However, it contains a more powerful 600 MHz Cortex-M7 chip and has a PET of less than 2W.
TQMa8Xxx, TQMa8XxS and TQMa8MxML must be published on the 15th. They may expire and their prizes will not be announced. More information can be found on the TQMa8Xxx and TQMa8XxS screens of TQ-Embedded and on the product pages of TQMa8Xxx and TQMa8XxS.
More information about TQMa8MxMLmay can be found on the announcements and products page.