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COM and Pico-ITX dev kit run Linux on dual-core Cortex-A7

Jul 22, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 893 views

iWave has launched a rugged, SODIMM-style COM and Pico-ITX form factor carrier board that run Linux on the Renesas dual-core, Cortex-A7 RZ/G1E SoC.

In January, iWave launched the iW-RainboW-G20M-Qseven computer-on-module, built around the dual-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A15 based Renesas RZ/G1M and RZ/G1N SoCs. Now the company has followed up with a 67.6 x 37mm, SODIMM form factor “iW-RainboW-G22M-SM” COM that runs Linux 3.10.31 on the dual-core Cortex-A7 based RZ/G1E SoC from the same RZ/G series SoCs.


Japan-based Renesas Electronics will be closer to the center of the ARM universe once fellow Japanese firm SoftBank acquires ARM Holdings Plc for $32 billion. Meanwhile, its new RZ/G1E is the closest thing Renesas has to a processor aimed at Internet of Things, the market that SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said inspired him to purchase ARM.

The power-sipping RZ/G1E is clocked at 1GHz and features a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The RZ/G1E integrates a proprietary Renesas video codec that delivers 1080p @ 60fps performance. It also provides peripheral support including GbE, PCIe, and USB 3.0.

Block diagrams: iW-RainboW-G22M-SM COM (left) and Renesas RZ/G1E SoC
(click images to enlarge)

iWave’s iW-RainboW-G22M-SM module is aimed at HMI, access control, industrial control, networking and high vision camera, home and office automation, point of sale, and IoT gateway applications. The module is available with 512MB of DDR3 RAM and 2MB SPI NOR flash. There’s also 4GB of onboard eMMC flash, which like the RAM appears to be expandable by special order only. The RAM can go to 2GB, but no limit was listed for the flash. An on-board microSD slot is optional.

All of the other RZ/G1E SoC functions supported by the iW-RainboW-G22M-SM are routed to the COM’s 200-pin SODIMM edge-connector. These include 10/100/1000 and 10/100 Ethernet interfaces (both with on-board PHYs), an 8-bit CMOS camera interface (only available if the Fast Ethernet port is disabled), and a 24-bit RGB LCD interface.

Additional RZ/G1E I/O passed through the SODIMM connector includes 4-bit SD, USB 2.0 host, USB 2.0 device, up to 6x UARTs, 2x CAN, 2x PWM, and 2x I2C, as well as I2S, JTAG, and GPIOs. The module provides -40 to 85°C support and runs on [email protected] power.

RZ/G1E Development Kit

The iW-RainboW-G22M-SM can be extended with an RZ/G1E Development Kit built around a 100 x 72mm, Pico-ITX form-factor carrier board. The board provides a microSD slot, plus real-world I/O connectors for GbE and 10/100 Ethernet, dual USB Type A, micro-USB OTG, audio I/O, and power.

RZ/G1E Development Kit (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

Other interface connectors provided by the carrier board include an RGB LCD connector that hooks up to an optional 4.3-inch resistive touchscreen, an 8-bit OV7725 camera connector, a JTAG header, and a pair of 20-pin header connectors that carry additional COM, UART, JTAG, CAN, SPI, and GPIO signals. An optional HDMI daughter board, which mates with one of the two 20-pin I/O headers, can be used for adding a real-world HDMI port, plus connectors for a second CAN PHY and three RS232 interfaces.

The carrier board runs from [email protected] power, and supports 0 to 60°C temperature operation. The kit is available with a Linux 3.10.31 BSP.

The combined board-set “will also be supported in mass production,” says iWave. The carrier is also compatible with the company’s SODIMM style i.MX6-based COMs, such as the iW-RainboW-G18M-SODIMM i.MX6U.

“We are confident that with the new module developed based on the latest Renesas’ low power RZ/G1 MPU, we can provide optimum module solutions to customers who develop Linux applications,” stated Ichiro Tomioka, VP, ICT & Office Business Division, Renesas Electronics Corp.

Further information

iWave’s iW-RainboW-G22M-SM COM and RZ/G1E Development Kit appear to be available now at undisclosed prices. More information may be found at iWave’s iW-RainboW-G22M-SM and RZ/G1E Development Kit product pages.

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