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Compact Cortex-A9 SBC expands on its inner Udoo

Apr 7, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 1,500 views

Seco has released a commercial SBC spun from the original i.MX6-based open spec Udoo hacker SBC, adding eMMC flash and subtracting Arduino compatibility.

Seco oversees the popular, community-backed Udoo SBC project, but also sells more commercial single board computers under its own name, such as the SECOpITX-GX. While that board was equipped with an AMD G-Series SoC and adopted the 100 x 72mm Pico-ITX form factor, Seco’s new “SECOSBC-A62” SBC features a Freescale i.MX6 SoC, and uses a 110 x 86.5mm form factor borrowed from the original Udoo SBC on which it’s based.

Although the SECOSBC-A62 and circa-2013 Udoo are alike in most respects, there are numerous minor differences, as summarized on this comparison page. The major difference is that the SECOSBC-A62 replaces the Udoo SBC’s Arduino compatible expansion connector with a more generic 28-pin GPIO connector.

SECOSBC-A62 (left) compared to the Udoo SBC

The SECOSBC-A62 also enables up to twice the RAM of the Udoo, and offers an optional 16GB of eMMC, whereas the Udoo board is limited to microSD expansion. The SECOSBC-A62 also adds optional -40 to 85°C industrial temperature support. Seco intends the SECOSBC-A62 for point-of-sale, signage, infotainment, and industrial Internet of Things applications. A complete comparison of the two boards’ specs are listed in this table [PDF].

The SECOSBC-A62 has a somewhat simpler set of interfaces than some other compact i.MX6 boards like the Pico-ITX based VIA Technologies VAB-820. The feature set varies, however, depending on whether you use the available Solo, DualLite (like the Dual, but with a slightly weaker Vivante GPU), or quad-core Quad version of the Cortex-A9 based i.MX6. Both Linux and Android BSPs are available.

Standard RAM is 1GB DDR3 except for the Solo, which gets 512MB, but these are expandable to 2GB, at least for the DualLite and Quad versions. The SBC is notable for offering soldered RAM and flash (4GB of eMMC), an extra typically found on ruggedized boards. However, Seco has made no claims for extended shock and vibration resistance, and the industrial temperature version is by special request only.

(click image to enlarge)

The SECOSBC-A62 has a microSD slot, and the Quad version adds a SATA connector. A gigabit Ethernet port is available, along with an HDMI port and a single- or dual-channel 18/24-bit LVDS interface. The ability to run two (Solo and DualLite) or three (Quad) simultaneous displays adds to the board’s appeal in public-facing signage and PoS applications, as do the separate touchscreen and MIPI-CSI connectors. The latter is available with optional cameras.

The SBC is further equipped with dual USB 2.0 coastline ports, as well as an internal connector that can be used to add a WiFi module, according to Seco. A micro-USB client port is also available, and audio I/O is provided on all but the Solo version. All the versions offer an expansion connector for 28x GPIO and other interfaces.

The boards vary in their serial and CAN support, although just how significantly is unclear due to discrepancies between the product page and the datasheet, and neither source of specs include the SBC’s block diagram. We’ve made our best guess below, but you should check with Seco first. In any case, the product appears to be highly customizable, perhaps depending on volume.

Summary of SECOSBC-A62 specs

Specifications listed for the SECOSBC-A62 include:

  • Processor — Freescale i.MX6 Solo, DualLite, or Quad Soc (1x, 2x, or 4x Cortex-A9 cores @ 1GHz); Vivante GPU, video accelerator, and ISP
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB soldered DDR3 RAM on DualLite and Quad models, expandable to 2GB; 512MB soldered for Solo
    • Optional 4GB soldered eMMC flash
    • MicroSD slot
    • SATA connector (Quad model only)
  • Display/multimedia:
    • Optional HDMI 1.4 port up to 1920 x 1080
    • 1x dual- or 2x single-channel 18/24-bit LVDS up to 1920 x 1200
    • 2x (Solo/DualLite) or 3x simultaneous displays (Quad)
    • Dedicated I2C/GPIO connector for external touchscreen controller
    • Audio (DualLite and Quad versions only) — mic-in, line-out (Realtek ALC655)
    • MIPI-CSI camera connector with optional cameras
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB 2.0 host (2x coastline ports)
    • Micro-USB client port
    • Serial/CAN:
      • Solo — serial TTL; 2x RS-232; 2x CAN TTL
      • DualLite — serial TTL; 2x RS-232; CAN bus port (3.3V transceiver); serial debug
      • Quad — CAN bus port (3.3V transceiver); serial debug; RS-485; 2x RS-232; CAN TTL
    • Expansion connector for up to 28x GPIO (includes SPI, S/PDIF, CAN TTL, SDIO, I2C, UARTs, 3x PWM)
  • Other features — RTC (only Quad ships with RTC battery)
  • Operating temperature — -0 to 60°C; -40 to 85°C available on special order
  • Power — 12V DC-in; optional 60W power supply kit (5A+CV-AL006 and adapters)
  • Dimensions — 110 x 86.5mm
  • Operating system — Linux and Android BSPs

Further information

The SECOSBC-A62 is available now at an unstated price. More information may be found on the SECOSBC-A62 product page. Further details regarding the original open spec Udoo SBC project may be found here.

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