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Compact, low power IoT gateway runs Linux on i.MX6

Oct 1, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 911 views

VIA’s 30mm tall “Artigo A820” IoT gateway runs Linux on an i.MX6 DualLite, and offers optional WiFi and 3G in addition to Fast and GbE Ethernet ports.

Like last year’s Artigo A900 mini-PC, the Artigo A820 runs Linux on a dual-core, 1GHz Cortex-A9 SoC. This time, however, VIA Technologies has turned to Freescale’s i.MX6 DualLite SoC instead of its own Via Elite E1000.

Artigo A820, front view

Like the A900, the A820 is a fanless, “ultra-slim” device, measuring only 3cm tall. Other similar features include shock and vibration resistance, as well as modestly extended operating temperature support (0 to 50°C). This time, however, the device is offered with a Linux BSP instead of Android, and is more definitively spun as an enterprise IoT gateway system.

Artigo A820, rear view
(click image to enlarge)

Although it costs about $70 more, the Artigo A820 has a somewhat more limited feature set the A900, with only one 1GB RAM, no mSATA or audio connections, three USB 2.0 instead of 3.0 ports, and no mini-USB port. On the plus side, you get four more GPIO lanes. Like the A900, it offers 10/100 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, optional WiFi and 3G modules, and 4GB eMMC flash, among other features.

Artigo A820 detail view
(click image to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Artigo A820 include:
  • Processor — Freescale i.MX6 DualLite (2x Cortex-A9 cores @ 1.0GHz); Vivante GC880 2G/3G graphics acceleration
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
    • 4GB eMMC flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Display — Mini-HDMI out port
  • Wireless:
    • Optional WiFi module (USB or mini-PCIe)
    • Optional 3G module (USB or mini-PCIe)
    • 2x antenna holes
    • WiFi LED
  • Networking:
    • Gigabit Ethernet “transceiver” port with RGMII (Micrel KSZ9031RNX)
    • Fast Ethernet port (ASIX AX88772, via USB)
  • Other I/O (front-facing unless otherwise noted):
    • 3x USB 3.0 ports (2x rear-facing)
    • DIO port (8x GPIO)
    • RS232/485 port with select switch and 8-wire DTE mode with isolation
  • Expansion — Mini-PCIe slot
  • Other features — Watchdog; LEDs; reset button; microSD/SPI boot switch; optional VESA mounting; metal chassis, aluminum top;
  • Power — 5V DC-in; 6.7W consumption (typical)
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 50°C
  • Vibration resistance (with eMMC loaded) — 5Grms, random, 5 to 500Hz, 1hr/axis (IEC 60068-2-64)
  • Shock resistance (with eMMC loaded) — 50G, half size, 11ms duration (IEC 60068-2-27) with mSATA SSD
  • Weight — 0.566 k (1.25 lbs)
  • Dimensions — 150 x 126 x 30mm
  • Operating system — Linux BSP (Linux 3.0.35)

Further information

Artigo A820 samples are now available for $419. More information and direct sales may be found at the VIA Technologies Artigo A820 product page.

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