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Expandable, outdoor IoT gateway runs Android on i.MX6

Sep 28, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 338 views

VIA’s “Artigo A830” IoT gateway runs Android on an i.MX6 DualLite SoC and offers HDMI, GbE, microSD, numerous serial and USB ports, plus -20 to 60° operation.

As the name suggests, the VIA Technologies Artigo A830 Streetwise IoT Platform is designed for outdoor Internet of Things gateway applications. These are said to include smart lockers, vending machines, information kiosks, and signage devices that run “intensive multimedia shopping, entertainment, and navigation applications.” The outdoors focus is supported with an extended -20 to 60°C operating range, as well as surge and ESD protection for surviving challenges such as a nearby lightning strike.

Artigo A830, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Like the Artigo A820 gateway, the Artigo A830 integrates NXP’s 1GHz i.MX6 DualLite system-on-chip. However, the new 260 x 140 x 50mm gateway is much larger than the 150 x 126 x 30mm Artigo A820, and it runs Android as its default OS instead of Linux. The A830 has far more wired ports, including numerous USB and COM connections, but lacks any featured wireless connections except for a SIM card slot.

The two systems are also rugged in entirely different ways. The older Artigo A820 has shock and vibration support, but has no extended temperature or exceptional electrical protection.

Artigo A830 from an angle
(click image to enlarge)

It’s possible that both devices are built around VIA’s Qseven form-factor QSM-8Q60 COM, which was announced a year ago today, a month before the Artigo A820. The DualLite-based COM supports a -20 to 70°C range.

The Artigo A830 offers 1GB DDR3, 8GB eMMC, and a microSD expansion. There’s a GbE port for communications, and HDMI and LVDS connectors for displays. Audio I/O includes dual speaker outlets fed by a 5W amp. The seven serial ports include a debug port and a 3-pole Phoenix RS-485 port. The six USB host ports and the mini-USB OTG port are all 2.0 devices.

Artigo A830 detail viwes
(click image to enlarge)

The device’s Android BSP integrates VIA Smart ETK software with APIs for watchdog timer, GPIO and COM access, an RTC for auto-power on, and a sample app. Customization services are also available for Android and Linux.

Specifications listed for VIA’s Artigo A830 include:

  • Processor – NXP i.MX6 DualLite (2x Cortex-A9 cores @ 1.0GHz); Vivante GC880 2G/3G graphics acceleration
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
    • 8GB eMMC flash
    • 4MB SPI flash ROM
    • MicroSD slot
  • Display — HDMI 1.4 port; LVDS connector; backlight connector
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port with RGMII (Micrel KSZ9031RNX)
  • Other I/O (front-facing unless otherwise noted):
    • 6x USB 2.0 ports (SMSC USB2514 4-port hub controller)
    • Mini-USB 2.0 OTG port
    • 5x RS-232 ports (rear facing; 3x with DTS/RTS/TX/RX and 2x with 8-wire DTE)
    • RS232/485 port (rear facing with 3-pole Phoenix connector)
    • COM debug port (TX/RX)
    • Mic-in jack (I2S audio interface)
    • 2x speaker-out connectors with 5W amp
  • Other features — Watchdog; RTC; LEDs; reset, return, and power buttons; metal chassis
  • Power — 12V DC-in
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 60°C
  • Weight — 0.7 k (1.5 lbs)
  • Dimensions — 260 x 140 x 50mm
  • Operating system — Android BSP (Linux and Android customization available)

Further information

The Artigo A830 is shipping now at an unstated price. The gateway is “already being deployed in cities throughout China, where high smart phone usage rates and the proliferation of mobile payment systems are driving the development of O2O (online-to-offline) applications and services among dense urban populations,” says VIA Technologies. More information may be found at the Artigo A830 product page.

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One response to “Expandable, outdoor IoT gateway runs Android on i.MX6”

  1. Dr. Azrael Tod says:

    so… how old is this Android?
    5? 4.4? Older?

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