Advantech launched one of the first ARM Mini-ITX SBCs. The RSB-6410 runs Linux or Android on an i.MX6, and has mini-PCIe, SATA, M.2, and triple displays.
Advantech calls the RSB-6410 the world’s first RISC-based Mini-ITX motherboard. Considering that all ARM Cortex-A SoCs are RISC SoCs, there have actually been a few others, but it’s still a rarity for this x86-oriented, 170 x 170mm form factor.
In 2013, Cadia Networks launched an MIT-5500 Mini-ITX board that runs Linux or Android on a Cortex-A8 Freescale i.MX53. A year later, Data Modul unveiled an unusual, signage-oriented eDM-mITX-CB-Q7-Info Mini-ITX carrier board that accepts i.MX6 or Intel Atom based Qseven modules. In 2013, Geekroo released a Mini-ITX-based Fairywren carrier that houses an embedded Raspberry Pi SBC.
In any case, Advantech’s RSB-6410 is only the second Linux-ready, monolithic ARM Mini-ITX we’ve seen, and the first based on NXP’s 1GHz, Cortex-A9-based i.MX6. This is also likely one of the most power-efficient Mini-ITX boards you can find. Typical consumption is said to be 8W during “system burning.”
The motherboard is available in i.MX6 Dual and Quad SKUs with 1GB and 2GB DDR3 RAM, respectively. It’s designed for industrial applications such as machine control, self-service machine systems, and digital signage.
The RSB-6410 ships with BSPs for Android 4.4.2 and a Yocto Project 1.7 stack built on a Linux 3.14 kernel. The BSPs include middleware, design guides, examples, and tools for testing and evaluation. You get sample code for setting up dual and triple independent displays, and drivers for wireless modules, touch panels, and more.
RSB-6410 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)
Both models feature 8GB eMMC for the OS, 4MB NOR flash for the Advantech boot loader, plus internal SD and SATA 2.0 interfaces. The SBC provides an M.2 E-key slot for an optional WiFi/Bluetooth module, and a Mini-PCIe slot for 3G/4G modules, such as an optional Quectel 3G modem. A PCIe slot is available for additional expansion.
The RSB-6410 can drive up to three 1080P displays at once using the coastline HDMI and VGA ports and the 24-bit, dual-channel LVDS interface. It also supports dual independent displays simultaneous with audio output, made available with line-out and integrated 6W amplifier. A mic jack is available, as well.
Other coastline ports include 6x USB 2.0 ports, as well as GbE, RS232, and RS422/485/232 ports. There are three more RS232 interfaces onboard, two of which are 4-wire, and one debug port with a 2-wire connection. A PCIe daughtercard option provides two additional real-world RS232/422/485 ports. You also get a CAN port, a watchdog, and 20x GPIOs.
The 12V DC board has a commercial, 0 to 60°C operating range. Accessories include a 7-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen, a power adapter, plus various cables.
The RSB-6410 Mini-ITX board is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found at Advantech’s RSB-6410 product page.