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COM and dev kit run Linux on Renesas Cortex-A15 SoC

Jan 21, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 619 views

[Updated: Apr. 25, 2016] — iWave has announced an industrial temperature Qseven module that runs Linux on the dual-core, Cortex-A15 Renesas RZ/G SoC, along with a development kit.

Bangalore, India based iWave Systems is typically associated here with SODIMM-style computer-on-modules based on Freescale SoCs, such as the iW-RainboW-G18M-SODIMM i.MX6UL. For its new “iW-RainboW-G20M-Qseven” module series, iWave is branching out with a Qseven form-factor COM series built around the recently announced Renesas RZ/G series of ARM SoCs. Specifically, the two modules run Linux on the dual-core, 1.5GHz Renesas RZ/G1M and RZ/G1N SoC variants, which use Cortex-A15 architecture, as opposed to the dual-core Cortex-A7-based Renesas RZ/G1E.

iW-RainboW-G20M-Qseven, front and back views
(click images to enlarge)

The Linux-oriented RZ/G1M and RZ/G1N SoCs feature faster CPUs and GPUs than the earlier RZ/A, The RZ/G1M and RZ/G1N SoCs integrate an Imagination PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU, as well as a proprietary Renesas video codec that delivers 1080p @ 60fps performance. iWave’s 70 x 70mm Qseven form-factor COM backs up its RZ/G1M or RZ/G1N SoC with 1GB of DDR3 RAM and 4GB eMMC flash. Both memories are said to be expandable, even without using the optional microSD slot. There’s also a GbE PHY.

iW-RainboW-G20M-Qseven COM block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The two COM models differ in the clock speeds supported by their SoCs’ integrated GPUs, with the RZ/G1M’s GPU clocking up to 520MHz and the -N’s limited to 312MHz. Additionally, only the RZ/G1M-based COM provides a PCIe 1x link to its Qseven bus, which according to the block diagram can optionally be jumpered to supply SATA instead, as can the Qseven bus’s USB 3.0 interface. Both module versions operate over an industrial temperature range of -40 to 85°C.

Renesas RZ/G1M (left) and RZ/G1N SoC block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

In a somewhat radical departure from normal Qseven COM designs, the iW-RainboW-G20M-Qseven module’s interfaces are split between the 230-finger Qseven MXM edge connector and a pair of high density, 80-line connectors on the back side of the module. The resulting, wider-than-normal range of interfaces includes LVDS, RGB, SATA, CAN, USB 3.0 and 2.0, and a variety of serial and camera interfaces. “These expansion connectors are supported in all the iWave Qseven CPU modules,” says the company.

Qseven development kit

iWave supports its iW-RainboW-G20M-Qseven COMs with a RZ/G1M Qseven development kit.

RZ/G1M Qseven Development Kit photo, and the carrier board’s block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The kit’s Qseven carrier board provides a daughter board location that interfaces to the signals of the two non-standard 80-pin I/O expansion connectors on the back side of the COM. As indicated in the block diagram, iWave apparently will be offering an optional camera daughter board that plugs into that location on the carrier board.

Summary of iW-RainboW-G20M-Qseven series modules specs

Specifications listed for the iW-RainboW-G20M-Qseven series include:

  • Processor — Renesas RZ/G1M or RZ/G1N
    • CPU –2x Cortex-A15 cores @ 1.5GHz
    • GPU — PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU @ 520MHz (G1M) or 312MHz (G1N)
  • Memory:
    • 1GB DDR3 (expandable)
    • 4GB eMMC flash (expandable)
    • 2MB SPI NOR flash (for boot)
    • Optional microSD slot
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet PHY
  • I/O via 230-pin Qseven edge connector:
    • PCIe or SATA (RZ/G1M-based model only)
    • SDHC
    • USB 3.0 host
    • 2x USB 2.0 host
    • USB 2.0 device
    • LVDS
    • I2S audio
    • 2x I2C
    • 2x PWM
    • SPI, CAN, UART
    • JTAG or UART console
    • GPIOs
  • I/O via 2x 80-line expansion connectors on back side of module:
    • 24bpp RGB LCD or 16-bit camera
    • 24bpp camera or 2x 8-bit camera
    • 8-bit camera
    • 2x UART
    • Memory bus
    • SPI/UART
    • CAN
    • SSI/I2S audio
    • 2x PWM
    • GPIOs
  • Power — 5V @2A input via edge connector; onboard PMIC
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 70 x 70mm; Qseven 2.0
  • Operating system — Linux 3.10.31 BSP

“We are proud to work with iWave, a widely known globally-proven SOM vendor with rich and extensive product portfolio,” stated Ichiro Tomioka, Vice President, Renesas. “We are confident that the new SOM developed based on our latest Renesas RZ/G1M MPU will enable rapid development of high-performance Linux and Android applications for our customers across the world.”

Further information

The iW-RainboW-G20M-Qseven module and iW-RainboW-G20D-Qseven RZ/G1M Development Kit appear to be shipping now, at unstated prices. More information may be found at iWave’s RZ/G1M Qseven Module and RZ/G1M Qseven Development Kit product pages.

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