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IPC-A-610 Class 3 rated COM runs Linux on i.MX6

Mar 30, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 738 views

Denx released a rugged, IPC-A-610 Class 3 rated “M6R” COM that runs its Yocto-based ELDK embedded Linux on a single, dual, or quad core Freescale i.MX6 SoC.

The Denx M6R computer-on-module, which is available with an M6REVK carrier board, follows in the steps of earlier Freescale-based COMs from Denx Computer Systems such as the i.MX53x based M53. The 80 x 60mm module, which uses the newer Cortex-A9-based i.MX6 system-on-chip, similarly runs the Embedded Linux Development Kit (ELDK) distribution from its sister company Denx Software Engineering. ELDK has been evolving for well over a decade, long before it switched to a Yocto Project foundation.

Two views of the M6R
(click images to enlarge)

According to Germany-based Denx, the M6R fills the gap caused by a lack of rugged modules supporting the i.MX6. Actually, we have seen a few, such as the Toradex Apalis iMX6, but despite the large selection of i.MX6 modules these days, it’s true that you don’t see many rugged, temperature resistant models as you would with say, TI’s Sitara SoCs.

In addition, this is the first module we’ve covered of any kind that complies with the rigorous IPC-A-610 Class 3 standard from the Association Connecting Electronics Industries organization. (The Atom-based Versalogic VL-COMm-26 COM supports IPC-A-610 Class 2.) IPC-A-610 Class 3 stipulates high standards for laminate selection, plating thickness, manufacturing processes, and material qualifications, among other factors. The standard “allows for the traceability and control of the production process, which is especially necessary for medical or military applications,” says Denx.

The M6R COM offers optional industrial temperature support, and is designed for demanding and harsh environments with high mechanical stress in long-life applications. These are said to include medicine, agriculture, or transport, says Denx.

The module is available with all the standard i.MX6 options except the Dual, which has a slightly more capable version of the Vivante GPU than the version found on the available DualLite. There’s no support for the new MCU-augmented i.MX6 SoloX .

M6R block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The M6R ships with 512MB of DDR3 RAM, upgradable to 2GB. You get 4GB of eMMC flash, with an option to integrate 128MB of SPI NOR flash. The module has three 120-pin board-to-board connectors to bring forth the gigabit Ethernet support, as well as interfaces including HDMI, LVDS, USB, SATA II, PCIe, CAN, S/PDIF, MIPI-CSI camera, and more.

Specifications for the M6R module include:

  • Processor — Freescale i.MX6 Solo, DualLite, or Quad:
    • 1x, 2x, or 4x ARM Cortex-A9 cores @ 800MHz to 1.0GHz
    • Integrated Neon “Media Processor Engine”
    • Integrated Vivante 2D/3D graphics accelerators
  • Memory:
    • 512MB DDR3, expandable to 2GB
    • 4GB eMMC flash
    • Optional SPI NOR flash up to 128MB
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet port controller (IEEE1588 support)
  • Other I/O (via 3x 120-pin connectors):
    • PCIe x1 2.0
    • USB 2.0 host and OTG
    • Up to 2x 24-bit LVDS
    • HDMI
    • SATA II
    • S/PDIF
    • MIPI-CSI2 camera
    • I2C, SPI, UART
    • CAN
    • PWM
  • Other features — Watchdog; optional M6REVK carrier board
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C (commercial); -40 to 85°C (industrial)
  • Ruggedization — IPC-A-610 Class 3 compliance
  • Dimensions — 80 x 60mm
  • Operating system — ELDK Linux BSP (Yocto) with UBoot

M6REVK carrier

An M6REVK carrier board is available along with the M6R COM, which is here configured with 4GB eMMC flash and 512MB (Solo), 1GB (DualLite), or 2GB (Quad) of DDR3 RAM. A power supply and a 7-inch touchscreen also come with the package.

M6REVK carrier board
(click image to enlarge)

The M6REVK board itself integrates an SD slot, a gigabit Ethernet port, and USB 2.0 host and OTG ports. An HDMI port and dual LVDS interfaces are available for display. Dual RS232 and dual CAN ports are both available on DSUB9 ports.

Additional features include a camera port, audio I/O, and a JTAG interface. Schematics for the board are also available.

Further information

The Denx M6R module will begin sampling in the second quarter. More information may be found at Denx’s M6R product page.

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