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Tiny i.MX6 module takes Linux into harsh environments

Sep 24, 2014 — by Eric Brown — 1,685 views

[Updated Sep 26] — Toradex is adding a Freescale i.MX6-based model to its SODIMM-style Colibri family, with up 4GB eMMC flash, industrial temperature range, and Linux support.

The “Colibri i.MX6” computer-on-module follows the same 67.6 x 36.7mm, SODIMM-style form-factor as earlier Colibri COMs like the Freescale Vybrid VF6xx based Colibri VF61. Toradex has already supported the Freescale i.MX6 on its larger Apalis iMX6 computer-on-module format.

Colibri i.MX6
(click image to enlarge)

Specifications for the 67.6 x 36.7mm Colibri i.MX6 are thoroughly detailed, though still preliminary. You get a choice of Solo and DualLite i.MX6 system-on-chips, with one or two Cortex-A9 cores, respectively. The SoCs use lower-end versions of the Vivante GPU, compared to the Dual or Quad models, but they are still capable of HD video and graphics. The block diagram below suggests the eventual availability of Dual and Quad versions of the module, but these have yet to be announced.

Both the Solo and DualLite Colibri i.MX6 models are available in either 800MHz or 1GHz versions. The Solo models ship with 256MB of DDR3 RAM while the DualLite versions have 512MB. All the models offer 4GB of eMMC flash.

Colibri i.MX6 block diagram (preliminary)
(click image to enlarge)

The I/O available via the SODIMM connectors is less extensive than that found on the Apalis i.MX6. The module supports HDMI, RGB, USB 2.0 host and OTG, and Fast Ethernet connections. Audio and camera inputs are analog, rather than digital, and there’s no SATA support, as there is on the Apalis version. You do get the same wide range of industrial interfaces, including dual CAN ports.

The Colibri i.MX6 is available in both commercial and industrial temperature ranges. You can choose from the same wide range of Toradex carrier boards, including the Colibri Evaluation board, as well as Iris, Viola, and Orchid boards. Toradex also offers a variety of optional accessories, including touchscreens, WiFi and camera modules, and converters for switching the native RGB interface to LVDS.

Linux is preinstalled and supported on “initial samples,” and Windows Embedded Compact 7 and Windows Embedded Compact 2013 support will be added “in the next few months,” according to an email we received from Toradex. “Windows Embedded Compact will be the preinstalled OS with volume shipments. If Linux is required, the customer can reflash the Linux OS on the module. Windows Embedded Compact 2013 NR License is included with the module.”

Summary of Colibri i.MX6 specs

Specifications listed for the Toradex Colibri i.MX6 module include:

  • Processor — Freescale i.MX6 Solo (1x) or DualLite 2x Cortex-A9 cores @800MHz or 1GHz; Vivante 2D/3D graphics accelerators
  • RAM — 256MB (Solo) or 512MB (DualLite) DDR3 RAM
  • Storage — 4GB eMMC NAND flash
  • Interfaces on edge connector:
    • 3x 8-bit SDIO/SD/MMC
    • 10/100 Ethernet
    • USB 2.0 host
    • USB 2.0 OTG
    • A/V I/O:
      • HDMI (full HD v1.4a, 1080p)
      • RGB (2048 x 1536 x 24bpp)
      • 4-wire resistive touch interface
      • Audio line-in, mic-in, line-out
      • 2x Camera Parallel inputs
    • Other interfaces — 3x I2C; 3x SPI; 5x UART; 2x CAN; 1x IrDA; 4x PWM; up to 154x GPIOs; 4x analog inputs
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C or -40 to 85°C
  • Power consumption — “tbd”
  • Dimensions — 67.6 x 36.7 x 6.2mm
  • Operating system — Linux now; WEC7 and WEC2013 coming soon

Further information

The Colibri i.MX6 module is priced at $81 (Solo 256MB) and $89 (DualLite 512MB) for single units, with discounts for OEM volumes and premiums for industrial temperature versions, and is due to ship in the fourth quarter. More information may be found on Toradex’s Colibri i.MX6 product page.

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