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Wireless-enabled i.MX6 SBC offers remote IoT management

Jan 26, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 1,706 views

Eurotech’s “CPU-351-13” SBC runs Linux on Freescale’s i.MX6 SoC, and offers ZigBee, GPS, extended temperature operation, remote IoT management, and more.

Eurotech has been promoting the concept of managed Internet of Things devices long before “IoT” became the latest craze. The Yocto Linux ready CPU-351-13 single board computer is the latest of its embedded boards that can be remote controlled using its Everyware Software Framework (ESF) and Everyware Cloud Client. Other Everyware-enabled products from Eurotech include last year’s Intel Atom E3800 based Catalyst BT module.

This time Eurotech is pointing ARM-ward with a Freescale i.MX6 SoC available in one, two, or four Cortex-A9 cores. The 153 x 102mm SBC supports -40 to 85°C temperatures when running the i.MX6 at 800MHz, or -20 to 85°C when topping out at the 1.2GHz maximum.

Eurotech CPU-351-13
(click image to enlarge)

Applications are said to include retail kiosk displays, medical equipment, and control panels for fitness equipment. Transportation applications are also supported, says Eurotech.

The CPU-351-13 ships with ESF and Everyware Cloud Client loaded. As a result, customers can remotely managed IoT devices based on the board and “build devices that aggregate and analyze data to feed into cloud-based storage and analysis systems and create business intelligence quickly and easily,” says Eurotech. 

Eurotech Everywhere Cloud architecture and embedded framework
(click images to enlarge)

As is suggested by its unappetizing name, the CPU-351-13 is primarily designed for large-volume customers. In fact, it includes a number of factory options for customization. Its list of interfaces is considerably more advanced than those of hacker boards based on the i.MX6 such as the pcDuino Acadia 1.

You can load the device with up to 4GB of soldered DDR3 RAM, and expand the standard allotment of 4GB of eMMC flash to up to 64GB. MicroSD and SATA connections enable additional storage.

Eurotech CPU-351-13
(click images to enlarge)

For display, you get RGB and LVDS interfaces, with resistive touchscreen support. Options include an HDMI port and three analog camera inputs.

The CPU-351-13 ships with dual gigabit Ethernet ports, plus Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0, ZigBee, a GPS receiver, WiFi, and optional cellular data modems. If you’re running Linux, you can even use the WiFi module as an access point.

The SBC ships with three USB 2.0 host ports, audio I/O, dual RS232/485/422 ports, and two more optional RS232 ports. A CANBus interface is available, along with an optional second CANBus or automotive focused OBDII interface. Other I/O includes I2C, SPI, GPIO, keypad, and analog input interfaces. Mini-PCIe is available for expansion, and there’s even a built-in accelerometer.

The CPU-351-13 has a wide-range 6 to 36VDC power supply, and is said to run on about 4 Watts. The device features smart power management features, as well as a “multi-chemistry” battery charger.

Specifications listed for the Eurotech CPU-351-13 include:

  • Processor — Freescale i.MX6 Quad (4x Cortex-A9 cores @ up to 1.2GHz); Vivante GC2000 with OpenGL/ES 2.x, OpenCL EP, and OpenVG 1.1 acceleration
  • Memory/storage:
    • Up to 4GB DDR3 RAM (soldered)
    • 4GB to 64GB eMMC flash
    • MicroSD slot
    • SATA host socket (Dual or Quad i.MX6 configurations only)
  • Display/camera:
    • LVDS interface
    • RGB interface
    • Optional HDMI
    • 2x independent displays (Dual or Quad only)
    • 4-wire resistive touch controller
    • Optional 3x analog camera inputs (factory option)
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11a/b/g/n client and access point (access point requires Linux)
    • 802.15.4 (ZigBee)
    • Bluetooth 4.0 with BLE
    • 50-channel GPS
    • Optional 2G GSM, 2.5G CDMA, 3G GSM, 3G CDMA, or 4G LTE via ReliaCELL 10-20 ext. adapter (factory option)
  • Networking — 2x gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Internal USB 2.0 header
    • Audio in and out
    • 2x RS232/485/422
    • 2x RS232 (optional)
    • I2C
    • SPI
    • 8x isolated GPIO
    • 4×4 keypad
    • 2x analog voltage inputs
    • CAN bus
    • Optional J1939 (CAN)/J1979 (OBDII)/J1708 (factory option)
  • Expansion — mini-PCIe socket
  • Other features — 3-axis accelerometer; supports Eurotech Everyware Device Cloud and Everyware Software Framework
  • Power:
    • 6 to 36VDC in (5V optional)
    • 4W typical consumption
    • Multi-chemistry battery charger (Li-ion/Polymer, LiFePO4); optional Lead Acid battery charger factory option
    • Smart power monitor
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C (800MHz); -20 to 85°C (1.2GHz)
  • Dimensions — 153 x 102mm
  • Operating system — Yocto Linux 12.04; WEC7

Eurotech recently became a Freescale Connect Proven Partner. This means Eurotech “works closely with Freescale to offer new ARM-based products that meet market requirements balancing processing power and energy efficiency,” says the company.

“Eurotech has shown their commitment to enabling M2M / IoT applications and recently moved up as a Freescale Connect Proven Partner to work with us more closely in this space,” stated Alex Dopplinger, Industrial Business Development Manager, Freescale. “We look forward to partnering with Eurotech to bring IoT-enabling embedded computing platforms and multi-service gateways to businesses of all sizes.”

Further information

The CPU-351-13 appears to be available now, though at an unstated price. More information may be found at the company’s CPU-351-13 product page.

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