SMARC Modules Make New 3.5-inch Boards Scalable

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

March 03, 2020


congatec introduces a new carrier board, the conga-SMC1 3.5-inch board, with a socket for Arm based SMARC modules.

congatec introduces a new carrier board, the conga-SMC1 3.5-inch board, with a socket for Arm based SMARC modules. Its I/Os can be used with congatec's NXP i.MX8 module portfolio and it comes in 12 different processor configurations. OEMs can implement them in their system solutions without any hardware development effort, using the large ecosystems of standard form factors. Customization of I/Os is another benefit of a modular design and is suitable for small or medium sized projects.

The new carrier board not only features a SMARC socket for scalable processor performance, but is also optimized for MIPI cameras, which can be connected directly and without any additional hardware. With two MIPI-CSI 2.0 connectors, it is possible to develop systems that provide three-dimensional vision and can be used for situational awareness in autonomous vehicles. Combined with processor-integrated support for artificial intelligence and neural networks, this COTS platform offers what developers need for smart vision systems.

The conga-SMC1 board is scalable in 12 performance steps and offers dual GbE, 5x USB, and USB hub support as well as SATA 3 for external hard drives or SSDs.

For specific expansions, the board offers a miniPCIe slot as well as an M.2 Type E E2230 slot with I2S, PCIe and USB, and an M.2 Type B B2242/2280 with 2x PCIe and 1x USB. An integrated MicroSim slot for IoT connection is also provided, next to specific embedded interfaces such as 4x UART, 2x CAN, 8x GPIO, I2C, and SPI.

Displays can be connected via HDMI, LVDS/eDP/DP and MIPI-DSI. The board further offers two MIPI-CSI inputs for camera connection. I2S sound can be implemented via audio jack.

In terms of software, congatec offers precompiled binaries with a configured bootloader, Linux, Yocto, and Android images, as well as all required drivers that are available to congatec customers on GitHub.

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Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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