TQ Announces Series Maturity of New System-on-Chip Module
May 03, 2022
Seefeld, March 29th, 2022 - Technology services provider TQ, a leading provider of embedded systems and Electronic Engineering Manufacturing Services, announces the production readiness of a new computer on module: The TQMa117xL, based on NXP's i.MX RT1170 MCU, scores with a compact size of only 31 mm x 31 mm and provides all CPU signals via a total of 277 LGA pads.
The module is equipped with sufficient memory (LP-SDRAM, Quad-SPI-NOR-Flash and EEPROM), an optional security chip and a PMIC (Power Management IC) connected to the CPU. Thus, the module meets even the highest demands. Thanks to the versatility of the processor and the very good power dissipation of less than one watt, this module design offers multiple application possibilities for control tasks and usage scenarios in the IIoT.
"As a long-standing partner of NXP, we are very pleased that with the TQMa117xL we now have a low-cost module based on the powerful i.MX RT1170 crossover MCU ready for series production in our portfolio. This new development offers an ideal platform for applications such as small gateways, room control systems, decentralized intelligence in automation, time and attendance systems or even voice-controlled elevator controls," explains Konrad Zöpf, Deputy Director TQ-Embedded.
Crossover MCU: the best of CPU and MCU combined
The new generation of NXP's i.MX RT processor family is also known as the Crossover MCU because it bridges the gap between CPU and MCU: Thus, the Crossover MCU combines the energy efficiency and performance of a microcontroller (MCU) with fast and high-performance interfaces of a processor (CPU). The crossover processors implement the peripherals of application processors and offer a high level of integration, including high-speed interfaces, improved security functions and hardware support for graphical applications.
Crossover technology helps MCU customers tap into the power of new application processors while continuing to use their current tools. By using MCU technology, i.MX-RT products can eliminate the need for on-chip flash. This not only reduces costs, but also enables operation at a higher clock frequency to achieve more processor performance.
Particularly suitable for smart home, building and industrial automation
Three areas of application that are particularly suitable due to the functions of the module are smart home, building automation and industrial automation. The module has all crucial interfaces to measure the temperature in rooms and to connect a touch display as an input interface and to display information.
This makes the module ideally suited for building automation with possible application areas such as climate or lighting control and access control. In addition, the module is suitable for the realization of decentralized intelligence anywhere in the building where energy-efficient but powerful control tasks need to be handled.
The TQMa11xL also scores in industrial automation, where modules communicate primarily in real time and must respond to the request within a predefined time window. Possible areas of application for the module can be found here in industrial controllers that are implemented based on a lean real-time operating system such as FreeRTOS. The supported bandwidth ranges from simple display systems for machine data and parameters to the control of actuators or motors.
Easy to integrate with matching single board computer
"Adapted to the numerous possible applications of the TQMa117xL, we have also developed the matching mainboard to the module. This not only simplifies the evaluation of the TQMa117xL, as a blueprint the MBa117xL also helps users to develop their own mainboards faster and thus reduce costs," emphasizes Konrad Zöpf.
In addition to a wide range of interfaces such as two Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), two USB 2.0 as well as two CAN FD (galvanically isolated) and an SD card interface, also four digital 24 V inputs/outputs - each for controlling external peripheral devices - are implemented. Touch displays with a resolution of up to 1280 x 800 pixels can be connected via a MIPI-DSI or alternatively an LVDS interface. The mainboard offers a special expansion option with its analog NXP front end (NAFE13388B40BS): With it, up to eight programmable analog inputs can be used to realize uncomplicated current, voltage and resistance measurements.
In addition, the mainboard, which measures only 160 mm x 100 mm, scores with WiFi and cellular options, scalable from NB-IoT (Narrow Band) to LTE, for wireless communication. Three user LEDs and a CSI interface with two lanes for camera connection as well as the possibility to supply the industrial mainboard completely via Power over Ethernet (PoE) perfectly round off the design.
The SBC (Single Board Computer), consisting of soldered LGA module and mainboard, can also be used as an already qualified industrial board due to its many functions. In addition, it can be used as a basis for own designs: Starting with smart HMI solutions in building automation via decentralized intelligence for various control systems up to real-time acquisition of sensor data in automation.
The module and mainboard are now available in series production.