New Low-End Performance Class for SMARC

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

December 05, 2019


New Low-End Performance Class for SMARC

New Congatec SMARC module with Arm based NXP i.MX 8M Nano processor.

Congatec, a vendor of embedded computer boards and modules, introduces a new SMARC 2.0 Computer-on-Module with Arm Cortex-A53 based NXP Semiconductors i.MX 8M Nano processor. The conga-SMX8-Nano is a new low-end performance class for SMARC. With its low power graphics capabilities and its number of selected I/Os, the new NXP i.MX 8M Mini compatible NXP i.MX 8M Nano processor targets application areas for vendor independent, standardized Computer-on-Modules.

SMARC Computer-on-Modules offer ready to use components, APIs, and BSPs. As well as furthering the pin compatibility of NXP i.MX 8M Nano and Mini variants. Typical application areas are GUIs for edge devices which, if required, can also include voice assistance and voice controls. Vertical markets include wireless and networked medical and industrial equipment as well as home appliances and electronics, digital signage systems and mobile or outdoor devices, including smart city infrastructures such as small form factor digital bus time tables or headless platforms for edge gateways in smart cities as well as e-charging and free floating mobility devices.

The new NXP i.MX 8M Nano processor based SMARC modules are application ready subsystems that come with boot loader implementation, pre-qualified Linux, Yocto and Android BSPs, and evaluation carrier boards. 

The feature set of the SMARC 2.0 modules
The new conga-SMX8-Nano SMARC Computer-on-Modules featuring the NXP i-MX 8M Nano processor are addressing headless industrial controls including IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol support for tactile IIoT. They are available in three variants with quad, dual or single core Arm Cortex-A53 processor, each variant seconded by 1 Cortex-M7. Each version is available for the extended (0°C to +60°C) and industrial (-40°C to +85°C) temperature range. The optional, processor integrated GC7000UltraLite 3D GPU supports 2x shader as well as OpenGL, OpenCL and Vulkan. Embedded displays can be connected via dual channel LVDS, eDP or MIPI-DSI. Up to 2 GByte of low-power LPDDR4 and an eMMC 5.1 non-volatile memory with up to 128 GByte provide extensive memory capacity on the module. Embedded cameras are connected via the MIPI-CSI-2 interface, while 4x USB 2.0 and 3x UART are state-of-the-art for industrial use. For intersystem connection, the module offers 1x Gbit Ethernet as well as optional M2 WiFi/Bluetooth extension.

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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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