Embedded | February 28, 2012

First quad-core ARM module on Qseven form factor

congatec presents first quad-core ARM module on Qseven form factor
congatec AG unveils a new ARM module generation with the introduction of the conga-QMX6 Qseven module. The Qseven standard Revision 1.2, which was published back in September 2010, already prepared the ground for the early optimization of Qseven for dedicated ARM support by adding the I/O interfaces UART and CAN.

The conga-QMX6 Computer-On-Module (COM) is equipped with the Freescale i.MX6 ARM Cortex A9 processor family which is scalable from 1 to 4 ARM cores and sports a sophisticated high-end, 3D-ready HD graphics interface. The Qseven module will be available in 4 processor versions, starting with Freescale's i.MX6 Solo ARM Cortex A9 (1.0GHz, 512KB cache) up to the Freescale i.MX6 Quad ARM Cortex A9 (1.2GHz, 1MB cache).

The standardization of ARM processors has increased in line with the rise in high-performance mobile multimedia devices, leading to more tightly integrated, less application-specific processors with reliable, well-defined interfaces. Freescale's brand new i.MX6 family is ideal for the Qseven module form factor, which provides both standard PC interfaces as well as traditional industrial interfaces on the chip.

"Freescale's outstanding embedded expertise plus scalability and long term availability of at least 10 years of the i.MX6 family make these processors the perfect choice for ARM-based COMs," says congatec CEO Gerhard Edi.

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The integrated graphics core is designed for multimedia applications with a video processor unit (VPU), 2D and 3D graphics (GPU2D/3D), four shaders with up to 200 MT/s (million triangles/second) and a dual stream of 1080p/720p. A dual HDMI v1.4 graphics interface is available, with the second HDMI port shared with LVDS. LVDS also supports 18/24 bit dual channel with a resolution of up to 1920x1200 pixels (WUXGA).

A MicroSD socket can be used for inexpensive mass storage; for a more robust application there's the option of soldering on up to 16 GB solid state drive (eMMC).

Differential interfaces including 1x PCI Express 2.0, 2x SATA 2.0, 6x USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, 1x SDIO, CAN bus, LPC and I2S sound are available.

The conga-QMX6 module is equipped with the universal boot loader (uBoot). In addition, functions such as Multi Watchdog Timer, CAN and I²C bus are implemented, making the application faster and more reliable, even when the system is in standby mode.

Image: © NuernbergMesse / Frank Boxler


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