Raspberry Pi lookalike showcases i.MX8M Mini


    Avnet’s $72.50 “MaaxBoard Mini” SBC presents Linux and Android photographs to run on an i.MX8M Mini with 2GB DDR4, GbE, 4x USB 2.0, MIPI DSI- and -CSI, WiFi/BT, and 40-pin GPIO.

    A yr in the past, Avnet’s Embest unit launched a $60 MaaXBoard SBC that includes NXP’s i.MX8M. We missed the corporate’s July announcement of the promised, i.MX8M Mini based mostly MaaxBoard Mini, however because the board didn’t obtain extensive protection, we determine higher late than by no means.

    Out there for $72.50, the MaaxBoard Mini is much more just like the Raspberry Pi than the MaaxBoard because of its 4x USB 2.Zero versus 2x USB 3.Zero ports. In comparison with the MaaxBoard, the Mini mannequin is alleged so as to add a {hardware} video encoder “to energy versatile video functions equivalent to monitoring, visible inspection and video conferencing.” But, we noticed no particulars on the encoder or the encoding decision.

    MaaxBoard Mini
    (click on photographs to enlarge)

    Because of its 14nm fabrication course of, NXP’s 1.8GHz i.MX8M Mini SoC is quicker and extra power-efficient than the sooner i.MX8M. Nonetheless, it’s restricted to [email protected] as a substitute of the [email protected] decision discovered on the i.MX8M. The i.MX8M encompasses a Vivante GC7000 Lite GPU whereas the Mini has GCNanoUltra (3D) and GC320 (2D) graphics cores. A 400MHz Cortex-M4 MCU can also be constructed into the SoC.

    The MaaxBoard Mini ships with 2GB DDR4 however lacks the 4GB possibility out there on the unique. It equally provides an empty eMMC socket and a microSD slot. It removes the HDMI port, leaving you with the sooner MIPI-DSI interface, which is obtainable with an optionally available $51 LCD show.

    Different media options embrace a MIPI-CSI digital camera connector with an optionally available $27 digital camera module. The SPDIF/UART and SAI audio connectors have been eliminated, however you’ll be able to nonetheless get SAI and I2S through the Raspberry Pi appropriate 40-pin connector, which additionally presents options like UART, SPI, I2C and GPIO.

    You should utilize the UART pin from the GPIO to realize USB terminal entry to an optionally available, $21 Microchip USB-to-UART analysis and debug board. Different 40-pin choices embrace a Sequans Monarch Go LTE mobile modem HAT that prices greater than the SBC at $73.

    MaaxBoard Mini element view and block diagram
    (click on photographs to enlarge)

    There don’t seem like open {hardware} recordsdata related to the challenge, however there are photographs for Yocto, Debian 10, and Android 9.0. Open-spec SBCs constructed on the i.MX8M Mini embrace Boundary Units’ Nitrogen8M_Mini and SolidRun’s more moderen HummingBoard Ripple. Business boards embrace Compulab’s dual-LAN SBC-IOT-iMX8, iWave’s Pico-ITX form-factor iW-RainboW-G34D, and Garz & Fricke’s 159 x 80mm Tanaro.


    Specs listed for the MaaxBoard Mini embrace:

    • Processor — NXP i.MX8M Mini Quad (4x Cortex-A53 @ as much as 1.8GHz); Vivante GCNanoUltra (3D) and GC320 (2D) graphics with VPU; Cortex-M4F @ 400MHz
    • Reminiscence/storage:
      • 2GB DDR4
      • eMMC socket for as much as 64GB
      • MicroSD slot
    • Networking/wi-fi:
      • 10/100/1000 Ethernet port
      • 802.11ac with Bluetooth 4.2 with ant. connector
    • Media I/O:
    • Different I/O:
      • 4x USB 2.Zero host ports
      • USB Sort-C port with 5V energy enter solely
    • Growth — 40-pin GPIO connector (RPi HAT appropriate) with I2C, SPI, UART, I2S, SAI, GPIO, and so forth.
    • Different options — 2x consumer buttons; 2x LEDs; passive heatsink
    • Energy — 5V/3A through USB Sort-C; PMIC; voltage regulators; energy button; BYO energy provide
    • Working temperature — Zero to 70°C
    • Dimensions — 85 x 56mm
    • Working system — Yocto and Debian 10 photographs (Linux 4.14.98), Android 9.Zero picture; helps Home windows 10 IoT Core

    Additional data

    The MaaxBoard Mini is obtainable within the Americas, Europe, and China for $72.50. The URL to the buying hyperlink from the product web page is damaged, however we discovered the board on the market on the Avnet buying website because the AES-MC-SBC-IMX8MINI-G and likewise discovered it promoting for a similar worth on this Embest web page, which presents extra particulars than the Avnet pages. Extra data might also be present in Avnet’s announcement.

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