With the release of SBC4661, Micro/sys, a USA manufacturer of embedded computer boards, adds Freescale’s powerful Quad Core i.MX6 ARM Cortex-A9 to its line of rugged Commercial-Off the Shelf (COTS) ARM single board computers (SBC). The low-power, extended temperature SBC4661 provides 2GB DDR3 soldered on memory to support and augment the onboard Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA. Matched with a rich line-up of onboard I/O, including dual GigE Ethernet and (4) USB 3.0 ports, this SBC is ideal for high-end embedded applications requiring Linux OS, onboard GPU, and a compact EPIC footprint (4.5 x 6.5). Application areas include high-end security, transportation, military, industrial, communication, vision, and medical systems needing high performance rugged computers for complex systems.
A powerful feature of the SBC4661 is the on-board Kintex-7 FPGA that can be configured to function as a stand-alone processor independent from the Cortex-A9 by installing a MicroBlaze soft processor core. As a multi-processor board, the Kintex-7s MicroBlaze SOC has its own 1GB of soldered on DDR3 SDRAM, a PCIe hub, plus a host of I/O connectors for user-defined off-board I/O. The performance of this second processor can be upgraded by ordering the SBC4661 with a more powerful version of the Kintex-7 FPGA.
If multi-processor functionality is not required, the Kintex-7 can function as a client to the i.MX6 Cortex-A9. Micro/sys preloaded proprietary FPGA firmware provides read and write access between the FPGA and the Cortex-A9 with pre-installed drivers in the i.MX6 Linux OS to communicate via PCIe or WEIM to the FPGA hosted GPIO, XADC, SPI, FMC bus, and DDR3 interfaces. In this mode, users can install multiple IP cores from Xilinx’s IP core library, third party libraries, Micro/sys’ library, or the user’s own proprietary IP library to enhance processing of the incoming I/O before transferring it to the host i.MX6 processor.
For users needing vision capability, the powerful Kintex-7 provides interfaces for Camera Link, Camera Link HS, NTSC/PAL, and up to 2 CoaXPress cameras functioning as a frame grabber for the i.MX6 through interfaces such as GenICAM and OpenCV, giving multi-tasking vision users a single board solution.
Xilinx is pleased to be selected as an integral component to a highly configurable vision processing system. The highly configurable Kintex-7 FPGA enables Micro/sys SBC4661 for high data transmission with the i.MX6 ARM Cortex-A9 CPU through PCIe Gen2 interface. The FPGA allows processor offloading and interface flexibility to a single board computer used for real-time image processing systems, said Yvonne Lin, medical and industrial imaging manager for Xilinx.
At the heart of the SBC4661 is Freescale’s System on Chip (SoC) i.MX6 multimedia processor. This CPU is augmented with a floating-point coprocessor, ARM’s NEON SIMD media accelerator, hardware accelerators for fast, power-efficient 3D and 2D graphics operation, and OpenGL ES 2.0. Micro/sys adds to this impressive list by providing a Linux BSP with development and runtime image modes. The SBC4661 offers three boot options for embedded users: a dedicated 4MB SPI NOR flash memory, a partition of the NAND flash, and a bootable SD/MMC card slot.
Other industrial I/O options include multiple USB 3.0 channels, multiple serial channels, and dual CAN interface. There are four 16C550 compatible serial ports, plus a wealth of digital I/O and 12-bit analog signals available within the Kintex-7.
Designed for harsh, rugged applications, the board operates without a fan at -40C to +85C. Micro/sys track record of 15+ year availability makes this board ideal for OEM applications. This go-to solution is available in depopulated and customized versions.
The SBC4661 starts at $1295 in single quantity. Turn-key development kits for Linux with a broad tool base allowing immediate out-of-the-box development start at $2495.