AQ7 Design

  2016/1/25 下午 07:24:27        Administrator        General   0 Comments

Designing Power Solutions: Designers may choose MCU-complemented discrete power ICs, or, with an I2C interface and SoC serving as the bridge, the Freescale i.MX-exclusive PMPF0100 Power Management ICs (PMIC)(image 1), which packs the synchronized step-down DC/DC converter, low-dropout (LDO) regulator for the core, memory, I/Os, and the power of SoCs. With the use of a PMIC, comes with advantage of dynamic voltage regulation, adjusting the output voltage dynamically depending on the system’s status (normal/idle/at sleep) for lowering overall power consumption, shutting down power draining sources that are dormant while the system is at sleep or idle modes for boosting power efficiency, and simplifying the use of external PMICs for saving room and reducing system complexity.

(Image 1) i.MX6-exclusive Power Management ICs (PMIC) – PMPF0100

All-in-one Design: Regardless of single, dual/ dual lite, or the high-end quad-core processors, using the pin-to-pin IC structure allow hardware designers to use all types of processors on the same printed circuit board assembly with only slight adjustment to the external electrical resistance. This not only allow designers to present the most precise solution to their user through using different processors based on application requirements, it also shortens the duration for R&D and mass manufacturing.
Booting Up: The i.MX6 supports various types of boot-ups. The boot-up device, which can be set as SD/eMMC/SATA/SPI, etc, can be selected by configuring the EIM level, providing users the customizability and flexibility for software development.
Memory Calibration: In observation of PCBs of different sizes and layout with traces of differing lengths, designers may calibrate the parameters of the memory specifically with Freescale’s DDR Calibration tool during development to boost the system’s stability and also the overall performance and reliability.
Wide Temperature Design: To satisfy the requirement of different applications, such as in the consumer market, industrial market, and inside vehicles, different SKUs with various operating temperatures are designed (table 1). Vehicle-specific applications may reach as high as 125°C, but the designer must also observed the parameters of the system’s components in order to make a wide temperature design possible.

(Table 1) Operating temperatures for SKUs for different markets

Display Interface: The system supports both LVDS and HDMI, but a debug console tool will be needed for switching between the two. It equips a built-in 2D/3D/VG accelerator and a H.264 video encoder/decoder for both 1080p and dual 720p videos.
Rich I/Os: The system supports USB 2.0, I2C x 3, CAN Bus x 2, USB 2.0 OTG, SATA 3.0 Gbps, RGMII Ethernet and other interface with built-in UART (4.0 Mbps) x 5 to fulfill the need for serial ports in industrial automation applications. The i.MX6 is also fitted with the PCIe (Gen 2) interface, a rare commodity in ARM-based platforms, for even more expansion options, for instance PCIe-to-UART, PCIe-to-USB3.0, PCIe-to-SATA, etc.
Power Consumption: Compared with the traditional x86-based platforms, the power consumption of the ARM-based i.MX6 platform is superior: only up to 5.5 W for even quad-core CPUs, and 0.3 W when idle (table 2).

(Table 2) Power consumption for i.MX6 SoCs with different cores

Software Debugging and Download: The OS image can be burnt into the eMMC and SD card with the USB OTG port and appropriate software (image 2). Software debugging and command execution can be done through a UART connection with the computer.
(Image 2) Image Burning

(Image 3) Debugging

Product Lifecycle: Unlike the consumer market, the industrial automation market demands a long, stable supply of stock. In that regard, the 15-year life cycles offered by i.MX6 makes it an ideal solution for any industrial and embedded computing needs.
(Image 4) Freescale i.MX6 Q-seven CPU module (AQ7-iMX6) developed by AAEON

Conclusion: Low power consumption and speedy development are gaining prominence among designers in recent years. With the high-performing ARM-cortex-A9 architecture, the i.MX6 is not only excellent in terms of display capabilities and power consumption, software and hardware for single, dual, quad-core CPUs are totally compatible with each other, making it very conducive for use in the industrial automation market as well as quick development of a stand-out product to boost competitiveness.
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