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Modules for the Internet of Things

As a manufacturer of embedded CPU modules, TQ offers solution components for IoT devices and gateways. At the Embedded World exhibition, the German company presented two products with CAN.

The COM Express Compact module provides sufficient performance for tasks in manufacturing, medicine, and multimedia (Photo: TQ)

THE COMPANY'S PRODUCT RANGE COMPRISES ARM, x86, and Power Architecture-based modules and platforms. TQ focuses on customer-specific solutions for IoT – it concentrates on hardware development and production in addition to the embedded modules. The range of services comprises the complete product life cycle from the design, development, and production right up to the after-sales service.

COM Express module

The COM Express module TQMx50UC is equipped with fifth generation (“Broadwell U”) Intel Core processors. The performance is scalable from Intel Core i3 and Intel Core i5 to Intel Core i7, with up to 3,2 GHz and 4 MiB cache. The maximum total output is achieved with up to 16 GiB DDR3L-1600. The soldered memory and the robust construction promise reliability.

Security features such as TPM 1.2 and 2.0, an optional exact RC, as well as a board controller expand the functionality of the module. Serial interfaces are provided via the board controller. Extra functions like a second I2C controller or a CAN interface can be added. With “Green ECO off” a standby mode is supported with a power output of just around 100 mW.

In addition to the CPU processing performance, the module also comes with powerful graphics: three graphics outputs can be simultaneously controlled. Resolutions of up to 4 K (3840 x 2160) are supported with 60 Hz – even with different image content. The interfaces are designed as two DP++ (Display Port 1.2 / HDMI 1.4) and LVDS. An embedded Display Port (eDP 1.3) is also available. Due to the support of Multi Stream Transport, several external displays can also be connected to a graphics output. The manufacturer also offers protective coating for particularly demanding areas of application. With active obsolescence management, long-term availability is ensured, so that railway and aviation applications can be secured.

The COM Express Compact module provides sufficient performance for tasks in manufacturing, medicine, and multimedia (Photo: TQ)

ARM Cortex-A8 module

With the TQMa335L, TQ-Systems has developed a Minimodule with high processing power, which can be directly soldered to the base-board. This module is based on the ARM processor family AM335x from Texas Instruments. This is the company’s second Minimodule which is based on the AM335x from Texas Instruments. “TI is excited that TQ has created a new embedded module for our Sitara AM335x family of processors,” said Rogerio Almeida of Texas Instruments. “The new TQMa335xL module is optimized for high volumes in terms of technology and costs. The L version can be directly soldered onto the baseboard, making it more cost effective with a smaller footprint.”

With a total of 209 pins, the customer can also use two CAN ports for communication in addition to two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a USB host/USB-OTG controller, and up to six UARTs. Other functional units can be connected via SDIO, SPI, I2C and McASP. Up to eight 12-bit ADCs round off the possible areas of application.

The ARM Cortex-A8 module is based on LGA (Land Grid Array) technology: The connections of the modules are placed on the base in the form of a chessboard style grid (grid array) of interfaces (land). This allows the module to be soldered to the motherboard, without requiring a plug-in connector, using a qualified welding process. RAM with up to 512 MiB DDR3L and up to 16 GiB eMMC Flash has been implemented for programs and data.

With compact dimensions (38 mm x 38 mm) and low installation heights (5 mm) the module is a suitable core for applications where not much space is available. The user has access to all the signals and functions of the CPU. On the module, all available CPU versions – from the AM3352 to the AM3359 – can be used. They differ in particular in the processing power and their functionality. The processing power can be scaled from 300 MHz to 1000 MHz. With the graphics controller in the AM335x and the optimum 3D graphics support, display applications can be achieved with a resolution of up to WXGA.

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