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Digi launches stamp-sized wireless platform based on NXP technology

Steve Rogerson
May 25, 2016
 
Digi has announced the ConnectCore for i.MX 6UL embedded system-on-module (SoM) with integrated dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity in a low-profile surface mount form factor slightly larger than a postage stamp.
 
Built on the NXP i.MX 6UltraLite applications processor, the module is designed as an intelligent small footprint, low power embedded platform for cost-effective and reliable integration into connected devices without the traditional hardware or software design risk, allowing device manufacturers to focus solely on their core competency.
 
The module's patent-pending SMTplusT surface mount form factor (29 by 29 by 3.75mm) enables device manufacturers to optimise product designs by lowering cost and improving capabilities without compromising design flexibility. By providing two integration options – fully featured LGA and simplified castellated edge vias – in one common form factor, it provides a scalable platform that addresses a wide range of product feature requirements, unit cost targets and levels of design expertise. The surface mount form factor also provides reliable mounting for high shock and vibration applications and compact low-profile devices, and eliminates the need for costly board-to-board connectors.
 
A Linux board support package (BSP) and software support deliver integrated, tested, regular software maintenance based on current, stable community releases. As part of the Linux software support, the Digi TrustFenceT device security framework provides the critical features required to protect today's connected devices and applications, enabling strong device security and peace of mind for device manufacturers and their customers.
 
TrustFence implements device security-relevant features such as secure connections, authenticated boot, encrypted data storage, access-controlled ports, secure software updates and seamless integration of the dedicated on-module secure element.
 
"The ConnectCore 6UL delivers on Digi's leadership in embedded and wireless technology excellence by providing a connected product development platform with complete hardware and software support, including a strong embedded device security story," said Mike Rohrmoser, director of product management at Digi. "Customers can now bring smart and secure connected devices to market at a fraction of the traditional time and effort, working with one strong partner, while focusing on their core competency without compromising design flexibility."
 
Key features of the SoM platform include: NXP i.MX 6UltraLite applications processor using ARM Cortex-A7 core at up to 696MHz; NXP PF3000 power management IC; independent on-module Cortex-M0+ microcontroller AssistT subsystem including low-power modes, watchdog, interface extension and custom applications; up to 2Gbyte SLC NAND flash, and up to 1Gbyte DDR3; pre-certified 802.11a/b/g/n/ac plus Bluetooth 4.1 (Smart Ready) option; integrated dual 10/100 Ethernet connectivity; mounting options using 245-pad LGA or 76-pad castellated edge vias; Linux BSP and software support, with full source code access including Digi TrustFence Embedded device security framework; and industrial operating temperature.
 
"NXP provides an unrivalled portfolio of products supporting the incredible growth of smart, connected solutions," said Ron Martino, vice president at NXP Semiconductors. “The ConnectCore 6UL system-on-module platform demonstrates how long-term partners like Digi deliver best-in-class products built on our i.MX, Kinetisý, security and NFC products. NXP products are the trusted foundation of the internet of things that our customers build on, now and in the future.”
 
The development kits will be available in two versions: a starter kit available in August and the jumpstart kit in September.