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Digi launches starter kit for developing secure connections

Steve Rogerson
September 29, 2016

Minnesota-based Digi International has announced the ConnectCore for i.MX6UL starter kit, a universal platform for rapid development of smart and secure connected devices.
The kit is a complete hardware and software platform to create a wide range of connected devices for medical, healthcare, energy or industrial applications. It includes a complete IoT design platform.
The kit lets designers address all development needs including a reference design for module integration, a prototyping platform for quickly creating proof-of-concepts, and a complete development environment to bring module-based designs to mass production.
A streamlined and rugged starter board delivers all the features and capabilities to build wired and wireless connected devices. Features include: an 87 by 63mm form factor with mounting options, industrial operating temperature range, 256Mbyte of NAND flash and 256Mbyte DDR3 memory; choice of wired and wireless network connectivity through 10/100Mbit Ethernet networking, pre-certified 802.11a/b/g/n/ac networking and Bluetooth 4.2 with Bluetooth low energy connectivity; and Grove connectors for rapid prototyping using off-the-shelf Grove system sensors, breakout connector with access to all key module signals, USB host and device connectivity, SD card storage, and an on-board interference-hardened stamped metal antenna.
An intelligent and secure communications engine based on the NXP i.MX 6UltraLite applications processor, the ConnectCore for i.MX6UL system-on-module (SoM), is designed as an intelligent embedded platform with a small footprint and low power consumption to build cost-effective and dependable connected devices without the traditional hardware or software design risk.
The module uses a low-profile, patent-pending Digi SMTplus surface mount form factor slightly larger than a postage stamp that provides two cost-optimised integration options – fully featured LGA and simplified castellated edge vias – and low power operation using seamlessly integrated microcontroller assist capabilities.
With Digi's complete Linux board support package, the kit delivers an integrated and tested Yocto Project Linux software platform with regular maintenance based on current, stable releases with full source code access. Additionally, the Digi TrustFence device security framework provides device security features out of the box, such as secure connections, secure boot, encrypted file systems, access-controlled ports and seamless integration of a dedicated on-module secure element.
"Digi is changing the traditional time-to-market dynamics for device manufacturers by dramatically reducing design efforts, complexity, risk and cost," said Mike Rohrmoser, director of product management at Digi International. “This kit delivers a proven Linux-based SoM platform with seamless and highly cost-effective integration of secure IoT connectivity for medical and industrial applications. Exclusive features, like the Digi TrustFence security framework, ultra-small footprint patent-pending Digi SMTplus form factor, and innovative microcontroller assist, make the ConnectCore 6UL module the ideal choice for intelligent connected devices."
Digi ConnectCore 6UL development kits will be available in two versions. The ConnectCore 6UL starter kit is available at $124 and the ConnectCore 6UL development kit will be available later in the year at $249.
Starter and SBC boards are production-ready and will be made available for purchase separately. Both kits are also reference designs for the Digi SMTplus LGA and castellated edge vias module design integration, with complete design source file availability.