Product of the Week: Digi International ConnectCore 8 SoMs

June 14, 2021

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Product of the Week: Digi International ConnectCore 8 SoMs

Modern SoCs are so powerful and complex that it’s difficult to extract all of their speed and performance on an embedded module that can get you to market quickly. In most cases, your best bet is to turn to an expert.

Digi International’s ConnectCore portfolio of embedded system-on-modules includes a range of solutions based on modern processors, including the ConnectCore 8M Nano, ConnectCore 8X, and the incoming ConnectCore 8M Mini designed around the NXP i.MX 8 family of SoCs.

Highlights of each model include:

  • Digi ConnectCore 8X SoM based on NXP i.MX 8X
    • NXP i.MX8QuadXPlus SoC featuring up to 4x 1.2 GHz Arm Cortex-A35 cores, a 266 MHz Arm Cortex-M4F, and a 1x Tensilica Hi-Fi 4 DSP
    • Vast embedded I/O and interfaces, including dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and 2x 10/100/1000M Ethernet + AVB
    • 64 GB eMMC and 4 GB of LPDDR4
    • Support for multiple video codecs and 3D video playback with up to four shaders
  • Digi ConnectCore 8M Nano SoM based on NXP i.MX 8M Nano
    • NXP i.MX8 Nano SoC with up to 4x 1.4 GHz Arm Cortex-A53 cores, a 600 MHz Arm Cortex-M7, and a Vivante GC7000UL
    • Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 1x1wireless and 1x 10/100/1000M Ethernet + AVB support
    • 8 GB eMMC and 1 GB of 16-bit LPDDR4
    • 12.8 GFLOPS of 16/32-bit performance backed by OpenCL and Vulkan support
  • Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini
    • NXP i.MX8 Mini SoC featuring four 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53 cores, 400 MHz Arm Cortex-M4, and Vivante GCNanoUltra (3D acceleration) and GC320 (2D acceleration)
    • Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless and 10/100/1000M Ethernet + AVB
    • 8 GB eMMC and 2 GB of LPDDR4
    • Support for multiple video codecs

Each SoM is designed to the 40 mm x 45 mm Digi SMTplus form factor, and engineered for low power. The modules come equipped with a feature called Digi Microcontroller Assist that provides a discrete onboard MCU responsible for power management, security, reliability, and other features, separate from the host i.MX 8 SoC. The Arm Cortex-M0+-based Microcontroller Assist device supports power modes of less than 3 µA.

A quick-reference breakdown of the Digi International ConnectCore 8X, ConnectCore 8M Nano, and ConnectCore 8M Mini is provided below.

The Digi International ConnectCore 8 SoM Family in Action:

As a building block offering, the ConnectCore 8 family of embedded SoMs has to provide all of the fundamental technologies for a robust system design, as well as the ability to expand into something differentiated and valuable. The platforms deliver in each capacity.

The ConnectCore 8 family pairs with a range of tools from Digi International that have been architected to accelerate time to market while maintaining design integrity, including via Digi TrustFence, Digi Remote Manager, and the ConnectCore Smart IOmux tool.

  • Digi TrustFence allows users to integrate device security, identity, privacy, and other protections through solutions and services like Secure Boot, protected hardware ports, authentication and over-the-air updates, and continuous monitoring.
  • Digi Remote Manager, currently offered as a 90-day free trial, is a bi-directional asset performance and security monitoring solution that enables automated updates and API-based integration with other systems from desktop or mobile devices.
  • The Smart IOmux tool and simplifies pinout configuration of advanced microprocessors, which can consume hours or more of data sheet interpretation, and also allows developers to efficiently implement cross-platform hardware compatibility.

Also of supreme importance to those developing networked and/or IoT applications, each platform in the ConnectCore 8 line is compatible with the Digi XBee 3 cellular modems and RF modules, which allows engineers to seamlessly integrate LTE-M, NB-IoT, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other wireless technologies.

Getting Started with the Digi International ConnectCore 8 Embedded SoM Family

Getting started with Digi International ConnectCore 8 embedded SoMs is straightforward, as the devices are available with NXP Android and Linux board support packages. And aside from those flavors of Linux, the system building blocks can also pair with Yocto Project distributions. 

To learn more about the ConnectCore 8 or other members of the Digi International ConnectCore embedded SoM family, their pre-certified wireless connectivity, or how you can accelerate designs using companion APIs, visit www.digi.com or view the resources below.

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