Computer-on-module form factor hosts ARM Cortex-A CPUs

March 10, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Distributor Rutronik has boards in a new COM form factor for Cortex-A CPUs, by F&S Elektronik Systeme. efus measures only 47 x 62 mm: efus stands for easy, functional, universal, small: It comes with various interfaces, is expandable with wireless modules and suitable for universal use, e.g. for visualisation, communication, and control in industrial and medical applications.

The first module of this new product family, efusA9, will be available by April 2014, mass production starts by the end of quarter 2/14. Further modules will follow later in 2014.

The efus product family uses a common 230 pin MXM2 edge connector. The signals on the base board leading to the plug connector were routed by EasyLayout standard, on the principles of no crossing lines or avoidable through-holes. A 4-layer circuit board is sufficient for a base board; the schematic data for developing a base board under EAGLE is available free. For the mechanical attachment of efus to a base board, the EASYMOUNT locking mechanism is used. No screws are needed to attach efus safely and reliably on the base board. An easy, inexpensive and low-risk redesign offers further functions on the module. Expansions for WLAN (with chip antenna or socket), ZigBee, Z-Wave or EnOcean are available


The first module in this new product family, efusA9, comes with a Freescale i.MX6 Cortex-A9 CPU. This high-performance CPU offers 3D graphics (100 MTri/sec, 1000 Mpx/sec), Hardware Decoder/Encoder with a resolution up to 1080p, H.264 HP, HDMI v1.4. , ARMv7, NEON and VFPv3 for multimedia applications. Other important features are the long-time availability of up to 15 years and the temperature range of -40°C - +85°C. Memory is up to 1 GByte of RAM and 32 GByte Flash. The 230 pin finger-type contact hosts interfaces such as Gigabit-Ethernet, USB Host, USB Device, 2 CAN, 2 I 2C, 2 SPI, 4 Serial, GPIOs, 1+1 uSD-Card, I 2S, SATA, PCIe and camera. Display connections in digital RGB and 1 + 2 channel LVDS (up to FullHD, JILI30 compatible), as well as DVI are available simultaneously. A resistive 4-wire touch controller can be connected, as well as a capacitive touch controller. Circuit and drivers (Linux/Windows) are part of the starter kit. The power supply is 5V, the power consumption of the Single-Core