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Date: 01-06-22

Top-5 tiny thumbnail size SOM embedded computer modules

When the semiconductor technology continue to increase the density of transistors in processors to unimaginable extent of 100s of million per square mm on a 2D Silicon wafer, it's not difficult to make thumb size or even smaller embedded computers for high intensity computing applications. These tiny embedded computer modules  deliver ample processing power to handle AI data processing in IoT and smart technology applications. Embedded computer modules offer advantage over choosing microcontrollers in saving time and cost in building your low-volume and  customised electronic systems.

For industrial IOT, smart factory, smart city, smart home, tracking devices, and smart farming applications, you need devices occupying less space and they should consume lower power. For such applications we are suggesting latest top 10 embedded computer modules which are tiny in size and consume low power. Along with the size and power consumption we are also looking at functions the board has integrated, such as wireless features and processing power they can handle.

1.Wilderness Labs' SoM  f7v2

 Wilderness Labs, new embedded  module maker has made available a computer system on module measuring  24.5mm x 34.5mm. The new Meadow F7 Core-Compute System on Module (SoM) is powered by STMicroelectronics ARM Cortex M7 based STM32 F7 microcontroller and Espressoif  ESP32 coprocessor. The module offers 64 MB of  flash and 32 MB of SRAM. This board is said to be truly low SWaPC (Size,  Weight, Power and Cost). This board competes directly with popular Raspberry Pi.

The other key features of this board includes support to open source  Meadow.OS,  integrated MySQL database engine, Over-the-Air (OtA) updates, advanced power management and sleep APIs, modern .NET hardware APIs as well as a modern .NET application runtime. .NET programmers can leverage this board for its support to.NET languages such as C#, F#, and VB.NET to build modern IoT applications. This board supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Wilderness Labs has also offering Micro development module for prototyping and low-volume production.
For more details on this board  visit:
https://store.wildernesslabs.co/collections/frontpage/products/meadow-f7v2-core-compute-module
and
http://developer.wildernesslabs.co/Meadow/Meadow_Basics/Hardware/F7v2/

 

2.  OSM-MX8MM from F&S Elektronik Systeme GmbH

 This small board/module measuring 30  mm x 30 mm in size is powered by powerful NXP CPU  i.MX 8 M Mini with 4x Cortex-A53 operating at 1.8GHz with ability to handle graphics and video. Lot of interfaces such as LAN, USB, SDIO, UART, I2C, SPI, audio, GPIO, MIPI-CSI and MIPI-DSI are available in this module. Supporting Linux operating system, this module is also expected to be available in sizes of 15 x 30mm, 45 x 30mm and 45 x 45mm. This module  can be  soldered directly to other board.

 For more details on product visit
https://www.fs-net.de/en/about-f-and-s/press-realease-osm-mx8mm/


3. NanoSOM nS02 from Exor

STM32MP1 Dual Cortex -A7 plus M4 MPU with 3D GPU based nS02 is a smart embedded computer system on module  (SoM) from EXOR International. It measures  25.4x25.4 mm in size and 3 mm thickness. This compact, slim and very low-power consuming  module is designed for applications such as industry 4.0  industrial IOT, smart devices, modern human interface. This is an interesting product for a smart factory industrial automation. Designed to operate in rugged environments, NanoSOM nS02 high reliability board works in Nextreme hostile conditions. Software features and support includes Linux RT BSP, Android BSP, supported Exor Xplaform including EXOR Embedded Open HMI software, Corvina Cloud IIoT Platform and IEC61131 CODESYS or EXOR xPLC runtime. With solder bumps it can be soldered directly onto the other board without using connectors. The other notable functions include hardware enabled security and high-quality graphics support.  The company assures the product availability for 10 years and more.

You can find more details of this product at: https://www.exorint.com/en/product/nanosom-ns02

 
4. Digi International'  ConnectCore 8M Mini SOM

NXP i.MX 8M Mini applications processor based Digi ConnectCore 8M Mini SoM powered by  ARM Cortex-A53 and Cortex-M4 processing cores, 2D/3D GPU, VPU, MIPI-DSI/CSI, SAI, PDM and  802.11 ac, Bluetooth 5, Gigabit Ethernet connectivity features. The application suggested include industrial IOT human machine interface, machine monitoring, edge computing  and audio applications. This looks to be the only system on module to offer Bluetooth 5 compatibility and cellular  enablement.  This board measures slightly bigger of size 40 x 45 x 3.5mm in dimensions.

To learn more about this product please visit:
https://www.digi.com/products/models/cc-wmx8mm-kit


5.   SCM-i.MX 6D / Q from NXP:

SCM-i.MX 6D / Q is extremely tiny system on module measuring 14mm x 17mm x 1.7mm in dimensions. This module is powered by i.MX6Dual or i.MX6Quad processors from NXP semiconductors. i.MX 6Dual/6Quad processors powered by dual/quad Arm  Cortex -A9 cores running at speeds up to 800 MHz and also pack  2D and 3D graphics processors, 1080p video processing. The module integrates power management IC and NOR Flash and supports package on package memory option for 1GB LPDDR2.  This looks to be the industry's most densely packed performance. NXP is also guaranteeing long-time support of 10+ years for this product when it comes to availability of this product in the market. There is also a version of this product  available, where option is provided with solder bumps for the customer to have one more top board over this where customers can integrate in that board RF, sensors, audio and any such electronics.  Since  this board is smallest, it can be also be used in wearable medical applications.  Module maker Murata makes range of modules based on NXP processors.  
 
NXP is made a power point presentation available on its website on this product, link to find that is:
https://community.nxp.com/pwmxy87654/attachments/pwmxy87654/ftf2016/142/1/MHW-N1990%20Enabling%20Ultimate%20Miniaturization%20and%20Customization%20with%20the%20Latest%20Single%20Chip%20System%20Module%20Technology.pdf

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