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SBC and box PC running Linux on dual-A72 LS1028A

SBC and box PC running Linux on dual-A72 LS1028A SBC MBLS1028A-IND from TQ-Embedded and the Box-PC run Linux on a module with dual-core processor -A72 LS1028A and 6x GbE with TSN. TQ also has a TQMLX2160A module with an 8-16 core NXP Cortex-A72 LX2x processor.

When we reported earlier this week on the TQMa8Xxx and TQMa8XxS based i.MX8X and TQMa8MxML based i.MX8M Mini/Nano integrated modules, we noticed some TQ products that we missed at the beginning of the year and which are based on NXP Layerscape processors. In March, TQ SBC and LBoxLS1028A-IND released network computers based on the TQMLS1028A module, which we described in March 2019. Announcement of single and dual-core modules based on Cortex-A72 and modules based on Intel Whiskey Lake and NXP T1022

SBC and box PC running Linux on dual-A72 LS1028ASBC and box PC running Linux on dual-A72 LS1028A
MBLS1028A-IND SBC and LBoxLS1028A box PC
(click on the images to enlarge).

Since then, the promised starter kit STKLS1028A with Mini-ITX form factor for TQMLS1028A has been described in detail. Unlike the evaluation and prototyping product, also called MBLS1028A, the new MBLS1028A-IND is smaller and the LBoxLS1028A it contains is sold as a stand-alone, ready-to-use product for SBC and Box PC.

In January TQ-Embedded announced the TQMLX2160A module with 8-16 NXP Cortex-A72 LX2x CPUs, which we will describe below. All these Layerscape products run on Linux, and the TQMLX2160A also supports VxWorks on request.

TQMLS1028A rewrite module

The new MBLS1028A-IND SBC and LBoxLS1028A computer is based on the 55 x 44 mm TQMLS1028A, equipped with the LS1028A SoC with 2 powerful Cortex A72 cores at 1.3 GHz clock frequency. The MBLS1028A-IND module and SBC, the former STKLS1028A starter kit and the LBoxLS1028A system also support the corresponding LS1017A and LS1018A single-core components and the LS1027A dual-core system. The LS1018A and LS1028A are the only LSx SoCs that support 4K for 3D graphics.

SBC and box PC running Linux on dual-A72 LS1028ASBC and box PC running Linux on dual-A72 LS1028A
Block diagram TQMLS1028A and LS1028A Block diagram
(click on images to enlarge)

The LS1028A and its siblings have a four-port TSN switch and two separate TSN Ethernet controllers. Like other NXP LSx SoCs, NXP’s EdgeScale package supports device management tools. Other products based on the LS1028A are the Kontron SMARC-sAL28 module and the Myriacs MPX-LS1028A from Microsys and the Myriac SBC-LS1028A-TSN.

The TQMLS1028A module has up to 8GB DDR4 with ECC support and up to 512MB NOR Quad SPI flash memory and up to 64GB eMMC. The module supports a four-port TSN SoC switch and offers two GbE controllers, one of which has a bandwidth of 2.5 Gbps.

MBLS1028A-IN

The TSN switch enables the use of 6 GbE ports in the new MBLS1028A-IND SBC and LBoxLS1028A system and in the old Mini-ITX Starter Kit STKLS1028A (MBLS1028A). In addition to the 4 TSN switching ports, there are two stand-alone GbE ports, one of which supports TSN.

SBC and box PC running Linux on dual-A72 LS1028A
MBLS1028A-IND Block diagram
(click on image to enlarge)

The MBLS1028A-IND SBC and LBoxLS1028A 160 x 100 mm system is designed for use in TSN switches, edge servers, Ethernet gateways and industrial routers. Like the STKLS1028A 170 x 170 mm card, it supports all memory configurations provided by the module.

The STKLS1028A has a few extra features over the MBLS1028A-IND, including more USB and debug ports and a DisplayPort instead of an eDP. In both cases the LS1018A or LS1028A 4K support is available. (For more details, see the diagram below and the link at the end of the story)

SBC and box PC running Linux on dual-A72 LS1028ASBC and box PC running Linux on dual-A72 LS1028A
STKLS1028A Mini-ITX board and block diagram
(click on the images to enlarge)

The MBLS1028A-IND has a USB 3.0 host and OTG ports and a micro USB serial debugging port. You also have a microSD slot, an SD slot, 2 CAN connectors and a SATA 3.0 M.2 based card. A Mini PCIe slot with a SIM card is available for cell expansion.

The MBLS1028A-IND is also equipped with 2 SPI and an I2C interface, as well as a real-time clock, a 16-28 VDC input and a temperature sensor. The card supports a temperature range of -40 to 70°C.

The LBoxLS1028A is supplemented with the MBLS1028A-IND box, but the additional functions are not included in the TQ. It looks like the system uses a radiator.

TQMLX2160A

The TQMLX2160A module is based on the most powerful NXP LX2 module – the 16-core Headless Cortex-A72 Layerscape LX2160A module. The module also supports the 8-core LX2080A and 12-core LX2120A, which also offer clock speeds up to 2.2 GHz.

The LX2160A is installed on a Nexcom NSA 6310 rackmount computer and on the LX2160A SolidRun CEx7 Express COM Express module that powers the HoneyComb LX2K Mini-ITX card. (See the HoneyComb article for more information about the many network and security features of the processor.)

SBC and box PC running Linux on dual-A72 LS1028ASBC and box PC running Linux on dual-A72 LS1028A
TQMLX2160A and block diagram
(click on images to enlarge).

The 126 x 78 mm TQMLX2160A module is designed for use in high-end networks, servers, advanced computers, transportation and traffic applications. The module supports up to 64 GB DDR4 via dual slots and up to 64 GB eMMC. You also get up to 512 MB NOR QSPI flash. All the memories are welded together.

The TQMLX2160A has 560 integrated pins and supports up to 2 100 GbE ports and 16 25 GbE ports on 24 SerDes bands up to 25 GHz. SerDes lines can be used as an alternative to 4x SATA 3.0 and up to 6x PCIe Gen3.

In addition, the module is equipped with 2 GbE controllers and up to 2 USB 3.0, 2 CAN FD and 2 UART interfaces. Other I/O’s are up to 6x I2C, 3x SPI, 32x GPIO and QSPI.

The 5V module offers a PMIC with voltage control as well as RTC, JTAG, temperature sensor and optionally a reliable element. The card supports a temperature range from -25 to 85°C.

The STKLX2160A-AA carrier, which will be available in the second quarter of 2020, offers one 100 GbE port, two 10 GbE ports and up to 10 GbE. Other features include 2x USB 3.0 and 2x isolated CAN FD ports and 2x PCIe Gen3 x4, Mini PCIe with SIM, M.2 SATA and a standard SATA interface. You also get an SD slot with an 8 GB card, power supply, cable and thermal diffuser.

Additional information

The MBLS1028A-IND network SBC and LBoxLS1028A housing computers are now available for an unspecified price. More information can be found in the TQ-Embedded advertisement and on the product pages MBLS1028A-IND and LBoxLS1028A.

No price or availability information is given for TQMLX2160A. More information is available on the TQMLX2160A display and product page.

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