The SBC really is the centre of any IoT system: it's role is to join the T (Things like sensors) to I (Internet).
What are the most important specifications when choosing a Single Board Computer?
- The interfaces provided for sensors and actuators - How many are there, and are they the right ones
- The connectivity options for the and Internet.
- Not forgetting support – which can make a big difference to how long it takes to get your project up and running: Is there a well-supported and robust board support package – how much other help is available for the software developer?
Other things matter too:
- Temperature range – will it work in hot/cold conditions?
- Longevity of supply – will you still be able to get it in ten years’ time?
- Power – especially if it needs to run from a solar panel or battery
Last by no means least is the cost. If a board is to be sent out into the field in any volume, budget is always going to be a factor.
The Compulab SBC-IOT-iMX7 has been created specifically for the Internet of Things. With a full Board Support Package and ready-to-run images, a Linux kernel, Yocto Project file-system and U-Boot, Compulab have gone out of their way to make the software developer’s life easy. Each evaluation kit purchased comes with 12 months technical support, offered by the SBC design engineers themselves.
It has an exceptionally generous array of interfaces for ‘Things’ - no fewer than ten in all: RS485/422, RS232, UART , 4x USB UART, SPI, I2C and up to 12 GPIOs.
On the networking (‘Internet’) side, SBC-IOT-iMX7 has a 3G/LTE modem, Wi-Fi and 1GbpS Ethernet. Optional Dual Ethernet is useful for Network daisy chain applications (or for backup in case one goes down). The SBC also supports Bluetooth.
SBC-IOT-iMX7 has a powerful NXP i.MX7 dual core Cortex-A7 1GHz processor, backed by up to 2GB DDR3 and 32GB eMMC. It has a wide temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. Moreover, the board is unbelievably small: 100 x 80 x 20 mm.
The board supports PoE 802.3af (powered device) or can operate from an unregulated 8 – 24V power supply.If you need help choosing the right SBC for your IoT project, contact our embedded expert Rhett Evans and the support team at Anders.