Meet the iMX233-OLinuXino new member: Nano


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Fresh out of the reflow oven: iMX233-OLinuXino-NANO is the smallest iMX233 board we have.

We try to shrink it to the max and the size now is just 76 x 20 mm (3 x 0.8″).

The board features are:

  • imx233 at 454Mhz
  • 64MB RAM
  • micro SD-card
  • USB host
  • LiPo charger
  • UEXT connector

When we designed this board we had two goals:

  • to make it breadboard friendly and we did this with 0.7″ between the header pins on the two edges, so you can easily plug it to BREADBOARD-1
  • to enable creation of handheld devices with it, the board have LiPo charger and step-up converter which allow USB devices to work even when the board is LiPo battery powered, so you can make Handheld WIFI deveices with this board running Linux and with all GPIOs available in two row headers

It’s pity as we try hard but couldn’t shrink NANO to DIP 0.6″ width but we got close to it :)

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Now we have to do some serious testings and if everything goes well will run production by end of July. The price will be similar to iMX233-OLinuXino-MICRO.

iMX233-OLinuXino-NANO was designed in 6 layer with proper care taken for noise immunity.

40 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vladimir
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 20:42:04

    cool!

    Reply

  2. thewylestcoyote
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 21:50:31

    AWESOME!
    What is the expected cost?

    Reply

  3. Luca Pescatore
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 21:54:06

    When will be released? The price?

    Reply

  4. iso9660
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 22:28:37

    Please could you tell the power consumption?

    Reply

  5. vikas
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 00:33:22

    Impressive work , this is really tiny .

    Reply

  6. peter
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 11:21:56

    very nice job.
    I would also like to know the power consumption once the OS is booted, in idle mode.

    Reply

  7. Bundesnachsendedienst, Außenstelle Pluto
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 14:22:26

    Sweeeeeeeet!

    Reply

  8. lolo
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 16:43:56

    Very great ! :)
    As mentionned in the article : the price will be similar to iMX233-OLinuXino-MICRO.
    I would have some expectations :
    - Lower price !!! (Right – although it embeds a step-up converter, Li-Po battery and it has higher components density)
    - Less or no buttons : embedded on a final application, I doubt they are useful for almost user (may be available but no soldered ?)

    The price category is the same as the Raspberry Pi. Although this board should target smaller projects, due to its cost, many peoples would chose the Raspberry Pi, which is bigger, draws more current, and all-way oversized.

    I also have a question : what about GPIO covered by the UEXT connector ? Soldering anything on them should be pretty hard.

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Jun 28, 2013 @ 16:59:15

      this board targets WiFi handheld, datalogger etc projects which could not be implemented with RPi as it takes at least x3 times more power and have no LiPo charger nor battery power managment
      so comparison with Rpi is nonsense as neither RPi can solve projects where imx233-nano will fit, neither vice versa :)

      UEXT is SMT type at enough height to allow soldering of the GPIOs which overlaps

      Reply

  9. hamadi
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 20:42:03

    why it’s only 64MB of ram

    Reply

  10. KiLLWarez
    Jun 29, 2013 @ 08:50:12

    Did anyone manager to make and run WinCE on it? Its BSP and other files are googled on first page.

    Reply

  11. hamadi
    Jun 29, 2013 @ 21:40:57

    when it will run linux ?? and what distro you plan

    Reply

  12. hamadi
    Jun 30, 2013 @ 20:58:08

    would you make A10 and A20 and A13 in this formfactor sorry for my bad english

    Reply

  13. mangel
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 09:18:48

    I know that the imx233 processor is in the Freescale longevity program, that gives it live till August 2019, but I’ve seen that this processor is marked in the Freescale web as “not recommended for new design”. How could this affect your designs? Could it be more expensive or difficult to buy or not supported in the near future? Have you thought about a change to its cousin imx280, still promoted?

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 09:20:38

      imx233 is in TQFP package which makes it DIY friendly like A13, there are no any problems with the chip souring as they are in the longevity program

      Reply

  14. Evgeny Boger
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 18:12:03

    Would you please upload the Eagle files to github?

    By the way, how about selling “SoM” version of this nice board, I mean, without power capacitors and connectors soldered?

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 18:28:04

      sure, we will do this when the design is verified and run in production. we already spotted few mistakes on the prototypes, which have to be rectified

      Reply

    • ChaX
      Jul 02, 2013 @ 12:12:32

      A SoM version would be very nice indeed! I am now working on a modified version of the -Mini pcb but it would probably be preferable to use this (more noise/EMI friendly?) 6 layer nano board compared to the 2 layer mini board. That way I can just make a ‘motherboard’ to solder this module on which includes ethernet and a USB hub which we need for our design.

      Reply

  15. SencillamenteIvan
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 12:44:05

    Great job!!! I’m impressed!

    One suggestion: Could you put in the gpios the usb D+ and D- signals?
    It could be usefull to use it as a SOM.

    Reply

    • ChaX
      Jul 03, 2013 @ 12:19:48

      When you look at the back of the board you can see 4 vias near the USB connector. I’m not sure but I guess these are for USB..? That would be great for me too.

      Reply

      • SencillamenteIvan
        Jul 03, 2013 @ 12:34:25

        It would be nice, but in there are a 4 vias connector like this one in olinuxino-micro. It seems to be the U_Debug uart.

  16. phangmoh
    Jul 03, 2013 @ 18:00:46

    Finally a board that could last in the field with some help from energy harvesting!

    Not possible to replace those huge electrolytic with smaller SMD? It would be awesome if the battery connector is standard JST 2.0 mm SMD, lower profile and won’t wobble around.

    Reply

  17. david
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 10:44:54

    Is there any Linux distro for the Micro/Nano that really supports most of the imx233 features? Up till now, the posted distros are quite broken. e.g. where do we find a Debian distro that supports imx233′s AUART, GPIO, RTC, Audio In/Out, LIRC, etc. ?? This is where the rPi shines – it actually works out of the box.

    Reply

  18. palmpje
    Jul 23, 2013 @ 20:39:44

    I would need about 1000 boards of these per year if we would integrate this in our product. When would this be deliverable so we can start the R&D for our product. Can we have a special price if we buy 1000? Do we have to pay in advance for those or can we pay a part, and the rest when delivered? Thanks

    We could start R&D work based on the micro, and later on use the nano.

    Is there a possibility that olimex would support us in the development of the software?

    Reply

  19. fadishei
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 09:44:23

    Olimex, Please tell us where the estimated Nano price will fall between Micro/Mini/Maxi prices. This will give us an approximate at least!

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Aug 21, 2013 @ 12:04:32

      we try to make Nano price same as Micro price as I already wrote, this is 6 layer layout and cant be made cheaper than 2 layer PCB and it uses same components as Micro

      Reply

      • User
        Sep 07, 2013 @ 10:47:21

        Perhaps charge 5eu MORE but also ship it with a distro that actually supports all the I/O (including battery charger and power management unit)? Heck, after trying every distro posted and finding something major broken in every one, I’d pay 10 eu more each.

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Sep 07, 2013 @ 12:27:23

        https://www.olimex.com/wiki/IMX233 2.6.35 kernel based Arch image have everything working

        the second image with Debian and kernel 3.11 have everything working exept TV out and Audio

  20. My Name
    Aug 31, 2013 @ 12:22:01

    Since this apparently got lost last time I tried to post this, here’s another try:

    If you continue your challenge to shrink your boards, consider also Allwinner’s F1E200 processor. It seems quite like imx233 but I cannot tell for sure since I can’t find detailed info about it. If you can persuade Allwinner to give out a user manual for F1E200, that would be really nice, since it might allow me to turn my unfortunately rather restricted eReader into a more flexible device.

    Speaking of which, e-paper displays would also be a good addition to your other displays in the shop. Perhaps you gan get your hands on some screens from Guangzhou OED Technologies? From what I’ve read, namely, that their screens are used in Trekstor’s Pyrus eReaders, they should be very inexpensive, considering that the complete Pyrus mini eReader came to market in Germany last year for just 49 EUR (including VAT) and can now be had for even less than 30 EUR (including VAT) in some shops. And the Pyrus mini’s 4.3-inch screen has 230 dpi (800×600 pixel) and really looks great.

    So, having a naked screen and a datasheet that tells, how to control it, would be perfect. Ah, and the Pyrus mini also uses that Allwinner chip I mentioned, so it should also be a rather cheap component. Maybe even cheaper than imx233? Thinking of it, an e-paper device could also be a good control panel for industrial applications.

    Reply

  21. Someone
    Aug 31, 2013 @ 12:29:01

    I just stumbled upon this: http://www.fernjager.net/post-8/sdcard

    It looks like you need to try even harder to shrink your boards. That I’d call a truly embedded system. :-) How about on Open Source Hardware version of this?

    Reply

  22. fadishei
    Sep 07, 2013 @ 21:47:20

    Olimex, nano is on sale now and the schematics are just added to github. However, I cannot see any signs of step-up converter in the schematics. Are you sure that the board supports USB devices on LiPo battery!?

    Reply

    • XTL
      Oct 29, 2013 @ 18:15:23

      i.MX chips have some power management circuitry built in. I don’t remember if that includes as Li* charger, but that would be my guess.

      Reply

  23. Myname
    Sep 30, 2013 @ 19:11:27

    You say, you couldn’t shrink the board to 0.6 inch width. Maybe you need a smaller processor, like Allwinner’s 14mm x 14mm A10s. But since you said, that one is no longer supported, what about the A12 (also 14mm x 14mm BGA)? I didn’t know about it, but Allwinner lists it in their comparison table: http://www.allwinnertech.com/en/product/A-Serial.html

    Then again, Freescale also has 13mm x 13mm BGA packaged i.MX 6 SoloLite (Cortex-A9) and 12mm x 12mm BGA packaged i.MX53 (Cortex-A8). The latter seems to be especially interesting, because it has HDD interfaces SATA and PATA and other interfaces for industrial use.

    Reply

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