NXP’s i.MX8M line of processors are popular with open source hardware makers thanks to NXP’s ample documentation for these ARM-based chips. While they’re not as powerful as the latest processors from Qualcomm, Samsung, MediaTek, or Apple, they’ve shown up in devices like Purism’s Librem 5 Linux smartphone and single-board computers like the PICO-PI-IMX8M.
Now there’s a new Raspberry Pi-like mini PC with an i.MX8M processor.
For example, the MaaXBoard has two USB 3.0 ports. The new Mini model has four USB 2.0 ports instead — so the tradeoff is more ports, but slower speed. The Mini also lacks an HDMI port, but there’s a MIPI-DSI interface that allows you to connect displays that support that interface.
One upgrade is the processor – the new board features an i.MX8M Mini chip, which is manufactured using a 14nm process, making it more energy efficient and a little faster than NXP’s older 28nm i.MX8M chips
The MaaxBoard Mini sell for $73, and features:
- 4 x i.MX8M Mini ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores @ 1.8 GHz
- 1 x ARM Cortex-M4F real-time core @ 400 MHz
- 2GB DDR4 memory
- microSD card reader and eMMC storage module support
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 4 x USB 2.0 ports
- WiFi 5
- Bluetooth 4.2
- MIPI-DSI display interface
- MIPI-CSI camera interface
- 40-pin Raspberry Pi-compatible GPIO interface
The board is the same size as a Raspberry Pi model B device, at 85mm x56mm.
You can find more details at the MaaxBoard Mini page at Avnet’s website.