Design

Solder-down QSMP solves production challenges

30th June 2020
Alex Lynn

Direct Insight has announced the tiny solder-down QSMP module with STMicro ST32M1 single/dual core ARM Cortex-A7, manufactured by the company’s long-standing partner, Aachen-based Ka-Ro Electronics.

The module’s ST32M1 family processor provides a single or dual 650MHz ARM Cortex-A7 core as well as a separate ARM Cortex-M4 running at 200MHz. Also featured is up to 512MB of DDR3L RAM, up to 4GB eMMC Flash, and a range of interfaces.  As well as very low-power operation, the ST32M157C can offer a powerful 3D GPU, secure boot and an AES/TDES/SHA crypto-engine.

The new QSMP SoM measures 27mm square and just 2.3mm high. It features a solder-down package with a QFN-type pin-out based on a 1mm pitch with 100 edge-located pads. This design aids inspection and simplifies routing, even permitting a two-layer baseboard and a base plane.

An innovative ground plane design ensures that the modules effectively ‘float’ into position during reflow, unlike a BGA which require X-Ray inspection to ensure full connectivity. Also, these QS solder-down modules are so small that warping does not occur.

The design of the package also improves thermal efficiency and EMI performance as the base functions as both a ground pad and a thermal conductor. Modules operate across an industrial temperature range of -40 or -25 to +85oC.

Comments David Pashley, Direct Insight’s MD, said: “Solder-down SoMs offer simplicity and reduced cost but can be tricky to handle during production. Ka-Ro’s QS modules address these challenges, simplifying inspection and PCB layout, while delivering huge processing power - all in a miniature package.”

The module features a wide range of connectivity options including CANbus (ST32M153A and ST32M157C), UART (x3), SPI (x2), I2C (x2), Audio, Gb Ethernet, SD, USB Host and Client and a parallel or MIPI-DSI (ST32M157C) display. It requires a single 3.3V supply.

The ST32M1 ARM Cortex-A7-powered QSMP solder-down SoM comes with a dedicated development system, equipped with Linux BSP.

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