ARM Cortex-A9 module for multi-display medical applications

2nd December 2013
Nat Bowers

Based on the ARM processor family i.MX6 by Freescale, the TQMa6x is an affordable, small, and very powerful minimodule from TQ. Ideal for medical applications in which several displays are required, the TQMa6x minimodule features a variety of display interfaces, including LVDS and HDMI, to offer higher flexibility.

Dimensions of just 70 mm x 46 mm and low-power consumption, coupled with a variety of interfaces and scalable performance, make the TQMa6x an optimal core for applications in medicine. Several variations can be used from the CPU for any application from Single Core up to Quad Core. Tried and tested at TQ for more than 15 years, all externally usable signals of the CPU are available over three industrial-suited cable connectors (2x 160 + 1x 40 Pins) on a 0.8 mm grid. The TQMa6x features 360 pins to provide the user with Gigabit Ethernet USB Host / USB OTG controller, three UARTs and two CAN 2.0B.

Supporting Full HD resolution, the internal graphics controller enables simultaneous connection of up to four displays with the option of showing various images. This makes the module ideal for animated screen or multi-touch and multi-display applications, as well as conventional control tasks. The TQMa6x features a variety of LCD interfaces, enabling the integration of parallel as well as single/dual LVDS displays, and an HDMI port to connect a monitor. Other functional units can be connected using the parallel address/data bus, SDIO, SPI, 12C and PCIe.

Featuring a memory storage of up to 2GByte DDR3L, up to 128 MByte SPI NOR Flash, and up to 16GB eMMC Flash to implement programs and data, the TQMa6x is supplemented with an EEPROM, a RTC and a real-time clock backed by battery from the mainboard.

Featuring a product life-cycle of up to 15 years, the new module is ideal for a variety of medical applications on account of its high interface integration, in which the advantages of visualization can be used. The ARM Cortex-A9 core and a clock rate of up to 4x1.2 GHz enable optimal performance to be selected for each application.

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