Avnet Embedded’s solder-on OSM modules for fully automated production

Scalable OSM modules for small-size applications

Avnet Embedded has expanded its OSM product portfolio and presents the first module family compliant with the OSM 1.1 standard (Size-S) “Small” with dimensions of 30 x 30mm. The compact boards are targeted on industrial low-power applications that are cost-sensitive and need small dimensions.  

OSM Module

The growing trend to design powerful compact embedded systems demands for small-size OSM™ (Open Standard Module™) modules. Standardized OSM modules are solder-on system-on-modules and can be soldered directly onto the PCB without a connector.

OSM was launches as first open standard for solder-on-modules two years ago by the Standardization Group for Embedded Technologies (SGET). SGET was also responsible for the introduction of the well-established SMARC™ standard for embedded modules. OSM is the first open standard which brings the advantages of modular embedded computing on solder-on modules. This market is currently dominated by proprietary modules. The module concept features high flexibility, optimizing of project costs and of time-to-market of the end product. The introduction of the new standard and the increasing number of embedded computing manufacturers who have presented first OSM products opens numerous new application areas for these small-size modules.

 OSM modules are suitable for a fully automated soldering, assembly and test process and can be handled like a chip in a single process step with the other electronic components, right through to system testing. In addition, the logistics and handling of OSM modules are significantly more optimized. By reducing the number of production steps and eliminating the connector, significant cost savings can be achieved compared to previously existing module form factors. As a result, the solderable modules are also optimally suited for large quantities.

Most OSM module variants are specified for the extended temperature range and without connector particularly rugged and resistant to shock and vibration.

OSM modules are particularly space-saving and provided in a pre-tinned LGA package. The largest module is only about half the size of a SMARC module, but offers for example twice the number of pins. The compact form factor of the OSM boards leads to smaller baseboard dimensions and thus to a significant cost advantage.

To support use in various industrial applications, the OSM standard defines four different sizes:

  • Size-0: 30 x 15mm with 188 Pins
  • Size-S: 30 x 30mm with 332 Pins
  • Size-M: 30 x 45mm with 476 Pins
  • Size-L: 45 x 45mm with 662 Pins

Source: SGET

The OSM variants are designed for the implementation of different processor technologies. While a Size-0 module is mainly suitable for microcontrollers, a Size-S/M/L module accommodates a processor such as the i.MX9 from NXP™ Semiconductors or similar ARM-based processors. Some areas on the OSM module are identical for all module sizes and are reserved for connecting antennas, for example.

The compact OSM modules are mainly used in industrial low-power applications that are cost-sensitive and need small dimensions. Typical examples include optimized IoT systems such as small gateways, industrial control systems and home automation solutions.

Avnet Embedded is one of the leading embedded computing manufacturers who has defined the new OSM SGET standard and has presented first compact modules at a very early stage. The new MSC OSM-SF-IMX93 OSM computing modules are compliant with the OSM 1.1 standard (Size-S) “Small” with dimensions of 30 x 30mm. The scalable modules integrate i.MX 93 applications processors from NXP Semiconductors. Avnet Embedded’s OSM module families

MSC OSM-MF-IMX8MINI and MSC OSM-MF-IMX8NANO bases on i.MX 8M Mini and i.MX 8M Nano SOCs from NXP Semiconductors. The System-On-Chips integrate Arm® Cortex™-A53 processors with up to four cores.

Avnet Embedded’s new MSC OSM-SF-IMX93 OSM module family integrates i.MX 93 applications processors based on single or dual Arm Cortex-A55 cores up to 1.7GHz bringing performance and energy efficiency to Linux-based edge applications. The Arm Ethos™-U65 microNPU enables developers to create capable, cost-effective and energy-efficient machine learning (ML) applications. The i.MX 93 processors deliver advanced security with integrated EdgeLock secure enclave and an efficient 2D graphics processing unit (GPU). The typical thermal design power (TDP) ranges from 2 to 4W.

The MSC OSM-SF-IMX93 modules provide fast and low power LPDDR4 memory technology with inline ECC support, combined with up to 256GB eMMC Flash memory. Various interfaces for embedded applications such as Dual Gigabit Ethernet (RGMII), USB 2.0, 2x CAN-FD, MIPI-DSI and MIPI CSI-2 (2-lane) for connecting a camera are available. The modules are specified for the extended temperature range from -40 to +85 °C.

Avnet Embedded’s compact MSC OSM-MF-IMX8MINI OSM module family integrates a Solo/Dual/Quad core Arm Cortex-A53 processor up to 1.8GHz from NXP Semiconductors, an Arm Cortex-M4 real time processor up to 400MHz and an GC NanoUltra multimedia 2D/3D graphics processor unit (GPU), and a hardware video encoder/decoder (not available on „Mini Lite“). The board features MIPI-DSI x4, a MIPI CSI-2 camera interface, PCI Express Gen. 2, 2x USB 2.0, and Gigabit Ethernet (RGMII).

For less demanding applications, Avnet Embedded offers the OSM-MF-IMX8NANO OSM module family. The boards integrate a Solo/Dual/Quad Core ARM Cortex-A53 processor up to 1,5 GHz, an ARM Cortex-M7 real time processor up to 750 MHz, and an GC7000UL multimedia 2D/3D GPU. The modules feature up to 1GB LPDDR4 SDRAM and up to 256GB eMMC flash memory. MIPI-DSI x4, a MIPI CSI-2 camera interface, USB 2.0, and Gigabit Ethernet (RGMII) are available.

For testing the first OSM prototypes, Avnet Embedded provides the SMARC adapter MSC SM2F-OSM-AD, which allows immediate evaluation of the interfaces and technical features of the OSM modules and connects to the proven embedded platform MSC SM2-MB-EP1. All interfaces, which are not available on the SMARC connector, have been implemented separately on additional connectors on the adapter board.

As an evaluation board and fast SBC solution, Avnet Embedded offers the standardized SimpleFlex OSM carrier board MSC OSM-MB-EP5 for the three OSM module sizes Size-S, Size-M and Size-L. The SimpleFlex platform in 146 x 80 mm form factor is easily configurable without requiring additional development time and unnecessary interfaces can be avoided. The carrier board offers M.2 Key E for wireless modules, 2 x Gigabit Ethernet, USB-C power supply, a MICROBUS slot for various I/O modules, MIPI-CSI for camera and LVDS/DSI/RGB display support. The SimpleFlex OSM carrier board MSC OSM-MB-EP5 is not only suitable for evaluating the compact OSM modules, but can also be deployed as a ready-to-use solution in applications with smaller quantities.

Avnet Embedded develops its innovative embedded modules in company’s own design centers. The products are manufactured in fully automated production facilities in Germany even in large quantities. A very high quality of the computer-cn-modules and a long availability are thus guaranteed.

OSM – Open Standard Module

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