TQMa6x: the ARM Cortex-A9 Module

Paul Boughton

Through the use of several display interfaces, the TQMa6x with i.MX6 by Freescale, provides the flexibility for applications in which several user displays with different display forms are required. 

Software developed with Pengutronix is available for applications with touch displays. 

A particular characteristic of the embedded module TQMa6x concerns its CPU-internal graphic controller. This controller supports displays with resolutions of up to Full HD. This CPU module also enables the simultaneous connection of up to four displays with the possibility of displaying different types of image content. 

This means that alongside conventional control tasks, the ARM Cortex-A9 module is also suited to animated display screen and/or multi-touch and multi-display applications.

TQ-Systems GmbH

At embedded world, TQ-Systems GmbH demonstrates the TQMa6x module for accelerated video-, graphics- and multimedia applications. For the first time, TQ will run a demo in which two displays are used simultaneously. Different demonstrations will be shown on the displays. 

An operator interface based on QT that can be operated through a Projected Capacitive Touch (PCT) screen will be shown on the 7-in display. A 3D demo will be run on the second display – a 10.4-in display likewise with PCT – in order to demonstrate the capability of the CPU with the integrated GPUs and VPUs.

The software developed together with Pengutronix offers a basis for applications in which several displays with touch support are used. Even though this will entail a certain degree of adaptation work to customer projects, this in itself provides a good basis for innovative operating concepts with or without animation.

The Pengutronix kernel team supplies a preview of the media drivers currently going through the quality process of the mainline Kernel. GPU accelerated Qt 5.2 software stacks can be provided on demand.

All externally usable signals of the CPU are available on the TQMa6x module on three industry-compatible pin strips (2 x 160 + 1x 40 pins) on an 0.8 mm grid that have proven their worth at TQ for over 15 years. 

Thanks to the interface integration this module is suited for a variety of applications where the advantages of virtualisation play an important role. The ARM Cortex-A9 core, scalable in terms of performance, and the clock rate of up to 4 x 1.2 GHz ensure that the optimal performance can be selected for every application.

The TQ Minimodule TQMa6x is equipped with up to 2 GByte DDR3L RAM, up to 128 MByte SPI NOR flash and up to 16 GB eMMC flash for program and data. The design is enhanced by an EEPROM, an RTC and a real-time clock backed by battery from the main board.

Whether for operating with several displays or for applications where scalable processor performance is required: the embedded module TQMa6x with its long-term availability and characteristics together with the existing software support by the PikeOS provides a solid basis for future-oriented development.