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System-on-Module from Direct Insight packs STMicro ST32M1 ARM Cortex-A7 performance in tiny QFN-style package

Solder-down QSMP solves production challenges

Oxfordshire, UK June 2020: Direct Insight, the UK-based, technical systems integrator and reseller of system-on-module (SoM) and other embedded systems, has announced the tiny QSMP Solder-down 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 +85degC.

Comments David Pashley, Direct Insight’s MD: “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. 

About Direct Insight

The increasing complexity of electronics hardware and software has the potential to increase project timescales, yet at the same time most development teams are faced with ever more demanding time-to-market pressures. Founded in 1992, UK value-added reseller, Direct Insight has helped hundreds of development teams to upgrade to the latest SoC, FPGA and OS technology by choosing the right off-the-shelf hardware, software and tools, by providing the required support and services to fill the gaps, and by allowing customer development teams to focus on their differentiating core skills to deliver excellent products. Key partners include: OS supplier, QNX; Ka-Ro Electronics, the German designer and manufacturer of embedded modules; and Taiwanese single board computer maker, DFI.

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