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  • Assistance on iMX6 Rex Module

    Hi all, so i want to design a base board with 2 mini PCIe connectors, one may be USB only for 4G LTE module and the other one to have full mini PCIe support like the way it is on the iMX6 development board. but i want to add a couple of extra things and remove the unnecessary ones.

    Now the question is, this is a contractual work for an intended commercial product. What should i keep in mind given that,
    1. I want something with long term support,
    2. The modules should be easily available and well stocked. prices should be favorable.

    if there is anything extra that i need to keep in mind you can assist. I have done a couple of contractual works but not for a powerful system like the iMX6. So since its heavily used herethat would be helpful if i get some know-how on it.

    Thanks

  • #2
    PCIE Mini is standard - so if a module is obsolete, you can simply use a different one. What could be useful, add support also for Half PCIE Mini - many cards are now available in this format.

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    • #3
      Hi robertferanec thanks for the feedback, though the issue of being obsolete was concerning the iMX6 Rex board and not the mPCIe Cards that will be used.
      Because i was to use the Raspberry Compute Module but saw it didn't have support for a PCIE line
      Last edited by Kevin Amadiva; 01-25-2019, 06:37 AM.

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      • #4
        About iMX6 Rex board availability is the best to contact VOIPAC: https://www.voipac.com/#Contact
        But, iMX6 chips are very popular and they are not planning to stop production: https://www.nxp.com/products/product...T_LONGEVITY_HM

        Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          robertferanec I looked briefly at your license link https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wik...mparison_chart and didn't see anything about "pay required licenses" (as mentioned in an email). Under what conditions do you require payment?

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          • #6
            Does anyone know of iMX6rex compatible WiFi chip vendors who also provide PCB type antenna designs? Basically to put both chip and antenna on the CPU PCB, connected through the PCIE bus on the same PCB, as a design variant. Has anyone already done this (and might be willing to share)?

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            • #7
              Can anyone provide me with an Altium 5.0/6.0 board export of the open source imx6rex design with Arduino and Pi compatible connectors? I'm using Altium Circuit Studio and CS can't read Altium Designer PcbDoc files directly. Thanks in advance.
              Last edited by craiga; 06-07-2019, 03:45 PM.

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              • #8
                I looked briefly at your license link https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wik...mparison_chart and didn't see anything about "pay required licenses" (as mentioned in an email). Under what conditions do you require payment?
                You will find license info at the bottom of each page. For example:

                - Open Rex: OpenRex is completely free for personal & commercial use. This project is developed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. There is only one exception: Using this project (in whole or in part) or its modifications for any commercial educational activities (e.g. paid courses, trainings, videos, ….) without express written permission of FEDEVEL is prohibited. Universities can use this project with no limitations.

                - iMX6 Rex module: It is completely free for personal use. If you like this module and you are interested to use it for commercial use, please contact us. There is a pretty high chance, that we will agree on a free license for your commercial project or a small fee $7 may apply. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

                Does anyone know of iMX6rex compatible WiFi chip vendors who also provide PCB type antenna designs? Basically to put both chip and antenna on the CPU PCB, connected through the PCIE bus on the same PCB, as a design variant. Has anyone already done this (and might be willing to share)?
                - we prefer modules as it is less complicated with certification (e.g. we use PCIE min wifi cards). So I can not really recommend anything on this.

                Can anyone provide me with an Altium 5.0/6.0 board export of the open source imx6rex design with Arduino and Pi compatible connectors? I'm using Altium Circuit Studio and CS can't read Altium Designer PcbDoc files directly. Thanks in advance.
                - OpenRex PCB 5.0 file is attached below
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  robertferanec my situation may be somewhat unique and from what you just wrote, may require written permission. I need your help to decide.

                  Our "small lab" situation:
                  1. Lab is zero cost to visit (free tours)
                  2. Lab is zero cost to engage. Engagements usually last 1-2 weeks and are technical in nature
                  3. Lab does get video (fairly high visibility), but we don't get paid for this video, or viewing of video, is "lab introduction" video, not a "training" video
                  4. We help companies/individuals get their designs running without charge. We don't do design for our customers, just free guidance, technical direction for experts, from technical experts.
                  5. I would like to "showcase" OpenREX in this environment as one of several solutions, like we also have the Arduino board. Obviously OpenREX is more capable than Arduino.
                  6. OpenREX will be just another project in the lab, not the lab focus. We have several other purchased commercial boards in use at the lab, Arduino and others.
                  7. The closest description to what we do is University, but we are not a University. We do see a -lot- of customers (what you'd expect for being "free"), so OpenREX has the possibility of high exposure. We are selective about who we engage and have one person who's job is to filter all the requests we get for our assistance.

                  I am an employee of this lab, not the owner. I want to bring OpenREX into the lab both for display and as an option for lab customers to use in their own design, similar to how a University might operate. So far we don't need agreements for the Arduino board design, and I'm hoping I can also display OpenREX without restriction, like the Arduino. From what you wrote I may need your permission in writing before I can display OpenREX in our lab. We will get zero money for your OpenREX design. It will just be a display item which may be modified for various uses/applications. Our hope is our customers may find your design useful to solving their own problems. I also think this is a win in that if they need help with electronic design we can point them to FEDEVEL, since we don't do this level of education ourselves and is your core business. i.e. pointing them to FEDEVEL may be one possible outcome of our engagement. Some of our customers are capable enough they won't need FEDEVEL assistance. Some customers would find a link to a vendor selling assembled and tested OpenREX boards helpful. We see all skill levels.

                  My attraction to OpenREX is it is a capable enough design to run Linux.

                  I suspect strongly we qualify for "free", but need your agreement before I can proceed. An encumbered design will likely mean I won't be able to display. Some of our larger "product owners" who's names you'd recognize actually fund our lab annually for this exposure (how we get paid). If FEDEVEL were larger we'd probably ask for help to keep our lab running. Our lab recommends open source projects where appropriate. We want our customers to have the best solution(s) for their needs.
                  Last edited by craiga; 06-09-2019, 01:28 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Thank you robertferanec this is the PCB I want. Attached is a Circuit Studio screen shot, import "warnings"
                    , and converted CSPCBDoc file.
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      craiga, thank you for explanation. I am not sure what you mean by "display" - is it just running a demo, or people are practicing something on the board? Please send me an email and we will discuss this.

                      I am open for cooperation and I do not mind if OpenRex is used by other companies, I just need to be sure OpenRex is not used to compete with services / products what we do (paid courses).

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                      • #12
                        "Display" means I may leave a board in the Pick-n-place machine where it will be seen during lab tours, open house, etc, i.e. the FEDEVEL logo and copyrights will be visible... as far as I know, we don't do anything which would compete with FEDEVEL. Anybody wanting the type of services FEDEVEL provides especially for the OpenRex design we'll send your way. We don't offer anything like your services. I'll send you an email.

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                        • #13
                          I Need help. I tried submitting the OpenREX board for PCB quote and am getting responses which are quite expensive $1000-$3000 for bare board qty 30, with most quotes being in the $3000 range. Has this design been looked at for production cost (reduction)? At the moment this board is too expensive to produce. Here are some of the comments I receive which I don't know how to answer (I'm not a board layout person, yet):

                          - "Please note, VT-47 is not a stocked material, I've attached a spec sheet for NP-175 which your boards would be constructed on." [Quote $3600 for 30 bare boards]

                          - "The only difference really is the material. This is quoted on 370HR since we don’t have good impedance numbers for the VT-47 called out in the stack-up.
                          We also could only get 96 ohms for 100 ohms would that be acceptable?"[Quote $3400 for 30 bare boards]

                          - "VT-47 is not a material Sunstone or it's partner companies stock and would need to be special ordered. I've attached a material sheet for our in house FR4 material, I would also recommend you review our stack ups for what we can build in house." [no quote] https://www.sunstone.com/pcb-manufac.../layer-stackup

                          - "3.74" X 2.756", 10 LAYER, QUOTED WITH 370HR, CLASS 2, .063" THICK, SMALLEST PTH 7.87 MILS, ENIG, ROHS, STANDARD TECHNOLOGY - ARRAYED 2 UP - QUOTED WITHOUT VIA FILL" [Quote $2,313.00]

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                          • #14
                            I would find it strange that the openrex modules are on " special material" I think i would suggest to ask a quote for FR4 or FR408HR.. that should bring down the price..
                            what options did you select for manufacturing?
                            i havent had the change to look at the PCB spec, but robertferanec there should be some kind of PCB speficication form for it? mathced impedance? plating? number of days in which it is produced etc..

                            - "3.74" X 2.756", 10 LAYER, QUOTED WITH 370HR, CLASS 2, .063" THICK, SMALLEST PTH 7.87 MILS, ENIG, ROHS, STANDARD TECHNOLOGY - ARRAYED 2 UP - QUOTED WITHOUT VIA FILL" [Quote $2,313.00]

                            thinking about it.. it is for 30 boards, 2313/30= 77 per board.. that seems a bit much, but that is probably also because there are startup cost involved, like paste screens, initial tooling costs.(panaling) and keep in mind, for an unexpecting company it seems like you are doing a very large protorun, that doubles the price instantly..

                            i would say 96 ohm is acceptable.. usually it is within +/-10% of target, but did you allow them to tweak the design to match the 100Ohm?

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                            • #15
                              craiga, contact Pavol from VOIPAC. They may sell you a few empty PCBs directly. If Pavol has any questions, refer to me and to this post.

                              The pricing seems to me right. The thing is, for the same price you may get hundreds of PCBs.

                              Simply to say, it will cost a PCB Manufacturer almost the same if they are manufacturing a few samples or hundreds of PCBs. Here are some examples:

                              Example 1:
                              10 pieces, unit price 116USD, delivery in 10 days, Tooling 450USD = Total 1610USD

                              Example 2:
                              200 pieces, unit price 6.22 USD, Tooling 400USD = Total 1644USD

                              Invoices attached, so you can compare it by yourself.
                              Attached Files

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