Which Colibri module to use for long term support?

We’ve been using the Colibri T20 in our products for years, we make industrial products with long product lifecycles like 10 to 20 years. We’re part way through a project to migrate from the Colibri T20 to the Colibri iMX6D due to the planned obsolescence of the T20 which is coming in 2025. We need to make hardware changes to account for the small differences in the module pin-outs.

I was about to buy some more iMX6D modules for development but I noticed that the availability on the website now says only 2028 for the iMX6. The iMX7 availability is only 2027. The iMX8 availability is much longer at 2035+ but that module is overkill for us and costs significantly more.

Which Colibri module is recommended for long term support? Is the availability date for he iMX6 likely to be longer than 2028 in practice? Will the iMX6 be replaced with a newer module based on the same processor?

I meant to add that one of the reasons we use Toradex modules is because we appreciate that Toradex tries hard to support these modules for longer periods of time than most other vendors.

Hi MikeS,

Let me give an initial response here but I will also reach out by email to take the discussion further.

At Toradex we strive to match the lifetime guarantee stated by the silicon vendor of the processor we use in any given module. So, for example 2028 is the year that NXP themselves will keep making/supporting the processor for.

That means we will keep making the Colibri iMX6 until 2028. There generally is a window where you could still get them for a year after or so and we can always discuss some of those aspects when the time comes closer.

The iMX8 line is seen as a successor to the iMX6 so that is certainly one option to look at, maybe you could consider the Colibri iMX8X with the DualX processor instead of the QuadXPlus.

As stated above I will send you an email on the matter.

Hi @michael.tx and thanks for your reply. I hadn’t noticed the Colibri iMX8X DualX when browsing the website so thanks for suggesting it. That price point and performance level do suit us better than the QuadX, and it still represents a small cost saving compared to the T20 which we are moving away from.

You asked in your email about which OS we plan to use. I had left that out of my original post in order to try to keep my question simpler, but it is relevant. Your guess that we are still using WinCE on our T20 based products is correct. We do plan to migrate to embedded Linux eventually and have been developing with Torizon on the Colibri iMX7. We plan to migrate in two steps in the way you also suggested in your email:

  1. Migrate from WinCE on the T20 to WinCE on the iMX6
  2. Migrate to Linux on the iMX7 (Or iMX8 now based on your message)

The iMX6 makes a good stepping stone to avoid the obsolescence date of the T20 without having to change our software much.

Sounds great!
Let us know how it goes and if you need our support.