Variscite is a worldwide leading System on Module provider, setting the bar for embedded solutions since 2003 with high-quality modules. The company provides the broadest ARM-based SoM portfolio in the embedded market. Variscite‘s in-house production fully complies with the strict medical ISO13485 and ISO9001 standards. Along with ongoing online documentation and technical support as well as generous longevity, the company’s customers are enjoying consistent, reliable products and services starting from the earliest development stages throughout the end-product lifecycle.

Interview with Ohad Yaniv, CEO of Variscite.

Based in Lod, Central District, Israel, Ohad Yaniv is the Chief Executive Officer at Variscite. Previously, Ohad was the Vice President of R&D for Micronet and before that, Software Group Manager for Fourier System.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Ohad Yaniv: Variscite designs, develops and manufactures trusted SoMs that give product developers the ability to create innovative solutions to address market needs. In addition, Variscite provides a vast ecosystem to support its core business and offers advanced services like board design, and end-to-end training.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

O.Y: Variscite’s current product line is meeting the needs of customers with a wide portfolio based on NXP’s i.MX application processors that include the i.MX 8 series, i.MX 6, i.MX 6UL and i.MX 7 families. New SoM products are planned for early 2023 to meet the future needs of embedded devices.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

O.Y: Variscite showcases a broad product portfolio with a wide range of configuration options that cover an entire embedded product and application range. From entry-level with the popular NXP i.MX 6UL/ULL/ULZ Cortex-A7 processor, up to 900MHz CPU Clock and starting from only $24. Through higher performance modules based on the i.MX 6, i.MX 7 platforms and newer i.MX 8M-based solutions that include advanced features like machine learning and 4K encode/ decode. Up to high-performance i.MX 8 System on Modules with up to 6 CPU cores, high-end graphics, UltraHD video and a variety of high-speed interfaces and connectivity. 

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

O.Y: The development of off-the-shelf computer on modules and manufacturing of application-specific carrier boards is expected to fuel the market growth. The market is expected to develop, owing to the growing significance of digital technology in multiple sectors.

The computer or system on module provides multiple benefits in terms of computer operations and compact modular design, which reduces the complexity of the design of the modern embedded computer system. The integrated SoM eliminates the hassle and the long development time of designing a very complex single board. The SoM integrates all the core components in one module and provides easy and scalable computing solutions.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

O.Y: The demand for smart devices in the industrial sectors is increasing. We see more and more innovative SoM-based designs of industrial devices that includes capabilities like wireless connectivity, graphics and even machine learning (ML). AI/ML has been in the past year and still is a trendy feature. Variscite is very responsive to the market’s demand for machine learning at the edge. We provide two SoMs that are based on a 1.8GHz Quad Cortex-A53 i.MX 8M Plus processor and 800MHz Cortex-M7 real-time co-processor with integrated dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) and advanced multimedia features. In addition, Variscite’s eco-system includes extended boards with a dedicated AI processing unit, providing up to 26 TOPS that can be mounted on several i.MX8-based SoMs that have no integrated AI engine.

Since the beginning of the components supply chain crisis, companies are increasingly understanding the value of offloading the logistics of their designs to external SoM providers to gain stability and enjoy faster lead times and higher availability. Conservative industries like the medical that preferred an internal design approach in the past, starting new projects based on SoM.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

O.Y: The Variscite iMX 8 line powered by NXP processors provides the maximum range of performance, cost, and scalability with the support of the NXP i.MX 8 processors series. From low-power and cost-sensitive System-on-modules up to advanced processing SoMs with impressive multimedia performance. All platforms are pin-compatibles divided into two product families based on their form factor and connector type. Variscite’s Pin2Pin families maximize scalability and offer easy migration between platforms at any stage of the device’s lifetime which extends longevity. 

E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2022?

O.Y: For the balance of 2022, there will be continuous movement toward SoM architecture over an internal chip-down design approach.