NXP i.MX 8M Plus Processor Targets AI Applications with a 2.3 TOPS Neural Processing Unit

NXP i.MX 8M Plus

NXP has just announced its first i.MX processor with a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) at CES 2020. The NXP i.MX 8M Plus SoC is built upon the existing i.MX 8M Nano family with a quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor running at up to 2GHz, an independent real-time Cortex-M7 microcontroller @ 800MHz, and a Vivante 3D GPU, but adds a 2.3 TOPS NPU to the mix. The NPU will enable advanced machine learning inference at the industrial and IoT (Internet-of-Things) edges for applications such as people and object recognition for public safety, industrial machine vision, robotics, hand gesture, and emotion detection with natural language processing. NXP i.MX 8M Plus key features and specifications: CPU – Quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz with 512KB ECC cache Real-time MCU – Arm Cortex-M7 @ up to 800 MHz GPU – Vivante GC7000UL 3D GPU, Vivante GC520L 2D GPU DSP – HiFi 4 DSP for voice and natural language processing AI Accelerator …

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NXP i.MX RT1170 Arm Cortex-M7/M4 Microcontroller Clocks at One Gigahertz!

NXP i.MX RT1170 Gigahertz MCU

Microcontrollers used to be those cute little things that clock at 8 or 16 MHz, but in the last decade, Cortex-M3/M4 microcontrollers became more powerful with 100 to 200 MHz clocks being quite common. But with the introduction of Arm Cortex-M7 core about 5 years ago, microcontrollers are seriously starting to take over tasks that were previously reserved to faster microprocessors.  As I remember it,  the MCU frequency “race” started with STMicro STM32H7 in 2016 with an impressive 400 MHz, and NXP i.MX RT crossover processor clocked at 600 MHz a few years later.  But with i.MX RT1170 microcontroller, NXP has upped the ante as the new MCU combines an Arm Cortex-M4 core clocked at 400MHz with Arm Cortex-M7 core running at an amazing one Gigahertz (1 GHz). The documentation has not been released and we have limited information, but here’s what we know about NXP i.MX RT1170 key features and specifications so far: CPU Arm Cortex-M7 @ 1 GHz …

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NXP i.MX RT106F & RT106A/L Cortex-M7 Processors Target Offline Face Recognition & Smart Audio Applications

NXP i.MX RT crossover processors combine real-time capabilities of microcontrollers with the performance of application processors thanks to an Arm Cortex-M7 core clocked at 528 MHz and more. The performance is indeed impressive as shown by Teensy 4.0 benchmarks, but so far NXP i.MX RT processor targeted general purpose applications. The company has now introduced three new crossover processors designed for AI applications. NXP i.MX RT106F is designed for offline face recognition and expression Identification, while RT106L and RT106A are made for local and cloud-based embedded voice applications. NXP i.MX RT106F Processor Highlights of the processor: CPU – Arm Cortex-M7 @ 600 MHz (3020 CoreMark/1284 DMIPS) Memory – 1 MB On-Chip SRAM plus up to 512 KB configurable as Tightly Coupled Memory (TCM) External memory interface options – NAND, eMMC, QuadSPI NOR Flash, and Parallel NOR Flash Real-time, low-latency response as low as 20 ns Industry’s lowest dynamic power with an integrated DC-DC converter Low-power run modes at 24 MHz …

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NXP i.MX 7ULP Enters Mass-Production, EVK and Systems-on-Module Announced

Last year, we wrote about F&S Elektronik Systeme PicoCORE MX7 system-on-module (SoM) powered by NXP i.MX 7ULP processor manufactured with a 28nm FD-SOI process, and that was announced a year earlier. The official launch of the module was planned for Q3 2018, but there have been some delays as LinuxGizmos reports NXP has only started mass production of their i.MX7 ULP this June. With the official launch of i.MX 7ULP, the company also introduced the official i.MX 7ULP Evaluation Board (MCIMX7ULP-EVK) as showcased on Element14’s community and several other companies announced i.MX 7ULP systems-on-modules. Benefits of NXP i.MX 7ULP Processor The i.MX7 ULP family of processors is an extremely power-efficient series, that is utilizing lower power for more functions. The SoC is being touted as the most power-efficient processor that can be obtained that also houses a 3D GPU.  Although like the i.MX7, the i.MX 7ULP combines both Cortex-A7 and Cortex-M4 cores but can effectively bring the power states even …

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NXP i.MX 8M Nano is a Power-optimized Arm Cortex-A53/M7 Processor

NXP i.MX 8M Nano

NXP introduced their first 14nm i.MX processor at Embedded World 2018 last year with i.MX 8 Mini processor equipped with up to four Cortex A53 cores clocked at 2.0 GHz and one real-time Cortex-M4 cores clocked at 400+ MHz, and optional 1080p video output and decoding/encoding. The company has now added another 14nm member to their i.MX 8M family with NXP i.MX 8M Nano family also featuring four Cortex-A53 cores at up to 1.5 GHz, but replacing the Cortex-M4 by a more powerful Cortex-M7 core clocked at up to 600 MHz. The processor is also power-optimized for less than 2W total dynamic power (TDP) and sub-watt in many IoT edge applications. NXP i.MX 8M Nano key features and specifications: Application cores – One to four Arm Cortex-A53 cores up to 1.5 GHz per core; 32KB L1-I Cache/ 32 KB L1-D Cache; 512 KB L2 Cache Real-time core – Arm Cortex-M7 at speeds of up to 600 MHz; 16 KB L1-I …

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NXP Immersiv3D Enables DSP-Free Dolby Atmos & DTS:X Audio Systems

NXP Immersiv3d audio reference design

High-fidelity audio systems such as soundbars, smart speakers, and AV receivers have traditionally relied on DSPs (Digital Signal Processors) to deliver low-latency audio processing, and enable audio and video synchronization. DSPs add to the cost of the overall design however, and with Immersiv3D technology, NXP has leveraged Arm Cortex-A53 and M4 cores in their NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor to completely remove the need for DSP in audio systems, shaving the BoM cost by up to 20%  according to an article on EETimes. Immersiv3D also enables immersive audio support with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, advanced audio pre/post processing, advanced features like voice control for the smart home. Immersiv3D audio solution was designed to help OEMs to bring to market affordable consumer audio devices with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and beside the audio processing software, NXP is also offering an Immersiv3D audio reference design to help them delelop sound bars based on the solution. The press release further explains: The NXP …

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NXP i.MX 6ULZ Cost Efficient Processor Drops Ethernet, Display, & Camera Interfaces

NXP i.MX 6ULZ

Freescale i.MX 6 processor was first announced in January 2011, and in the first few years I covered many products and development boards based on the single to quad core Cortex A9 processor. Further down the road, the company became part of NXP, and launched Cortex A7 variant such as i.MX 6ULL providing both lower costs and power consumption. But now, I usually skip new products based on i.MX6 because they are often just more of the same, and not really new worthy. But yesterday while writing about Linux 4.20 release, I realized I missed the announcement of i.MX 6ULZ processor similar to i.MX 6UL (UltraLight), but cost optimized for applications that do not require Ethernet, display, nor camera interfaces. NXP i.MX 6ULZ key features and specifications with differences with i.MX 6UL highlighted in bold or stricken-through: CPU – ARM Cortex A7 core @ up to 900 MHz with 128KB L2 cache Memory I/F – 16-bit DDR3/DDR3L, LPDDR2 Storage I/F …

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NXP Unveils i.MX RT600 Series Arm Cortex-M33 + Audio DSP Crossover Processor

NXP IMX RT600

A little over a year ago, NXP introduces their first crossover processor that blurs the line between real-time capabilities of microcontrollers and higher performance of application processors with NXP i.MX RT1050 processor equipped with a Cortex-M7 core clocked at up to 700 MHz. The company has now announced another model with lower power consumption. NXP i.MX RT600 series comes with a Cortex M33 core clocked at up to 300MHz, a Cadence Tensillica HiFi 4 audio DSP, and up to 4.5MB shared SRAM. Main features of NXP i.MX RT685 crossover processor: CPU Core – Arm  Cortex-M33 up to 300 MHz DSP – Tensilica Hi-Fi 4 up to 600 MHz Memory Up to 4.5 MB on-chip RAM 128KB DSP TCM, 128 KB DSP Cache Storage 96KB ROM on-chip 2x SDIO with 1x supporting eMMC5.0 w/ HS400 1x Octal/Quad SPI up to 100MB/s Peripherals 2x DMA Engines with 35 channels each 1x USB high speed host/device with PHY 1x SPI  up to 50 …

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