Archive

Posts Tagged ‘nxp’
Orange Pi Development Boards

Develop NXP i.MX 8M Voice Controlled Smart Devices with MCIMX8M-EVK Evaluation Kit

January 11th, 2018 8 comments

We first heard about NXP i.MX 8M processsors in October 2016, and at the end of last year, WandPi 8M development board was unveiled with shipping scheduled for Q2 2018 once the processor will start manufacturing. Other exciting i.MX 8M projects include Purism Librem 5 smartphone, MNT Reform DIY modular computer, and I’m sure there will be others development board & products, and plenty of system-on-modules introduced with the processor in 2018.

NXP i.MX 8M processor also got in the news at CES 2018, because it will be one of the hardware platforms certified for Android Things, and NXP also issued a press release to announced the processor’s multimedia capability with be used in voice controlled devices with or without video.

NXP i.MX 8M Block Diagram

The PR refers to Gartner Research saying that “voice commands will dominate 50 percent of all searches in the next two years”, and explains that with thinner and thinner TV, sound bars and smart speaker swill become more popular and integrate features such as voice control, home automation, … which can be served by iMX 8M family of applications processors. The company also expects the processors to be found in lighting, thermostats, door locks, home security, smart sprinklers, other smart home systems and devices. One of the main purpose of that press release was to say “come to see demos at our CES 2018 booth” including:

  • i.MX 8M hardware that will be driving voice, video, and audio all at the same time, while also displaying 4K HDR, dual screen and immersive audio capabilities.
  • Android Things demos of drawing robots (drawbots) that use on-device processing power to sketch attendee selfies in real-time, and Manny, a Things-powered robotic hand (handbot) that uses TensorFlow plus computer vision to mirror hand gestures and play games.
  • An Alexa solution with leading features such as display support, multi-room audio and integrated talk-to-call.

NXP i.MX 8M Evaluation Kit

Click to Enlarge

Since the processor is still new, many of those demos will be implemented with the company’s MCIMX8M-EVK evaluation kits with the following features:

  • Processor – NXP i.MX 8M Quad (MIMX8MQ6DVAJZAA) quad core Cortex A53 applications processor, 1x Cortex-M4F real-time core, Vivante GC7000L GPU
  • System Memory – 3 GB LPDDR4
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.0 flash, 32MB SPI NOR flash, micro SD card connector
  • Display interface – HDMI 2.0a Connector, DSI interface via Mini-SAS connector
  • Audio connectors – 3.5 mm stereo headphone output
  • Camera – CSI interface via Mini-SAS connectors
  • Connectivity
    • Gigabit Ethernet via RJ45 connector
    • 1x on-board 802.11ac WiFi/Bluetooth 4.2 module
    • 1x M.2 slot (KEY-E type)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0/3.0 type C connector, 1x USB 2.0/3.0 host connector
  • Expansion Port – FPC connector (SAI ports)
  • Debug connectors – JTAG (10-PIN header), MicroUSB for UART debug
  • Misc – ONOFF & RESET buttons; Power status & UART LEDs
  • Power – NXP PMIC PF4210 + Discrete DCDC/LDO
  • Dimensions – 10 x 10 cm; 10-layer PCB

MCIMX8M-EVK Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The board ships with USB cable, a 12V/5.0A! power supply, and a quick start guide. If you plan to use audio input, you may need to add an Audio card via the SAI/I2C expansion port The company has also released a whole bunch of documents, hardware design files, SDKs, BSPs, MQX RTOS, and software tools right before CES 2018, which you can find on the evaluation kit and processor pages. The evaluation kit is sold for $449.00.

NXP Announces OpenIL Industrial Real-Time Linux Distribution for Industry 4.0

November 28th, 2017 No comments

NXP has announced the release of OpenIL industrial Linux distribution with real-time OS extensions and Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) support for factory-automation for the Industry 4.0 era.

The OpenIL distribution includes support for per-stream policing, time-aware shaping of network traffic, and 801.1AS time synchronization, and supports NXP Layerscape SoCs and boards such as LS1028A dual ARMv8 processor, or LS1021A-IOT IoT gateway.

Some notable OpenIL features include:

  • Xenomai real-time extensions to Unix, making porting relatively easy from an RTOS like VxWorks or pSOS
  • Extensible Markup Language (XML) and NETCONF-based network configuration utilities for TSN
  • Generalized precision time protocol (gPTP) with the linuxptp daemon
  • Drivers for the Ethernet Interfaces and the NXP SJA1105T TSN switch
  • Support for edge computing services
  • Optional instantiation of the Ubuntu user-space filesystem layout

You’ll find the source code on Gihub, and some more information on OpenIL.org website. NXP appears to be the only company involved in the project, and they’re currently demonstrating their OS during SPS IPC Drives 2017 in Nuremberg, Germany, until November 30.

Octo SPI / HyperBus Interface is Designed for High Speed Serial Flash, RAM, and MCP

November 25th, 2017 7 comments

So far, if you needed high speed storage with low pin count in your MCU based board, you could use QSPI (Quad SPI) NOR flash, but earlier this month I wrote about STM32L4+ MCU family, which added two Octo SPI interfaces.

I had never heard about Octo SPI previously. Those two interfaces can be used with single, dual, quad, or octal SPI compatible serial flash or RAM, and  support a frequency of up to 86 MHz for Octal SPI memories in STM32L4+ MCU.

STMicro OctoSPI interface also supports Cypress/Spansion Hyperbus mode to connect to HyperFlash or HyperRAM chip, or even HyperFlash + HyperRAM Multi-Chip packages (MCP), and variable or fixed external memory latency as defined by the Hyperbus protocol specification. The latter reveals Hyperbus supports performance up to 400 MB/s (provided the controller support 200 MHz), and relies on either 11 bus signals using 3.0V I/O (Single-ended clock CK), or 12 bus signals using 1.8V I/Os (differential clock CK, CK#).

HyperBus vs Parallel vs QSPI NOR Flash – Read Speed

The chart above compared the performance of an actual HyperFlash (333 MB/s) against other NOR flash with legacy parallel interfaces (Async, Page and ADP Burst) and QSPI (It’s written SPI, but they mean SQPI @ 80 MB/s).

HyberBus vs QSPI vs Parallel NOR Flash – Pin Count

Pin count had to increase from 6 for QSPI to 11/12 for HyberBus, but it’s still low compared to parallel interfaces.

Cypress HyperFlash NOR flash memories have capacities of 128 to 512 Mbit, and throughput of up to 333 MB/s for 1.8V versions, and 200MB/s for 3V versions. The MCP chips come with either 256 or 512 Mbit HyperFlash, and 64Mbit HyperRAM with 1.8V or 3.0V versions in a FBGA-24 package measuring 8 x 6 x 1 mm.

ISSI also sells HyperFlash storage chips (128 to 512 Mbit), and Macronix International (MXIC) has something similar with their OctaBus memory interface and OctaFlash some of which support up to 250 MHz (500MB), and offers a large capacity from 64Mbit to 2Gbit. The press release in 2016 also mentions OctaRAM, and OctaMCP chips, but product pages are not available for the last two, maybe because another company, JSC, launched OctaRAM with 64-bit and 128-bit density. All those products use the same 12-pin interface, but it’s unclear whether they are compatible, and OctaBus specifications are nowhere to be found.

On the MCU side of the equation, beside STM32L4+, we’ll unsurprisingly find some Cypress solutions with FM4 Cortex-M4 micro-controllers, and Traveo Cortex-R5 MCUs, and the recently announced NXP i.MX RT Cortex M7 crossover processors also support it, and i.MX RT1050 Evaluation Kit even includes 512 Mbit Hyperflash. Renesas Car H3 processor also supports HyperBus interface, and they fitted Hyperflash on at least one of their automotive development board.

Emcraft Releases Linux BSP for NXP i.MX RT1050 Cortex M7 Evaluation Board

October 27th, 2017 2 comments

NXP iMX RT series is a family of ARM Cortex M7 processors clocked at 600 MHz, making the solution a “crossover embedded processor” bridging the gap between real-time capabilities of micro-controllers and the performance of application processors.

This week, NXP provided some benchmark numbers for i.MX RT1050 processor, which delivers a CoreMark score of 3020, DMIPS of 1284, and 20ns interrupt latency at 600 MHz, which means it could be a good candidate for embedded Linux, and Emcraft Systems has just released a uCLinux BSP for the NXP i.MX RT1050 EVK board.

The BSP features U-Boot v2017.09-rc1, Linux Kernel 4.5 with relevant device drivers such as key I/O interfaces, Wi-Fi, SD card, LCD, etc…, and GNU development tools such as a GCC 4.7 toolchain, GDB, and so on.

The company has made a demo with a GUI application designed with Crank Software’s Storyboard Suite, and running in Linux on the NXP i.MX RT1050 evaluation kit

The binary files for the demo, and BSP documentation can be downloaded freely on the product page, and the complete BSP with source code costs $99. I understand you can then use it in your product without having to pay any extra royalties.

Linaro Connect SF 2017 Welcome Keynote – New Members, Achievements, the Future of Open Source, and More…

September 26th, 2017 No comments

Linaro Connect San Francisco 2017 is now taking place until September 29, and it all started yesterday with the Welcome Keynote by George Grey, Linaro CEO discussing the various achievements since the last Linaro Connect in Budapest, and providing an insight to the future work to be done by the organization.

The video is available on YouTube (embedded below), and since I watched it, I’ll provide a summary of what was discussed:

  • Welcoming New Members – Kylin (China developed FreeBSD operating systems) joined LEG (Enterprise Group), NXP added LHG (Home Group) membership, and Xilinx joined LITE (IoT and Embedded).
  • Achievements
    • OPTEE open portable trusted environment execution more commonly integrated into products. Details at optee.org.
    • LEG 17.08 ERP release based on Linux 4.12, Debian 8.9 with UEFI, ACPI, DPDK, Bigtop, Hadoop, etc…
    • LITE group has been involved in Zephyr 1.9 release, notably contributing to LwM2M stack
    • More projects to be found on download page.
  • Open source future with many fields involved including artificial intelligence, security, automotive, automation, etc.
    • Security requires software/hardware combination, and with a single global standard such as OPTEE desirable
    • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
      • Trend is to move out of the CPU to off-load tasks to GPU, FPGA, or NNA (Neural Network Accelerators)
      • Not single API, for example TensorFlow supports CPU and NVIVIA CUDA, using other platforms require heavy customization
      • Linaro to work abstraction layer/ common API for machine learning
      • A.I will bring many benefits, but also potential dangers/issues: privacy, military use, etc… Development in the open is better.
    • Automotive
      • Currently Intel and NVIDIA provides ADAS / autonomous driving platform, both closed sources
      • More open platform needed, maybe a 96Boards Automotive platform with 6x cameras, GPS, touch screen display, processing power good enough for ADAS and IVI (In Vehicle-Entertainment)
      • Linux now mostly handles non-safety critical code, will change in the future. Containers will help.
      • Currently working on proof-of-concept with StreetDrone One autonomous driving development platform, DragonBoard 410c and Gumstix AeroCore 2 mezzanine. More details, maybe demo, at next Linaro Connect
  • 96Boards
    • Recently (and soon to be) announced – Hikey 960, Orange Pi i96, Uranus (WiFi board based on TI CC3220, to run Zephyr OS)
    • Mezzanine boards – NeonKey with sensors and LEDs, Secure96 with crypto chips & TPM (used to play with OPTEE)
  • ARM Platforms for developers – Three types:
  • Microplatforms
    • Definition – open source, minimal, secure, OTA upgradeable distributions
    • Cortex M platforms will use Zephyr OS, Cortex A support will be based on OpenEmbedded with a unified multi-SoC kernel
    • Currently tested on Hikey, DragonBoard 410c, and Raspberry Pi 3, more platforms to be supported in the future
    • Demos with 6x Carbon + Nitrogen board with BLE running Zephyr OS, Raspberry Pi 3 IoT gateway:
      • 1. Use Linaro Developer Cloud (running LED Enterprise Reference Platform) + Hawkbit dash to monitor temperature sensors on the board
      • 2. Switch Raspberry Pi 3 gateway to use Softbank cloud using Alibaba infrastructure on-the-fly, and control lights from Japan severs.
      • The two demos above shows how a multi-standard automation gateway could be implemented solving the problem of incompatibility of devices from different manufacturers
      • BLE mesh demo with six board controlling lights
      • Source code for demos can be found on Github
    • Going forwards downstream microplatforms will be developed by a separate entity: Open Source Foundries, unrelated to Linaro which will keep on focusing on upstream work
  • Linaro also launched the Associate Program for OEMs, ODMs, service providers, startups, and university who want to join Linaro. No details were provided, only an email address [email protected]

You’ll also find the presentation slides on Slideshare.

NXP RoadLink SAF5400 is a Single Chip Secure DSRC/802.11p V2X Platform

September 14th, 2017 No comments

Marvell unveiled 88W8987xA wireless SoC for V2X (Vehicle to Everything) applications supporting 802.11p WiFi, and DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications) last June, but NXP has recently launched Roadlink SAF5400 which it claims to be the world’s first “automotive qualified, high-performance single-chip DSRC modem”

Key features for Roadlink SAF5400:

  • Compliant with IEEE 802.11p, IEEE 1609.4
  • Compliant with:
    • ETSI EN 302663 – Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); Access layer specification for Intelligent Transport Systems operating in the 5 GHz frequency band
    • ETSI EN 302571 – Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS); Radiocommunications equipment operating in the 5 855 MHz to 5 925 MHz frequency band; Harmonized EN covering the essential requirements of article 3.2 of the R&TTE Directive
  • Compliant with ARIB T-109M – 700 MHz Band Intelligent Transport Systems
  • Single channel handling for 802.11p reception/transmission. Includes Channel Switching
  • Optional ECDSA verification: 2000 messages/sec (Brainpool/NIST curves 256 bits)
  • Qualified in accordance with AEC-Q100 grade 2
  • Host interface – SPI, R(G)MII Ethernet, or SDIO

The solution will be used for vehicle to vehicle communication as illustrated below, and potentially other nodes along the road.  Roadlink SAF5400 can be combined with NXP i.MX processor, and security can be achieved by software in the i.MX processor, or via a dedicated SXF1800 hardware secure element based in similar technology used in electronic passports, and banking cards.

Click to Enlarge

The solution will support all global V2X standards in US, EU, JPN and KOR, with sampling to lead customers starting in December 2017. Further details may be found in the product page and the press release.

Categories: NXP i.MX Tags: 802.11p, automotive, nxp, v2x

NXP i.MX RT Series Crossover Embedded Processor is Based on an ARM Cortex-M7 Core @ 600 MHz

August 17th, 2017 3 comments

Microcontrollers (MCUs) provide real-time processing, low power, low cost, and plenty of I/Os, but with security and user interface requirements of recent embedded devices, the processing power may be a limitation, and embedded systems designers may have to use an application processor instead gaining performance, but losing some of the benefits of MCUs. The bridge the gap between performance and usability, NXP has launched i.MX RT series of Crossover Embedded Processor which uses the powerful ARM Cortex-M7 MCU core clocked at up to 600 MHz, a frequency partially made possible by eliminating on-chip flash memory.

Block Diagram

The first member of the family is NXP i.MX RT1050 with the following key features and specifications:

  • MCU Core – ARM Cortex-M7 @ up to 600 MHz; 3015 CoreMark / 1284 DMIPS
  • Memory – Up to 512KB SRAM/TCM (Tighly Coupled Memory) with response time as low as 20 ns
  • Storage – 96KB RAM; interfaces: NAND, eMMC, QuadSPI/HyperBus NOR flash, Parallel NOR flash
  • GPU – 2D graphics acceleration engine with resize, SCS, overlay, rotation functions
  • Display I/F – 24-bit LCD display controller supporting up to 800×480 resolution
  • Camera I/F – 8-/16-bit parallel camera sensor interface
  • Audio I/F – 3x I2S, S/PDIF Tx/Rx
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet with IEEE 1588 support, interfaces for WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee and Thread
  • Other Peripherals
    • 2x USB 2.0 OTG with PHY
    • 8x UART, 4x I2C, 4x SPI
    • GPIOs
    • 2x CAN bus
    • 8×8 keypad
    • Dual 20-ch ADC, 4x ACMP
  • System Control – eDMA, 4x Watchdog timers, 6x GP timers, 4x Quadrature ENC, 4x QuadTimer, 4x FlexPWM, IOMUX
  • Security – Cipher & RNG, secure RTC, eFuse, HAB
  • Power
    • Integrated DC-DC converter
    • Low power mode at 24 MHz
  • Package – 10×10 BGA package with 0.65mm pitch

The company claims i.MX RT processor provide twice the performance &  power efficiency, half the cost, and allows for faster development time. NXP also explains the BoM cost is reduced due to the high integration of the solution, and the embedded processor can be used in 4-layer PCB designs.

Click to Enlarge

Software development for the i.MX RT crossover processor can be done with MCU tools like MCUXpression, IAR and Keil, and it also supports FreeRTOS, and ARM mbed.  There’s an evaluation kit, but no details were provided.

Target applications include audio Subsystem such as professional microphones & guitar pedals, consumer products like smart appliances, cameras, LCDs, home and building automation,  IoT gateways, industrial computing designs such as PLCs, factory automation, test and measurement, HMI control, and motor control and power conversion, for example for 3D printers, thermal printers, UAV, robotic vacuum cleaners, etc…

NXP i.MX RT1050 processor is sampling now, with broad availability expected for October 2017, and pricing starting at less than $3.00 per unit for 10k orders. More information can be found on the product page.

Thanks to Lucas for the tip.

Categories: FreeRTOS, Hardware, NXP i.MX Tags: cortex-m7, mbed, mcu, nxp

NXP Unveils LPC84x ARM Cortex M0+ MCU Family, and LPCXpresso845-MAX Evaluation Board

June 23rd, 2017 No comments

NXP Semiconductors has expanded LPC800 series MCUs with the new LPC84x family of 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ microcontroller said to offer 10 times the performance, three times more power saving savings, and 50 percent smaller code-size than 8- or 16-bit microcontrollers.

Click to Enlarge

Key features of LPC84x MCU family (LPC844 / LPC845):

  • MCU Core – ARM Cortex-M0+ core @ 30 MHz with advanced power optimization
  • RAM – 16 kB RAM (Logic for Bit banding across all of SRAM)
  • Storage – 64 kB Flash, small 64-byte page size suitable for EEPROM emulation
  • Peripherals
    • Timers – 32-bit CTimer, WWDT, 4-channel multi-rate, SCTimer/PWM
    • Serial Interfaces – Up to 4x I2C, 2x SPI, up to 5x UART
    • Analog Interfaces – 12 ch, 12-bit ADC up to 1.2 Msps; 2x 10-bit DAC; comparator with external Vreg; 9-channel capacitive touch interface working in sleep and deep sleep modes
    • Up to 54 GPIOs
    • 25-ch DMA offloads core
  • Power Control
    • Five power modes
    • Power profile APIs for simple runtime power optimization
    • Fast Access Initialization Memory (FAIM) for low power boot @ 1.5 MHz
  • Clock Generation Unit with Free Running Oscillator
  • Packages – LQFP64, LQFP48, HVQFN48 and HVQFN33

The LPC84x MCUs target applications typically making use of 8- or 16-bit MCUs such as sensor gateways, gaming controllers, motor control, fire & security, climate control, lighting, etc.. The company has already provided code samples that can be used in MCUXpresso, Keil, and IAR IDEs, as well as a datasheet, and a user guide for the microcontrollers on the product page.

Click to Enlarge

NXP also unveiled LPCXPresso845-MAX development board (OM13097) to help quickly evaluating the new MCUs. The board comes with the following key features:

  • LPC845 MCU
  • On-board CMSIS-DAP (debug probe) with VCOM port, based on LPC11U35 MCU
  • Debug connector to allow debug of target MCU using an external probe
  • Red, green and blue user LEDs;  Target ISP and user/wake buttons; Target reset button
  • LPCXpresso expansion connector
  • DAC output via speaker driver and speaker
  • Arduino connectors compatible with the “Arduino UNO” platform
  • Pmod compatible expansion header
  • Prototyping area

NXP did not disclose pricing for LPC84x MCUs, but it should be priced competitively against 8-bit micro-controllers. LPCXpresso845-MAX development board (OM13097) can be purchased for $19 directly on NXP website.