Interview – NXP Linux BSP and Timesys Vigiles Maintenance Service & Security Updates

NXP Linux BSP Maintenance Workflow

I’ve been interviewing Ed White, Manager of NXP’s Professional Support and Engineering Services, and Akshay Bhat, Director of Engineering, Security Solutions at Timesys by email to find out more about NXP Linux BSP development process, and how Timesys can help to keep it updated and secure with its Vigiles service. Q1. CNX Software readers recently discussed NXP Linux BSP update status. One person specifically noted Linux 4.14.98 used in the BSP was well over a year old, and there were various opinions about the topic, including one person suggesting NXP only provides a stable BSP and it was the ultimate responsibility of the customer to merge Linux security patchsets. Could you explain the typical development process for NXP Linux BSP, and why the company chose not to update the patchsets regularly? Answer: The kernel strategy for NXP’s i.MX family BSPs closely follows the annual cadence of kernel.org’s LTS kernel selection. As soon as kernel.org establishes the next official LTS kernel …

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Raspberry Pi Zero Sized Kimχ Micro SBC is Equipped with a Quad-Core Processor, an mPCIe Slot

Kimx Micro Raspberry Pi Zero Alternative

The Raspberry Pi Zero (W/WH) board is great because of its size, price tag, and software support, but processing power is limited with Broadcom BCM2735 SoC only offering a single ARM11 core clocked at 1 GHz. There are already some more powerful boards in a similar form factor include Banana Pi M2 Zero or FriendlyELEC NanoPi Duo2 both equipped with an Allwinner quad-core Cortex-A7 processor, but there’s another upcoming board with NXP i.MX 8M Mini quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A53 processor. Meet Kimχ Micro (pronounced Kimchi Micro). Kimχ Micro (preliminary) specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX 8M Mini single to quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.8 GHz, Cortex-M4F real-time core @ up to 400 MHz, Vivante GC NanoUltra 3D GPU + GC320 2D GPU, VPU for 1080p60 video decoding and encoding; (Single and dual-core version of NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor are also compatible) System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card socket, serial EEPROM USB – 1x …

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Linux Powered Industrial IoT Gateway Offers WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, 4G LTE Connectivity

Linux Industrial IoT Gateway

Compulab IOT-GATE-IMX8 is a Debian Linux powered fanless Industrial IoT gateway powered by NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor and specially designed for industrial control and monitoring with optional support for WiFI 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.1, 4G LTE, and GNSS connectivity. The gateway is equipped with up to 4GB RAM and 128GB eMMC flash, takes variable DC input from 8V to 36V, and operates in a wide temperature range of -40C to 80°C with the company providing a 5-year warranty and 15-year availability. Compulab IOT-GATE-IMX8 specifications: SoC – NXP i.MX8M Mini quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.8GHz with Arm Cortex-M4 real-time core, Vivante 3G and 2D GPU System Memory – 1GB – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – 4GB – 64GB eMMC flash (soldered on-board), plus secondary storage with optional 16GB – 64GB eMMC flash module Networking & Wireless Connectivity Gigabit Ethernet port, RJ45 connector Fast Ethernet port, RJ45 connector Optional 802.11ax WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 BLE via Intel WiFi 6 AX200 …

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iWave Systems i.MX8M Mini Devkit Targets Low-cost Facial Recognition Systems

iwave systems imx8m mini devkit

iWave Systems i.MX8M Mini Board is a development platform based on an update versions of the company’s iW-RainboW-G34M-SM i.MX 8M Mini system-on-module and designed specifically for low-cost facial recognition systems thanks to NXP eIQ ML software, and MIPI display and camera. iWave Systems i.MX8M Mini (aka iW-RainboW-G34D) specifications: SoM SoC – NXP i.MX8M Mini Q/QL/D/DL/S/SL with up to 4x Cortex-A53 cores,  1x Cortex-M4F real-time core, Vivante 3D and 2D GPUs System Memory – 1GB LPDDR4 (Expandable up to 4GB) Storage – 8GB eMMC Flash (Expandable), optional 2MB QSPI Flash optional Micro SD slot Wireless – Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0. PMIC – BD71847AMWV i.MX8M SODIMM Carrier Board Storage – MicroSD slot Display I/F – MIPI DSI display connector Camera I/F – MIPI CSI camera connector Audio – Audio codec, 3.5mm Line In/Out jack Networking – Up to 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (One is Optional) USB – 2x USB 2.0 Host ports, 1x USB 2.0 device port Debugging – …

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TQ Group Announces NXP i.MX 8X ARM Cortex-A35 Modules as the Processor Finally Becomes Available

TQMa8Xx i.MX 8X Module

TQ Group, headquartered in Germany, has launched two NXP i.MX 8X Cortex-A35 modules with TQMa8Xx and TQMa8XxS SoMs, with the latter being SMARC 2.1 compliant, and both targeting various applications ranging from medical devices, HMIs, industrial controllers and industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to gateways, building automation, transport, and robotics. The press release explains NXP will officially launch i.MX 8X CPUs on May 14, 2020. We first heard about i.MX 8X in 2016, before an official announcement in 2017, and we wrote about Toradex i.MX 8X SoM in 2018, plus 96Boards AI-ML SBC in 2019, so I naively believed the processor had been around for a couple of years, but the Toradex SoM product is still shown as an “early product announcement” [Update: the page has just been updated since it is now shipping as well],  and AI-ML board has just launched with 26 units available on Arrow website. Some samples have been around for companies part of “NXP Early …

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Banana Pi BPI-F2P Industrial Control Board Adds PoE, RS-232 and RS-485 Interfaces

Banana Pi BPI-F2P

At the end of Last year, we covered Banana Pi BPI-F2S Industrial SBC powered by Sunplus SP7021 “Plus1” SoC with four Cortex-A7 core, an Arm A926 microprocessor, an 8051 core, as well as 128MB to 512MB built-in DDR3 RAM. The company has now unveiled Banana Pi BPI-F2P with the same processor and many of the same features, but with the addition of PoE support on one of the Fast Ethernet ports, as well as an RS-232 DB9 connector, and RS-485 terminal blocks. The expansion connector for an FPGA board found in BPI-F2S is however gone. Banana Pi BPI-F2P specifications: SoC – Sunplus SP7021 “Plus1” with a quad-core Cortex-A7 processor @ 1.0 GHz, one Arm A926 microprocessor, an 8051 core to handle I/Os, and 128MB or 512MB DDR3 DRAM. Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot Video Output – HDMI 1.4 output Camera I/F – MIPI CSI connector Connectivity – 2x 10/100M Ethernet ports, including one with optional PoE support …

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NXP i.MX 8M Mini Pico-ITX SBC Comes with Audio DSP, Optional PoE and Google Coral M.2 Module

EMB-2237-AI SBC PoE

We’ve covered several NXP i.MX 8M Mini SBC‘s since the announcement of the processor in 2018 as the first i.MX SoC manufactured with a 14nm process allowing for a higher CPU clock of 2.0 GHz compared to the 1.5 GHz frequency used with the original i.MX 8M processor.  i.MX 8M Mini also removes some features (4K video playback, some video interfaces, …) in order to lower the cost of the processor. Companies are still releasing new i.MX 8M SBCs regularly, but we don’t always cover them all since many often do not offer much compared to the competition. But Estone Technology EMB-2237-AI Pico-ITX SBC has some unusual features and options including a Cirrus Logic audio DSP, as well as support for a PoE module and Google Coral M.2 AI accelerator module.   EMB-2237-AI SBC is comprised of a system-on-module and baseboard with the following specifications: Estone SOM-2237 module SoC – NXP i.MX8M Mini Dual or Quad Cortex-A53 @ up to …

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ARM9 in 2020 – Meet Microchip SAM9X60 SoC & Evaluation Kit

SAM9X60-EK Evaluation Kit

In my first job, I wrote code for a MIPS processor for VoIP phones, then I switched to NEC/Renesas MCUs for CD and DVD players, before going back to Linux and my first experience with an Arm processor: Cirrus Logic EP9307 with a single ARM9  (ARM920T) core clocked at 200 MHz. That was in 2005, and according to Wikipedia various ARM9 cores were released between 1998 to 2006, and now such cores are not recommended for new IC designs with most companies now building their chips around Arm Cortex-A/M/R cores. At the end of last year, we wrote about Banana Pi BPI-F2S SBC based on Sunplus SP7021 “Plus1” quad-core Cortex-A7 processor with ARM9 and 8051 co-processor. Odd enough but at least the ARM9 core is not the main processor, however, while looking at the upcoming Linux 5.6 Linux kernel log I read an entry about a new SAM9X60 ARM926-based SoC from Microchip. Microchip SAM9X60 ARM9 Processor Quite surprising to have …

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