Category: NXP

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NXP i.MX RT106A Arm Cortex-M7 MCU for Alexa

Posted by Charbax – October 28, 2019

Turnkey, low cost i.MX RT solution speeds time to market. Cloud-based voice assistants, led by Amazon’s Alexa, have become common in many homes, embedded in smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo products. Soon, the newly emerging trend to build voice assistants directly into smart devices such as light switches, ceiling fans, appliances, smoke detectors, and thermostats, will make voice control ubiquitous throughout the home. Voice assistants conveniently and unobtrusively located throughout the home enable a family’s entire network of connected smart devices to be controlled by voice commands from any room. For example, “Alexa, turn off all the lights,” or even more powerful routines can be created such as, “Alexa, good morning,” which can turn on music, start the coffee pot, adjust the thermostat settings, and more.

Today, a few smart home device and appliance makers are introducing versions of their products with built-in voice assistants. Until now, the technology required to embed cloud voice assistants has required a powerful multicore microprocessor unit (MPU), similar to the application processor in smart phones, with large Flash and SDRAM memories, and complex power management. Such implementations have not been a fit for cost sensitive consumer devices, which has impeded the proliferation of smart home devices with built-in voice.

At Embedded World this week, NXP Semiconductors announced the first MCU based implementation of an Alexa client, based on a new member of NXP’s popular i.MX RT crossover processor family of devices. This new solution enables device makers to build Alexa into products using a low cost, low power microcontroller unit (MCU), a device that is typically already required in any connected smart home product, meaning that OEMs can now add voice to their products at very low incremental cost (not much more than the cost of the microphones). Running on Amazon FreeRTOS, NXP’s new MCU-based AVS solution leverages the power of AWS IoT Core to minimize the processing resources needed to build Alexa into a product. Compared to previous implementations running Linux with large memory footprints, requiring more than 50 MB RAM and several Giga-Bytes of Flash, NXP’s MCU solution needs less than 1 MB of on-chip RAM and fewer than 16 MB of Flash, significantly reducing cost and size.

The i.MX RT106A (“ten-sixty-a”), has a 600 MHz Arm™ Cortex-M7™ processor, 1 MB of on chip SRAM, an LCD display, camera interface, advanced security and flexible communication, combined with a complete turnkey AVS software solution and a production ready hardware design, to enable OEMs to quickly and easily add Alexa to their product designs.

With this solution, device makers realize further benefits of shorter time to market, lower development and lifetime costs. It brings together the Alexa Voice Service, AWS IoT Core, and Amazon FreeRTOS to provide complete and best-in-class security, deployment, and device monitoring.

NXP’s i.MX RT MCU-based AVS solution is available as a complete kit for evaluation, development and prototyping. The hardware consists of two small, 30 mm x 40 mm (1.2” x 1.6”) boards. The MCU system on module (SoM) carries the i.MX RT106A processor, 32 MB of HyperFlash memory, a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module and an optional NXP A71CH secure element. The audio board has three MEMS microphones and connects to a speaker driven by NXP’s TFA9894D smart audio amplifier. The hardware ships with software that includes everything necessary for a developer to, out-of-the-box, connect to the Alexa Voice Service and immediately start prototyping. This one-stop-shop software package includes far-field voice processing (echo cancellation, noise suppression, beam forming, barge-in), an Alexa wake word inference engine, an AVS client application, API and all necessary drivers.

Samples of the i.MX RT106A processor and the SLN-ALEXA-IOT solution kit are available to qualified early access customers now.

NXP i.MX 8X, CODESYS, EtherCAT, OPC UA, Android, RIMAC at the Toradex Booth

Posted by Charbax – July 9, 2019

Toradex’s NXP i.MX 8X based System on Module. The i.MX 8X SoCs comes with up to 4x Cortex-A35 and 1x Cortex-M4. The Cortex-A35 is an extreme power-effective 64bit Arm Core, the M4 is used to offload real-time tasks, check for errors to increase safety, and check for errors to further lower the power consumption.
The RAM and cache on the 8X can be protected with ECC (Error Correction Code) which make these SoMs ideal for critical applications such as Industrial Automation, Medical, Railways, etc.
Toradex shows the Colibri iMX8X running a GPU accelerated Qt application. The Apalis iMX8X with ECC will be available soon The Industrial 4.0 demo shows a Real-time Time Motion Control Application. A Toradex Apalis iMX6 powers the Midi-Eagle Computer from Diamond Systems featuring dual ethernet interfaces A CODESYS Soft PLC Stack is running on top of real-time Linux with a motion controller software. The motors are connected via EtherCAT. The system also utilizes an OPC-UA Server from Matrikon The demo was put together by the experienced Toradex Partner BE.Services.
RIMAC, famous for its insanely fast electric cars, demonstrates how the pin-compatibility of the Toradex SoM allows them to simply upgrade from an Apalis iMX6 to an Apalis iMX8QM.
Kynetics is providing Android support for Toradex modules. They show off Android on the i.MX 8 QuadMax but also on the i.MX 7 utilizing the integrated Cortex-M4 Core.
This allows it to run on the Cortex M4 Core an RTOS such as FreeRTOS and offload tasks.
Kynetics also provides an over-the-air (OTA) solution called Update Factory for IoT applications based on Eclipse hawkBit.

Toradex https://www.toradex.com/
Diamond Systems Midi-Eagle Computers http://www.diamondsystems.com/products/midieagle
Matrikon OPC UA https://www.matrikonopc.com/
BE.services https://www.be-services.net/
RIMAC and Toradex https://www.toradex.com/applications/automotive-infotainment/rimac
Kynetics https://www.kynetics.com/android-bsp/toradex

Torizon industrial Linux software platform from Toradex

Posted by Charbax – June 2, 2019

At Embedded World 2019, Toradex shows off its brand new Linux Platform called Torizon, for the first time. Torizon is an open source project based on the Yocto Project, it comes free with Toradex System on Modules (SoMs) including NXP i.MX 6, 7 and 8 SoCs. Torizon is ideal for developers who like to take advantage of the extensive Linux ecosystem, but don’t like to spend time on low-level Linux development. Torizon is built for the requirements of modern industrial embedded/IoT applications in mind. It uses Docker for software containerization, features an Automotive Grade Remote Update Client, supports real-time and has built-in security features. In the video, Samuel, CEO of Toradex, shows the integration with Visual Studio and highlights how it simplifies life for those moving from the Windows and Windows Embedded Compact ecosystem. In the second demo, you can see Debian running in Docker Containers. The last demo shows off the safe and secure over-the-air (OTA) updates and a possible backend to manage a fleet of devices. The update client is Uptane-compatible.

If you’d like to know more about Torizon, you can join Toradex’s Webinar:
https://www.toradex.com/webinars/introducing-torizon-easy-to-use-industrial-linux-platform

If you’d like to learn more about the AI Wall at the end, see my previous video here.

Foundries.io Zephyr microPlatform (ZmP) at Embedded World 2019

Posted by Charbax – March 29, 2019

Foundries.io demonstrates OpenThread on Zephyr with Blockchain data publishing controlling Smart Lights and Candy Dispenser – Foundries.io showcases their Zephyr microPlatform (ZmP) using OpenThread and 802.15.4. Providing an OpenThread gateway which acts as a smart speaker enabling users to issue voice commands like “Hey Google, turn it on” to turn on a light, or “Hey Google, start it” to dispense candy. The connected lights will be running ZmP with OpenThread, and the candy dispenser will using 6lowpan over BLE.

The Zephyr Project at Embedded World 2019

Posted by Charbax – March 29, 2019

The Zephyr Project joins some 1,000 exhibitors at Embedded World in Nurnberg, Germany, with Zephyr Project members including Antmicro, Foundries.io, Intel, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP and SiFive, with offer interactive IoT demos powered by the Zephyr RTOS, which supports multiple hardware architectures and is built with safety and security in mind.

The Antmicro and Renode demo showcases how the open source Renode simulation framework that can be used to test multi-node Zephyr setups, including ARM and RISC-V based platforms. Using human-readable scripts and configuration, Renode allows you to easily create complex CI installations, enabling better testability of real products. You will see how to test production-ready code without the hassle of connecting multiple pieces of hardware together against corner-case conditions unachievable in testing rigs.

NXP i.MX 6SoloX (UDOO Neo) with RPMsg Protocol, a Multicore demo with Linux running on A9, Zephyr running on M4 – This demonstration shows how to leverage asymmetric co-processors of modern SoCs on the example of i.MX6SoloX and Udoo Neo board. The embedded Cortex-M4 core is running Zephyr RTOS which implements various low speed serial peripherals (UART, SPI, I2C) in software using GPIO. Cortex-M4 communicates with the embedded Cortex-A9 core running Linux Kernel using the RPMsg protocol. On the Linux side a kernel module is used to present implemented serial peripherals to the user space as regular serial, SPI or I2C interface (e.g. /dev/ttySx). The benefits of such approach consist in the possibility of extending existing set of peripherals without any additional hardware cost and the possibility to place selected peripheral at virtually any available GPIO pin. Thanks to exporting the interfaces to the user space, it can be accessed for example by a Python script.

Intel S1000 Speech Kit showcases basic Alexa functionality

Nordic Semiconductor Gaming Mouse, Zephyr on an nRF52-based low-latency, high report rate gaming mouse prototype

Zephyr on the Nordic nRF91 Development Kit, including a BLE to LTE gateway

SiFive Demo, Zephyr Running on a SiFive HiFive1 Development Board

Zephyr running as a guest on ACRN Hypervisor

Toradex shows Deep Learning Accelerators, Edge AI with Gyrfalcon, Xnor.ai, Movidius and More

Posted by Charbax – March 14, 2019

Toradex shows their deep learning inference solutions at Embedded World 2019, using power-efficient, Arm-based System on Modules, as machine learning and deep learning using neural networks progress is accelerating with successful new applications in computer vision for the embedded world. Toradex simplifies the integration of these technologies into products with its System on Modules, training deep learning models on high-performance computers with frameworks like TensorFlow, with optimizations needed to improve performance on low-power embedded Linux devices such as the ones Toradex partners with Au-Zone, Xnor.ai and Antmicro and others to bring to the embedded market. Implementing these dedicated neural network accelerators can boost the performance of embedded devices while keeping power consumption low, as shown in Toradex’s solutions with Intel Movidius Myriad and Gryfalcon Lightspeeur. Toradex partners with Allied Vision to showcase the brand-new Alvium industrial MIPI CSI-2 camera as a crucial component in the pasta detection demo which uses an Apalis System on Module featuring the NXP i.MX 8 QuadMax SoC with Cortex-A72, Cortex-A53 and dual OpenCL-capable GPU. To learn more about the demo, see CNX-Software's blog post. A real-world application example of deep learning is Manta, a camera-based drowning detection system from Coral Detection Systems which is solar-powered, and the video analytics are done on a Toradex Apalis module featuring a Nvidia TK1 SoC with a CUDA-enabled GPU. If a person is at risk of drowning, the system can alert its user acoustically or via smartphone.

TechNexion shows i.MX8M Mini, Intel Apollo Lake, Qualcomm QCA9377, QCA6174 at Embedded World 2019

Posted by Charbax – March 11, 2019

TechNexion shows their lineup of new devices based on the ultra low-power NXP i.MX8M Mini in their ultra-small PICO form factor combining ARM Cortex-A53 and an M4 microcontroller at embedded world 2019, it supports Android, Linux, Yocto, Ubuntu OS is only 37 x 40 mm and at a low cost. The SoM integrates a fully certified wireless module PIXI-9377 based on Qualcomm QCA9377. They also show their Qualcomm QCA9377, QCA6174 devices and more. TechNexion announces two new SoM families: AXON and FLEX. AXON is a product family of small form factor (58 x 37 mm) modules designed for specialized embedded applications requiring another dimension of I/O flexibility. AXON-IMX8M-MINI is also based on NXP i.MX8M Mini applications processor and features AXON Fabric programmable logic, a specialized IC that provides additional functions including nearly infinite pinmuxing, allowing for true pin-to-pin compatibility between SoC versions. FLEX series, on the other hand, is a low-cost family making use of low-cost LPDDR4 SO-DIMM connector. FLEX-IMX8M-MINI (69.6 x 35 mm) offers HD multimedia streaming and integrated 3D graphics at a price point for the cost sensitive market. TechNexion launches several products based on Intel Apollo Lake processor family (Intel Atom x5-E3930, x5-E3940 or x7-E3950) that can be easily deployed in diverse industrial applications ranging from manufacturing robots and machinery, to radar and sensors on ships, trains and automobiles, to in-vehicle experience, video systems and more. TC-1010-APL and TC-1560-APL Multi Touch HMIs come in 10.1” and 15.6” sizes. On the other hand, TCK3-APL is a ruggedized box PC fully customizable to handle your projects with IoT integration. TechNexion also shows their expanded lineup of fully certified (CE / ETSI / FCC / IC / RCM / TELEC) PIXI and STIX series combo wireless communication modules based on Qualcomm QCA9377 and QCA6174 solutions. The modules are available in several M.2 and in the mini-PCIe form factor.

Geniatech in 2018, Android TV, Snapdragon 820 board, NXP, RK3399, MediaTek, IoT Gateway and more

Posted by Charbax – December 3, 2018

Geniatech shows Google-certified Android TV boxes, development boards for the embedded market, IoT Smart Gateway solutions and more. The Geniatech Android TV Set-top-box solutions, now run a full real Android TV UI on AmLogic S905X in the Geniatch ATV495Max, the AmLogic S905D ATV598Max with the DVB-T2 and ATSC. Also selling the Android TV HDMI Sticks ATV135Max and ATV195Max with a larger Wi-Fi antennae. Geniatech also has some Smart Home Smart Gateway products to manage home IoT. Geniatech also does Snapdragon 410 based 96Boards compatible development board, they do NXP i.MX6 with HDMI input and i.MX7 SOM boards too (for the headless Smart Gateway and Smart audio market), they develop their SOM platform for IoT Gateway, Rockchip RK3399 based board with HDMI input and output with Power over Ethernet. Geniatech also does entry level MediaTek powered IoT gateways with Zigbee, Lo-Ra connecting up with Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Geniatech also shows their AmLogic T-962E powered quad 4K HDMI input with 1 HDMI output digital signage for commercial use with overlay picture in picture support.

Arrow shows latest 96Boards and Mezzannine boards

Posted by juliusaugustus – November 21, 2018

Arrow shows some of their latest 96Boards and Mezzanine boards such as the Renesas ANT96 board based on the Renesas RZ Family Renesas RZ/G1E processor featuring a dual-core Arm Cortex-A7. Novtech Meerkat i.MX7D and Chameleon Cyclone V Altera/Intel FPGA board. NextBiometrics NB-2023-S fingerprint sensor mezzanine board, STM32 Sensor mezzanine board and more. Arrow has more than 5 Mezzanine boards in the pipeline and at least 2 base boards too. Oxalis Layerscape LS1012A.

Kodi Playback with Standard V4L2 Stack

Posted by Charbax – October 29, 2018

Full upstream implementation of Hardware accelerated video decoding (mainly H264) with the generic V4L2 Mem2Mem API, Zero-copy rendering with DRM Atomic kernel Drivers, DMA-BUF transferred from V4L2 to DRM, FFmpeg V4L2 Mem2Mem integration with Kodi, Kodi GBM Display for Atomic Direct to plane rendering.

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