Freescale launches i.MX6SX for Heterogeneous Processing at Embedded World 2015, it has one ARM Cortex-A9 core running at 1Ghz and one ARM Cortex-M4 core running at 200Mhz. Enabling the Heterogeneous Processing on the new Freescale i.MX 6SoloX , Mentor Graphics shows their Mentor Embedded Multicore Framework that enables two capabilities necessary for taking advantage of mixed core architectures: 1) remote processor lifecycle management and 2) inter-processor communication. Remote processor lifecycle management is based on the open source standard remoteproc, and allows the master core to power and boot a remote core. The inter-processor communication mechanism is based on the open source standard rpmsg, and allows the establishment of a communication channel across different types of cores and operating systems.
The demo shown at the Freescale booth at Embedded World boots Mentor Embedded Linux on the A9 core. The Linux system runs a Qt based patient monitoring application. When the start button is pressed on the Qt application, remoteproc interfaces are used to power up the M4 core and launch the Nucleus RTOS firmware responsible for capturing patient data, then rpmsg interfaces are used to establish a VirtIO based communication mechanism between the applications across the mixed core and operating system architecture. Pressing the stop button on the Qt application the reverse happens, ending in a powered off M4 core.
The entire runtime software architecture is instrumented and the trace data is visualized in Sourcery Analyzer for simultaneous timeline performance analysis and debug of both operating systems and applications.
You can read more about the Freescale iMX6 SoloX here: http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=i.MX6SX
Seppo Takalo, Senior software engineer, talks about the work happening at the Thread group to enable secure and reliable Internet of Things, formed from companies who work with 802.15.4 based mesh networking components. The goal is to provide a standard for Secure, Robust, self healing, Native IPv6 based mesh networking that runs on top of 6LoWPAN and uses standard 802.15.4 radios. You can find more about Thread at: http://www.threadgroup.org/
On the 3rd of March, I jumped on a train from CeBIT Hannover to Embedded World in Nurnberg, so that I could try to interview the representatives of some of the cool ARM Powered devices shown there. I managed to film 15 videos during that day at Embedded World, here are my top-6 best videos:
1. Worlds first Samsung Exynos 4210 ARM Cortex-A9 tablet presented by Hard Kernel, it's just awesome to see this $750 dev-kit transparent Tablet design, allowing to see through all the awesome hardware features of this platform.
2. Worlds most compact Tegra2 PC presented by Toradex, the potential is a $150 ARM Cortex-A9 Powered desktop PC, with dual-screen output (one HDMI, one VGA), USB host ports, Ethernet, audio input/outputs and more. It's cool!
3. $200 Tegra2 slim PC by Trim Slice Compulab, yet another cool looking Tegra2 powered super compact desktop PC, this one may actually seem to be more finalized than the Toradex, in terms of software and in terms of cheap motherboard design availability, though it's to be seen once it gets released what the status for software and hardware pricing will be then.
4. 4K2K video playback on the new Texas Instruments DaVinci DM816x and DM814x, the powers of Texas Instruments DaVinci ties in with what they do with OMAP, the DaVinci perhaps targetting more video-centric uses such as potentially one of the next $100 ARM Powered Google TV set-top-boxes. 4K2K ARM Powered Google TV at $100 retail would be awesome. Until then, the OMAP4 stuff is not yet in these DaVinci and the video stuff is not yet in OMAP4, but those are merging their powers.
5. Seco shows x86-ARM Cross Platform, they work on making it easy for the industry to get away from using x86 and to use ARM solutions instead. They support OMAP4, Tegra2, OMAP3 and i.MX51 designs among others. It becomes as easy as swapping the one for the other, all other aspects of the design, even the software being interoperable.
6. QNX talks about their software on the Blackberry Playbook, still no confirmation if Blackberry will choose to install a Dalvik Engine on top of this to support Android apps in there, but it's sure interesting to try to understand how QNX does it to utilize the dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Texas Instruments OMAP4430 processor to its fullest to provide the smoothest UI and multi-tasking.
The NuMicro Family is Nuvoton's new 32-bit Microcontroller product line shown at Embedded World 2011, based on the ARM Cortex-M0 processor with rich peripherals to offer additional features and connectivity capability. Besides the NUC100, NUC120, NUC130 and NUC140 series, the new series the NuMicro M051 series, includes the M052/54/58/516 to supply for the worldwide 8-bit/16-bit microcontroller demand with a higher performance in a 32-bit microcontroller. The Nuvoton Cortex-M0 development kit costs only $20, that sounds cheap for developers to get into experimenting with those kinds of processors.
This may be the most compact Tegra2 fully featured box PC computer thus far. They use 256MB RAM DDR2, 1GB flash storage for 99 euros, they'll also do a slightly higher end version with 512MB RAM and 4GB flash storage version soon. The cheapest board and box could be made for less than 50 euros more. Thus the idea is a sub-150 euro Tegra2 box PC all included and it being slightly larger than a box of playing cards, just big enough to accomodate the connectors.
Seco provides cross platform Q7 platforms where users can swap from x86 to ARM Powered seamlessly, with minimum hardware and software porting. They provide Quadmo747-X/T20 for Tegra2, OMAP4, OMAP3, i.MX51 and i.MX28. This way, customers can have as much choice as possible, going from one processor to the other. All board vendors are joining the Q7 board standard, for interoperability in swapping modules.
QNX has been working with RIM for quite some time now to enable full multi-process hardware acceleration. QNX Neutrino OS enables deep hardware and software integration, there has been a collaboration between Texas Instruments, QNX and RIM to make this work. QNX has had SMP utilization since 1997, they were enabling dual discreet parts back then. QNX is used to scaling. The ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-core, Quad-core and further processors will enable QNX to deploy their value on the market.
Nvidia is working in the embedded space for some time, they are supporting long term support, industrialization, temperatures and everything else needed in the embedded market. Nvidia provides the chip and some level of software support to enable them and they are supporting the customizations of the implementations. Nvidia showcases their work with MSC, Seco, Toradex and Trim Slice.
ARM is showing Motor Control comparing two rotating water vessels, one controlled in a conventional manner, the other is controlled in a more advanced algorithm called Field Oriented Control on a STM32 Cortex-M3 processor. This more advanced algorithm allows more efficient operation of the motor, better control of the torque and allows for quieter operation. The idea is to use less power to control motors. This is just the start of their investigation into Field Oriented Control using the Cortex-M3 processor.
Xilinx is the market leader in FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays), at Embedded World 2011, they are showing their new implementation consisting of putting a Dual-core Cortex-A9 system, memory controller, and nand controller is put inside of the FPGA system. The Zynq 7010, with a dual-core Cortex-A9 running at 800MHz and 30,000 programmable logic cells, will sell for less than $15 in volume. This solution can be imagined to be found in automative applications such as driver assist applications, medical applications and industrial control applications.
- Xilinx to Demonstrate Its Targeted Design Platforms for Radio and Baseband Processing at Mobile World Congress 2011 (prnewswire.com)
- Xilinx Demonstrating Targeted Design Platforms for Motor Control, Ethernet, Automotive and Extensible Processing Platform at Embedded World, Nuremberg 2011 (prnewswire.com)
- Xilinx Introduces Zynq-7000 Family, Industry's First Extensible Processing Platform (prnewswire.com)
- Cortex-A9 SoC includes an FPGA, too (linuxfordevices.com)
- Xilinx intros Zynq-7000 family of extensible processing platform (EPP) (pradeepchakraborty.wordpress.com)