Freescale i.MX 6SoloX ARM Cortex-A9 with ARM Cortex-M4 and the Mentor Embedded Multicore Framework

Posted by – February 27, 2015

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: