ARM Cortex-A


At Embedded World last month, many new products were introduced, and I was certainly busy reading up on the latest news.  A new product I came across, an Automotive box-PC based on an Arm® Cortex®-A9 core, made me want to re-look at some of the Cortex-A9 products that NXP has launched in past years -after all, the i.MX 6 series is still one of the most comprehensive, most scalable portfolios in the market and it continues to be a crowd favorite with new customers.  This scalable series of twelve ARM-based SoC families including single-, dual- and quad-core devices with features such as: ultra-scalable and vivid graphics, outstanding video performance, and feature and performance scalability.


i.MX 6 series portfolio


While these products might not get the current ad space or social media attention as the newer i.MX 8 series or even the high-end LS1028A that just launched, the i.MX 6 series offers proven Cortex-A7 and -A9 solutions with multimedia that make these product worth a look (or two).  So, I spent some time re-learning what it is that NXP has to offer with this series.

A hidden gem definitely popped up in my online review of the i.MX 6 series – the i.MX 6SLL.   Stumbling upon the i.MX 6SLL was like when you find a great baseball hat (or insert other favorite item here)  that you had forgotten about.  Once you find it again, you wonder how you ever lived without it and why you had forgotten about it.  So, what makes the i.MX 6SLL your next must-have?



  • Efficient multimedia

The i.MX 6SLL incorporates a 1 GHz Cortex A9 with the NEON SIMD engine and a floating point engine that is optimized for low power consumption and includes hardware that allows dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS). This optimizes the voltage to the processor as the frequency changes with the demands of the application.  The processors have an abundant of multimedia functions including a powerful 2D graphics processor called the pixel processor (PXP) that can support CSC, dithering, rotation, resize, and  overlay, in addition to a 24-bit Parallel LCD Display controller.


  • Flexible memory support

     The processor provides a 32-bit DDR interface that supports LPDDR2 and the more widely-used LPDDR3, which draws less power than the equivalent DDR memory of the same speed.


  • Smart integration

     You have to respect a product that doesn’t throw everything, including the kitchen sink onto the die.  All too easy to feature creep and add peripherals, just because you can.  Much harder to make the right      trade-offs between features and cost to create the most optimized solution for customers.  The i.MX 6SLL includes more critical peripherals such as  2X High-speed USB on-the-go with PHY, 3 X EMMC      5.0/SD 3.0.  In addition, there are a number of other interfaces for connecting peripherals, such as WLAN, Bluetooth™, GPS, hard drive, displays, and camera sensors.  All of this in a small 13x13 mm      package and a low cost.


  • Easy development

     The i.MX 6SLL processor is supported by the i.MX 6SLL (MCIMX6SLL-EVK) evaluation kit that includes a CPU module, base board and comes with an SD card pre-installed with Linux® operating system.       The EVK facilitates software development with the ultimate goal of faster time to market through the support of Linux® OS operating systems.




The i.MX 6SLL targets IoT applications such as HMI, home energy management systems, intelligent industrial control systems, smart appliances, and smart energy concentrators.  See a theme here?  Small, smart, connected.  If those sound like requirements for your next design, please take a moment to check out the i.MX 6SLL. Ready to get started?  Comment below and I can provide a 25% off coupon* for the purchase of the feature-rich MCIMX6SLL-EVK.


(*Coupon good on for one i.MX 6SLL EVK per customer and coupon expires March 31, 2019).