NXP has unveiled it's latest quad core Arm Cortex-A53 based i.MX 8M Nano applications processor family in December 2019.
i.MX 8M Nano applications processor is the third member of the i.MX 8M family. Built in high-performance and power-efficient 14FinFET technology, it brings scalable, secure and cost-effective quad-core processing to edge IoT devices.
Firstly, let's talk about core combination. Like the i.MX 8M Mini,2x the new i.MX 8M Nano has several versions to choose from. You can choose 4x/2x/1x A53 core based on the needs for development. There is also one Arm Cortex-M7 core running up to 750 MHz, which enables heterogenous multi-core processing for task offload, power optimized audio playback, low-power system-level task monitoring, etc..
Thanks to the multiple core structure and the complete set of versions, i.MX 8M Nano is suitable for a wide range of use cases. i.MX 8M Nano is especially ideal for applications requiring online audio, a rich user interface, voice control ability, or even machine learning related tasks.
It may seem like that i.MX 8M Nano is intended to be designed or applications requiring high-performance compute, rich user interface, audio, connectivity, security and artificial intelligence. Well it is indeed, however, its range of capabilities in terms of system connectivity and memory interface flexibility makes it extremely applicable to a broad spectrum of non-media-rich general purpose applications requiring high performance, power-efficient operation, and attractive system cost.
Size and cost optimized design
The i.MX 8M Nano applications processor offers user an extremely size-optimized package of 14x14mm, which is pin compatible to NXP's successful i.MX 8M Mini family. The i.MX 8M Nano also provides different memory type support including DDR3L, DDR4 and the most recent LPDDR4 to suit cost, performance and power requirements for a broad range of application scenarios.
NXP delivers full-featured Linux and Android BSPs for the applications processor and FreeRTOS for the Cortex-M7 core as well. There is also an evaluation kit
Below are some feature highlights of the i.MX 8M Nano processor:
- Fastest i.MX heterogeneous multicore solution with Cortex-M7 running as fast as 750MHz.
- Dual-shader GPU that supports OpenGL ES3.1 and Vulkan for future HMI enablement, and OpenCL 1.2 for general purpose computing.
- Single 1080p60 display interface (MIPI-DSI). External devices exist for MIPI-DSI to HDMI and MIPI-DSI to LVDS display conversion.
- More than 20-channels of pro-quality audio up to 768 KHz, along with PDM DMIC interface to enable direct connection of external PDM microphones without needing an external codec.
- Hardware ASRC for audio asynchronous sample rate conversion at more efficient performance and cost price point.
- Total of three SDIO/eMMC controllers, enabling connection of Wi-Fi and boot source (managed NAND) and expansion storage.
- Available in a system-cost-optimized 14x14mm package that provides a compact PCB design without needing expensive HDI design rules.
- Pin-compatible with the i.MX 8M Mini, allowing for scalable product design.
- Made in Austin using Samsung 14LPC FinFET technology, allowing for faster operational speeds, lower leakage and overall power consumption, and much lower soft-error rates which is important in many consumer and industrial products.
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