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NXP’s EdgeScale IoT management suite tapped for Linux gateways

Jun 7, 2018 — by Eric Brown — 632 views

NXP announced partnerships with Alibaba and six embedded equipment companies that are deploying its EdgeScale middleware for secure edge computing device management on Linux-driven devices based on NXP QorIQ Layerscape SoCs.

In March, NXP announced its EdgeScale IoT middleware platform for its Arm-based QorIQ Layerscape networking SoCs. At Computex this week, NXP revealed a partnership with Chinese technology giant Alibaba, which is working with NXP on EdgeScale software. It also announced deployment deals with six OEM/ODM hardware companies: Accton, Delta Networks, Inc. (DNI), Imago, Nexcom, Scalys, and Senao. (See farther below for details on some of their EdgeScale-enabled products.)



Detailed EdgeScale architecture (left) and feature list
(click images to enlarge)

Although NXP had originally announced EdgeScale only for its Layerscape SoCs, the semiconductor giant noted that the partners included companies that used its i.MX based Arm SoCs. It’s unclear if this means EdgeScale will also support SoCs such as the i.MX6, i.MX7, or i.MX8M. The named gateways described below that were listed by some of the six partners all run on LayerScape chips.

The key partner, which was also mentioned in March, is Alibaba. The company will work with NXP to “leverage and integrate the EdgeScale platform to help create high value IoT applications that support AI and Machine Learning for predictive analytics, connected cars, predictive maintenance, intelligent buildings and edge intelligence,” says NXP.

EdgeScale is a suite of device and cloud services that aims to simplify the provisioning of secure computing resources at the edge of networks. The IoT suite is designed to remotely deploy, manage, and update edge computing devices, bridging edge nodes, sensors, and other IoT devices to cloud frameworks, and automating the provisioning of software and updates to remote embedded equipment.

EdgeScale taps LayerScape’s NXP Trust Architecture to provide Hardware Root of Trust features. These include secure boot, secure key storage, manufacturing protection, hardware resource isolation, and runtime tamper detection.

The middleware supports cloud frameworks including Amazon’s AWS Greengrass, Alibaba’s Aliyun, Google Cloud, and Microsoft’s Azure IoT Edge, as well as Docker and Kubernetes software. The platform provides a point-and-click dashboard, a CLI, and the RESTful API, which is designed for cloud integration and UI customization. EdgeScale supports Ubuntu, Yocto, OpenWrt, or “any custom Linux distribution.”



NXP QorIQ LayerScape LS2084A (left) and LS2160 block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

Here’s a quick rundown on the hardware partners and their potential EdgeScale-enabled devices, with company website URLs linked to the company names:

  • Accton — This Taiwanese networking firm will use EdgeScale with its “uCPE, SD-WAN, and Edge Computing open-hardware products.” At Computex, Accton announced a NIA-1320 Smart NIC card that incorporates NXP’s new LX2160A SoC with 16 Cortex-A72 cores and support for Linux and ThreadX. Accton also showed off its MetroLinq 10G Tri-band Omni base station from its EdgeCore Networks subsidiary and the IgniteNet brand.
     

  • DNI — Delta Networks, Inc. suggests it will deploy EdgeScale on its “Secure Gateway products to Enterprise and SMB markets” based on LayerScape SoCs.


    Imago EdgeBox Le Mans
    (click image to enlarge)

     

  • Imago — This German embedded vision firm is deploying EdgeScale on its new EdgeBox Le Mans edge controller, which acts as a gateway for IPCs, embedded computers, intelligent sensors, vision systems, and smart cameras. The EdgeBox runs Linux (with toolchain) on NXP’s octa-core, Cortex-A72 based QorIQ LS2084A, which was announced with a similar quad-core LS2044A version. The device includes Imago’s Real-Time Communication Controller, as well as multiple 10GbE ports and PCIe slots. The EdgeBox will be demonstrated later this month.


    Nexcom NSA 3640
    (click image to enlarge)

  • Nexcom — Taiwanese embedded firm Nexcom, which has long used Freescale/NXP SoCs in Linux-driven products such as the NSA 3640 security appliance driven by a PowerPC-based QorIQ T4240, will load EdgeScale onto its NSA 3640 industrial communication gateway platform, thereby enabling “cloud-deployed time sensitive applications.” The appliance features a new octa-core, Cortex-A57 based QorIQ LS2085A or octa-core, Cortex-A72 based LS2088A SoC. (The latter has appeared on X-ES’ XPedite6370 mezzanine board.) The UTM security-enhanced NSA 3640 provides 4x 10GbE copper ports and 4x SFP+ optical ports, as well as a SATA bay, dual PCIe slots, and dual USB 2.0 ports.


    Scalys Grapeboard
    (click image to enlarge)

  • Scalys — Netherlands-based Scalys will use EdgeScale on its SES-LS1012 Grapeboard SBC, which runs Linux on NXP’s single-core -A53 LS1012A SoC. The Raspberry Pi lookalike board offers dual GbE and WiFi/BT, plus PCIe, USB 3.0, and SATA via M.2 connectors.
     

  • Senao — Taiwan-based Senao will deploy EdgeScale on its enterprise wireless access appliances.

 
Further information

NXP’s EdgeScale is now available. More information may be found in its Computex announcement and on its EdgeScale product page.
 

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