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Compute module and dev kit debut V2X-focused i.MX8X Lite

Oct 27, 2021 — by Eric Brown 274 views

SolidRun unveiled an “i.MX 8XLite SOM” and “Hummingboard i.MX 8XLite” dev kit that run Linux on NXP’s new i.MX8X Lite SoC with up to 2x -A35, Cortex-M4F, and a V2X accelerator for automotive vehicle communications.

Earlier this month, NXP announced a headless i.MX8X Lite (or i.MX 8XLite) system-on-chip SoC for automotive telematics, V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything), and IIoT applications. Now SolidRun has followed up with a Linux-driven i.MX 8XLite System-on-Module (SOM) and a compact Hummingboard i.MX 8XLite development kit built around the SoC.



i.MX 8XLite SOM front and back render images
(click images to enlarge)

The 47 x 30mm i.MX 8XLite SOM is primarily targeted at V2X and V2I (Vehicle-to-Infrastructure), a subset of V2X that handles transmissions between vehicles and Road Side Units (RSUs) equipped with V2I chipsets. The RSUs “control crucial ‘smart transport’ devices, allowing emergency vehicles to safely run red lights when required, and alerting autonomous vehicles to road hazards in the immediate vicinity,” says SolidRun.

The i.MX 8XLite SOM is also “well suited for industrial IoT, building control and robotics applications requiring time-sensitive networking (TSN) Ethernet or controller area network (CAN) connectivity,” says SolidRun. “Great for advanced industrial processes that require reliable, accurate synchronization and real-time control, the integrated SoC’s A35 cores and CAN-FD interface provide low-latency data transmission.”

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The i.MX8X Lite lacks the 4-shader Vivante GPU, multi-format VPU, and Tensilica HiFi 4 DSP of the i.MX8X, found on low-power products such as Arrow’s AI-ML Board. The Lite SoC adds a more advanced security block with NXP’s EdgeLock technology and a V2X accelerator. NXP expects the security module will meet FIPS 140-3 requirements.



i.MX8X Lite (left) and i.MX 8XLite SOM block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

Memory and I/O support is much like that of the already automotive-friendly i.MX8X, with features such as 3x CAN/CAN-FD connections. The SoC ships with a Linux BSP.

In addition to encompassing V2I, V2X refers to vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-person/pedestrian (V2P) connectivity. The i.MX8X Lite enables V2V links via IEEE 802.11p, 5G, and other cellular communications, “creating a network of similarly equipped vehicles to ‘see’ further ahead” to improve safety, says NXP.

The 802.11p standard for V2X, which we have seen on telematics computers such as Laird’s Open Platform and on Qualcomm’s X12 LTE chip for its automotive focused Snapdragon 820A, is used by modems that adopt the leading DSRC (Direct Short Range Communication) V2X standard. (For more on the i.MX8X Lite and V2X, see our earlier i.MX8X Lite report.)

 
i.MX 8XLite SOM

The i.MX 8XLite SOM is available with single-core Solo or dual-core Dual versions of the 1.2GHz i.MX8X Lite, as well as a Linux BSP with Debian, Yocto, OpenWrt, or Buildroot. The module has the same 47 x 30mm dimensions as other SolidRun MicroSOM modules for the i.MX8 family, including the i.MX8M Mini based i.MX8 SOM.

The module is listed with 1GB LPDDR4 with inline ECC, but a separate configuraton table shows that you can special order it with 2GB. The standard SKU offers 8GB eMMC, but you can order it with up to 64GB or no eMMC at all.

The module is equipped with a 10/100 100BASE-T1 Automotive Ethernet controller, as well as a DSRC V2X modem, which the block diagram indicates is NXP’s RoadLINK SAF5400. The modem is optional in case you want to use the module with a separate DSRC modem. There is also a GPS chip.

Dual Hirose DF40 connectors express I/O including 2x USB 2.0, 2x I2C, 2x UART, SD/MMC, PCIe with SSD support, GPIO, and JTAG. Although the spec sheet omits it, the block diagram and announcement indicate 3x CAN-FD interfaces. The 5V module is listed with 3.3V/1.8V I/O voltage and is available in -40 to 85°C and -40 to 105°C models with 10% to 90% non-condensing humidity tolerance.

 
Hummingboard i.MX 8XLite

The i.MX 8XLite SOM is available with SolidRun’s smallest Hummingboard carrier board to date. The 55 x 30mm Hummingboard i.MX 8XLite is designed for prototyping, and the -40 to 85°C tolerant board is small enough for testing in action on a vehicle or RSU.

The board supports a module with up to 2GB LPDDR4 and 8GB eMMC. There is also some QSPI flash, which is not listed on the SOM specs. Other features include a 12V input, a reset button, and a power LED.

There is still no image of the Hummingboard, but it appears the only real-world ports are the 10/100 Automotive Ethernet port and micro-USB port. Onboard headers include USB 2.0, UART, SPI, I2C, 2x SDIO, and “I/Os.”

Stated Andres Lopez de Vegara Lemos, Product Manager, Edge Processing business, NXP Semiconductors: “Working with SolidRun helps us jumpstart and reduce the development time of V2X hardware solutions by providing engineers a turn-key development tool based on our SoC that serves a variety of applications.”

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the i.MX 8XLite SOM and Hummingboard i.MX 8XLite. More information may be found on SolidRun’s product page.
 

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