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Module and dev kit debut NXP’s tiny new 16-core LX2162A

Aug 26, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 819 views

SolidRun’s 58 x 48mm “LX2162A SOM” runs Linux on NXP’s new 16-core, Cortex-A72 based LX2162A and offers 12x SerDes lanes for up to 4x 25GbE or up to 8x PCIe Gen3. A “ClearFog LX2162A” dev kit is also on the way.

SolidRun has posted a product page for a compute module built around NXP’s new 16nm fabricated, 23 x 23mm Layerscape LX2162A networking SoC, which is a quarter the size of the similarly 16-core Cortex-A72 based LS2160A. The new LX2162A SOM is in turn a quarter of the size of SolidRun’s earlier, LS2160A-based CEx7 LX2160A COM Express Type 7 module, which powers its HoneyComb LX2K Mini-ITX board. The upcoming ClearFog LX2162A dev kit for the LX2162A SOM is half the size of Mini-ITX (see farther below).


LX2162A SOM

 
LX2162A

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NXP’s recently released Layerscape LX2162A (also known as “LX2-Lite”) offers most of the features of the LX2160A, including 16 Cortex-A72 cores clocked at up to 2.0GHz. However, it is limited to 32GB DDR4 instead of 64GB and offers 12 SerDes lanes instead of 24, which reduces the potential mix of Ethernet and PCIe connections. The processor “can support four 25 Gbit Ethernet and x8 PCIe Gen3 simultaneously, among many other combinations,” says NXP.

The SoC offers a Layer 2 Ethernet switch with total Ethernet bandwidth of up to 105Gbps instead of 130Gbps on the LX2160A, once again supporting multiple port configurations ranging from 1GbE to 50GbE up to a single 100GbE port. The LX2162A is limited to PCIe Gen3 instead of Gen4 connections, and in smaller allotments of x8, x4, and x4. The 4x SATA III interfaces remain the same.

The only other difference we could see aside from the smaller size is a reduction from 2x USB 3.0 to a single USB 3.0 connection and the increase in I2C lanes from 6x to 8x. The LX2162A appears to offer the same extensive security and networking features, including a 50-Gbps security engine and 88-Gbps data compression engine.



NXP LX2162A (left) and LX2160A block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

The LX2162A SOM is also available with an octa-core LX2082A and 12-core LX2122, which share a product page with the LX2162A. The processors appear to be otherwise identical.

 
LX2162A SOM

As noted by the CNXSoft post that alerted us to the LX2162A SOM, the module equipped with the maximum 32GB DDR4 offers performance that is roughly equivalent to 4x overclocked Raspberry Pi 4 SBCs, each with 8GB RAM. As the story notes, however, these are very different processors and boards. The LX2162A is headless (i.e. no graphics) but also offers far more networking and security features than the Broadcom BMC2711.

The 58 x 48mm module is available with the 16-core LX2162A, 12-core LX2122, or 8-core LX2082 running Yocto-derived Linux. Ubuntu and Debian are also supported. The firmware stack includes DPDK (Data Plane Development Kit), UEFI, and NXP Layerscape Secure Boot Linux.



LX2162A SOM (render) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The LX2162A SOM is equipped with up to 32GB DDR4 (72-bit, 2900 MT/s), including ECC. A footnote says SolidRun will support special orders with up to 64GB via dual slots. However, this is likely using the earlier LX2160A, as NXP says the SoC tops out at 32GB. The module is further equipped with 8MB SPI flash and 8GB eMMC. One reference suggests you could load it up with 64GB eMMC, although we’re not sure where they’re going to find room to put it.

Ethernet combinations include 100GbE, 4x 25GbE, 4x 10GbE with built-in PHY, or 8x 1GbE. The system also supports Sync-E, 1588-V2. I/O expressed via 3x Hirose DF40 connectors includes USB 3.0, 8x PCIe Gen3, 4x SATA, 4x I2C, and 2x UART plus GPIO, SD/MMC, and JTAG.

The 12V module offers 3.3V/1.8V I/O voltage and supports a 0 to 70°C operating range. An industrial temp version appears to be in the works.

 
ClearFog LX2162A

No image was supplied for the ClearFog LX2162A carrier board, which presumably offers a more affordable alternative to NXP’s LX2160A Reference Design Board, which also supports the new LX2162A. This latest ClearFog carrier board is equipped with 2x 25GbE SFP28, 2x 10GbE SFP+, and 8x 1GbE ports.

The ClearFog LX2162A is further equipped with a microSD slot as well as USB 3.0, micro-USB, and VGA ports. You also get a JTAG interface and “USB to STM32 for remote management” with a RunBMC compliant socket. The 170 x 85mm board has a 12VDC jack with ATX support and an optional enclosure.

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the LX2162A SOM and ClearFog LX2162A board. More information may be found in SolidRun’s product page.
 

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