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Nitrogen8M Plus SMARC boast NXP processor w/ 2.3 TOPS NPU

Jul 4, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 331 views

The Nitrogen8M Plus SMARC from Laird Connectivity is a high-performance embedded computing module featuring a Quad-core Arm-A53 along with a 2.3 TOPS NPU for machine learning inference and onboard Image Signal Processor (ISP).

The product page indicates that the Nitrogen8M Plus features the NXP i.MX 8M Plus with the following architecture:

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  •  i.MX 8M Plus — Quad-core Cortex-A53 (up to 1.8GHz); 512KB L2 Cache; 1x Cortex-M7 (up to 800MHz) w/ ARM Neon extension; 16 GFLOPs 32-bit GC7000UL w/ OpenCL & Vulkan support; 2.3 TOPs NPU; Hi-Fi 4 DSP (up to 800MHz)


Nitrogen8M Plus SMARC block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Furthermore, the module incorporates a Video Processing Unit capable of decoding and encoding various video formats, including 1080p60 HEVC/H.265, VP9, VP8, and AVC/H.264.


Nitrogen8M Plus SMARC top view
(click image to enlarge)

Memory-wise, the Nitrogen8M Plus SMARC is equipped with a 32-bit LPDDR4 memory interface with inline ECC. Additionally, it features an 8-bit eMMC 5.1 for high-speed data transfer. The module also offers flexible storage options with SPI and FlexSPI Flash support.

 

The module boasts an Image Sensor Processor (ISP) capable of handling 375 Mpixel/s HDR, supporting configurations such as 12MP@30fps, 4kp45, or 2x 1080p80.


Universal SMARC carrier board
(click image to enlarge)

Lastly, the Nitrogen8M Plus SMARC includes some advanced security features such as Resource Domain Controller (RDC), Arm TrustZone (TZ) architecture, High Assurance Boot (HAB), and Secure JTAG Controller (SJC).

Specifications listed for the Nitrogen8M Plus SMARC include:

  • Memory/Storage: 
    • LPDDR4/DDR4 inline ECC (Up to 8GB)
    • NAND controller (BCH62)
    • 3x SDIO 3.0/2x MMC 5.1
    • Dual-channel QuadSPI or 1x OctaSPI (XIP) 
  • Display:
    • HDMI 2.0a
    • MIPI-DSI 4-lane w/ PHY
    • LVDS Tx w/ PHY (4-lane or 8-lane)
  • Audio:
    • I2S TDM
    • SPDIF RX & TX
    • eARC (HDMI), ASRC
    • 8-Channel PDM Mic input
  • Camera:
    • 2x Camera ISP 187MP/1x 375MP
    • 2x MIPI-CSI 4-lane w/ PHY
  • Connectivity:
    • 1x Gigabit Ethernet w/ TSN
    • 1x Gigabit Ethernet
    • Sterling-LWB5+ Wi-Fi 802.11ac/BT5.2
  • Expansion:
    • 1x PCIE Gen3
  • I/O Interface:
    • 4x PWM, 2x FlexCAN
    • 4x UART, 6x I2C, 3x SPI
  • USB:
    • 2x USB 3.0/2.0 with PHY 
  • Power: 
    • 5V DC
    • PCA9450 PMIC
  • Operating Temperature:
    • -40°C to 85°C
  • Mechanical: 
    • 82 x 50mm

Further information

The Nitrogen8M Plus variant with 2GB RAM is listed for $174.79 while the variant with 4GB costs $203.25. However, these products are expected to be available around December 23 according to Mouser. The product page for the compatible carrier board can be found here, but it appears it’s still in development.

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