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SBC combines 16-core LX2160A with up to five Hailo-8 NPUs

Sep 30, 2021 — by Eric Brown 2,379 views

MicroSys unveiled a “miriac AIP-LX2160A” dev kit with a compute module that runs Linux on a 16-core LX2160A. The kit features up to 5x Hailo-8 NPUs for 130-TOPS AI plus a pair each of 25GbE, 10GbE, and GbE ports and 16x PCIe lanes.

MicroSys has announced another of its miriac modules — the miriac MPX-LX2160A — which is used as the foundation for a miriac AIP-LX2160A development kit. The kit is equipped with up to 5x Hailo-8 NPUs running in parallel for up to 130-TOPS AI performance.

The module and kit follow MicroSys’ miriac MPX-LS1028A module and miriac SBC-LS1028A-TSN carrier, which offer NXP’s up to dual-core, Cortex-A72 Layerscape LS1028A. The miriac MPX-LX2160A module instead runs Linux on NXP’s 16-core, Cortex-A72 Layerscape LX2160A, which we have seen on high-end networking boards such as SolidRun’s CEx7 LX2160A module and HoneyComb LX2K Mini-ITX board. The LX2160A features 24 SerDes lanes for plenty of PCIe Gen3, SATA, and up to 100GbE Ethernet support.

miriac AIP-LX2160A with dual Hail-8 cards (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

MicroSys is the latest of several embedded hardware partners that have showcased Hailo’s Hailo-8 M.2 AI Acceleration Module, which is equipped with the up to 26-TOPS, 3-TOPS per Watt Hailo-8 NPU. The most recent was Vecow with its Whiskey Lake based ABP-3000 edge AI system.


Hailo claims its 17 x 17mm Hailo-8 chip vastly outperforms Google’s Edge TPU and Intel’s Movidius Myriad X on a TOPS per watt basis running AI semantic segmentation and object detection applications including ResNet-50. The NPU, which was awarded the “Best AI and Vision Processor 2021” by the Edge AI and Vision Alliance, typically runs at just 2.5W, says Hailo.

The miriac AIP-LX2160A is the first Hailo partner we have seen to deploy up to 5x Hailo-8 cards on a single device. The combined product delivers up to 955 YOLOv5m / 6145 Resnet_v1_50 / 5200 Ssd_mobilenet_v1 object detection frames (416 x 416) per second performance, claims MicroSys.

Hailo-8 M.2

Applications include edge servers for predictive maintenance, collaborative robotics, video surveillance servers in infrastructures with distributed cameras, communication servers for autonomous vehicles in logistics and agriculture, heavy equipment for construction. The kit is also suitable for developing edge servers in trains where multiple GigE Vision camera streams are analyzed.

The miriac MPX-LX2160A module runs a Yocto Linux stack on the 16x core, up to 2.2GHz LX2160A. It also provides up to 128GB of 3200MT/sec DDR4, including ECC RAM, via 4x slots (2x discrete, 2x SODIMM). There is also up to 2 Gbits Octal SPI flash and 8GB to 256GB eMMC, with provision for additional eMMC on the 244 x 244mm micro-ATX carrier board.

The miriac AIP-LX2160A carrier board provides 2x 1GbE, 2x 10GbE, and 2x 25GbE ports, with configuration options including up to 40GbE and 100GbE ports. PCIe Gen3 expansion includes PCIe x8, PCIe x4, and PCIe x4, each with 2.5, 5 or 8Gbps support.

Presumably, any of the up to 5x M.2 sockets not used for Hailo-8 could be used for other purposes, but MicroSys had no details about it. The standard model is equipped with 2x M.2 M-key 2242/2260/2280 slots loaded with Hailo-8 M.2 cards.

Other features include 4x SATA III, microSD, 4x USB 3.0 host, and a micro-USB 3.0 OTG port. There are 3x serial ports (UART/USB console, TTL, and RS485) along with a UART-µC UART-to-management microcontroller. The block diagram also shows a pair of CAN interfaces.

The miriac AIP-LX2160A is further equipped with JTAG, FlexSPI, 2x I2C, 6x-in/6x-out SPS, 4x LEDs, temp sensors, fan controller, CPLD, boot select, and an RTC. The board has a 12V input and ATX power supply with a 200W minimum, and there is a 0 to 80°C operating range.

The kit comes with a cable set and cooling solution. Developers will also have access to MicroSys’s AI toolchain and developer tools offered in Hailo’s developer zone.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the miriac AIP-LX2160A kit or miriac MPX-LX2160A module. More information may be found in MicroSys’ announcement and product page.

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