iWave systems recently launched a new SMARC System on Module (SOM) based on the powerful NXP® i.MX 8QuadMax applications processors. This high performance SOM features an intelligent blend of MPUs+MCU power in a single device and integrates heterogeneous multicore 64 bit ARM® processors (Dual Cortex® A72@ 1.8 GHz + Quad Cortex® A53 @ 1.2 GHz and Dual Cortex® -M4F @ 266 MHz), targeted for applications that demand advanced real-time processing, multi-media performance as well as in applications that requires simultaneous multi-OS operations.
For more details refer to the link: i.MX8 QuadMax NXP SMARC SOM
The Cortex® M4F microcontroller plays an integral part in realizing various real-time operations of the SOM module. It is a powerful energy-efficient microcontroller core with floating-point arithmetic functionality that offers a low-latency execution environment with real-time and low-power processing capability running bare-metal code or a real-time operating system like FreeRTOS.
The Cortex® ‑M4F microcontroller incorporates the following key features:
- A processor core.
- A Nested Vectored Interrupt Controllerfor low-latency interrupt processing.
- Multiple high-performance bus interfaces.
- Memory Protection Unit(MPU) & Floating Point Unit (FPU).
- LPIT (Low-power Periodic Interrupt Timer) for periodic timer services
- TPM (Timer PWM Module) for timer and PWM services
- RGPIO (Rapid General-Purpose Input/Output) for the fast pin I/O capability
- MU (Messaging Unit) for interprocessor communication
- INT MUX (Interrupt Mux) to select local interrupts routed outside of the subsystem
- SEMA42 (hardware semaphore) for HMP synchronization to shared resources
- LPI2C (Low-Power I2C) for serial communication
- LPUART (Low-Power UART) for serial communication and debug
Optimized performance and efficiency for real-time processing:
To optimize performance and increase system efficiency it is always effective to separate computation tasks between various Cortex® cores. The Cortex® A cores runs high-level OS
(Linux /Android) and can be used to drive applications that demand compute-intensive graphics (2D/3D), 4K video, high speed data processing etc., while real-time applications such as sensor monitoring, data acquisition, motor control, etc., requires high degree of determinism and DSP capability which can be handled very efficiently by the RTOS running on the Cortex® M4F cores. In addition, the SOM supports simultaneous operation of multiple OS platforms that enables the cores to drive totally independent applications, for e.g. When the Cortex® A cores handle a system for HMI or an instrument cluster, the Cortex® M4F can drive the circuitry for sensor control while utilizing RPC for interprocessor communications.