The Freescale i.MX51 product family that helped establish the fast-growing smartbook category has been expanded to include new processors designed to help customers differentiate and win in automotive, industrial, and consumer markets. The new devices are the i.MX514 and i.MX516 processors for automotive applications and the i.MX512 and i.MX513 processors for industrial and consumer applications. In addition to these new offerings, the previously announced i.MX515 processor is shipping in volume quantities to smartbook manufacturers and is expanding availability to include industrial and additional consumer applications.
To complement the i.MX51 processors, the company also has introduced a power management device, the MC13892, that helps enable smaller, more energy-efficient products that deliver high performance with low power consumption.
“The newest members of the celebrated i.MX51 family deliver compelling blends of features and functionality to meet the stringent requirements of the automotive, industrial and consumer markets,” said Bernd Lienhard, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Multimedia Applications Division. “Freescale’s long track record of enabling and optimizing the power and performance advantages of ARM technology continues with the introduction of these new devices.”
All devices in the i.MX51 family are pin-compatible and based on Freescale’s highly optimized implementation of the ARM Cortex[tm]-A8 core. The products integrate five processing engines and deliver a variety of video, graphics and multimedia feature combinations to meet specific market requirements. The i.MX51 family products feature a vast array of connectivity options and support multiple memory types, including DDR2 – an extremely cost-effective technology that can reduce bill of materials up to $3 (USD) per product.
To streamline development and deliver a more comprehensive solution across multiple markets, Freescale offers board support packages (BSPs) for the Linux® OS, Windows® Embedded CE6.0 and the Android[tm] OS, all optimized for the i.MX51 family.
Building on Freescale’s embedded industrial heritage
The latest in a long line of world-class embedded industrial processors from Freescale, the new i.MX512 and i.MX513 devices are designed to meet critical industrial market requirements such as intuitive user interfaces, sophisticated graphics processing and extensive connectivity options.
Both devices deliver 600 MHz performance at industrial temperature ranges, and the i.MX513 additionally incorporates hardware video encode/decode functionality. These processors are included in Freescale’s product longevity program, with assured supply for a minimum of 10 years. See www.freescale.com/productlongevity for details.
Industrial applications for Freescale’s i.MX512 and i.MX513 processors include printers, factory automation equipment, medical devices, digital signage, home appliances and human-machine interface technology. The devices are also available in consumer versions, with the core performance enhanced to 800MHz. The consumer versions are ideal for the eBook, IP camera and V2IP media phone markets.
“Sagemcom is working to establish itself as a leader in high added value communicating terminals and especially tablets with multiple Internet applications,” said Patrick Sevian, president of Sagemcom. “We have chosen the Freescale i.MX51 family because it offers an exciting solution for the portable multimedia devices market and enables us to create a highly integrated and powerful device with capacity to fulfill market evolution.”
New i.MX technology from the automotive processor leader
The i.MX514 and i.MX516 processors are planned for AEC-Q100 qualification and designed for a variety of in-dash and after-market automotive applications. Several automotive OEMs have already selected these processors to deliver multimedia functionality in automobiles that will begin production in 2010.
Delivering 600 MHz performance at automotive temperature ranges, the products are ideal for display-based instrument clusters, navigation, telematics and infotainment platforms, as well as other automotive applications. The devices include advanced graphics capabilities, and the i.MX516 additionally incorporates a powerful video encode/decode hardware engine to provide rich multimedia experiences for drivers and passengers.
“Freescale extends its leadership in the automotive and industrial markets by delivering the highly integrated and powerful i.MX51 applications processor family,” said Romain Saha, business development manager at QNX Software Systems. “The i.MX51 family incorporates dedicated OpenVG[tm] and OpenGL®-ES hardware acceleration that is vital for popular customer requirements like Adobe Flash. In combination with the QNX Aviage Middleware, customers can easily develop rich multimedia products with highly advanced human-machine interfaces imperative to the automotive infotainment space.”
Enablement technologies for comprehensive solutions
By providing comprehensive platform solutions for the i.MX51 family, Freescale boosts customer value and speeds time to market. Optimized BSPs for the Linux OS, Windows Embedded CE6.0 and the Android OS are available for the i.MX51 family directly from Freescale. The Linux BSP is based on the latest 2.6 kernel and includes full support for all peripherals, as well as optimized drivers for the i.MX51′s graphics and video hardware accelerators. Built on top of the Linux BSP is support for Debian-based Linux distributions such as GNOME[tm] and Ubuntu.
In addition to BSP and integrated stacks, Freescale also provides an extensive portfolio of multimedia codecs that are either fully accelerated using the i.MX51′s hardware video processing core or highly optimized for the ARM Cortex-A8 processor architecture using the NEON[tm] instruction set. These codecs include the framework components such as parsers and plugins required by the corresponding BSP. Supported frameworks include DirectShow for Windows Embedded, GStreamer for GNOME[tm] and the Ubuntu OS, and OpenMAX[tm] for Android. Optimized graphics middleware for X Window System, OpenGL-ES and OpenVG graphics engines are also provided to enable rich user interfaces and graphics.
Power management IC
A key component of Freescale’s system solutions for the i.MX51 family is the MC13892 power management IC, which is included in all i.MX51 family evaluation kits. Integrating a variety of discrete functions into a single device, the MC13892 contributes to reduced size and weight of end products while extending battery life through innovative power management and control features. The device incorporates power supplies for powering the processor, memory and peripherals (four adjustable buck converters and twelve linear regulators), battery charging and monitoring system (including 10-bit ADC for charge monitoring), drivers for LED backlights, status LED and keyboard backlighting (two boost converters and current controllers), touch-screen controller and a real time clock. The MC13892 interfaces to i.MX51 family devices using I2C/SPI for configuration, status and control.
The i.MX51 family is supported by an exceptionally deep ecosystem of enablement solutions from Freescale and third-party partners. In addition to development technologies available from Freescale, the i.MX51 family is also distinguished by module makers, tools, middleware and application support. Among the embedded enablement leaders lined up to support the i.MX51 family are Adeneo, AllGo, ARM, BlueTechnix, Bsquare, Canonical, CodeSourcery, Digi, Eukrea, Genesi, Green Hills, ICytecture, Ka-Ro, Mentor, MontaVista, QNX, Trinity Convergence, TWS and Wind River. See supporting quotes from i.MX ecosystem partners at www.freescale.com/files/pr/imx51partnerquote.html.
Availability and pricing
Freescale is now sampling the consumer, industrial and automotive versions of the i.MX51 family, with suggested resale pricing starting at less than $20 (USD) in small quantities. Fully qualified consumer i.MX51 products are shipping in production today, with industrial and automotive qualifications planned for 1Q 2010. An i.MX51 evaluation kit is available for order now, using part number MCIMX51EVKJ. For less than $700 (USD) suggested resale, the kit ships with pre-loaded software images for both the Windows Embedded CE and Linux operating systems. Additionally, source code for the software is available online now for customers to download.
About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations around the world.
Freescale and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., “Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.” ARM is the registered trademark of ARM Limited. Cortex is the trademark of ARM Limited.