NXP secure edge-connected i.MX RT crossover processors

24th July 2020
Alex Lynn

NXP Semiconductors has announced that its WiFi and WiFi/Bluetooth combos and i.MX RT MCU crossover processors are now supported within its MCUXpresso software, which dramatically simplifies product development.

With this new level of integration, NXP expands the connectivity capabilities of its EdgeVerse edge computing and security platform. By pre-integrating driver support within the MCUXpresso SDK, NXP is providing developers with flexible and scalable platforms to help accelerate compliance, significantly shorten time-to-market, and streamline WiFi or WiFi/Bluetooth combo deployments.

These new platforms make it possible to mix and match the right MCU with the right WiFi or WiFi/Bluetooth combo devices, providing developers with the flexibility needed to meet the performance and power requirements of their IoT, industrial, automotive, and communications infrastructure applications.

“With this new connected-edge platform, NXP continues to deliver on its investments in WiFi and Bluetooth by providing developers with the flexibility to easily pair our i.MX RT MCUs and advanced connectivity solutions for more seamless and cost-effective implementations,” said Ron Martino, senior vice president and general manager of Edge Processing with NXP. “This new integration brings a one-stop-shop approach to platform development with NXP’s highly differentiated offerings that are fully tested and certified, allowing developers to easily and quickly deploy wireless devices at scale.”

NXP has pre-integrated its WiFi/Bluetooth drivers and communications stacks around FreeRTOS, targeting i.MX RT crossover processors to simplify and accelerate application development. By using the MCUXpresso SDK, developers can easily combine wireless connectivity with AI/machine learning capabilities, display controllers, and graphics accelerators integrated into the i.MX RT family. The pre-integrated WiFi/Bluetooth drivers have been verified and tested to deliver several useful examples, including:

  • iPerf utility to test device-to-device performance.
  • WiFi Direct to scan and connect mobile devices to networks.
  • Command Line Interface (CLI) to set WiFi parameters and network properties and experiment with various WiFi settings/parameters.
  • Use case development for IoT, industrial, automotive and communication infrastructure applications.
  • Amazon Web Services to use as a framework for IoT products as well as device, gateway, phone and cloud connection examples.

NXP has partnered with leading module vendors, around the world, including Azurewave, Murata, Panasonic, and u-blox to deliver fully certified, platform-integrated modules for developer designs. With additional partners being added throughout the year, NXP’s broad range of module suppliers add more flexibility for developers to choose the best module for their application and reduce the design complexity, development costs and the time to certification.

“We are excited to be collaborating with NXP to launch a complete portfolio of WiFi combo modules that are certified and fully tested by Azurewave’s state-of-art manufacturing facility for high-quality assurance,” added Milton Hsieh, VP of Global Sales and Marketing at Azurewave Technologies Inc. “By combining the power of NXP’s connectivity and processing platforms, our flexible OTS modules will help customers develop products more easily, achieve faster time-to-market, and save valuable resources.” Akira Sasaki, GM of Connectivity Module Marketing Department, Murata, said: “Murata has a long-standing, successful relationship with NXP in delivering game-changing solutions. Through this collaboration, Murata’s new 8801-based module with a built-in antenna eases the regulatory certification burden and significantly shortens time-to-market for connected products. As a module technology leader, we deliver the expertise and breadth of IoT products that enable mass-market adoption." Mathias Hopp, Business Group Leader for Wireless Connectivity with Panasonic, said: “Panasonic chose NXP’s 88W8977 SoC for the PAN9026 module due to its combination of the most important short-range wireless technologies in one chip. Engineered in Germany and manufactured in Slovakia, our module can provide our customers the flexibility [needed] for a wide range of wireless applications.”

“We are very excited to be working with NXP. Integrated into NXP’s MCUXpresso SDK and i.MX RT MCUs, u-blox' out-of-the-box wireless modules will lower complexity and barriers and enable the efficient development of numerous devices and IoT applications,” said Håkan Svegerud, Senior Director at u-blox. “Our professional grade modules, fully tested and globally certified, guarantee shorter time-to-market and cost savings. This means designers can focus on the core value of the device, while easily adding wireless connectivity.”

The i.M RT crossover family is the first of several MCU product lines to be supported by NXP’s WiFi and WiFi/Bluetooth combo connectivity solutions, which are now available through NXP’s module partners and through NXP’s global mass market and distribution network, including Arrow, Avnet, Future, EBV, Mouser, Digikey, E14, and WT Micro. Support for i.MX platforms running Linux and Android will be available later this year.

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