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Contributor V

iWave Systems and Crank Software partnered up to support rich graphics on the powerful NXP i.MX 8 series system on modules and SBC boards. Powered by NXP i.MX8 application processors, the SOM and SBC are optimized for sophisticated real-time computing in embedded applications, and Crank Software’s UI development software, Storyboard, complements the high-performing modules with an out-of-the-box GUI experience.

 An overview of iWave’s broad portfolio of i.MX8 products:

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Native to the i.MX 8QuadMax/QuadPlus SOM is an integrated high-performance Dual Vivante GC7000SXVX GPU and 4K H.265 capable VPU that Crank Software’s Storyboard applications leverage, to offer pixel-perfect 3D graphical acceleration,  up to 4x HD or one 4K display.

Storyboard is suited for i.MX platforms with key features including: 

  • Accessible directly within NXP MCUXpresso SDK
  • Wide support from FreeRTOS to QNX to Linux to Android OS
  • Specifically built to leverage board features that drive performance
  • Consistent performance and reliability with both high- and low-power processors
  • Media-rich user interface development - graphics, audio, connectivity
  • Ability to import and re-upload files from Photoshop and other design platforms
  • Integrated animation timeline tool
  • Testing and validation tools
  • Adaptable to technology stack changes (hardware & software & OS)

"The i.MX 8 series SOM offers the ability to advance performance in integrated eCockpits, multi-camera, and multi-domain systems across industrial medical, automotive, and IoT verticals. To enable advanced applications in customer products, collaboration with trusted partners like Crank Software was integral to our go-to-market strategy."
- Abdullah Khan, President, iWave Systems Technologies, India 


The iWave Systems and Crank Software partnership will facilitate efficiency in design cycles, cost, and time-to-market for many customers who want to use the NXP i.MX8 series processorsThis collaboration will enable diverse graphical performance in various i.MX SOM/SBC products and iWave solutions.

 

“We’re very excited to be working with hardware partners, NXP and iWave Systems. Together, we’re providing the resources needed for product teams to create touch screen experiences that exceed consumer expectations.”
- Jason Clarke, Crank Software Co-Founder & VP of Sales and Marketing

 

Check out the Multi-App Demo Image on the i.MX 8QM/QP development platform to see what’s possible when it comes to strong GUI performance.

New embedded innovations enabled by the winning combination of iWave Systems and Crank Software:

Automotive: 

The world is heading towards increasingly autonomous and connected mobility. If you think about what a modern vehicle means today, one would marvel at the incredible transformation that technology and digitalization have enabled, providing an amphitheater-like experience – within the boundaries of a machine. Infotainment, navigation, instrument clusters, heads up displays (HUD), and other boundless innovations are enriching user experiences to new dimensions. Under the hood, iWave platforms and rich Crank Storyboard GUIs ensure dynamic performance and deliver rich functionality throughout the vehicle's lifetime.

Medical:

Health care systems are evolving to newer standards of diagnosis and patient care. Continuous monitoring using connected technology allows patients to conveniently interact with their health providers on 24/7 basis, accelerating early diagnosis and improved recordings of health data. Emerging technologies are enabling advanced use cases to the point where performing medical operations remotely on patients can occur. Such innovative concepts require efficient and sophisticated computing platforms such as the NXP i.MX8 and rich embedded GUIs that facilitate seamless interaction, real-time intelligence, and flexibility in critical medical applications.


IoT automation:

Whether a production factory or your home, imagine the possibilities of having complete control over your assets - even when you’re away from them. Remote monitoring via automation systems ensures maximum throughput interoperability, in addition to cost and energy savings. The iWave SOM platform and Crank's GUI software, Storyboard, work in tandem to offer an interactive platform that assists in building out apps that monitor these assets and improve resource efficiency.


 

QNX RTOS in iWave's i.MX8QM SMARC development board 
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                                    (Above : i.MX 8QuadMax/QuadPlus SMARC Development platform)

Key features:

  • i.MX8 QM/QP/DM SoC
  • Up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM and 128GB eMMC storage 
  • Built in 802.11ac Wi-Fi module 
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet support 
  • Multiple display options including 4K HDMI, video input, CAN ports 
  • Multiple PCIe devices, SATA, USB3.0, Serial interfaces and Audio



Snapshots of a Storyboard-built GUI application running on the QNX RTOS in iWave’s i.MX 8QM SMARC development board:

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GUI development on iWave SOMs and SBCs

Crank Software enables a “no programming” UI framework in Storyboard that allows designers to easily generate graphical images and animations by directly importing the UI designs from tools including: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch.

The GUI design can be created and undergo iterations in parallel to the back-end applications. Storyboard’s runtime allows for the GUI to be deployed and ran on the embedded hardware platform quickly and easily, without the need to compile any code. Because of this, the embedded GUI can be in use on the SOM platform in minutes.


Advantages of using iWave platforms:                            

  • 10+ years long term product longevity 
  • Technical support
  • Pre-integrated libraries to run Storyboard-built applications 
  • Expertise in wide-range of OS and RTOS 
  • Turnkey hardware, software services, and manufacturing support
  • NXP Gold Partner, working with all i.MX platforms

iWave extends services in customizing BSP for developing Crank Storyboard GUIs and contributes to bringing the applications to life quickly and affordably onto target boards including: i.MX8 family such as the i.MX8, i.MX8M, i.MX8X and i.MX8M Mini/Nano.

For more details contact Marketing Department at iWave Systems, mktg@iwavesystems.com

 

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Contributor V

The Debian based open-source Linux distribution Ubuntu finds its wide use across Desktop, Servers, Containers, and now in IoT and cloud applications. Being very secure and its OpenStack support, it is further getting adapted widely in high end embedded computing applications as well.

iWave systems rich i.MX8 System on Module and SBC product portfolio is supported with Yocto Linux, Android, and QNX BSP. Now iWave Systems is enabling the Bionic Beaver Ubuntu 18.04 LTS support to its latest i.MX8 Quad Max, Quad Plus, and i.MX8M, i.MX8M mini system on Modules and SBC products.

Wayland support in the BSP brings better performance, code maintainability, and security compare to X server. In Wayland, compositing is passive, which means the compositor receives pixel data directly from clients, and hence it reduces the latency compared to the X server. The GUI with the Wayland Compositor on the iWave i.MX8 board is shown below;

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Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - Google Chromium Bowser and Weston Terminal

 

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Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - QT5 Applications on i.MX8QM board

 

pastedImage_9.pngpastedImage_10.png                          Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - Gnome Calculator and GPU 3D Applications

 

Ubuntu 18.04LTS on iWave i.MX8 Quad Max / Quad Plus SOM & SBC

Ubuntu Bionic image with Wayland Compositor supports only Wayland graphical backend which is simpler than earlier X11 backend system, and it includes below essential packages:

  • Linux Kernel Version 4.14.98
  • Ubuntu 18.04.03 LTS
  • Weston 5.0
  • QT 5.10
  • GPU driver 6.2.4.p4.0
  • Gstreamer 1.14.1
  • Bluez 5.48
  • GCC/G++ 7.3.0
  • Chromium Browser v71.0.3545.0      
  • Supports Gnome-Calculator and Gnome-Calendar

iWave’s i.MX8 Single Board Computer and SMARC SOM

 

The following drivers are supported in the Ubuntu BSP with iWave i.MX8QM/QP SMARC SOM and SBC board

  • CPU and MCU – Dual Cortex® A72, Quad Cortex® A53, and Dual Cortex®-M4
  • Block/Storage devices – SD/eMMC, USB, SATA
  • Multimedia support – HDMI, MIPI-DSI, LVDS Display, GPU, VPU, Audio, Camera
  • Network interfaces – Dual Gigabit Ethernet, CAN, PCIe, 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Miscellaneous Drivers – Serial, HID, SPI, I2C, capacitive Touch.

iWave i.MX8 SOM & SBC Product Details;

i.MX8 Quad Max and Quad Plus SMARC SOM

i.MX8 Quad Max and Quad Plus SMARC SBC

i.MX8M Quad/Dual/Quad lite SMARC SOM

i.MX8M Mini Quad/Dual/Solo SODIMM SOM

 

Please contact mktg@iwavesystems.com for evaluation and additional support.

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Contributor V

Oftentimes, developing an end application is like a scary game of maze. One can easily get lost in its winding paths lined with unseen twists and obstacles. A wrong choice can lead you to start all over again, making the journey grim, and the goal out of reach.

For developers, the challenges are real and huge, turning the development process into a difficult chase to fulfill performance and time to market objectives while achieving customer expectations as well.

From prototype, integration to development, there are a multitude of bottlenecks lurking in every path. With so many design challenges to overcome, developers often find it hard to integrate cutting edge technologies in their end applications and optimize their designs with the best performance and features.

At iWave, we are poised to ease these challenges and turn them into opportunities for innovation. A win-win situation for all.

And that’s the reason we have launched a new SBC, powerful enough to address even the most pressing development challenges and help transform your ideas into a stunning reality. The SBC is the fourth addition to our growing portfolio of NXP® i.MX based single board computers – high-efficiency industrial platforms superior in performance.

 

Powered by NXP i.MX8 Processor, the iWave SBC is equipped with up to eight Armv8 64-Bit heterogeneous CPU cores (2 x Arm® Cortex®- A72, 4 x Arm® Cortex®-A53 & 2 x Arm® Cortex®-M4F).It highlights the extremely powerful computational capability of the SBC, making it an awaited platform for unleashing complex to implement applications with utmost efficiency and ease. Advanced use cases include High-Speed Networking, Edge Computing, Industrial Automation,4K imaging, e-Cockpit, Intelligent Data Centre, etc.,

i.MX8 Quad MAX/Quad Plus Pico ITX SBC

Adding new dimensions to innovate:

Intelligent Edge:

The future is at the edge. With immense inbound advantages, edge computing is paving the way to a new era of connected, intelligent devices.iWave SBC has been designed,  keeping in mind the revolutionary transition that edge computing can realize in new-age applications. Be it medical, industrial or automotive, the i.MX8 SBC with its intuitive real-time processing, flexible high-speed memory, and robust connectivity can smartify your end application in just a matter of seconds.

The key to unlocking edge intelligence in the i.MX8 SBC lies within the powerful Cortex-M4F cores. This high-performance MCU is run RTOS to accelerate real-time intelligence in edge applications. The MCU is proficient at handling critical real-time tasks associated with an application e.g. monitor of sensor circuitry.The signal is subsequently decoded and processed by the A cores running Linux / Android OS, with non-critical tasks shared to the Cloud servers for advanced analytics.

To know more about Cortex-M4F and its amazing features in i.MX8 SoC click the following link: https://www.iwavesystems.com/cortexm4f-real-time-processing-imx8qm

Rich Interactive GUI:

Native to the SBC is an integrated high-performance dual GC7000 3D GPU and 4K H.265 capable VPU that combines to offer rich interactive graphical experience on up to 4 x HD or one 4K display. Dual failover-ready SafeAssure® display controller ensures critical displays are always on with reliable high-quality content. An additional HIFI4 DSP module further offloads the main cores and adds flexibility for a variety of end applications. These capabilities, coupled with the highly integrated form factor, makes the iWave SBC a leader for building cutting-edge machine vision systems, IIoT solutions, and advanced robotics.

Hardware Virtualization:

When there is a powerful heterogeneous processing platform to take care of the computing performance, it is very important to ensure that all the hardware resources are utilized efficiently and to its full potential. This is achieved by hardware virtualization.iWave has successfully integrated open-source type 1 Xen hypervisor to enable a versatile multi-OS implementation on the i.MX8 SoC.The generated domains are fully secure and independent from others,  ensuring a multi-application platform running on independent displays offering failover safe performance.

For more details about XEN virtualization check the following link https://www.iwavesystems.com/xen-on-imx8qm-som

Ample Connectivity

When it comes to I/O connectivity, the iWave SBC excels with its wide range of on-board and external connector interfaces. Included on the SBC is a Gigabit Ethernet PHY, USB 3.0 hub and IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi & Bluetooth 5.0 module for high-speed network connectivity. In addition, on-board CAN and RS232 interfaces accelerate applications in automotive and industrial automation systems. Multiple audio and video interfaces combine to enhance the multimedia performance of the SBC.  Key multimedia interfaces onboard include HDMI/eDP Display and I2S Audio Codec with Audio In/Out jack while interfaces over Expansion Connector include MIPI CSI, MIPI DSI, SPI, UART, LVDS, I2C, etc.

Optimized Power Consumption:

Thanks to the use of multiple low-power technologies, the iWave SBC intelligently manages the power efficiency of the entire system.  Firstly, the Cortex-M4F cores are configured to monitor the system in low power mode, while the main processors are deactivated. The main cores can be activated either using predefined wake-up time or when there is a user-defined interrupt. Power is also kept to a minimum with the use of high-speed LPDDR, and the incorporation of NXP’s dual PF8100 Power Management Integrated Circuit.

Secure and Safe platform

Ensuring all-around security of the software stack is a high –priority requirement of new-age applications. With the explosion of connected devices and the IoT revolution, the amount of possible attack vectors are also growing exponentially. This further emphasizes the need to secure embedded platforms with reliable and fool-proof security mechanisms.

iWave’s SBC includes a dedicated Security Microcontroller (SECO) to perform the security functions. The SECO controller verifies the authenticity of the Uboot, Linux, and RTOS binaries. The binaries are signed with a certificate that is stored in the module's immutable storage. The security controller also contains a Cryptographic Acceleration and Assurance Module (CAAM) to implement secure and validated cryptography mechanisms and further enhance data security in the SBC platform.

Key Security features in iWave’s SBC include:

  • High Assurance Boot – HAB
  • Encryption and Decryption using HW cryptography Engine
  • Encryption of keys for protecting sensitive data
  • Secure FOTA (Firmware Over the Air Update)

For more details refer our article on Security-Optimized Embedded Solutions

i.MX8 Quad MAX/Quad Plus Pico ITX SBC 2

Conclusion:

Armed with high speed multimedia processing and intelligent real time capabilities , the iWave i.MX8 SBC is all geared up to unleash innovative use cases that intuitively perform and keep security and energy concerns at bay.

To learn more, check out the full specification of the product in the following link: https://www.iwavesystems.com/product/single-board-computer/i-mx8qm-qp-picoitxsbc/i-mx8-quadmax-quadp...

For further information or inquiries, please write to mktg@iwavesystems.com or contact our Regional Partners.

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Contributor V

QNX is a Unix-like Real Time Operating System primarily developed for safety and mission critical embedded systems and includes the following unique features;

Microkernel architecture

  • Dynamically upgradable services and applications
  • Fine-grained fault isolation and recovery
  • Message-passing design for modular, well-formed systems

Instrumented microkernel

  •  System-wide performance analysis and optimization
  •  Fast detection of timing conflicts, hidden faults, etc.

 File encryption and Resource manager framework

  •  Device drivers are implemented in user space not kernel in space
  •  Drivers can be started, stopped, and debugged like any standard application

Adaptive time partitioning

  • Guaranteed system resources to build secure, reliable systems without compromising performance and flexibility

High availability frameworks

  • Heartbeating for early fault detection and Intelligent restart and transparent reconnection.

 

These unique features make QNX SDP as most advanced and secure embedded OS. QNX’s modular architecture enables customers to create highly optimized and reliable systems with low total cost of ownership. Hence QNX Platform is perfect for the following application segments;

  • Aerospace
  • Automobiles
  • Connected & Autonomous Vehicles
  • Robotics & Industrial Automation
  • Drones
  • Military
  • Nuclear Power Plants
  • Railway Transportation
  • Life-Critical Medical Devices
  • Telecommunication Market Segments

Build secure, safe and reliable systems with QNX RTOS:

Use adaptive partitioning to guarantee system resources for your applications. Build secure, reliable embedded systems without compromising realtime performance and flexibility. To achieve the highest level of performance, adaptive partitioning allows applications to use all available CPU cycles under normal operating conditions. During overload conditions, adaptive partitioning enforces hard resource guarantees, ensuring applications receive their budgeted share of resources.

iWave's i.MX8QM/QP SMARC Module

iWave is glad to announce the QNX 7.0.0 RTOS update for iWave’s i.MX8 Quad Max and Quad Plus SMARC module. iWave Systems successfully ported the QNX 7.0.0 to iWave’s i.MX8QM/QP SMARC development board. This development board has up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM and 128GB eMMC storage with built in 802.11ac Wi-Fi module and dual gigabit ethernet support. The SMARC carrier board supports multiple display options including 4K HDMI, video input, CAN ports, Dual Gigabit Ethernet, multiple PCIe devices, SATA, USB3.0, Serial interfaces and Audio.

QNX RTOS on iWave’s i.MX8QM/QP SMARC Module 1

Porting of QNX on iWave i.MX8 QM/QP SMARC platform:

Porting of the QNX to iWave i.MX8 QM/QP platform includes kernel & driver porting, driver development, unit test application development. iWave’s strong partnership with NXP and QNX helped to fasten the porting & development activity. Following drivers are supported in the QNX BSP with iWave i.MX8QM/QP SMARC platform.

  • CPU and MCU – Dual Cortex® A72, Quad Cortex® A53 and Dual Cortex®-M4
  • Block/Storage devices – SD/eMMC, USB, SATA
  • Multimedia support – HDMI Display, GPU, VPU, Audio, Camera
  • Network interfaces – Ethernet, CAN, PCIe, 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Misc. Drivers – Serial, HID, SPI, I2C.

QNX RTOS on iWave’s i.MX8QM/QP SMARC Module 2

i.MX8QuadMax SMARC Development platform

 

Following is few snapshots of Crank Application running on QNX RTOS in iWave’s i.MX8QM SMARC development board:

QNX RTOS on iWave’s i.MX8QM/QP SMARC Module 3

Benefits by choosing iWave for Platforms:                                                      

  • 10+ years long term product longevity 
  • Technical support
  • Recognized skills and know-how with QNX platforms 
  • Turnkey hardware, software services and manufacturing support

 

iWave offers customisation services, technical support for QNX porting to various i.MX8 family such as i.MX8X, i.MX8M, i.MX8M mini etc. For further information and inquiries, please write to mktg@iwavesystems.com

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Contributor V

iWave Systems, a leading embedded solutions provider company based in Bangalore has successfully demonstrated Xen virtualization hypervisor on their i.MX8 QM SoC based System on Module. The  multi-core SOM comprises of 2x Arm® Cortex® -A72 @1.8 GHz and 4x Arm® Cortex®-A53 @1.2 GHz and 2x additional Cortex®-M4F @ 266 MHz, rendering a highly powerful  integrated solution on a SMARC R2.0 compatible module.

i.MX8 QuadMax SMARC SOM                                                                          i.MX8 QM SMARC SOM

To fully explore the enormous computing capability of the i.MX8 QM SOM, iWave has implemented virtualization of hardware using the open source type 1 Xen hypervisor. The Xen hypervisor enables multiple virtual machines to be created over a single hardware resource, each virtual machine capable of running its own independent operating system. This enables the i.MX8 QM SOM run multiple operating systems concurrently on the same physical board. The Xen hypervisor allows maximum utilization of resources thereby improving overall system performance and efficiency.

About Xen hypervisor

Xen is an open source type-1 hypervisor developed by the University of Cambridge and is now being developed by the Linux Foundation. Xen runs directly on the hardware to manage guest operating systems. Hence, it's also considered as a bare metal hypervisor. Xen has less overhead enabling faster performance and Operating Systems are more secure as they don't rely on base OS for installing the hypervisor.

A system running the Xen hypervisor contains three components:

  • Xen Hypervisor
  • Domain 0 (Dom0) – Privileged virtual machine running on the hypervisor that can access the hardware directly and interact with other unprivileged virtual machine running on the system.
  • Multiple DomainU (DomU) – Unprivileged virtual machine running on the hypervisor and have no direct access to hardware (e.g. CPU,memory, timer and interrupts cannot be directly accessed)
 

During the initial system start-up, Xen hypervisor launches the Dom0 that runs the Linux operating system. The Dom0 has unique privileges to access the Xen hypervisor compared to other Domains. Dom0 manages the DomU, the unprivileged domains running on the system. Dom0 allocate and map hardware resources for the DomU domains.

Advantages: -

  • Less overhead compared to type-2 hypervisors since type-1 hypervisors make use of ARM virtualization extensions.
  • Having faulty/buggy OS in DOM-U domain will not disrupt the functionalities of DOM-0 OS.
  • DOM-U driver domains can support legacy hardware drivers no longer supported by new OS.
  • Have completely isolated workspaces with different requirements. Eg: gaming and multimedia.
  • Better resource management since resources rarely used will not be powered on if the domain it belongs to is not booted.
 

Xen demo on iWave’s i.MX8QM SOM

In iWave’s Xen Demo on i.MX8QM Board, the DOM-0 OS runs Linux 4.14.98 from eMMC and DOM-U runs Android Pie 9.0 from USB drives. Such a system can be used where there is a need for both faster, highly reliable OS (such as Linux) and more multi featured slightly slower OS (such as Android) to be running on the same hardware.

For further information or enquiries please write to mktg@iwavesystems.com.

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