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i.MX8 SOC for motor control and NXP RTCESL?

Question asked by Doug Mytty on Dec 11, 2018
Latest reply on Jul 5, 2019 by Doug Mytty

The i.MX8 may be a great control and GUI SOC, combining advanced FOC motor control with technologies like Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) and Machine Vision.  Here's my thinking. 


In addition to the powerful A53/A72 main cores co-processor M4 cores, the i.MX8 and i.MX8X also have a Hi4 DSP core and other 'audio interfaces' that may be compatible with 'industrial control'.  While the Tensilica DSP core and IO are designated as 'audio DSP and interfaces', there are similarities between the audio domain and industrial/motor control domain.


The i.MX8 seems to have the necessary hardware.  For example, ADC sample frequencies are at similar frequencies for high RPM motor control and CD/HD audio, and the i.MX8 has 2x ADC with 16 channels at 12 bit (this bit depth is used by other  motor control SOCs).  The i.MX8 also has mechanisms (BootROM, TrustZone?) to allow for guarded code (such as the LineStream SpinTAC libraries).   The i.MX8 M4 cores have 16 KB of L1 and 256 KB of SRAM, while other LineStream SpinTAC compatible SOCs have 12 KB RAM and 32 KB Flash.  The 640+ Mhz HiFi4 DSP has 32/48 KB RAM cache and 64 KB TCM RAM.


From a high level, this combination of hardware capabilities means the i.MX8 has the necessary feedback sensors and DSP/M4 control cores exist for doing very powerful stuff.  The 266 Mhz M4 cores included on the i.MX8 are more than fast enough (60 Mhz suffices on other SOCs) and the M4 core is already deployed for the NXP RTCESL: Real Time Control Embedded Software Motor Control and Power Conversion Libraries (Real Time Control Embedded Software Motor Control and Power Conversion Libraries|NXP).  Additionally, the i.MX8X is qualified for SIL 3 industrial application with ECC, EMI and industrial temp ratings. like i.MX8 for industrial/motor control with awesome graphical interfaces and real time networking?  Is there anything that I'm missing that might stand in the way (other than Marketing's Grand Schemes)?