Arduino launches nine core module for edge AI

Technology News |
By NicolasR

Arduino has launched a nine core system-on-module (SoM) with industrial support for edge AI, its first to use ARM’s Cortex-A applications processor.

The Portenta X8 SoM measures 66.04 x 25.40 mm and combines NXP’s popular i.MX 8M Mini processor with the STM32H747XI with 2 GBytes of Low Power LPDDR4 DRAM and 16 GBytes of eMMC flash storage.

The i.MX8m mini provides four ARM Cortex-A53 microprocessor cores running up to 1.8GHz with a 400MHz Cortex-M4 microcontroller core. The STM32H747XI adds two Cortex-M7 cores running up to 480MHz with a Cortex-M4 core running up to 240MHz. This gives a wide range of microprocessor and microcontroller resources to run different edge applications, from AI neural networks and machine learning to real time signal processing and communications.

It has a Linux operating system from in the UK preloaded on the i.MX8m mini with the software infrastructure for security and over the air updates. It can also run software containers to simplify the development process.

“A few years ago, with the legendary Yún, Arduino invented a new category of products by combining microcontrollers and microprocessors on a single hardware platform. Now, we are taking this experience to the next level by providing enterprises the same flexibility, with performance on steroids thanks to the Portenta X8,” said Fabio Violante, CEO at Arduino. “Today, the world is different: You cannot think about a Linux-based device without anticipating the challenges of securing and maintaining it over time. This requires expertise, commitment and attention to every detail related to security and maintenance. For this reason, we decided to partner with Foundries.​io to simplify this approach by providing a ready-to-use solution that can help our customers build systems with confidence. By embedding a FoundriesFactory in the Arduino platform, customers can be sure to choose the best solution on the market.”

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FoundriesFactory is a cloud-based software development (DevOps) platform to build, test, deploy and maintain these devices. It includes a customizable Linux microPlatform OS built for security and incremental Over The Air (OTA) updates.

“Foundries.​io is in a unique position to advance Arduino’s vision for enabling enterprises to more easily deploy and maintain Linux-based products for IoT and Edge applications,” said George Grey, CEO at Foundries.​io. “The combination of the Portenta X8 and the FoundriesFactory cloud solution will accelerate customer time to market, increase product security and enable rapid deployment and lifetime OTA management of customer devices and fleets, while giving freedom of choice for connectivity to public or private cloud services. From off-the-shelf to fully customized options, Arduino and FoundriesFactory are providing an industry leading solution for Linux-based IoT and Edge products.”

“This is a powerful alignment that will result in tangible advances for embedded developers and enterprises across a variety of vertical industries,” said Jeff Steinheider, Vice President & General Manager Industrial Edge Processing Product Line, NXP Semiconductors. “Built using the NXP i.​MX 8M Mini applications processor as the first Arm Cortex-A core in the Arduino Pro ecosystem, this is the kind of strategic partnership that signals a new way of doing things is upon us, and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”

Accessinga FoundriesFactory for the Portenta X8 hardware platform. This will enable users to immediately connect Arduino Portenta X8-based products to the cloud and start developing container-based applications, leveraging the device management and DevOps capabilities available with FoundriesFactory.;

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