NXP unveils i.MX 91 applications processor family

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NXP Semiconductors has announced the i.MX 91 applications processor family. Building on more than two decades of leadership in developing multi-market applications processors, the i.MX 91 family delivers an optimized blend of the security, features, and energy-efficient performance required for the next generation of Linux®-based IoT and industrial applications.

Why it matters: Emerging protocols such as Matter, the interoperable, secure connectivity standard for the future of the smart home, or the ISO 15118-20 standard for electric vehicle (EV) chargers, create inflection points for new product categories across IoT and industrial markets.

These new products often rely on Linux, which provides the extensibility and ease of programming developers need for applications to evolve, extending product life.

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NXP’s i.MX 91 family enables developers to quickly create new Linux-based edge devices, such as home controllers, connected appliances, home entertainment, industrial scanning and printing, building control, EV chargers and medical platforms.

“The i.MX 91 family extends NXP’s leadership in smart controllers,” said Jim McGregor, Principal Analyst at TIRIAS Research. “Next-generation Linux devices based on the i.MX 91 applications processors will be high-performance, affordable, and secure solutions, enabling quicker and easier adoption of updated protocols or new standards as they are introduced. It provides engineers with an essential platform to add intelligence into traditional embedded and IoT systems, while also delivering scalability through the larger i.MX 9 series.”

As the entry point of the i.MX 9 series, the i.MX 91 family provides the extensibility and ease of programming that developers need for applications to evolve over time. Hardware and software commonality with the NXP i.MX 93 family provides additional platform options for scaling product lines that maximize re-use of development investments and decreases time to market.

“Our new i.MX 91 family will provide the foundation for thousands of new device classes, with its high performance, connectivity and EdgeLock secure enclave setting a new standard for Linux platforms across IoT and industrial applications,” said Charles Dachs, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Industrial and IoT Edge, at NXP. “The i.MX 91 family enables the rapid development of platforms that may easily pivot into new markets and new applications, leveraging existing investments and streamlining product line updates.”

The i.MX 91 applications processor features an Arm® Cortex®-A55 running at up to 1.4 GHz; support for modern LPDDR4 memory to enable platform longevity and reliability; dual Gigabit Ethernet for gateway or multi-network segment support; dual USB ports; and the essential I/O for products in smart factory, smart home, smart office, medical device, metering, and cost-optimized system-on-module platforms.

An integrated EdgeLock secure enclave provides advanced security features, such as lifecycle management, tamper detection, secure boot, and a simplified path to certifications. These important security capabilities are easily accessed by the developers through NXP-provided security software enablement. This combination of security and manageability drives trust and longevity for platform designs that will be in the market for many years.

The i.MX 91 family is available with NXP’s co-developed and cost-optimized power management solution, available as part of the i.MX 93 family ecosystem. The evaluation kits and software packages for the i.MX 91 family integrate with NXP’s broad, scalable portfolio of wireless solutions. This includes the IW612, the industry’s first monolithic tri-radio family that supports Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth® 5.2 and 802.15.4. The IW612, focused on Matter, frees consumers from the restrictions of single-protocol ecosystems, allowing them to enjoy seamless interoperability across different ecosystems and wireless network technologies.

“As one of the early access partners for the i.MX 91 applications processor, we continue our longstanding cooperation with NXP. The extremely low power consumption of the new i.MX 91 family is perfectly suited for price-sensitive headless applications and extends the scalability of our i.MX 9 series-based SMARC and OSM portfolio, with a successor for existing NXP ultra-low power platforms,” said, Jens Plachetka, Manager Board Platforms, Avnet Embedded.

“As an early access partner, eInfochips is excited to announce NXP’s i.MX 91 system-on-a-chip (SoC)-based reference development platform. The platform will help us enable customers that are looking for cost-optimized Linux-based edge solutions for their next-generation IoT and industrial products,” said, Dharam Sheoran, Chief Customer Officer, eInfochips.

“The i.MX 91 applications processor is a new generation SoC that drives the high-quality development of industrial applications and the IoT, with multiple features including high security, high scalability, high stability, and cost optimization. The scalable platform with i.MX 93 SoC simplifies development and reduces difficulties for customers to expand their products. As an NXP Gold Partner, Forlinx has maintained close communication with NXP since the early stage of the i.MX 91 family development. We believe that the launch of the i.MX 91 family will bring customers more high-performance, cost-effective, and secure solutions. In the future, Forlinx will continue to work together with NXP to provide customers a comprehensive and proven software and hardware ecosystem,” said, Fei Liang, CTO, Forlinx.

“The i.MX 91 applications processor family from NXP provides an optimal mix of high performance, pricing, and security; fit for entry-level Linux edge processing solutions for applications such as EV charging stations, industrial gateways, and HMI displays. The i.MX 9 series enables customers’ scalability with reduced development cost and improved time to market and provides consumers with efficient power management and advanced security features on the edge,” said, Immanuel Rathinam, Vice-President, System on Modules Unit, iWave.

“With its competitive price, high performance and ultra-compact design, the NXP i.MX 91 applications processor is a perfect addition to PHYTEC’s portfolio of system on modules. Our system-on-module (SoM) can be configured with the entry point i.MX 91 family, as well as with NXP’s i.MX 93 applications processor, featuring machine learning acceleration. Fully pin-compatible with our best-selling PHY-Core SoM based on NXP’s i.MX 6ULL applications processor, the new PHY-Core SoM based on NXP’s i.MX 93 or i.MX 91 families offers customers upgrade paths, scalable computing power and access to the newest technologies, while ensuring and improving the longevity of their products and applications,” said, Yves Astein, Head Product Development, Phytec.

“SECO welcomes the new NXP i.MX 91 applications processor, which adds scalability to our SMARC computer-on-module product family. Intended for cost sensitive edge applications, this solution enables easy deployment of a Linux-based platform with streamlined features,” said, Davide Catani, Chief Technology Officer, SECO.

“As a longtime partner, we are very pleased to offer two low-cost modules based on NXP’s powerful new i.MX 91 applications processor family. Building on the popularity of i.MX 6UL and i.MX 6ULL applications processors, the i.MX 91 applications processor is a good addition for users who want to rely on a cost-effective but more powerful and modern platform. The high-speed interfaces such as TSN and Gigabit Ethernet, EdgeLock secure enclave and more computing performance for many edge applications allow the new modules to provide an optimal platform for applications such as gateways, controls in building and industrial automation, time and attendance systems, medical devices in diagnostics and elevator controls,” commented, Konrad Zöpf, Deputy Director TQ Embedded and Product Management, TQ-Systems.

“As a company committed to bringing innovative solutions to the embedded market, Variscite is pleased to leverage its early access to NXP applications processors and release an SoM solution based on the upcoming i.MX 91 family in parallel with NXP. The SoM expands Variscite’s VAR-SOM pin2pin family and provides a great solution for low-end and price-sensitive devices,” said, Ofer Austerlitz, Vice President, Business Development and Sales, Variscite.

Availability

NXP’s i.MX applications processors are available worldwide through distributors and eTailers. They are enabled by NXP software, a broad ecosystem of tools and software, and comprehensive support. To help ensure a stable supply of products for embedded designs, all i.MX 8 series and i.MX 9 series products are guaranteed for a minimum of 15 years of availability as members of the NXP product longevity program.

NXP expects to enable select customers with i.MX 91 development platforms in 2H23 as part of the early access program.

 


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