NXP i.MX RT1170 High End Processor Evaluation Kit - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: NXP i.MX RT1170 High End Processor Evaluation Kit

Author: ritvi

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Independent Products

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: I guess the best way to compare would be to compare feature wise to all the alternatives available. For example, the dac and I2S can be compared to adafruit hats that provide similar features for the boards.

What were the biggest problems encountered?: Connecting multiple peripherals was a huge obstacle in the testing of the board. I am still figuring them out though.

Detailed Review:

Making a Music Visualizer

 

To roadtest this product, I am going to be making a physical music visualizer. Before we dive into the visualisation part, let's try to understand and get familiar with the board. According the NXP's website, the i.MX RT1170 EVK provides a high-performance solution in a highly integrated board. It consists of a 6-layer PCB with through hole design for better EMC performance at a low cost, and it includes key components and interfaces.

According to the datasheet, The i.MX RT1170 is a new high-end processor of i.MXRT family, which features NXP’s advancedimplementation of a high performance ArmCortex®-M7 core operating at speeds up to 1 GHz and apower efficient Cortex®-M4 core up to 400 MHz.The i.MX RT1170 processor has 2 MB on-chip RAM in total, including a 768 KB RAM which can be flexibly configured as TCM (512 KB RAM shared with M7 TCM and 256 KB RAM shared with M4 TCM) or general-purpose on-chip RAM. The i.MX RT1170 integrates advanced power management module with DCDC and LDO regulators that reduce complexity of external power supply and simplifies power sequencing.The i.MX RT1170 also provides various memory interfaces, including SDRAM, RAW NAND FLASH, NOR FLASH, SD/eMMC, Quad/Octal SPI, Hyper RAM/Flash, and a wide range of other interfaces for connecting peripherals, such as WLAN, Bluetooth™, GPS, displays, and camera sensors. The i.MX RT1170 also has rich audio and video features, including MIPI CSI/DSI, LCD display, graphic accelerator, camera interface, SPDIF, and I2S audio interface.

Here is the list of features of the board:

The Arm Cortex-M7 Core Platform:

— 32 KB L1 Instruction Cache and 32 KB L1 Data Cache

— Floating Point Unit (FPU) with single-precision and double-precision support of Armv7-M

Architecture FPv5

— Support the Arm®v7-M Thumb instruction set, defined in the Armv7-M architecture

— Integrated Memory Protection Unit (MPU), up to 16 individual protection regions

— Up to 512 KB I-TCM and D-TCM in total

— Frequency of 1 GHz with Forward Body Biasing (FBB)

— Frequency of the core, as per Table 11, "Operating ranges," on page 27.

• The Arm Cortex®-M4 Core platform:

— Cortex-M4 processor with single-precision FPU defined by Armv7-M architecture FPv4-SP

— Integrated MPU with 8 individual protection regions

— 16 KB Instruction Cache, 16 KB Data Cache, and 256 KB TCM

— Frequency of 400 MHz without body biasing

The SoC-level memory system consists of the following additional components:

— Boot ROM (256 KB)

— On-chip RAM (2 MB in total)

– Configurable 512 KB RAM shared with M7 TCM

– 256 KB RAM shared with M4 TCM

– Dedicated 1.25 MB OCRAM

— Secure always-on RAM (4 KB)

• External memory interfaces:

— 8/16/32-bit SDRAM, up to SDRAM-133/SDRAM-166/SDRAM-200

— 8/16-bit SLC NAND FLASH

— SD/eMMC

— SPI NOR/NAND FLASH'

— Parallel NOR FLASH with XIP support

— Single/Dual channel Quad SPI FLASH with XIP support

— Hyper RAM/FLASH

— OCT FLASH

— Synchronization mode for all devices

• Timers and PWMs:

— Six General Programmable Timer (GPT) modules

– 4-channel generic 32-bit resolution timer for each

– Each supports standard capture and compare operation

— Two Periodical Interrupt Timer (PIT) modules

– Four timers for each module

– Generic 32-bit resolution timer

– Periodical interrupt generation

— Four Quad Timer (QTimer) modules

– 4-channel generic 16-bit resolution timer for each

– Each supports standard capture and compare operation

– Quadrature decoder integrated

— Four FlexPWMs

– Up to 8 individual PWM channels for each

– 16-bit resolution PWM suitable for Motor Control applications

— Four Quadrature Decoders

— Four Watch Dog (WDOG) modules

 

 

The MCUexpress IDE is fairly easy to get started with. The procedure to import the example or start a new a project, both are pretty intuitive and help you learn more about the capabilities of your board as you go.

 

Most of the examples ran pretty smoothly out of the box. I will be posting images soon. The visualizer is still not completely done but I will be completing it soon.

 

In summary the board is a pretty powerful tool for anyone looking to integrate it, especially on a multi-disciplinary/inter-disciplinary level. Most of the examples are pretty well written and will be a very good guide towwards writing the code of your own connections using the protocols. I haven't gotten around to trying the camera interface yet, so can't comment on that.

Will be updating the roadtest pretty soon with all the images and code pieces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources and References:

https://www.nxp.com/design/training/basic-application-development-using-mcuxpresso-ide-and-mcuxpresso-config-tools:TIP-B…

https://www.nxp.com/design/training/i-mx-rt1170-crossover-mcus-training:TS-IMX-RT1170-CROSSOVER-MCUS-TRAINING-SERIES?tid=vaniMXRT1170/Training

https://www.nxp.com/design/training/i-mx-rt1170-arrow-hands-on-trainings:TIP-I-MX-RT1170-ARROW-HANDS-ON-TRAININGS

https://www.nxp.com/design/training/advanced-debugging-with-mcuxpresso-ide-part-1-building-debugging-and-direct-flashing…

https://www.nxp.com/design/development-boards/i-mx-evaluation-and-development-boards/i-mx-rt1170-evaluation-kit:MIMXRT11…

https://www.nxp.com/design/training/i-mx-rt1170-crossover-mcus-training:TS-IMX-RT1170-CROSSOVER-MCUS-TRAINING-SERIES?tid=vaniMXRT1170/Training

Anonymous
  • Hey Dan,

     

    Yes its been a challenging but rewarding experience. I am looking forward to sharing the entire project very soon!

  • Thank you for the review.  I have a better idea of the board's capabilities now.  I considered apply for this RoadTest but was scared off by the dual processor architecture.... as I usually have my hands full with a single a processor.  With that said I am very impressed by the specs of this board, and I look forward to updates on your Music Visualizer project.