Freescale Semiconductors recently unveiled its new line of processors at the Freescale Technology Forum on Monday. The company claims its processors can function as MCUs and are both energy efficient and advanced enough to run high-performance graphics. (via Freescale)
Every technology company is expanding current capabilities to capitalize on the ever-increasing IoT market, and Freescale Semiconductors is no exception. The Texas-based hardware business recently unveiled its new line of processors at the Freescale Technology Forum on Monday, including a single chip the size of a U.S. dime.
The i.MX 6Dual SCM may be small at 17mm x 14mm x 1.7mm, but its powerful. Freescale says the tiny chip is aimed at the IoT, as manufacturers need to pack more processing power into smaller spaces to adequately run all programs. The tiny chip is just one selection from a full line of new processors that combine processing power with flash memory, energy controls and RF parts.
Alongside the i.MX 6 series is the i.MX 7 series – said to be the most efficient power system available overall. The i.MX 7 series not only optimizes energy efficiency to the processor, but it manages the energy efficiency of its peripherals and other components of memory. The processors can automatically decide which core to use based on needed power and maintaining optimal power consumption.
The i.MX 7 series includes the 7Solo and 7Dual. Both feature 1GHz ARM Cortex-A7 and 266MHz Cortex-M4. Each core can function independently of the other, but will work together for high-power jobs, such as running high-tech graphics for Virtual Reality simulation. Normal low-power jobs, such as sending data from an IoT device to the cloud, can rely on the low-power chip, saving on energy consumption.
Freescale said the new SCM processors can act like a computer, at a portion of the size. The company projects that manufacturers will save 50% of their available space by using an SCM chip instead of a standard six-inch board. The boards come with embedded software and firmware and also include security features, such as tamper prevention, cryptographic cipher engines and scattered number generation.
The new line of SCM modules is aimed at all industries, including 3D gaming, wearables, medical devices and IoT products. Products for the IoT can include everything from smart refrigerators to clip-on exercise trackers, and each one needs a processor and MCU. The i.MX 6Dual SCM will be available in August. The rest of the line is expected to be available by November.
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