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Embedded World 2016

IoT gateway and ARM Cortex modules

At the Embedded World, TQ is showing – in cooperation with Gemalto – a gateway solution to enable “Secure IoT”. The company is also planning two mini-modules with ARM Cortex-A7 processor architecture.

The MBox by TQ as an IoT edge gateway links the worlds of M2M and IoT (Photo: TQ)

The hardware platform is based on TQ’s MSys embedded solution tool kit with the Intel Atom E3800 at its heart. The tool kit is equipped with two Gigabit Ethernet, two USB, two EIA-232 and two monitor outputs, as well as upgrade options for fieldbuses, among them CAN and Devicenet. On top of 2G/3G/LTE wireless connectivity, MSys integrates radio standards such as WLAN, Bluetooth, EnOcean and Zigbee. Combining these interface options, the MSys offers flexibility for customized IoT solutions. Various types of sensors and devices, as well as local, self-contained networks can therefore be connected.

A TPM (Trusted Platform Module) allows for secure boot and authentication while Gemalto’s Sentinel technology enables hardware-based software protection and encrypted communication. Secure wireless access is established through Gemalto’s rugged Cinterion connectivity module. This package enables protection at application and system level and prevents data manipulation and system intrusion.

The connection to Gemalto’s M2M IoT Cloud Services via embedded agent technology enables remote access to the gateway, as well as the connected devices and sensors. Real-time access to gateway parameters, such as network status, geolocation and operational information like utilization and temperatures, offer service friendliness for the operator. Data access and control of connected actuators and systems can be programmed and parameterized automatically. APIs for Windows and Linux are available, which simplify the implementation of applications.

TQ (Germany) is an embedded specialist and service provider for electronic assemblies and systems. Gemalto (Netherlands), a leader in digital security, enables back-end services, security and industrial-grade global mobile connectivity on 2G/3G/LTE networks. TQ can be found at the Embedded World 2016 in Nuremberg from February 23 to 25, in hall 1, booth 1-578.

The TQMa7x mini-module is planned to be released in Q2 of 2016 (Photo: TQ)

Energy-efficient ARM Cortex modules

With the TQMa7x and TQMa6ULx, TQ is also planning two mini-modules in which an ARM Cortex-A7 processor architecture is used. A performance-optimized ARM Cortex-A7 Core with up to 1 GHz will be used on the TQMa7x embedded computing module. This is based on the i.MX7 by NXP. According to the company, this processor generates high processing performance with low power loss. TQ envisages two options: a single-core and dual-core version. This embedded module will particularly be optimized for very low power loss.

On the second new TQMa6ULx ARM module, the i.MX6UL processor, as well as an ARM Cortex-A7 Core with 528 MHz by the manufacturer NXP, is planned. There are up to four pin-compatible derivatives of this CPU, which differ in terms of the extension of the interfaces. Therefore, this module is scalable in terms of its functions.

All externally usable signals of the CPUs are available via industry-compatible connectors with a grid of 0,8 mm. On 200/240 pins, the user can also utilize up to two CAN interfaces, in addition to two Gigabit Ethernet, one PCIe, USB-Host / USB-OTG controllers and up to eight UARTs. Additional functions may be connected via SDIO, SPI, I2C and I2S.

With both of these CPUs, NXP provides a combination of CPU performance, interfaces, and performance features. The ARM modules are supposed to become a core for applications from the fields of man-machine interfaces, industrial controls and Internet of Things (IoT) gateways, due to the variety of interfaces with a size of 54 mm x 44 mm (TQMa7x) and 46 mm x 32 mm (TQMa6ULx), as well as the low power consumption. Furthermore, diverse additional application options are conceivable for these embedded modules.

With the LCD controllers and camera interfaces that are integrated into the processor, system developments can also be realized, which place requirements on the display and touch in accordance with the CPU, as well as applications that require a direct camera connection. Pin-compatible and software-compatible process options can be used on both ARM modules. In addition to the number of cores, these are also differentiated by the expansion of interface availability.


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Embedded World