By Tony Crupi
Last week I traveled to the NXP Technology Day in Minneapolis, MN. There were many interesting and timely topics on the agenda, so not surprisingly it was a full house! It was great to catch up with my colleagues at NXP, our joint customers, and other Wind River partners.
Over the last three decades, Wind River and NXP have had a very close relationship. Back when I started at Wind River, it seemed everyone was using the 68000 processor and that was when NXP was called Motorola (for those of you that remember, the good old days!). One of my first designs as a fresh engineer was with the 68360, also known as the QUICC (Quad Integrated Communications Controller) using pSOS. Ah, the memories! We had a whopping 256K of memory (for those “youngsters” out there, I do mean ‘K’!) And don’t get me started on PROMs and how excited we all were when EPROMs were introduced that can be erased by UV light (a possible topic for a future blog post if people would like to stroll down memory lane with me).
Times have certainly changed and the star of the show was the i.MX 8 family. This new processor family scales up to the i.MX 8QuadMax that has an impressive 2 Cortex-A72 cores, 4 A53 cores, 2 M4 cores, and 2 GPU’s. It can drive up to four 4K displays and process four video streams. Applications include advanced graphics, imaging, machine vision, and safety-critical applications. Patrick Stilwell (NXP i.MX Product Manager) showed several excellent demos of its capabilities. During other sessions, it was clear that security continues to be an important topic for the attendees and this was confirmed by a recent Wind River survey. Solutions including cloud computing and container technologies and the moving of workloads from the cloud to the edge and far edge were highlighted as well. Wind River’s efforts into container technology at the edge fills this requirement nicely.
Over the years, NXP made many advances in microprocessor design. From the 68K to the Power Architecture to ARM cores, NXP continues to be a leader in the embedded space. I am happy to say that Wind River has always been at the forefront of providing software and solutions for NXP microprocessors. This includes our VxWorks real-time operating system and safety-certified operating system product line, our commercial Yocto Linux, virtualization technologies (Helix Virtualization Platform and Titanium product line), and Simics system simulation product. We even have an impressive 385 Board Support Packages (BSPs) for NXP processors! Wind River continues to provide differentiating and complementary software solutions that takes advantage of NXP’s microprocessor features including real-time, safety (up to SIL 3 for industrial applications and DO-178C Level A for avionics applications), security, open source Yocto Linux, in addition to cloud native technologies such as containerization and orchestration including Docker and Kubernetes.
The next NXP Technology Day will be in Seattle on May 7, 2019. You can register here: nxp-technology-days:NXP-TECH-DAYS. If you are able to attend, please be sure to stop by the Wind River table to say hello (and mention this blog post for a special gift)!