i.MX 8M processor features neural processing unit

January 07, 2020 //By Ally Winning
NXP has introduced the i.MX 8M Plus application processor, the first in the i.MX family to offer a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) for machine learning inference at the edge.
NXP has introduced the i.MX 8M Plus application processor, the first in the i.MX family to offer a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) for machine learning inference at the edge.

The i.MX 8M Plus integrates a 2.3 TOPS (Tera Operations Per Second) NPU, a quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 sub-system operating at up to 2GHz, an independent real-time sub-system with an 800MHz Cortex-M7, a 800 MHz audio DSP for voice and natural language processing, dual camera ISPs, and a 3D GPU for graphics rendering. The combination of Cortex-A53 cores and the NPU will allow edge devices to make intelligent decisions locally with little or no human intervention.

Built on a 14nm LPC FinFET process, the NXP i.MX 8M Plus can execute multiple, highly-complex neural networks simultaneously. The NPU is capable of processing Mobilenet, a popular image classification network, at over 500 images per second.

Machine learning inference functions can be offloaded to the NPU, to allow the Cortex-A and Cortex-M cores, DSP, and GPUs to execute other tasks. The vision pipeline is anchored by dual integrated ISPs that support two high-definition cameras for real-time stereo vision or a single 12 MPixel resolution camera and includes High Dynamic Range (HDR) and fisheye lens correction.

For voice applications, the i.MX 8M Plus uses a high-performance HiFi 4 DSP to enhance natural language processing with pre- and post-processing of voice streams. The Cortex-M7 domain can run real-time response systems while the applications processor domain executes complex non-real-time applications to reduce the overall system-level power consumption by turning off the application processor domain while keeping only the Cortex-M domain alive for wake word detection.

The i.MX 8M Plus can compress multiple video feeds using the H.265 or H.264 HD video encoder and decoder and provide a rich user experience through the 3D/2D graphics, and Immersiv3D audio with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

Supporting the IT/OT convergence found in Industry 4.0 applications, the i.MX 8M Plus features Gigabit Ethernet with TSN, when used with Arm Cortex M7 real-time processing provides deterministic wired network connectivity and processing.

The i.MX 8M Plus also provides ECC for internal memories and the


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