Freescale Semiconductor introduced a versatile and reliable Internet of Things (IoT) gateway reference design supporting a broad array of IoT applications including building/home management, smart cities, networked industrial services and other applications where performance and reliability are critical.
Designed in collaboration with Freescale manufacturing partner TechNexion, the reference design leverages the proven security, class-leading efficiency, advanced virtualization support and rich set of peripherals of the award-winning QorIQ LS1021A processor, which has reached volume sampling and is now available for ordering.
The production-ready reference design, named the LS1021A IoT gateway, is engineered to shorten design cycles and speed time to market for OEMs. Additionally, the offering’s remarkable versatility allows IoT service providers to replace multiple boxes with a single, low-cost unified appliance.
“This newest IoT gateway underscores the advantages that Freescale’s comprehensive product portfolio offers to our customers, who increasingly require system-level solutions,” said Tareq Bustami, vice president of Freescale’s Digital Networking division. “In addition, the QorIQ LS1021A processor’s sophisticated virtualization and security capabilities provide the kind of reliability that other IoT gateways just can’t deliver.”
At the heart of the Freescale gateway lies the QorIQ LS1021A ARM-based processor, which is engineered for fanless, enterprise and consumer networking applications such as IoT gateways; as well as enterprise access points and security appliances. Built on the new Layerscape system architecture, the LS1021A processor features two high-efficiency ARM Cortex®-A7 cores, enhanced with error checking and correction (ECC) technology, delivering outstanding performance at a typical power of fewer than 3 W.
“The LS1021A IoT gateway breaks new ground, providing customers a ready-made platform that can fast-track their IoT applications to market,” said Marcel van den Heuvel, CEO of TechNexion. “Freescale’s advanced silicon and TechNexion’s manufacturing expertise make for a winning combination.”
The IoT gateway design features a wide assortment of high speed and serial-based connectors, including dual USB 3.0 ports, a full size SATAIII port, and twin minPCIe connectors; all in a compact, highly secure design. Also incorporated are connectors for Arduino Shield™ modules, which allow the platform to support a variety of communication solutions offered by the Shield family of modules.
In addition to the innovative QorIQ LS1021A processor, the IoT gateway solution integrates a number of other Freescale products including the Kinetis K20 microcontroller (MCU), an audio codec, and CAN (Control Area Network) PHYs, as well as the new MC34VR500 multi-output DC-DC converter for optimised power management. The solution is also supported by a comprehensive software development kit that simplifies coding and supports a wide variety of interfaces and protocols to ensure optimal cross-vendor compatibility.
Multi-output DC-DC converter
Incorporated in the reference design and specifically engineered to work with the QorIQ LS1 family of processors is Freescale’s newly introduced MC34VR500 multi-output DC-DC converter, which leverages the LS1021A processor’s specific power efficiency features. Providing higher efficiency than competing solutions, the MC34VR500 is highly integrated for optimal processor performance and reduced development time.
Availability and pricing
The production-ready QorIQ LS1021A IoT gateway is available for order from Freescale for $429 (USD).