Multi-protocol MCU enables time-sensitive industrial IoT communications

10-05-2022 | NXP | Semiconductors

NXP Semiconductors has released its new i.MX RT1180 crossover MCU, the first with an integrated Gb time-sensitive networking switch, enables time-sensitive and industrial real-time communications and supports multiple communications protocols, bridging the gap between current industrial systems and Industry 4.0 systems. It is also the first crossover MCU to incorporate an EdgeLock secure enclave, a preconfigured, self-managed and autonomous on-die security subsystem that simplifies the complexity of implementing robust, system-wide security intelligence for industrial IoT applications.

Industrial environments are moving towards Industry 4.0, forming a complex mix of networking protocols. This can make it challenging to allow seamless industrial connectivity over time-sensitive and real-time communications. The MCU offers the required multi-protocol connectivity to drive a unified and secure industrial IoT communication environment at all factory edges. An integrated EdgeLock secure enclave manages the necessity for a root of trust with secure boot, authenticated debug, secure management of the device life cycle, advanced key management and tamper monitoring in these complex networked systems.

With package options starting from 10mm x 10mm BGA, the MCU is amongst the smallest real-time industrial networking-capable devices, making it simpler to combine TSN and industrial networking capabilities into a broader variety of industrial use cases, including I/O management, motor control, compact motion control or gateway applications. As well as serving as an integrated solution, an MCU can perform as a network companion chip, supplying all needed industrial network connectivity to a host processor through scalable connectivity, stepping up to seamless Gb direct communication with the host without on-board PHY for further power and cost savings. The MCU is also ideal for automotive connectivity applications, which increasingly rely on Ethernet TSN support for high bandwidth and real-time control data. This enables the device to act as an intelligent switch between different automotive ECUs.

"Industrial and automotive customers are looking to provide increasingly advanced network capabilities and need a solution that not only provides processing power but can also manage time-sensitive network traffic," said Jeff Steinheider, vice president and general manager, Industrial Edge Processing, NXP. "By having an all-in-one solution with an integrated switch and EdgeLock secure enclave, the i.MX RT1180 can address both automotive and industrial IoT applications, handling both time-sensitive traffic and best-effort traffic to enable a secured automated system with advanced real-time communication capabilities."

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