Advantech bases edge AI PCs on NXP’s i.MX 8M Plus

Four edge artificial intelligence (AI) products based on NXP’s i.MX 8M Plus have been launched by Advantech.

The early access partner of NXP has released the RSB-3720 2.5-inch PICO-ITX single board computer (SBC), the EPC-R3720 compact edge AI box PC system, and the ROM-5722 SMARC 2.1 computer on module (COM).

The RSB-3720 and EPC-R3720 have UIO40-Express, modular application-oriented I/O expansion boards, and AIM-Linux to Vision AI applications.

All three are powered with up to four core 1.8GHz Cortex-A53 processors supported by a Cortex-M7 co-processor for handling real-time tasks. There are two image signal processors (ISPs) and a dedicated neural network processor operating at up to 2.3T operations per second. This is sufficient for image and AI inferencing capabilities and all three consume less power than when doing the calculations by the core CPUs alone. This allows for AI applications like object detection, recognition, classification and pose estimation.

Advantech AIM-Linux modular Linux software services integrate many types of application add-ons and Edge AI inference engines/libraries mainly based on the NXP eIQ toolkit. Python-based demo programs empower AI inference using mainstream inference engines, including Arm NN, TensorFlow Lite and ONNX.

To meet the demands of edge AI applications such as facial recognition and product assembly optimisation, all of which require premium camera inputs, the ROM-5722, RSB-3720, and EPC-R3720 provide 2 x MIPI-CSI camera inputs for connection with 2 x built-in ISPs — enabling intelligent vision-based systems. They accommodate multiple displays via 4Kp30 HDMI, one dual channel LVDS (configurable as two single channel LVDS) and one four-lane MIPI-DSI. They also provide I/O for advanced network and peripheral connection connectivity like two GbE LANs. Expansion for WLAN and WWAN are available.

The RSB-3720 features an UIO40-Express mechanical design for connection with application-oriented I/O expansion boards. Developers can select I/O extension boards for more serial ports (RS-232, RS-485), isolated DI/DOs, USB 2.0, and four port GbE Ethernet hub. AIM-Linux includes embedded Linux board support package (BSP) based on the long-term-support version and peripheral drivers for diverse software requirements.

All three modules and the EPC-R3720 support a wide operating temperature range of -40 to +85 degrees C and have high vibration resistance (3.5Grms for board and 3.5Grms for box).

Advantech’s WISE-DeviceOn provides fast and simple set up for projects using multiple IoT devices. It provides real-time device management, firmware over the air (OTA) maintenance, failure analysis, and operation efficiency optimisation on the same dashboard.  

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