ADLINK's I-Pi provides an industrial IoT prototyping platform through the use of production-grade components, software portability and Raspberry Pi flexibility.
Blog | The Key Benefits of ADLINK’s IP-I Industrial Grade Pi
February 2nd 2021
ADLINK I-Pi Blends Raspberry Pi, Rapid Industrial Prototyping with Computer-on-Modules
The ADLINK I-Pi acts as an industrial IoT prototyping platform that provides production-grade components, software portability and Raspberry Pi flexibility.
Commercial-grade hardware costs much more than expected due to customising hardware for a specific end application.
There is an option for hardware that coexists between production quality and design flexibility: ADLINK’s computer-on-module (COM). COMs utilise a two-board architecture with an application-specific carrier broad consisting of all the I/O a system requires, and also a compute module slotting into the carrier to deliver processing, memory, I/O controllers, included in Fig 1.
Fig 1: COM modules (such as ADLINK LEC-IMX8MP) are engineered for industrial use cases, with consideration of rugged components for harsh environments.
LEC-IMX8MP within the heart of the I-Pi SMARC Plus
Arm Cortex-A53-based NXP i.MX8M Plus
Quad core system on chip with optimal in-SoC NPU
Up to 8GB of memory
Signals from 2x GbE LANs
2x USB 3.0 port, 3x USB 2.0 ports, USB 2.0 OTG port
CAN, SPI, UART, I2C serial interfaces processed to and from the I-Pi carrier board over the MXM 3.0 connector.
The Key Benefits For Commercial Systems
Protects companies against hardware obsolescence – as legacy processor modules are able to be replaced with new and improved versions over years or even decades after the initial deployment.
Forward and backward compatibility – ensured by industry standards such as PICMG COM Express, Qseven, SGET SMARC
What About Prototyping?
This industry IoT prototyping platform supports operating temperatures of -40ºC to +85ºC, with consistent shock and vibration tolerances with IEC 60068-2-27/64 and MIL-STD-202 F. In addition to integrating USB and PCI switches on the processor module, reducing design costs of the carrier board.
Fig 2: I-Pi SMARC Plus prototyping platform delivers a combination of flexibility as Raspberry Pi/Arduino and the robust features of an industrial-grade computer-on-module (COM).
Extreme software portability
Raspberry Pi-like flexibility
Expansion in a COM form factor
There are only high-speed signals on the kit’s carrier board from PCI Express and HDMI. This reduces the platform’s complexity so that engineers are able to easily evaluate different modules without the added-work from having to re-engineer the basic hardware infrastructure. Interfaces can be easily modified, upgraded, downgraded through the optimised application-specific carrier board.
Hardware Modifications and Code Modifications
The transition between an Arm-based compute architecture against an Intel-based processor module through the I-Pi, can result in a complete software redesign.
Intel-developed, the MRAA utilises drivers and APIs in a way that allow engineers to substitute modules, sensor HATs, and also port codes written in Raspberry Pi environments or Arduino to the I-Pi without any rework.
MRAA and UPM ARCHITECTURE
Fig 3: All ADLINK SMARC modules feature the MRAA hardware abstraction layer (HAL) which enables seamless software portability, even with code developed in a programming environment such as Raspberry Pi or Arduino.
Addressing Your Needs
46.8 percent of respondents to a recent Embedded & IoT Technologist survey from professional engineers, claimed that the most challenging aspects of their job was “Aggressive Timelines” and “Staying within Budget”.
ADLINK’s hardware and software approach with the I-Pi addresses both of these issues throughout the prototyping stage with the accessibility of platforms (through Raspberry Pi and Arduino) and robust benefits of an industrial COM. As a result, engineers will save time and capital in the future stages of design.