NewsA Linux Chip for IoT and Industrial Control Applications

A Linux Chip for IoT and Industrial Control Applications

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The Plus1 is a revolutionary SoC that has the power of a Linux-grade chip and also the integration simplicity of a microcontroller.

Developed by Sunplus Technology in partnership with Tibbo Modern technology, the Plus1 takes all the sophisticated aspects generally discovered in modern-day industrial-grade embedded Linux chips, adds a myriad of functions targeting IoT and also commercial control applications, and delivers the resulting design in a simple microcontroller-like plan that needs few exterior elements, simplifies the schematic layout, and decreases the PCB complexity.

There are several embedded Linux CPUs on the market, few were made to resolve the demands of the IoT as well as commercial control markets straight. The majority of CPUs discovered on preferred boards such as the Raspberry Pi were originally suggested for something else (as an example, a set-top box) as well as were simply repurposed for the demands of the IoT and also industrial control areas.

Such CPUs usually have sufficient handling power but do not have I/O features, which is not unusual: Set-top boxes have really different I/O requirements than IoT or commercial control devices. These CPUs are likewise rather complicated, need numerous additional elements to work, are available only in difficult-to-handle BGA product packaging, and require six or eight-layer boards. All this poses serious obstacles to reduced as well as medium-volume tool suppliers.

Take the BGA packaging as an instance. Whatever regarding BGA is an order of magnitude more complex contrasted to various other product packaging options, such as LQFP. BGA represents the cut-off line, where it ends up being difficult to manage the chips manually. Whatever from soldering to desoldering and also confirming the setting up top quality needs specialized and also costly devices. Smartphone makers approve BGA difficulties as the inevitable adverse effects of the desired board miniaturization that the technology allows, but suppliers of IoT or commercial control devices see this in different ways. IoT and industrial control items seldom have any kind of size pressure, and also having to deal with ever-smaller IC packages just brings problems without any obvious benefits.

As another instance, take into consideration the logic levels of GPIO lines. As processor designs make the most of ever-more advanced manufacture processes, chip supply voltages have actually likewise lowered. Subsequently, common semiconductor I/O collections have dropped support for 5V and also even 3.3 V logic degrees. This did not trouble the designers of set-top boxes and also other “closed” items yet misbehaved information for the engineers of control hardware.

To summarize, there was an apparent void between existing cpu offerings as well as the demands of IoT and commercial control applications. Recognizing the unmet demands of IoT and commercial control suppliers, Sunplus Modern technology Co., Ltd. and also Tibbo Innovation, Inc. in late 2017 laid out to establish a Linux-grade chip that would straight deal with these markets. The concept was to produce a powerful SoC with I/O attributes as well as product packaging particularly targeting IoT and commercial control applications, along with the needs of low-to-medium-volume equipment manufacturers. Therefore, the Plus1 idea was born.

Here are the key features of the SP7021, the very first participant of the new Plus1 line:

Easy-to-use LQFP plan
Quad-core 1GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, plus A926 as well as 8051 cores
Solitary 3.3 V power *.
Integrated 128MB or 512MB DDR3 DRAM.
Eight 8-bit 5V-tolerant I/O ports, plus one high-current port.
Flexible Peripheral Multiplexing (PinMux).
Twin PinMuxable Ethernet MACs.
Four PinMuxable Boosted UARTs, plus one console UART.
Industrial running temperature level variety: -40 ° C to 85 ° C. Low EMI streamlines qualification.
Modern, Yocto-based Linux circulation.
Ten-year supply assurance.
And far more …


Michal Pukala
Electronics and Telecommunications engineer with Electro-energetics Master degree graduation. Lightning designer experienced engineer. Currently working in IT industry.