NXP launches multi-protocol i.MX RT crossover MCU with integrated time-sensitive networking switch

NXP Semiconductors has announced the i.MX RT1180 crossover MCU, the first with an integrated Gb time-sensitive networking (TSN) switch.

This integration enables both time-sensitive and industrial real-time communications and supports multiple communications protocols, bridging the gap between existing industrial systems and Industry 4.0 systems. It’s the first crossover MCU to include an EdgeLock secure enclave, a preconfigured, self-managed and autonomous on-die security subsystem that eases the complexity of implementing robust, system-wide security intelligence for industrial IoT applications.

With industrial environments moving towards Industry 4.0, a complex mix of networking protocols now exist. This can make it difficult to enable seamless industrial connectivity across both time-sensitive and real-time communications.

The i.MX RT1180 provides multi-protocol connectivity to enable this, driving a unified and secure industrial IoT communication environment at all edges of the factory. An integrated EdgeLock secure enclave addresses the need 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.

Package options start from 10x10mm BGA, and the i.MX RT1180 is among the smallest real-time industrial networking-capable devices, making it easier to integrate TSN and industrial networking capabilities into a wider variety of industrial use cases, including I/O management, motor control, compact motion control or gateway applications.

In addition to serving as an integrated solution, an i.MX RT1180 can serve as a network companion chip, providing all required industrial network connectivity to a host processor via scalable connectivity stepping up to seamless Gb direct communication with the host without on-board PHY for additional power and cost savings. The i.MX RT1180 is also suitable for automotive connectivity applications, which increasingly rely on Ethernet TSN support for both high bandwidth and real-time control data. This allows the i.MX RT1180 to act as an intelligent switch between different automotive ECUs.

Able to operate in the extended industrial qualification temperature range (-40⁰C to 125⁰C), the high performance i.MX RT1180 features dual-core architecture, including an 800 MHz Arm Cortex-M7 and Cortex-M33 for design flexibility.

Designed for power efficiency with target use cases starting from 250 mW, the device’s integrated PMIC helps to enable the high degree of energy efficiency critical for many industrial applications, as well as reduce board complexity and cost. With up to 5 Gb ports, the i.MX RT1180 supports the latest TSN standards, as well as multiple industrial real-time network protocols, including EtherCAT, Profinet, Ethernet/IP, CC-Link IE, or HSR, among others.

The i.MX RT1180 is also designed to help OEMs ease device compliance for ISA/IEC 62443-4-1, -4-2.