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LS1028A Targets Cars and Factories

November 6, 2018

Author: Tom R. Halfhill

Targeting automotive and industrial applications, NXP plans to sample the Layerscape LS1028A embedded processor in December and begin volume production by mid-2019. At the recent Linley Fall Processor Conference, the company announced three new variants that omit some features to reduce cost and power. Two models are the first Arm-based processors in this family to integrate GPUs, and all are NXP’s first to implement the IEEE Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) standard for Ethernet.

The LS1028A follows a new company strategy. Although NXP has always offered industrial processors and microcontrollers, networking was the main target for the high-performance QorIQ line. More recently, the convergence of wired and wireless communications with industrial automation is opening new opportunities while the company’s sales decline in the network-infrastructure market. The new trend is called “Industrial IoT” or “Industry 4.0.” NXP is riding this wave and is branding its new processors as Layerscape products instead of using the 10-year-old QorIQ brand, which is strongly associated with networking.

The LS1028A emphasizes industrial networking over traditional networking. It resembles the QorIQ LS1021A, which also targets industrial customers, and the QorIQ LS1026A, which was the first embedded processor to use Arm’s Cortex-A72. Both the LS1028A and LS1026A have dual A72 cores, Arm’s coherent CCI-400 interconnect, a cryptography engine, secure boot, Ethernet, PCI Express Gen3, SATA3, and USB3.0. But to focus on factories instead of network infrastructure, the LS1028A drops 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and the packet-acceleration hardware. It adds the aforementioned TSN, a four-port Ethernet switch, a 2D/3D GPU, audio/video outputs, industrial-I/O interfaces, and an automotive temperature range for some models.

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