ELK ON the ARM i.MX8M Mini processor!
At MIND, we constantly work with expanding the set of supported System on Chips (SOC) which can run ELK. At the same time we always prioritize platforms where it makes good business sense, for example, something which offers great performance over price ratio.
The i.MX8M Mini SOC is our newest addition, and checks all the boxes for an all round performer.
wHAT IS IT?
Simply put, the i.MX8M Mini is similar to the i.MX7D SOC, but more powerful. It is a heterogeneous multiprocessor, which means that it comes with four ARM A53 cores (compared to the dual A7 cores in the i.MX7D) at speeds up to 1.8GHz and with a real time ARM Cortex M4 microcontroller running at 400MHz core on the same die. This essentially means that we can offload a lot of low level IO work to the M4, and dedicate more of the Xenomai based real -time threads running in the A53s to audio processing.
We have used Compulab’s UCM-iMX8M-Mini System on Module (SOM), which offers the i.MX8M Mini on a module with an extremely tiny form factor and a variety of features.
Below is a short summary of the specifications of theis SOM taken from NXP’s and Compulab’s website:.
- 4 ARM Cortex A53 CPU at 1.8 GHz.
- Cortex M4 Real time auxiliary core at 400MHz.
- 1GB – 4GB DDR RAM variants.
- eMMC flash of up to 64GB.
- Bluetooth 4.2 BLE and 802.11ac Wifi.
- Gigabit Ethernet.
What’s special about it?
Two words: performance and price. The i.MX8M Mini comes at around 17 to 23 USD in quantities (at the time of writing) for the SOC alone and around 50 USD for the UCM-iMX8M-Mini SOM. Our internal performance tests show that it packs a serious punch and is on par with the x86 based Upcore running on our Rocket Development boards, which is significantly more costly.
We are currently using the evaluation kit for the UCM- iMX8M-Mini provided by Compulab to test the system, but we also have plans for developing our own carrier board suited for audio. Do send us an email if you want to know more about ELK running on the i.MX8M Mini SOC!