Microsoft and NXP develop Azure Sphere-powered IoT processor

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NXP Semiconductors today announced a collaboration with Microsoft to deliver a new Microsoft Azure Sphere certified crossover applications processor, as an extension to their popular i.MX 8 high-performance applications processor series. The collaboration will deliver a secure, ultra-efficient, intelligent embedded processor for edge nodes that seamlessly runs Azure Sphere’s security platform while also providing multi-core heterogeneous computing, rich graphics experience, and low-power audio processing capabilities.

Azure Sphere security platform is designed to create secure connected devices. As Azure Sphere-certified, this new processor will include the Microsoft Pluton security sub-system, run the Azure Sphere OS, and connect to the Azure Sphere Security Service that guards every Azure Sphere device by renewing security, identifying emerging threats, and brokering trust between device and cloud.

Dedicated engineering teams from each company will work together to build this new solution, which includes single and dual core versions of power-efficient Arm® Cortex®-A35, independent real-time domain with Cortex-M33 core, and an independent audio/video processing domain powered by high-performance HiFi4 DSP core; all designed to address the needs of fast-growing Industrial IoT edge applications. The product will be built using Fully-Depleted Silicon-On-Insulator (FD-SOI) technology and will leverage heterogeneous processor architecture with independent power domains that has been perfected by successive designs of i.MX 8 applications processors covering automotive infotainment, streaming media, and general-purpose consumer and industrial markets.

This new applications processor combines NXPs leadership in secure connectivity solutions with Microsoft’s expertise in cloud, security, and software. The result is a solution that makes it easy for device manufacturers to build innately secured devices. The Azure Sphere solution comes with over a decade of OS and security updates to help ensure devices remain secured as the threat landscape evolves over time.

“NXP’s collaboration with Microsoft is yet another step in our ongoing commitment to bring complete security solutions to our customers,” said Joe Yu, vice president of low-power applications processors product line at NXP. “With this Azure Sphere-certified applications processor, customers can build purposeful edge products using the energy efficiency and multi-faceted capabilities of the i.MX 8 series and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their products are protected in the field by Azure Sphere security service.”

“At a time when the opportunity of innovation is limited only by imagination, security is a persistent challenge. Our collaboration with NXP enables our partners to fully realize the opportunity in front of them by delivering intelligent security that is responsive and always learning,” said Galen Hunt, Distinguished Engineer and Managing Director, Microsoft Azure Sphere. “Together with the performance and flexibility of NXP’s i.MX application processors, we will help our partners transform their products and the way they service and interact with their customers. This collaboration allows device manufacturers across various industries to achieve more.”

Limited sampling of the product is planned to begin in Q4 2020.

More about the topics: azure, Azure Sphere, IoT, microsoft