congatec has confirmed that its SMARC Computer-on-Modules, based on NXP i.MX8 M Plus processor technology, have achieved SystemReady IR certification under Arm’s Project Cassini, an open, collaborative, standards-based initiative to deliver a seamless cloud-native software experience for devices on Arm Cortex-A.
Project Cassini aims to overcome the barriers of Arm deployments by providing a comprehensive and secure ecosystem of standards while delivering a cloud-native software experience similar to an app store with easy download, install and run routines with only a few clicks. By leveraging software that allows hardware diversity and provides powerful security APIs and certification, OEMs benefit from reduced development effort and time to market, as they can now port and deploy their applications to the entire Cassini certified Arm ecosystem.
Hardware with a Cassini SystemReady IR certified bootloader is validated to run unmodified ISO images of Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE and Debian operating systems, making native software installation an easily executable task. Combined with congatec’s OS build services and build environment expertise on the basis of the Yocto project, OEMs not only gain instant entry but also efficient customization services for applications based on congatec’s SMARC module conga-SMX8-Plus with NXP i.MX8 processor.
By building Arm systems on the basis of Computer-on-Module standards and standardized ISO images, application designs become highly efficient, reducing NRE costs and accelerating OEMs’ time to market. As a long-term strategy, Project Cassini also has the potential to become the standard for how Arm-based IoT and edge devices will be updated, managed and secured.
The first congatec starter set suitable for implementing the Cassini SystemReady IR certified bootloader is available at congatec’s GIT server. It targets AI-accelerated vision applications and contains the entire ecosystem developers need to instantly start designing applications on the basis of the next-generation NXP i.MX 8M plus platform, which offers highly efficient vision and AI integration.
At the heart of the starter set is the new SMARC 2.1 Computer-on-Module conga-SMX8-Plus. It features 4 powerful Arm Cortex®-A53 cores, 1x Arm Cortex®-M7 controller and the NXP Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to accelerate deep learning algorithms and comes with passive cooling. Within the scope of customer-specific projects, the 3.5 inch carrier board conga-SMC1/SMARC-ARM can be directly connected to the 13 MP Basler dart daA4200-30mci BCON for MIPI camera via MIPI CSI-2.0 without any additional converter modules. USB and GigE vision cameras can be also supported.
On the software side, congatec provides a bootable SD card with preconfigured boot loader,Yocto build OS image, and matching BSPs. Also the processor-optimized Basler embedded vision software enabling immediate AI inference training on the basis of captured images and video sequences can be made available as plug & play ready for qualified customer projects.
Martin Danzer, Director Product Management at congatec, commented: “We love the idea of Project Cassini as it builds a comprehensive ecosystem to improve the design-in efficiency of Arm applications. Testing applications on standard platforms with standard ISO images is the right step to fast and easy evaluation, for example – securely managed virtualized gateways hosting cloud-native stacks that can be orchestrated remotely. But please don’t forget that a secure boot implementation is mandatory for such applications.”