Following Google's announcement of Android Things 1.0 at Google I/O 2018, NXP Semiconductors has revealed its newly released i.MX 8M applications processor will be ready for the platform in just a couple of months. That's moderately surprising, given concerns that have been expressed as to whether or not manufacturers would be able to take advantage of the new embedded operating system platform quickly. After all, it has only just been a few weeks since the release of the final developer preview version of Android Things. For those who may not already know, Android Things is predominantly an IoT platform. It is intended to allow OEMs to cut back on software development, deployment, and maintenance costs. With that said, NXP says that its i.MX 7Dual is still available to Android developers now, although support has ended for Android Things for its NXP i.MX6UL-based products. Meanwhile, the new processor will be certified in June.
As to the processor family itself, iMX 8M is based on Arm Cortex-A53 and Cortex-M4 cores, with GPUs supporting OpenGL/ES 3.1, OpenGL 3.0, Vulkan, and OpenCL 1.2. The processors are usable across a huge range of applications thanks to their support for a wide assortment of interfaces, including video, audio, and camera interfacing. On the video front, the processors support up to 4K UltraHD resolution and HDR at up to 60 frames per second. DSD512 audio capability is built-in with support for more than 20 channels at 384KHz. For supporting that hardware, the processor can be backed by LPDDR4, DDR4, or DDR3L. What's more, they support both USB 3.0 Type C and PCIe, as well as featuring a Gigabit Ethernet controller supporting AVB and EEE.
That all gives designers and manufacturers a huge number of options for creating new IoT products since it's feasibly possible to use the new processor for an all-in-one device. More directly, it could be used to engineer a connected smart device with both high-quality audio and video, as well as high-performance memory. Each of those traits might prove exceptionally useful for any companies planning on creating screen-enabled Google Assistant devices. Conversely, it would also fit in equally well with modern high-demand industrial or enterprise systems. Whatever it ends up being used for, this will likely be among the first processors to support the platform, so its bound to be one of the go-to choices for future development.