New System-on-Module from Laird Connectivity Delivers Powerful NXP Edge Processing with NXP Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Jan. 11, 2022

Laird Connectivity, a global leader in wireless technology, today announced the newest addition to their system-on-module (SOM) portfolio, the Summit SOM 8M Plus based on the NXP® Semiconductors i.MX 8M Plus applications processor and 88W8997 wireless SoC. The Summit SOM 8M Plus is a highly-integrated and comprehensive hardware and software solution that combines NXP’s multi-core applications processing with NXP dual-band 2x2 Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity for a broad range of advanced IoT applications.

The Summit SOM 8M Plus is Laird Connectivity’s most versatile, feature-rich, and secure SOM to date, truly perfect for serving as the core platform for advanced wireless IoT applications. Powered by NXP’s i.MX 8M Plus applications processor and 88W8997 wireless SoC, the Summit SOM 8M Plus delivers a versatile, power efficient quad Arm® Cortex®-A53 MPU and Cortex-M7 MCU solution for powerful heterogenous multiprocessing. Incorporating the i.MX 8M Plus SoC into the Summit SOM 8M Plus allows customers to leverage hardware acceleration for machine learning with an integrated 2.3 TOPS neural processing unit, rich multimedia (graphics, video, vision, and audio) with a DSP core and GPU, advanced connectivity, and enhanced security for high performance, flexible solutions. Its exhaustive array of interfaces includes support for up to three displays and several options for video out, camera, audio, and I/O. The onboard Cortex-A53 and Cortex-M7 cores allow simultaneous Linux® and RTOS execution on dedicated, firewalled subsystems. The quad-core i.MX 8M Plus SoC is powerful enough to run multiple instances of Linux for various purposes, such as user interface, connectivity, and more. The Summit SOM 8M Plus is ready for any challenge - Laird Connectivity’s most capable offering to date.

“When Laird Connectivity asked us to recommend an applications processor that could serve the next generation of industrial-grade connected systems, the i.MX 8M Plus applications processor was an easy choice,” said Alex Dopplinger, marketing director for the building and energy segment at NXP Semiconductors. “It is the fullest-featured member of our scalable i.MX 8M family, targeting applications that range from industrial HMI, machine vision, service robot and drone control, fleet analytics, building management systems, gateways, and audio/voice systems. Laird Connectivity’s Summit SOM 8M Plus combines it with NXP’s Wi-Fi technology in a compact solution that simplifies and speeds time to market for secure connected products.”

Security and longevity are core pillars of the Summit SOM 8M Plus. It is designed from the ground up a with powerful, comprehensive security architecture, ideal for today’s connected IoT applications. Secure enclave and secure boot powered by the i.MX 8M Plus enables root of trust hardware-based software validation and a high-performance and flexible secure storage system for passwords, certificates, and data storage, with a Summit Linux FIPS Core Crypto (FIPS 140-3 Level 1) validation. Additionally, pin-compatible connectivity refreshed Summit SOM 8M Plus modules will be available in the future as NXP updates their 2x2 Wi-Fi +Bluetooth combo silicon to the latest standards.

Laird Connectivity’s dedication to long term support is reflected in their collaboration with NXP, as well as Laird Connectivity’s software offerings and product longevity roadmap. Laird Connectivity’s upcoming device management solution allows devices to be updated in the field, empowering end customers to stay ahead of CVEs, feature updates, and other critical software patches. Laird Connectivity’s LTS Summit Yocto Linux and Summit Zephyr RTOS releases provide long term software support, as well as NXP’s base Linux and FreeRTOS release options. Additionally, the i.MX 8M Plus processor is backed by NXP’s Product Longevity Program, which ensures long-term availability of 15-plus years.

“We are launching the Summit SOM family to partner with connected industrial and medical device makers who require a system on module family that provides best practice security and an updated connectivity roadmap as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards evolve,” said Dan Kephart, senior product manager, Laird Connectivity.

The Summit SOM 8M Plus evaluation kit includes reference designs for display, camera, audio, LTE, GPS, power consumption profiling, PoE, battery usage, battery charging, USB 3.0 power, and more.

The Summit SOM 8M Plus is ideal for a broad range of applications, including harsh, industrial IoT rugged handheld devices, industrial IoT gateways, IoT vision solutions, and healthcare devices. It supports the latest WPA3-Personal, WPA3-Enterprise, and WPA3-Enterprise SuiteB 192-bit security standards and has an upcoming FIPS 140-3 certification. It will be globally certified to reduce customers’ barrier to entry. Regulatory certifications will include FCC, IC, CE, RCM, MIC, and Bluetooth SIG approvals.

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