Freescale expands connectivity, 'smart touch' and security options for industrial and automotive designs

New i.MX25 applications processor family integrates extensive selection of on-chip peripherals to help reduce development costs

(PresseBox) ( Austin, Texas, )
The latest family of i.MX applications processors from Freescale Semiconductor is bringing a new level of connectivity, touch control, security and cost-saving integration to a wide range of industrial and automotive infotainment applications.

The i.MX25 family, based on the ARM9TM core, is Freescale's first line of applications processors that integrates liquid crystal display (LCD) and touchscreen controllers, DDR2 memory support, and controller area network (CAN), Ethernet and USB connectivity. This high level of on-chip integration minimizes the need for additional discrete components, reduces board space and ultimately helps save development and product cost.

The low-power i.MX25 portfolio includes five products (three optimized for industrial and general embedded designs and two for automotive applications).

- The i.MX253 and i.MX257 applications processors provide flexible connectivity options for a wide range of industrial designs that often require LCD and touchscreen support. These applications include residential smart meters, graphical keypads and security panels, human machine interface (HMI) designs, barcode scanners, factory automation and robotics, and printers.

- A third industrial device, the i.MX258, is designed for the industrial security market. Featuring an on-chip security engine, the processor is ideal for developing exceptionally secure products for which it is critical that software code intended for the device will run only on that device. Highly specific tamper detection circuitry is engineered to quickly erase confidential information if a device threat is detected. The i.MX258 processor's security and connectivity capabilities provide a robust and cost-effective solution for point-of-sale (POS) systems.

- The i.MX251 and i.MX255 applications processors are tailored for in-vehicle infotainment systems requiring many features of a high-end infotainment system but without the associated cost. The devices have achieved full AECQ-100 automotive qualification.

"Freescale designed the i.MX25 family to help embedded designers reduce the cost of adding connectivity, touchscreen, DDR2 memory and security features to their applications," said Paul Marino, general manager of Freescale's Multimedia Applications Division. "We are providing a superior level of on-chip integration and software development support to help our industrial and automotive customers create cost-competitive products and get them to market quickly."

About the i.MX25 applications processor family

The i.MX25 applications processors provide a versatile range of connectivity and feature-set options for developers of industrial and automotive applications. The on-chip integration helps reduce system complexity and cost, enabling developers to create lower-tier products for cost-sensitive markets based on higher-end platforms, or to update an existing entry-level solution by adding more features.

The i.MX25 devices feature integrated 10/100 Ethernet, CAN, LCD and touchscreen controllers, USB 2.0 with PHY, enhanced security, A/D converters, memory interface controller including support for DDR2, CMOS sensor interface, and standard UART, I2C and SPI ports. Based on a 400MHz ARM9 core, the i.MX25 processors offer high performance within a low-power envelope, an ideal combination for battery-backed applications. For plugged in "always on" devices, the processors' low-power consumption can improve energy efficiency.

Development tools and software

To help developers accelerate time to market, Freescale offers robust development tools and software support for the i.MX25 family of applications processors. The i.MX25 product development kit (PDK) is an integrated hardware and software solution that simplifies product development so developers can focus on the critical differentiation needed for market success. The i.MX25 PDK offers comprehensive board support for the Linux® and Windows® Embedded® CE operating systems

Availability and pricing

The i.MX25 applications processors are now in production. Suggested resale pricing in 10,000-unit quantities ranges from $6.96- $9.73 (USD), depending on the device. The Product Development Kit based on the i.MX25 processor, for both the Linux and the Windows Embedded CE operating systems, is offered at $995 (USD).

To learn more about the i.MX25 applications processors, visit

Freescale partners respond to Freescale's Product Development Kit based on the i.MX25 applications processor:

Adeneo Embedded: "The richness of features provided by the i.MX25 processor combined with Adeneo Embedded system integration expertise on Windows® Embedded® CE and Linux® Embedded for i.MX solutions are an excellent solution for the market to secure OEM design success," said Yannick Chammings, chief executive officer at Adeneo Embedded. "We are pleased that Freescale selected Adeneo Embedded for the development of the Windows Embedded CE 6.0 reference BSP for the Product Development Kit based on the i.MX25 processor, and we are very excited to collaborate with Freescale for support and maintenance of this BSP to secure OEMs designs using the powerful i.MX25 architecture."

AllGo Embedded Systems: "The i.MX25 series of processors from Freescale with their ARM926EJ-STM core, multiple connectivity options and Linux/Windows® Embedded CE support provide an excellent choice for automotive infotainment," said K. Srinivasan, CEO of AllGo Embedded Systems. "i.MX25 processors provide an ideal migration path for customers using the MCF5251 processor and Trio software suite. The Linux OS-based Multimedia Automotive Reference Software (MARS) being developed by AllGo on i.MX25 drastically reduces the development time for infotainment products."

Beckhoff: "The scalability of the i.MX series and its high performance at very low power consumption were the key features for our decision to use the i.MX25 processor in the CX8000, the newest member in the CX-family that supports various fieldbus interfaces and the typical E-Bus or K-Bus interface for bus terminals," said Heiko Wilke, product management for embedded PCs at Beckhoff.

"Freescale's software support for Microsoft® Windows® Embedded CE including the BSP helped us to reduce the time-to-market of the product, which runs with Windows CE 6.0 and TwinCAT, Beckhoff's real-time software for Windows platforms," said Ramon Barth, head of software development for Beckoff.

Code Sourcery: "The i.MX25 family is yet another innovative line of applications processors from Freescale based on ARM® cores and is fully supported by Sourcery G++, our C/C++ development environment," said Mark Mitchell, chief sourcerer of CodeSourcery. "We're pleased that Freescale is recommending Sourcery G++ for GNU/Linux development on i.MX25 processors, as well as the rest of the i.MX product line."

IAR Systems: "The way the i.MX25 family combines touch screen control with security and connectivity is very attractive," said Mats Ullström, product director, IAR Systems. "Today, IAR Systems is a leading development tools vendor for the industrial and automotive markets, and we always appreciate initiatives that help to save development and production costs."

ICytecture: "Icytecture is very excited about the launch of the i.MX25 - the outstanding processor based on the ARM9 coore with the most effective set of integrated peripherals for our customers' applications," said Boris Bobrov, president of ICtecture. "We are already engaged in projects building small, cost-efficient form-factors and secure hardware for industrial and consumer markets."

Ka-Ro Electronics: "The new Freescale i.MX25 processor offers an exciting solution for the embedded and automotive markets," said Ekkehard Meurers, CFO of Ka-Ro Electronics. "We are seeing an increasing demand for complex, computing power-driven applications, and the new processor enables us to create a highly integrated system-on-module with industrial temperature ranges at an astonishingly low price."

QNX: "With the launch of the i.MX25 processor family, Freescale has introduced a highly versatile processing platform to the general market," said Kroy Zeviar, business alliance manager, QNX Software Systems. "The combination of the QNX Aviage Multimedia Suite and the i.MX25 processors provides customers with a powerful platform on which to build the next generation of fully connected, graphics-rich embedded designs."
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