Lasse Behnke,
Car Lasse Behnke Dreamstime L 49917678

Car Smarts in a Box

Feb. 5, 2021
Development of advanced automotive systems is the intent behind NXP’s “BlueBox,” which includes ASIL-D and ISO 26262 certifiable hardware and a Coolidge neural-net processor.

>> Electronic Design Resources
.. >> Top Stories of the Week
.. .. >> CES 2021

NXP’s latest BlueBox automotive development platform incorporates the Kalray Coolidge neural-network processor for handling machine-learning/artificial-intelligence (ML/AI) chores. It looks like most industrial PCs, but it sports automotive Ethernet ports and ASIL-D and ISO 26262 certifiable hardware (Fig. 1).

The box is built around NXP’s LX2160A system-on-chip (SoC), which features 16 Arm A72 cores. Like the rest of the hardware, it’s designed to meet ASIL-D certification. The chip has multiple OPCI Express (PCIe) Gen 3 ports that tie into an FPGA and the S32G274 gateway SoC. The latter is found on a system-on-module (SOM) and interfaces with CAN, Flexray, and 100BASET1 automotive Ethernet ports (Fig. 2). An SJA1110 automotive Ethernet switch with time-sensitive-networking (TSN) support ties the ports together. In addition, there’s an M.2 socket for a NVMe solid-state drive.

Another major component is the aforementioned Kalray Coolidge machine-learning accelerator (Fig. 3). Coolidge is a massively parallel processor array (MPPA) chip. It contains 160 time-predictable, 64-bit cores. The network-on-chip (NoC) architecture uses a 2D-wrapped-around torus communication structure to connect the compute clusters and peripherals. It’s designed to do the ML/AI heavy lifting, allowing the LX212160A and S32G274 to handle system and real-time processing tasks.

The BlueBox comes in two versions: The BLBX-T2 has two PCIe ports, while the BLBX-T6 offers six. BlueBox 3.0 SDK software support targets the central compute as well as communication and machine-learning frameworks. This includes a Linux BSP and support for the Robot Operating System (ROS). ROS uses the latest data-distribution-service (DDS) intercommunication service.

Sponsored Recommendations

Near- and Far-Field Measurements

April 16, 2024
In this comprehensive application note, we delve into the methods of measuring the transmission (or reception) pattern, a key determinant of antenna gain, using a vector network...

DigiKey Factory Tomorrow Season 3: Sustainable Manufacturing

April 16, 2024
Industry 4.0 is helping manufacturers develop and integrate technologies such as AI, edge computing and connectivity for the factories of tomorrow. Learn more at DigiKey today...

Connectivity – The Backbone of Sustainable Automation

April 16, 2024
Advanced interfaces for signals, data, and electrical power are essential. They help save resources and costs when networking production equipment.

Empowered by Cutting-Edge Automation Technology: The Sustainable Journey

April 16, 2024
Advanced automation is key to efficient production and is a powerful tool for optimizing infrastructure and processes in terms of sustainability.


To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!