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TQMa6x: The ARM Cortex-A9 Module for secure Applications

The adaptation of PikeOS to the TQMa6x module means that alongside conventional control tasks, the embedded module is also ideally suited to applications with high levels of security. The combination of the reliable hardware offered by TQ and PikeOS creates a solid basis for applications that must comply with IEC 61508, EN 50128/50129 SIL 4 and DO-178B DAL B and provides a good starting point for future developments.

PikeOS is a real-time operating system with hypervisor functionality in a single product. This architecture enables several operating systems to be run on a PikeOS system. This means that real-time applications, safety applications and HMI systems to name just a few can be executed on a single processor in way that ensures that they are unable to influence one another. The separation of the operating systems does not only concern memory allocation. Rather, the I/O resources of the hardware are clearly allocated to one operating system.

At embedded world, TQ will demonstrate a control system based on the TQ Minimodule TQMa6x. The control system uses the characteristics of PikeOS to combine a real-time system with a Linux HMI system. A PikeOS real-time partition runs on a PikeOS hypervisor in order to execute the safety application in real time. A Linux operating system that visualizes the status of the control system and the status of the two partitions is run in a second partition. The PikeOS partition administers the GPIO of the i.MX6 processor

The Linux partition uses the graphics subsystem to represent the status of the control system. The user interface running in the Linux context provides the possibility of initiating an error in the Linux partition. The PikeOS partition, which recognizes this error, restarts the Linux partition in order to rectify the error. The control system in the PikeOS partition is not affected since control is completely isolated from the Linux partition.

All externally usable signals of the CPU are available on the ARM Cortex-A9 module TQMa6x on three industry-compatible pin strips (2x 160 + 1x 40 Pins) on a 0.8 mm grid that have proven their worth at TQ for over 15 years. 

Thanks to the high interface integration, this module is suited for a variety of applications where precisely the advantages of virtualization play an important role. The ARM Cortex-A9 core, scalable in terms of performance, and the clock rate of up to 4 x 1.2 GHz ensure that the optimal performance can be selected for every application.

The TQMa6x incorporates up to 2 GByte DDR3L RAM, up to 128 MByte SPI NOR flash and up to 16 GB eMMC flash for program and data. The design is enhanced by an EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory), an RTC RTC (Real-Time Control) and a real-time clock backed by battery from the main board.

Medicine, automation, railroad engineering or maritime navigation, it makes no difference: the embedded module TQMa6x with its long-term availability together with the available software support by the PikeOS provides a solid basis for future-oriented development.

TQ at embedded world: Hall 1, Stand 568
SYSGO at embedded world: Hall 5, Stand 371

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