ADLINK's New MXA-200 Can Handle Wi-Fi and 5G Gateway Operations with a Side of Edge AI

With M.2 slots for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth and cellular modules plus a 2.3 TOPS NPU, this compact Arm-powered gateway packs a punch.

Edge computing specialist ADLINK Technology has unveiled a new low-power 5G gateway device with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities — designed to bring edge smarts to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

"IIoT gateways bridge the gap between OT [Operational Technology] people dealing with hardware and setup in the field, and IT [Information Technology] personnel who remotely manage the increasingly important and complex software backend," explains Taita Chou of the company's latest design.

"On the OT side, the MXA-200 provides machine maintenance and production process engineers with connections for many industrial sensors, PLCs [Programmable Logic Controllers], and peripheral connections, such as RS-232/422/485 for electrical connections, and faster connections, such as USB 3.0 for high-speed cameras."

"On the IT side," Chou continues, "MES [Manufacturing Execution Systems] and software engineers, who tend to use C#, Python, RESTful API, and web services, get robust remote access capabilities through wireless communications like Bluetooth, wireless LAN, 4G, and 5G."

As Chou's list of the compact machine's features suggest the new MXA-200, brought to our attention by Linux Gizmos, is a gateway with both 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity — but the company's looking to put an edge AI twist in there too. The gateway features NXP's i.MX 8M Plus system-on-chip with four Arm Cortex-A53 cores running at up to 1.6GHz, or two cores running at 1.8GHz if preferred, along with an integrated neural processing unit (NPU) offering a claimed 2.3 tera-operations per second (TOPS) of compute for on-device machine learning and AI workloads.

The gateway comes equipped with 2GB or 4GB of LPDDR4 memory, ADLINK has confirmed, 32GB or 64GB of eMMC storage expandable via microSD, and a Trusted Platform Module 2.0. There are two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, two gigabit Ethernet ports, two isolated four-wire RS232/422/485 serail ports, a 4k30 HDMI port, an M.2 E-key slot for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, and an M.2 B-key slot for a cellular modem — with both M.2 boards being supplied separately as add-on modules, rather than being bundled with the base models.

According to ADLINK, the MXA-200 can handle operating temperatures from -20°C to 70°C (-4°F to 158°F) — despite having entirely passive cooling with no moving parts. There's DIN rail and wall mount support, and a power input supporting 12-24V DC supplies.

More information on the MXA-200 is available on the ADLINK website — though the company has not yet publicized pricing.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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