Arduino, as part of the Arduino Week 2022 celebrations, has announced a high-performance system-on-module (SOM) running a pre-loaded Linux-based operation system and packing a total of nine compute cores across microprocessor and microcontroller for edge AI and real-time workloads: the Portenta X8.
The latest entry in the growing Portenta family of Arduino Pro devices, the Portenta X8 is by far the most powerful: The compact gumstick-like board combines Arduino's traditional focus of real-time microcontroller capabilities with a powerful Linux-compatible quad-core Arm processor — roughly equivalent in performance to a Raspberry Pi.
The heart of the board is an NXP i.MX 8M Mini, a Linux-capable system-on-chip with four Arm Cortex-A53 processors running at up to 1.8GHz plus a single Arm Cortex-M4 real-time core running at up to 400MHz. Alongside this, Arduino has added an STMicro STM32H747XI microcontroller with two Cortex-M7 cores running at up to 480MHz and a single Cortex-M4 core running at up to 240MHz. In total, then, the compact board boasts nine compute cores — plus 2GB of LPDDR4 memory, 16GB of eMMC storage, and a gigabit Ethernet PHY plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity.
Designed for use with the cloud-based developer operations (DevOps) platform from Foundries.io, the Portenta X8 comes pre-loaded with an open source Linux microPlatform OS offering a virtualization system, which separates applications running in containers atop a virtualization layer from the secure underlying operating system.
It's clear Arduino is hoping for broad industry adoption for its latest board: The company has included an NXP SE050C2 hardware security element and has achieved PSA certification, Arm SystemReady certification, and has integrated Parsec services - making it one of the first devices available meeting the specifications of Arm's Project Cassini.
While Arduino is ready to announce the board, though, it's not quite ready to ship: The company is expecting the first Portenta X8 units to become available mid-April, at a price of $239 per unit. More details, and a sign-up sheet to be notified when orders go live, are available on the Arduino Store.