Nuvoton's New Dual-Core NuMicro MA35D0 Chips Aim for the Industrial Edge

With up to 256MB of stacked DDR3L memory, two Ethernet ports, 3 CAN FD and 11 UART buses, plus 154 GPIO pins, these tiny chips pack a punch.

Nuvoton Technology has announced a new dual-core microprocessor family in its NuMicro range, the MA35D0 series, targeting industrial edge devices and offering Arm Cortex-A35 cores running at up to 650MHz with fully Linux support.

"Nuvoton is pleased to announce the NuMicro MA35D0 series, a high-performance microprocessor targeted at industrial edge device applications," the company says of its latest NuMicro launch. "The MPU [Microprocessor Unit] features extensive connectivity and security, which is ideal for smart infrastructure, manufacturing automation, and new energy systems requiring control and networking."

The heart of the NuMicro MA35D0 series is the 64-bit Arm Cortex-A35, an application-class Linux-capable core running on these chips at a speed of up to 650MHz and with 32kB of L1 instruction and data cache for each of the two cores on the chip. There's 512kB of shared L2 cache, hardware floating-point acceleration, and a choice of 128MB or 256MB of stacked DDR RAM depending on model — a drop from the 512MB maximum available on the MA35D1 series.

The chips, supplied in an LQFP216 package, come with peripherals including a pair of IEEE 1588 v2 compliant 10/100 Ethernet connections, USB High Speed Host and Device support, SecureDigital 3.0 and eMMC storage capabilities, three CAN FD buses, 11 UART buses, and a total of 154 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins. There's also an on-board LCD controller supporting up to 1280×800 at 60 frames per second with hardware 2D graphics processing and JPEG decoding.

As a device targeting the industrial edge, there's no surprise to find a range of security features included as standard. Nuvoton says the new parts include Arm TrustZone secure boot capabilities from USB, SD/eMMC, NAND, or SPI flash devices, a true hardware random number generator, cryptographic acceleration, and a Snoop Control Unit (SCU) to protect L2 cache. The chips are also rated to a wider-than-usual -40°C to +125°C (-40°F to 257°F) operating temperature, for deployment in more extreme environments.

Nuvoton is hoping to see its latest NuMicro chips driving new industrial edge devices looking for power-efficient performance. (📹: Nuvoton)

To get users started with the new chips, Nuvoton has announced the NuMaker-IoT-MA35D0-A1 evaluation board pairing the NuMicro MA35D03F864C with 256MB of DDR3L RAM with a breakout board offering a 512MB QSPI flash device, a 1GB NAND flash device, MicroSD 2.0 and 3.0 slots, two 10/100 Ethernet ports, two USB ports, an analog audio codec, two RS232/RS485 transceivers, three CAN FD transceivers, three user-definable buttons and LEDs, and an eight-channel analog to digital converter (ADC) header.

More information on the new parts is available on the Nuvoton website, though at the time of writing the company had not yet confirmed pricing.

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