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The M1808 AI core board is equipped with 5G modules to help 5G deploy in the industrial field

Abstract: The most prominent advantages of 5G are low latency and high-speed communication. What opportunities will it bring to the embedded industry? In the process of 5G upgrade and construction in various fields, basic hardware equipment is the mainstay of hardware layer construction, and hardware manufacturers need What preparations and changes have you made? This article will explain it in detail for you.

1. Understanding 5G

1. Background introduction

5th generation wireless systems (5G or 5G technology for short) is the latest generation of cellular mobile communication technology. Looking back on the development history of mobile communication, from 1G to 4G is a stage of quantitative change in communication technology, and from 4G to 5G is a stage of change from digital communication technology to intelligent information technology. The 5G network is no longer limited to providing communication between people, but also extends the communication between people to the intelligent connection of all things, creating a fully connected digital and intelligent society.

main feature:

l Ultra-high transmission rate, the download speed of 5G network is as high as 10 Gbit/s, which is 100 times faster than 4G speed;

l Ultra-low latency, end-to-end latency in milliseconds in the 5G era. This will promote the development of special industries such as the Internet of Vehicles, industrial manufacturing, and telemedicine that require high security, reliability, and delay;

l Ultra-large capacity, the ultra-high capacity of 5G will not only let us say goodbye to network congestion, but will also open up the era of the Internet of Everything, involving fields such as logistics, transportation, security, energy, medical care, construction, manufacturing, home furnishing, retail and agriculture;

Application scenarios:

The characteristics of 5G determine its application, and the application trend will be mainly reflected in the following three aspects: Internet of Everything IoT, cloud-based life and intelligent interactive AI. 5G is designed for the Internet of Everything, so that all kinds of intelligent hardware can always be connected to the Internet. The Internet of Things will be the main driving force for the development of 5G in recent years. The Internet of Things has sensors, wireless networks, and radio frequency identification. The cornerstone of operation is the embedded system. The ultimate purpose of artificial intelligence is to replace human intelligence, and its intelligence is also reflected in embedded systems.

The three main application scenarios defined by the International Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) for 5G are:

l eMBB (Enhanced Mobile Broadband). Specifically, eMBB is mainly a speed improvement. The future 5G standard requires a single 5G base station to support at least a 20Gbps downlink rate and a 10Gbps uplink rate, mainly for 4K/8K ultra-high-definition video, VR/AR and other high-traffic applications;

l URLLC (low latency and high reliability). URLLC requires that the latency of 5G must be less than 1ms to cope with low-latency applications such as unmanned driving and smart factories;

l mMTC (mass large connection). The mMTC scenario is a massive connection, corresponding to applications with a large amount of connections such as the Internet of Things. The currently hotly developed NB-IoT and LTE-M are the prelude technologies for this scenario;

2. “Encounter” between 5G and embedded

As can be seen from the previous introduction, 5G has three characteristics of high speed, low latency and large capacity, which are very consistent with the characteristics of agile connection, real-time business, data optimization, application intelligence, security and privacy protection of edge computing. 5G is also placing new demands on edge analytics and mobile edge computing (MEC), driving a paradigm shift in computing from sending data to centralized computing resources for processing, to shifting computing resources to new ones located at the point of data generation. Way. The reasons for this shift include: stringent latency requirements of emerging applications, increasingly large data volumes, and the desire to optimize network resources.

This puts forward higher requirements for embedded systems based on edge computing, and also brings huge development opportunities. Embedded processor is the core component of embedded system, which can be generally divided into embedded microprocessor MPU, embedded microcontroller MCU, embedded DSP processor and embedded system-on-a-chip SoC. According to the characteristics of 5G networks, 5G devices will face more complex physical protocols and algorithms, and require higher logic control and interface rates, which will surely stimulate the further development of systems supported by the SoC architecture, which includes a high-performance CPU subsystem and some hardware processing unit. All in all, in the context of the rapid development of 5G, embedded technology will also develop by leaps and bounds.

1. 5G-embedded opportunities under the Internet of Everything

The high speed and low latency characteristics of 5G are simply powerful for the outward transmission of hardware devices at the perception layer. Generally speaking, in industrial production, the status information of production equipment can be transmitted to the server in real time, and the real-time data of industrial automation control, equipment status monitoring, and environmental-specific indicator monitoring can be transmitted to the monitoring terminal. In daily life, in the fields of smart wearable products, smart homes, smart medical care, and smart home security, each terminal can be freely connected, so their working status will be more flexible, and data can be shared in real time, which is more meaningful to our lives. Since no matter the size of the device and the strength of its function, it needs to be connected to the Internet, and the products currently used may need to be updated in large quantities. This will be a demand event for embedded products.

2. 5G – Embedded Opportunities under AI

With the advancement of technology, some single repetitive tasks will gradually be replaced by artificial intelligence, such as conductors. Now it is seen that major chip manufacturers are beginning to make efforts to artificial intelligence and edge computing. 5G, the fast lane that can make data fly, can effectively promote the research and development of endpoint information collection equipment. It is foreseeable that in the 5G era, embedded AI products will also develop by leaps and bounds, and finally realize the systematic integration of 5G+AI+embedded.

3. M1808 – Enabling 5G and Edge Computing to Empower the Industrial Internet of Things

Although the hot discussion about 5G is currently focused on smartphones, in fact, in the era of large applications of 5G, smartphones are only a small part of it, and more applications will focus on the Industrial Internet, Internet of Things, The Internet of Vehicles, etc., has quietly penetrated into people’s lives.

In the construction process of 5G upgrade in various fields, basic hardware equipment is the mainstay of hardware layer construction. The upgrade of 5G at the network level will undoubtedly generate more demands on its performance. For embedded hardware vendors, in the 5G era, they also need to face the market and achieve functional breakthroughs. At the hardware level, it is necessary to create product solutions that are compatible with the external environment, improve the hardware building capabilities for the external environment, optimize network interfaces and other aspects, and achieve network level upgrades. As a leader in the embedded field, ZLG Zhiyuan Electronics is constantly making new attempts and achieving new breakthroughs with more than 20 years of experience in the embedded field.

At the beginning of 2020, ZLG’s first artificial intelligence AI core board M1808 was officially released. This core board adopts a high-end dual-core architecture, integrates a neural network processor NPU, and has built-in professional AI algorithms, providing users with a systematic solution of “hardware + software + algorithm”. M1808 also has abundant peripheral interfaces for easy application expansion. Video supports MIPI/CIF/BT1120 input, supports MIPI/RGB Display output; has a series of sensor input and output interfaces such as PWM/I2C/SPI/UART; has high-speed device interfaces such as USB3.0/USB2.0/PCIE, so ZLG M1808 The AI ​​core board also supports the Youfang N510M 5G module driver.

The M1808AI core board is matched with the 5G Internet access module Neoway N510M. The product has excellent RF performance, supports 5G, 4G, 3G, wide frequency band coverage, supports SA and NSA networking methods, supports Sub-6GHz, and has comprehensive coverage. It integrates various network protocols and provides industry standard interfaces to meet the ultra-high-speed data transmission applications in eMBB scenarios to the greatest extent.

4. 5G module test effect

Let’s take a look at the performance of the M1808AI core board with the 5G Internet access module Neoway N510M. The evaluation test of the 5G module is based on the M1808 platform, which forwards the 5G network to other devices through the M1808 Gigabit network card, which is equivalent to a “5G Gigabit router”. Devices with a wired network card can access the external network through the M1808.

(1) Development environment

l Development host environment: Ubuntu16.04 (64-bit), Ubuntu18.04 (64-bit) and m1808-sdk (cross toolchain)

l Hardware list: M1808-EV-Board (with any supported core board), Youfang 5G module N510M and evaluation board

l Software resources: kernel source package (requires application)

(2) Hardware connection

l Install the 5G module N510M on the Neoway_N510M_EVK evaluation board. Connect the USB3.1 interface of the Neoway_N510M_EVK evaluation board and the USB HOST interface of the M1808-EV-Board through the TYPE.C cable (the OTG jumper needs to be shorted).

l Connect the M1808-EV-Board to the network card of the PC.

l Power on the Neoway_N510M_EVK evaluation board, press and hold the PWR ON/OFF button to turn it on, and the M1808 host can recognize the N510M after turning it on.

(2) Other preparations

l USB to serial port driver;

l Add RNDIS driver;

l Add IPtables driver;

l Compile the kernel;

l Modify the file system;

l Update M1808 firmware;

After all the preparations are completed (detailed steps:, the network speed of the M1808 equipped with the 5G module can be tested. Connect the computer and the M1808-EV-Board’s Gigabit Ethernet port with a network cable, disconnect other networks (such as WiFi) that the computer is connected to, and configure the wired local connection to automatically obtain the address mode, the computer can access the Internet, and the computer opens the browser. And visit the speed test network or, click the “speed test” button to test, the following pictures are the test results under the conditions of China Unicom and China Telecom’s 4G network respectively.

Unicom network test results

Telecom Network Test Results

With the continuous implementation of 5G technology, it will no longer be a term, but will penetrate into our lives more truly, and inspire infinite new reverie for future life scenarios. The application of 5G in the industrial field will bring about changes in the industrial field, and it will also have new requirements for industrial development. In the embedded hardware module, ZLG Zhiyuan Electronics will stalemate and accelerate the layout of 5G in the industrial field.

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