STM32MP1-OLinuXino development update, we managed to build Ubuntu 18.04.LTS with Linux Kernel 5.3. Now we need your feedback on GPIOs


kit

One of the benefits to work with European SOC vendor and distributors – just few days after we show interest in the new STM32MP1 series of SOCs DHL come with one big carton where we got STM32MP151AAC and STM32MP157AAA3 samples plus the most comprehensive ST kit with all features of the high end STM32MP157AAA3. The credits go to EBV as we got these totally free of charge. The kit came with comprehensive documentation for both board, software support etc. In regard of customer friendliness Chinese SOC vendors has long way to go.

We needed one day to build our own Linux image as we didn’t like (no offense) the Yocto ST uses, so here is Ubuntu 18.04.LTS with Kernel 5.30 boot:

screen

Overall we have very positive vibes that STM32MP1 is good candidate for new industrial grade OLinuXino-LIME2!

The specs of the STM32MP1-OLinuXino-LIME2 we work now are:

  • STM32MP151AAC or STM32MP157AAA3 they are pin to pin compatible so one board will be used for both
  • 1GB DDR3L industrial grade memory -45+90C
  • Gigabit Ethernet with PoE plug-in option (*)
  • AXP209 PMU with LiPo charger and step-up so everything works even with no external power supply
  • two USB 2.0 high speed hosts
  • USB-OTG 2.0
  • HDMI+CEC
  • LIME2 board shape and same connector positions
  • replacing with CAN the SATA connector
  • micro SD-card
  • SPI/NAND/eMMC Flash on socket and different options(**)

(*) we love what Raspberry Pi did with their PoE hat, board which is working as normal, and have PoE functionality if PoE hat is attached. We intend to add such PoE feature to our other Allwinner boards too, but will take time to re-design them all.

(**) this is new experimental feature instead to keep many different LIME2 board versions which only differs the amount of flash on them. The Flash will be on plug in module, something which Odroid does for years and we do wonder why we didn’t do earlier, as now keeping so many versions of LIME, LIME2 and MICRO is killing our production manager and logistics :). If these Flash modules work as expected we will re-design our LIME, LIME2 and MICRO to use them also .

STM32MP1 series has some very unique features missing in Allwinner SOCs like:

  • 6× I2C up to 1 Mbit/s
  • 4× UART + 4× USART up to 12.5 Mbit/s, ISO7816, LIN, IrDA, SPI slave
  • 6× SPI 50 Mbit/s, 3 FD I2S audio class accuracy
  • 4× SAI stereo audio: I2S, PDM, SPDIF Tx
  • SPDIF Rx with 4 inputs
  • 8-14-bit camera interface up to 140 Mbyte/s
  • 2× ADCs with 16-bit max. resolution 3.6-4.5Msps
  • 2× 12-bit D/A converters 1 MHz

We will try to arrange GPIOs with similar functions so A20-LIME2 current customers to may exchange with STM32MP1-LIME2 if they want or to have second SOC choice, but we are open to listen to your tips and suggestions how to arrange the ADC/DAC signals and extra I2C, UARTS, SPIs on the GPIO1-GPIO4 connectors optimally.

STM32MP1 series has only one operating temperature range -45+125C.

Many people may think that on 650Mhz the Cortex-A7 cores are running slow, but this is because this SOC has to work reliable from -45 to +125C. All SOCs which run on extended temperature range run on lower speed clocks compared with same parts which run on commercial 0-70C. If you want to run your STM32MP1 board at home in non demanding apps, we are pretty sure you will be able to overclock it at much higher values and it will work, but when we talk industrial devices and reliable 24/7 operation the clocks are always announced with most conservative values.

43 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jorge
    Sep 19, 2019 @ 12:59:33

    Add integrated Wi-Fi/Bluetooth or at least an optional module that doesn’t take an USB port.

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Sep 19, 2019 @ 13:08:38

      This is impossible, as we seek LIME2 compatibility. The space is very small to add anything else than the Flash and PoE add-on boards. On top of this there is no WiFi which to work -45+125 so spoils complete board industrial grade for feature no one will need to use in industrial environment.

      Reply

  2. Leon Anavi (@leonanavi)
    Sep 19, 2019 @ 13:00:38

    Wow, this looks very promising! Is there an option for a secondary I2C from which device tree binary overlays can be read from an EEPROM of an attached peripheral (like for the Raspberry Pi HATs)?

    Reply

  3. seb
    Sep 19, 2019 @ 13:48:33

    you mean EBV ? (not EVB)

    Reply

  4. Renato
    Sep 19, 2019 @ 13:56:37

    Are you planning to make a new version of the Teres with this board?

    Reply

  5. Carles
    Sep 19, 2019 @ 14:50:22

    I’m not sure is a good idea to remove the SATA connector, since in industrial environments it’s much easier to replace a hard drive in case of any issue rather than accessing the unit or replacing the hard drive. Maybe having a 3.0 or 3.1 USB port (despite non able to reach the maximum speed of the port), could allow to remove the SATA port.

    Will the LIN, SPI, I2C, Serial ports, etc be availble through the GPIO ports?

    Maybe you can save some space having a micro-HDMI connector.

    I would consider creating a “connectivity expansion board” that could be plugged in like a hat, with 4 additional USB ports, 2 RS232, CAN and LIN. This could be embedded into a taller enclosure. I think that having this board would be really nice in industrial environments.

    Reply

    • Carles
      Sep 19, 2019 @ 14:52:07

      Sorry, I mean “instead of replacing the board”, not “replacing the hard drive” 🙂

      Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Sep 19, 2019 @ 20:35:59

      Thanks for your feedback. My observations are that almost none of our industrial customers uses the SATA,while the CAN is very useful.
      STM32MP1 has no native SATA. The industrial apps currently solved with LIME2 obviously has not such big requirements for storage and if they have any they prefer eMMC storage as much more reliable than HDDs .
      Neither A20 neither SMT32MP1 has USB 3 so this part do not make sense.
      Everything which is not present in LIME2 as interface is not considered for this design as explained in the post, what we really look is interested people to look at STM32MP1 GPIOs and help to optimize where the different signals to go on the existing GPIO connectors. We work on this now, but more people looking at it the better.
      When we complete our GPIO assignments we will publish and Request for Comments.

      Reply

  6. Heinz
    Sep 19, 2019 @ 15:04:28

    CAN FD at least at gpio3, much better of course would be an on-board CAN FD transceiver, whatever connector will be used for it

    Reply

  7. tcmichals
    Sep 19, 2019 @ 16:04:25

    Reply

  8. Hackbeere
    Sep 19, 2019 @ 17:03:44

    Is it planned to use STM32MP1 also for a SOM?

    Reply

  9. Hackbeere
    Sep 19, 2019 @ 17:14:29

    As I have already an SDK I would like participating in FW development. Is it possible to publish your “recipe” for building ubuntu 18.04 image for kernel 5.3?

    Reply

  10. Another Mouse
    Sep 19, 2019 @ 19:24:32

    Great plans

    Exactly what fits our demands. CAN, ETHERNET, truely industrial, EMI

    Great would be a wide input range power supply 16 to 45V (I’d also take 12 to 48 😉

    As in our fields RJ45 is not acceptable, can Ethernet be taken from gpio and fed to a different connector?

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Sep 19, 2019 @ 20:25:38

      4.5V-55V is even better 🙂 seriously pure industrial design with CAN, wide power supply 0/4-20mA inputs and etc would be possible later when/if we release SOM and EVB.
      For the moment LIME2 factor will stay same as dimensions, connectors, power supply etc, so customers who use now Allwinner A20 to switch easily if they want to, all these let’s add this or that will not be considered in this LIME2 form factor release where we want to be as close as possible to LIME2 design

      Reply

      • Another Mouse
        Sep 20, 2019 @ 21:48:13

        Thanks understood thats a fair request and surely a good plan as a drop in replacement for lime2 so put my wishes on the secret list for the distant future. Actually nothing one cant handle with a base/companion board.

  11. Yama
    Sep 20, 2019 @ 00:09:09

    Will both SPI boot flash and eMMC flash be socketed?

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Sep 20, 2019 @ 07:42:15

      Yes, the Flash module will accept NAND or eMMC +SPI

      Reply

      • Hackbeere
        Sep 20, 2019 @ 10:24:23

        Please consider adding a small SPI FLASH that could contain U-Boot. So it would be possible to boot from ethernet or USB stick directly without eMMC module.

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Sep 20, 2019 @ 11:20:51

        the SPI Flash is on Flash module, there may be no eMMC, but our experience says that almost no one used just SPI Flash with USB sticks in real life apps

      • Eres
        Sep 20, 2019 @ 16:20:39

        So as I understand, there will be three module variants with (1) NAND only, (2) SPI only, and (3) SPI + eMMC. Is that the plan? What mounting solution do you plan to use for the modules? I’ve seen, Odroid uses some click connectors while NanoPi uses pin socket and (added in M4V2 revision) additional mounting screw.

      • Hackbeere
        Sep 20, 2019 @ 18:36:40

        Yes, I agree. Boot from USB stick isn’t necessary when there is eMMC possible.
        But a small SPI (2MB) for TFT or PXE boot is useful especially for SW development.
        Also useful for storing parameters like MAC address or other user variables…

  12. Victor
    Sep 20, 2019 @ 02:01:24

    Hey, please can you consider using a good voltage regulator that doesn´t eat the battery when the device is in idle or the cpu is in sleep?
    The problem many people have with this kinds of devices is that they are impossible to run on battery properly, unless you run them on heavy duty ones, because just the regulator will eat it..
    Long range temp support and ability to sleep the device without losing energy would make them very useful for sensors and monitoring in places where you can only run from battery or small solar cells, as far i know or saw none of your products currently allow this.
    (Yes i know that kind of regulators cost the same or more than the soc)

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Sep 20, 2019 @ 07:45:22

      STM32MP1 has consumption of 6 uA when shut down and only WDT works, but this means no DDR RAM memory retention etc. i.e. you shut down your Linux computer and have to reboot after some time pass.

      Reply

  13. Krish
    Sep 30, 2019 @ 20:55:26

    Add a PCIe or similar compatible to plug-in 4g LTE modules. Now a days, for the IoT use cases, without PCIe, it was difficult to plug-in wifi/4g LTE modules.

    Reply

  14. FranzK
    Oct 11, 2019 @ 00:24:54

    Please consider to add a two pin header (VBAT and GND) for powering the Vsw domain (RTC, backup registers, backup RAM, and retention RAM) by using a battery or supercapacitor when VDD is not available.

    Reply

  15. Arvin
    Oct 19, 2019 @ 23:25:26

    Did you attempt overclocking STM32MP157 yet? I was able to get pll1_p_ck up to 1050MHz by setting DIVN to 130, but had trouble booting with DIVN at 140 (1130MHz). Not sure if this is a VCO limitation or actually the CPU becoming unstable.

    Reply

  16. Name
    Nov 03, 2019 @ 17:46:04

    Will there be boards before Christmas?

    Reply

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