Our most complex Open Source Hardware board made with KiCad – the octa core iMX8 Quad Max – Tukhla is completely routed and now on prototype production


The PCB routing of our most complex board – IMX8QM-Tukhla is complete and ready for first prototype build.

We started this project June-July 2020. Due to the Covid19 the development took 10 months although only 6 month of active work was done, due to lock downs, ill developers and so on troubles.

Now the board is completely routed and has these features:

Main SOC MIMX8QM5AVUFFAB which is member of iMX8 Quad Max series – the most powerful iMX8 SOC line from NXP.


MIMX8QM5AVUFFAB has 8 cores:

  • x2 Cortex-A72 running at 1.6Ghz
  • x4 Cortex-A53 running at 1.2Ghz
  • x2 Cortex-M4F running at 264Mhz

Memory:

  • 64-bit LPDDR4 @1600 MHz

Connectivity:

  • 1× PCIe (2-lanes)
  • 1× USB 3.0 with PHY
  • 1x USB 3.0 dual role with PHY
  • 1× SATA 3.0
  • 2× 1Gb Ethernet with AVB
  • 1× CAN/CAN-FD
  • 1x HDMI Rx

GPU:

  • 2xGC7000 XSVX
  • 16× Vec4 shaders with 64 execution units
  • Dual independent 8-Vec4 shader GPUs or a combined 16-Vec4 shader GPU
  • OpenGL 3.0, 2.1
  • OpenGL ES 3.2, 3.1 (with AEP), 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1
  • OpenCL 1.2 Full Profile and 1.1
  • OpenVG 1.1
  • Vulkan

VPU:

  • H.265 decode (4Kp60)
  • H.264 decode (4Kp30)
  • WMV9/VC-1 imple decode
  • MPEG 1 and 2 decode
  • AVS decodeMPEG4.2 ASP,
  • H.263, Sorenson Spark decode
  • Divx 3.11 including GMC decode
  • ON2/Google VP6/VP8 decode
  • RealVideo 8/9/10 decode
  • JPEG and MJPEG decode
  • 2× H.264 encode (1080p30)

Display:

  • Supports single UltraHD 4Kp60 display
  • or up to 4 independent FullHD 1080p60 displays
  • 2× MIPI-DSI with 4 lanes each
  • 1× HDMI-TX/DisplayPort
  • 2× LVDS Tx with 2 channels of 4 lanes each

Camera:

  • 2× MIPI-CSI with 4-lanes each, MIPI DPHYSM v1.

Security:

  • Advanced High Assurance Boot (AHAB) secure & encrypted boot

Operating temperature:

  • Automotive AEC-Q100 Grade 3 -40+125C

To the best of our knowledge there is no Open Source Board so far which to be so complex and advanced.

Now we are running the first prototypes and crossing fingers everything to work 🙂

With the current state of the semiconductor industry production will not be possible to be run soon.

Linux support will need attention as NXP has no mainline Linux for this SOC, but only Yocto build for old kernel (4.14.98_2.3.3).

If there are people with experience and interest in this SOC we may share one of the first samples we build, so they can help on the Linux support.

The schematic of IMX8QM-TUKHLA Revision A is uploaded for review on out ftp.

24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elektro
    Apr 06, 2021 @ 12:22:51

    I thought the STM32MP1 board a few days ago was cool, but this is almost beyond cool! Great work! 🙂

    Reply

  2. zoobab
    Apr 06, 2021 @ 12:59:55

    “NXP has no mainline Linux for this SOC”

    SoC manufacturers doing only one forked kernel based on an old LTS version. This is better than nothing, but they still do not collaborate, and try to get their patches into mainline Linux.

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Apr 06, 2021 @ 13:16:02

      NXP does what their customers wants. As you can see from the specs and the price (now the chip only in Digikey cost $212 in single quantities) this is not intended to be mass used SOC. It’s made for automotive infotainment where mainline Linux is not big concern. Mainlining SOC is expensive when done inhouse, specially in such big companies. There is no community as there is only one $1000 development board. Although this SOC has tons of potential applications with stereo camera, HDMI input, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, 3x CAN etc etc, where to shine. This is what we want to change with this OSHW design. Our discussion with NXP show that they understand well the benefits to have bigger community and are comited to support Open Source with what they can (they buy some of the IP in this SOC so if under NDA there is no way to share what they do not own). In this particular case I just requested some more samples of the SOC+PMIC to may spread boards among more developers, as now there is no stock for production.

      Reply

  3. Avishay
    Apr 06, 2021 @ 13:55:30

    This is very exciting! Is the design already in your GitHub?

    Reply

  4. Francesco V.
    Apr 06, 2021 @ 14:29:40

    Great work!
    In case you are unaware of, NXP just released a new BSP for their processors based on Linux kernel 5.10 and Yocto Gatesgarth:

    https://www.nxp.com/design/software/embedded-software/i-mx-software/embedded-linux-for-i-mx-applications-processors:IMXLINUX

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Apr 06, 2021 @ 14:39:52

      are you sure in 5.10 there are drivers for all peripherals like the HDMI-input?

      Reply

    • Francesco V.
      Apr 06, 2021 @ 14:52:12

      I don’t think HDMI input is currently available on 5.10, but I’m also not really sure it is officially supported at all. Do you have access to all the NDA’ed reference manuals?

      Reply

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Apr 06, 2021 @ 14:56:49

        hdmi-rx stuff was present in linux-imx imx_4.19.35 branch, but dropped when they moved to imx_5.x

      • Francesco V.
        Apr 06, 2021 @ 15:04:50

        Public datasheet states that HDMI-RX is not supported – not sure why:

        Click to access IMX8QMAEC.pdf

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Apr 06, 2021 @ 15:14:11

        I guess because HDMI Rx is IP NXP buy from Cadence and since no one of their big customers want it, they have no reason to spend more money on recent kernel support. Classical example why community mainline support always is better than commercial paid support. Allwinner do not spend $1 and still their SOCs have community mainline support exceeding the support which big semiconductor vendors have for their SOC. All this is because there is plenty of affordable boards on the market, which allow more people to work with them.

  5. Otan
    Apr 06, 2021 @ 22:11:41

    Do we need a bulky ATX PSU or will you offer some simple adapter cable for a small wall-plug power supply? Also, will you have cheaper versions that don’t use the expensive automotive-temperature parts? I remember prices around €100 for the SoC, when you first presented the project.

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Apr 07, 2021 @ 08:48:45

      We will find proper adapter for this, but powering from ATX is good option.
      The EUR 100 price before 10 months was for the same chip which now cost almost EUR 200, on top of this there is no production and stock. So commenting prices at this moment when the whole semiconductor industry is upside down is not productive. The LPDDR4 memory was $4-5 per 1 GB one year ago, now if there is stock the price may be up to $20. So it’s better to not make price estimations at this moment, but after everything go back to normal my prediction is that this board can cost about EUR 150-300 depend on the memory configuration. The SOC can have up to 32GB RAM, and for this high end configuration at the current prices only LPDDR4 will be $500-600 if you find stock.

      Reply

  6. Guido
    Apr 07, 2021 @ 00:05:02

    How much “64-bit LPDDR4 @1600 MHz” GB Ram?

    Reply

  7. bibah
    Apr 07, 2021 @ 12:51:07

    Don’t see the PCIe I/F

    Reply

  8. bibah
    Apr 07, 2021 @ 14:07:11

    ok fine 😉 I’ll check it now, thanks and great work BTW

    Reply

  9. Trackback: Links 10/4/2021: Linux on M1, Wine 6.6, ClamAV 0.103.2 | Techrights
  10. Luís
    Apr 18, 2021 @ 18:11:56

    Will there be a SoM for this SoC?

    Reply

  11. Andrew L. Moore
    Apr 20, 2021 @ 14:54:24

    Any possibility of High Assurance Boot support? https://www.nxp.com/docs/en/application-note/AN12312.pdf

    Reply

  12. Matthias Weiß
    Apr 21, 2021 @ 16:47:07

    Have you thought about a module for the MNT Reform based on your prototype, too?
    Example of a SOM based on LS1028a: https://source.mnt.re/reform/mnt-reform-layerscape-ls1028a-som#mnt-reform-layerscape-ls1028a-som

    Reply

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