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.

The Open Source Hardware Linux board A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 is now supported by freedom respected Parabola GNU Linux-Libre distribution

Parabola_Gnu_Linux-libre_icon.svg

Parabola GNU Linux-libre is derived from Arch (the GNU/Linux distribution) and provides packages from it that meet the Free System Distribution Guidelines (FSDG) and replacements for the packages that don’t meet this requirement.

The goal is to provide a fully freedom-respecting GNU+Linux distribution.

We are very happy to announce that now A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 is one of the supported boards.

Open Fest 2019 is approaching,the traditional Olimex Soldering Workshop this year will be: Pimp your bike with OSHW Audi type turn signal lights

Screenshot from 2019-09-05 10-08-37

Open Fest is the biggest and most anticipated Open Source Technology event in Bulgaria!

This year it will be held in Sofia Tech Park November 2nd and 3rd.

The site already has CFP link where you can submit your proposal for talk.

Olimex submitted proposal for the traditional Soldering Workshop.

This year we prepared very interesting Open Source Hardware kit: “Pimp your bike with Audi like turn signal lights”, here is teaser. We use x5 pcs 10mm round LEDs on bothe sides, total PCB length is around 20 cm.

Screenshot from 2019-09-05 08-53-36

and back side:

Screenshot from 2019-09-05 08-54-01

it comes with pair of switches which allow you to activate left and right side lights.

Screenshot from 2019-09-05 10-23-06

This design is made purely analog, no processors, no programming. The design files will be uploaded on our GitHub account so anyone who has no chance to come can do his own version. Also we will have the kits on our web for sale after OpenFest.

On the workshop we will explain how it works, so you will learn what resistor divider is, what analog comparator is and how we achieve the Audi effect with the LEDs.

As we are preparing only 100 kits and there may be lot of people who want to participate, we solicit you to pre-register at info@olimex.com to have kit reserved.

As always our number of soldering irons are limited, so if you have your own, bring it to the workshop with you to speed up the process 🙂

Looking forward to see you at Open Fest!

 

This is how Allwinner keep their promise for long term supply with Olimex

A13s

Today 39.6 K pcs A13 arrived to our warehouse. This is partial shipment of our 90 K pcs order placed in April, the balance is testing now and will be shipped this month. Allwinner produced these A13 SOC exclusively for us. As you can see from the label these left factory 27th of August 2019:

A13

A13-OLinuXino was our first board with Allwinner SOC.

We released it 7 years ago back in 2012.

Although A13 is officially discontinued from Allwinner web site, A13-SOM and A13-OLinuXino are still very popular boards among our customers and we supply them in large quantity.

This is example how working Long Term supply can be achieved with company from China. Note that Allwinner do not say that they will stop manufacturing A13 after 10 years, they will keep producing as long as their masks are OK and there is demand.

 

STM32MP1 nice candidate for new industrial grade OLinuXino-LIME

Screenshot from 2019-09-03 15-00-34

ST Microelectronic released new interesting device it’s Cortex-A7 and Cortex-M4 in one package. This solves two problems – the connectivity and ample amount of DDR3 memory to run Linux on Cortex-A7 core and the additional co-processor with Cortex-M4 for Real Time tasks. On top of this it’s -40+125C operating temperature and with 10 years supply longevity warranty from ST.

The prices starts around USD 5, which is in same range as Allwinner/Rockchip.

Their top model STM32MP157C has 3D openGL ES2.0 and CAN. There will be finally properly documented Secure boot (we hope 🙂  ):

Screenshot from 2019-09-03 15-06-23

From recent Twitter post I see than Bootlin already works on Linux support for STM32MP1.

Overall STM32MP1 looks like very promising SOC for Industrial grade Linux computer.

Magic shield plates helps naked A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 board to pass CE EMC requirements.

Ax0-OLinuXino-LIME-1

A20-OLinuXino-LIME and A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 are choice for many industrial applications, when the board is inside metal box like BOX-LIME:

BOX-LIME-BLACK-1

it has no problems with shielding the radio emissions, but when just board is used as component, our customers has to shield it by their own in their designs. We had number of request to do official CE EMC certifications for A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 as this would make their life easier, and we decided to do this after we already get some experience with the certification of USB-ISO and ESP32-POE-ISO.

Initially the naked board failed on EMC measurements as seen here from the test results.

LIME2-naked

The major problem is the Gigabit Ethernet PHY. You can see spikes at 125 Mhz, 325Mhz etc. Disabling the PHY removes all noise and everything is in safe levels. So we knew who is ther trouble maker.

The major noise emitter are the Transmit and Receive clock lines. We put 33 ohm resistors in series R119 and R123 in A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 schematic , but obviously this was not enough. To further fade the line harmonics we replaced the resistors with 0402 Ferite Beads with 600 ohm impedance at 100 Mhz. This lowered the emissions, but still not well enough to be at safe levels.

So we had to make small Faraday cage on top:

LIME2-SHIELD-top

and bottom of the board:

LIME2-SHIELD-bot

this effectively removed all noises and the A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 pass CE requirements:

LIME2-1

LIME2-2

LIME2-3

LIME2-4

We are preparing now to implement the Ferite Beads on PHY Tx and Rx lines in all our other boards production assembly, and will offer the shield plates as kit they are good for A20-OLinuXino-LIME and A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 and we will prepare same for A20-OLinuXino-MICRO and A64-OLinuXino.

 

ESP32-ADF based SIP Phone looks really cool with LittlevGL

esp32-adf-sip1

We blogged a while ago about one of the demo code we work on for ESP32-ADF – SIP IP phone. Our vacation delay a bit this project, but now it’s almost ready and we want to share some details.

We used LittlevGL framework for the UI. You can see on the picture above how the phone app looks on the LCD.

LittlevGL required some touching as default didn’t work well with the touch screen, but we managed to add support, the touch panel recognize gestures like slide, tap etc.

esp32-adf-sip3

We need few more days to finish dialing sounds etc details and will upload on GitHub our patches for LittlevGL and our SIP IP phone demo.

We are so impressed with the result that we may release soon all in one LCD+ESP32-ADF and camera so we enhance the phone with camera and open more applications like Home automation WiFi Door-Phone, security panel with sound and video and other apps based on this configuration.

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