LIME2-SHIELD adds CAN, second SD-card, two UEXT connectors, Audio IN and OUT, breadboard friendly GPIOs to A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 Open Source Hardware Linux computer

A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 is with small compact design, this is why we couldn’t put on it all connectors for the functionality this board offers.

The existing 0.05″ step connectors are OK for cables and shields, but are pain when you want to breadboard something or to attach UEXT module.

This is why we made LIME2-SHIELD open source hardware shield. It has these signals available:

LIME2-SHIELD User manual explains how to prepare your SD-card for booting Linux on A20-OLinuXino-LIME2, then how to setup the board with different scripts and device tree.

Demo codes how to work with GPIO, I2C, SPI, CAN with C, Python and console are included:

The work on our most complex Open Source Hardware Linux board started – meet the Tukhla iMX8QuadMax SOC based board to be designed with KiCAD

We started working on our most complex OSHW board with KiCAD.

iMX8 is broad range of very different ARM architectures under same name which some people may find quite confusing.
Here is the table chart:

You can see by yourself:

  • iMX8X is quite humble with up to x4 Cortex-A35+Cortex-M4F cores, something less capable than Allwinner A13 or STM32MP1XX
  • iMX8M, Nano/Mini/Plus is x4 Cortex-A53 + Cortex-A7/M4F something in the range of power of Allwinner A64
  • finally iMX8QuadMax comes with different configurations, but the high end is Octa-core with x2 Cortex-A72 + x4 Cortex-A53 + x2 Cortex-M4F and is more powerful than the popular Rockchip RK3399

Why we did started working on such monster?

Company from EU which values the OSHW recognized the absence of high end open source Linux board and asked us to design one. They offered to cover all associated design costs. They specially requested this to be not yet another RK3399 board, but based on SOC with proper documentation and software support. NXP’s high end iMX8QuadMax matched their requirements perfectly.

Currently all powerful Cortex-A72 comes from Chinese or Korean origin and are always closed projects, the only published info in best case is PDF schematic which can’t be verified i.e. the final product may or may not match what they publish. The popular Raspberry Pi go even further and their “schemaitcs” are just connector diagrams.

This is how the Tukhla project was born, it will have:

  • MIMX8QM5AVUFFAB Octa-core SOC with: ( x2 Cortex-A72, x4 Cortex-A53, x2 Cortex-M4F, x4 GPUs with 16 Vec4-Shader GPU, 32 compute units OpenGL® ES 3.2 and Vulkan® support Tessellation and Geometry Shading, Split-GPU architecture enables 2x 8 Shader Cores, 4k h.265 Decode, 1080p h.264 encode)
  • x2 LPDDR4 x32 databus RAM memory with up to 16GB of RAM configuration
  • PMU taking all power lines from single 12V/4A source
  • micro SD card
  • eMMC Flash with differnt sizes
  • QSPI Flash
  • x1 SATA for external HDD/SSD drives
  • x2 single lane PCIe with M2 connectors for NVMe
  • HDMI input 1.4 RX with HDCP 2.2
  • HDMI output 2.0 TX with HDCP 2.2 4K
  • USB 2.0 OTG
  • USB 3.0 HOST
  • x2 Gigabit Ethernet
  • x2 MIPI CSI camera connectors

The price of MIMX8QM5AVUFFAB alone is around EUR 100 in small quantities and currently LPDDR4 4GB cost EUR 35, LPDDR4 8GB cost EUR 50, LPDDR4 16GB cost EUR 180.

So with BOM over EUR 200 this board will not be affordable for the most of Raspberry Pi $35 price range users.

This board targets professionals, who need high performance board and being not dependent by Chinese SOC vendors. With all hardware open, which gives them security for their business as the design is public.

iMX8QuadMax SOC is available in automotive AEC-Q100 Grade 3 (-40° to 125° C Tj), Industrial (-40° to 105° C Tj), Consumer (-20° to 105° C Tj)

Some of the features like HDMI input are not present in the Chinese SOCs at all.

iMX8QuadMax may have DSP and incorporate Vision and Speech Recognition interactivity via a powerful vision pipeline and audio processing subsystem.

The Software support include: Android™, Linux®, FreeRTOS, QNX™, Green Hills®, Dornerworks XEN™.

iMX8QuadMax is fully supported on NXP’s 10 and 15-year Longevity Program

Tukhla means Brick in Bulgarian (and other Slavish languages) and it will be the OSHW building block for whole range of different solutions.

How long it will take to finish this design?

We honestly don’t know. It took more than month just to capture the schematic in the state it is now:

There is long path now to create and verify all component packages (just the SOC is in 1313 BGA ball package), verify the schematic signals, place the components on the PCB, route high speed signals manually.

It may be 6 months or more. We got unofficial info that NXP engineers spent more than year to make the NXP iMX8QMax demo board.

Open Source Hardware Linux board with industrial grade -40+125C temperature STMP1-OLinuXino-Lime2 prototype is live

We have progress on this board software. It now boots, we have been fighting the hardware and of course the issue was RTFM in this case RTFE (Errata) where STM well documented thar this chip requires oscillator and will not work with only crystal. We were misleaded by their kit schematic where they made provisions for both crystal and osciallator and being cheap we first bet on the crystal 🙂 .

Anyway after replacing the crystal with oscillator STMP1-OLinuXino-Lime2 got alive and here is the boot log: https://pastebin.com/ev94Jbk0

Our design is quite different from STM demo kit, we use different PMU, PHY HDMI so many things have to be done on the Linux support, but the results so far are very good.

The Open Source Hardware OLinuXino boards are with new Linux Kernel 5.6 scripts to move Linux OS to eMMC or SATA are included

We are pleased to announce that now the images at http://images.olimex.com/release/ are with the lates Linux Kernel 5.6

All these are build with our Olimage script.

We still keep Ubuntu Bionic 18.04 LTS distribution and didn’t move to 20.04 LTS yet.

To addition for script which set boot from eMMC we add new one which allow you to boot from SATA.

The boot from eMMC and SATA is enabled for OLinuXino boards which has SPI Flash on them like:

  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME-e16Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME-e4Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME-s16M
  • T2-OLinuXino-LIME-e8Gs16M-IND
  • T2-OLinuXino-LIME-s16M-IND
  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME2-e16Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME2-e4Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-LIME2-s16M
  • T2-OLinuXino-LIME2-e8Gs16M-IND
  • T2-OLinuXino-LIME2-s16M-IND
  • A20-OLinuXino-MICRO-e16Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-MICRO-e4Gs16M
  • A20-OLinuXino-MICRO-s16M
  • T2-OLinuXino-MICRO-e8Gs16M-IND
  • T2-OLinuXino-MICRO-s16M-IND
  • A20-SOM-e16Gs16M
  • T2-SOM-e8Gs16M-IND
  • A20-SOM204-1Gs16Me16G-MC
  • T2-SOM204-1Gs16Me4G-C-I
  • T2-SOM204-1Gs16Me8G-MC-I

To make board booting from eMMC you have to boot from SD-card then execute:

$ sudo olinuxino-sd-to-emmc

then wait until script moves the OS to eMMC, remove the SD-card and reboot.

Similar if you want to make board boot from SATA you have to boot from SD-card then execute:

$ sudo olinuxino-sd-to-sata

Open Source Hardware LIME2-SERVER user manual is uploaded and explains how to assembly and how to install Linux images of popular projects

LIME2-SERVERа

LIME2-SERVER is Linux server with only 2W consumption, A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 and option for HDD or SSD.

The server has bild-in LiPo battery which allow it to run for hours without external power supply, Gigabit Ethernet connection and power adapter 5V 2A.

Today we uploaded on GitHub the initial version of the user manual which explains how to assembly the boxes in case you didn’t bought it assembled.

Also basic instructions to use Ubuntu Bionic and Debian Buster images we provide.

KODI and NextCloud installation.

Additional info how to build and install Home Assistant, Yunohost, TOR server will be included in the next revision.

BAY-HDD/SDD is easy way to add external storage to LIME and LIME2, now Pioneer-FreedomBox-HSK can have 2000GB external storage in robust enclosure

LIME2-SERVER8

BAY-HDD-500GB, BAY-HDD-1000GB, BAY-HDD-2000GB and BAY-SSD-512GB are external disks with special bridge board to plug in A20-OLinuXino-LIME and A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 servers providing all necessary connections and power supply for external disk.

It’s plug and play recognizable by Pioneer-FreedomBox-HSK and adds significant amount of storage to the platform.

 

Say Hello to Es-Ti-Em-Pai STMP1-OLinuXino the Open Source Hardware with mainline Linux support and -40+125C operating temperature

Screenshot from 2019-12-10 08-05-45

ST32MP1XX SOCs from ST Microelectronics has one unique feature: They operate from -40 up to +125 by default there is no other commercial or industrial or etc temperature range. What does this means – very well done production! It’s not secret that all SOC vendors produce their chips then test them and which pass -40+125 are classified automotive grade, which fail but pass -40+85C are classified industrial and it there are SOC which fail both automotive and industrial grade on tests are sold as commercial grade.

This chip has no other than automotive grade, so ST is confident in their process quality.

For this SOC ST Microelectronics guarantee 10 years rolling availability.

The peripherals ST32MP1XX has are also industrial and real time oriented:

  • Cortex-M4 co processor, we know Cortex-A series when run RTOS has latency which do not allow fast processed like motor control etc. This is where this co-processor release the main OS processor of such demanding tasks
  • FD-CAN ST32MP1 has two cans both support FD which offer less latency and faster speed, one of them has also time triggered CAN (TTCAN)
  • 2 × ADCs with 16-bit max. resolution (12 bits up to 4.5 Msps, 14 bits up to 4 Msps, 16 bits up to 3.6 Msps)
  • 2 × 12-bit D/A converters (1 MHz)
  • 8- to 14-bit camera interface up to 140 Mbyte/s
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 6 × SPI (50 Mbit/s)
  • 6 × I2C FM+ (1 Mbit/s, SMBus/PMBus)
  • Documented Trust Zone and Secure Boot (may be subject to some export restrictions)

We designed our STMP1-OLinuXino to be with same layout as A20-OLinuXino-LIME2, with all connectors on same positions, so people who used LIME2 to may migrate to STMP1 if necessary.

Screenshot from 2019-12-10 08-06-22

We put the SOC on bottom this time to may attach easier bigger heat sinks or even connect it to the BOX-LIME-BLACK metal and remove the need for aluminum heatsink.

Screenshot from 2019-12-10 08-06-47

Note that schematic is not verified yet and the PCB is not routed, we just placed the components on their approximate locations.

All preliminary files are put on GitHub so people who are interested how we wired the GPIOs to match LIME2 functionality and existing customers find potential conflicts with their current design may signal while still routing is not complete 🙂

Looking forward for your comments.

A20 and A64 OLinuXino now with Libre Elec and Kodi support!

libreelec

LibreELEC is small OS which has everything to run KODI on top of it. Thanks to Dimitar Gamishev and Stefan Saraev now A20 and A64 OLinuXino has support for it.

A20 has one annoying problem there is no HDMI audio as listed in Linux-Sunxi mainlining efforts.

A20-mainline

If someone is capable to do this and have time to spend would be great, as it seems nobody cares to use A20 as media player 🙂

On A64 everything works and HDMI has audio as well.

kodi

so KODI is running full featured:

movie

Both A20 and A64 decode up to 4K movies but of course can’t display  such resolutions.

Build scripts are on GitHub. Images will be add to our FTP.

 

New IP Camera OSHW board in design RFC

img2

We started recently new design with Allwinner S3 SOC.

The board have these features:

  • Allwinner S3 Cortex-A7 running at 1.2Ghz
  • AXP209 PMU with Lipo charger and step-up for UPS
  • internal 1Gb DDR3 RAM at 1333Mhz
  • 100Mb Ethernet interface with PoE option
  • NAND/eMMC/SPI Flash on socket
  • WiFi / BT module with RTL8723BS
  • Audio In and Out
  • UEXT connector
  • Lipo battery connector
  • Configuration EEPROM
  • LCD connector for LCD-OLinuXino
  • MIPI camera connector with RPi pinout
  • CSI camera connector
  • Dimensions: 60 x 50 mm

img1

S3 SOC is on bottom so heatsink could be add if overheating due to the small PCB area.

img3

We want to build intelligent camera solution which can be powered by PoE and can work with both wired and wireless Ethernet connection.

We add MIPI camera connector with RPi pinout as there are plenty of cheap 5Mpix cameras available.

We also will provide CSI camera with 5-8Mpix separately.

Why we do this board? We want to have intelligent IP camera among our tools and we put features which are necessary to fit our potential projects. This board have also potential for Voice over IP , Video over IP, Security, Home remote monitoring etc.

Initial upload on GitHub is with our schematic and components put on PCB locations, routing is ahead, so we would like to hear your opinion.

Did we forgot something?

Can we do something differently or better?

Let us know what do you think.

STM32-E407 Open Source Hardware board got ARM Mbed OS support

Screenshot from 2019-10-24 11-07-29

Arm Mbed OS is free, open source RTOS targeting IoT applications. It supports online IDE, many compilers and devices.

More you can learn on Mbed OS web page and the GiHub repository of the project.

Recently Rohan Fletcher posted on our forum that he add support for our STM32-E407 board in Mbed OS.

For these who are interested and want to give it try – here are his instructions how to use STM32-E407 with Mbed OS.

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