New shield for STMP157-OLinuXino Industrial grade Open Source Hardware Linux computer

The open source hardware STMP157-OLinuXino industrial grade Linux computer got new shield which adds two UEXT connectors, second micro SD card and 40 pin GPIO connector in breadboard friendly 0.1″ (2.54 mm) step format.

STMP15X-SHIELD plugs on top of OLinuXino, the overlays are already included in OLIMAGE Linux images and no need for additional setup.

ESP32-C3-DevKit-Lipo RISC-V development board with build in USB JTAG, WiFi, Bluetooth5, Lipo charger and 15 GPIOs

ESP32-C3-DevKit-Lipo is EUR 6.00 Open Source Hardware compact development board with:

  • RISC-V running on 160Mhz
  • 400KB RAM, 8K data RAM
  • 4MB Flash
  • Two headers (soldered) with power supply and GPIO signals
  • ESP-PROG-C compatible rescue connector (if you mess with bootloader)
  • USB-C for programming and JTAG debugging
  • LiPo battery charger allowing handheld applications with single LiPo battery
  • 4 mount holes

This is all you need to get started with RISC-V programming in C and Assembly.

Shteryana Shopova recently did RISC-V workshop with this board and explained how to setup your tools for programming and debugging. Here you can find her work.

GigaDevices GD32 boards replacements for the popular STM32 are now in stock

STM32 are one of the most popular Cortex ARM devices on the market as they are with aggresive pricing and nice features. The semiconductor crisis hit ST as all other semiconductor vendors and STM32 disappeared from the market. Many customers have been left for more than year without MCus.

GigaDevices is well known Flash memory manufacturer, they have range of ARM Cortex M3, M4 devices which are pin to pin compatible with STM32 MCUs.

We check GD32 assembled on our STM32 boards and they work equal the only difference we notice is that GD32 lack two wires JTAG SWD interface and only support the full JTAG, which is not big issue.

All code we test run equal on both STM32 and GD32.

Here are links for the GigaDevices based boards:

GD32-H103 header board equal to STM32-H103

GD32-P103 prototype board equal to STM32-P103

OLIMEXINO-GD32 Arduino like board equal to OLIMEXINO-STM32

OLIMEXINO-GD32F3 Arduino like board equal to OLIMEXINO-STM32F3

GD32-H405 header board equal to STM32-H405

GD32-P405 prototype board equal to STM32-P405

GD32-H407 development board equal to STM32-H407

GD32-E407 development board equal to STM32-E407

GD32-P407 development board equal to STM32-P407

iMX8MPlus-SOM is alive and boots!

This board development started in April 2021 and finished August 2021 but the semiconductor shortages didn’t allow us to test the prototypes until recently. We assembled 4 boards and all theyare alive and boot.

The features are:

  • MIMX8ML8DVNLZAB – Quad Core Arm Cortex-A53 running at 1.8Ghz with Arm Cortex-M7 co-processor running at 800Mhz and 2.3 TOPS Neural Processing Unit.
  • 6GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Power management
  • configuration EEPROM
  • status LED
  • LCD LVDS connector compatible with LCD-OLinuXino displays
  • MIPI DSI connector
  • 2x MIPI CSI comera connectors with Raspberry Pi compatible pinout
  • 220 signals on 6 0.05″ step connectors with essential peripherials like:
    • PCIe-3.0
    • 2x CAN FD
    • HDMI 2.0a
    • SPDIF
    • SAI
    • 2x USB 3.0
    • 2x Gigabit Ethernet one of them with TSN
    • eMMC 5.1
    • SDIO 3.0 200Mhz
    • 4 UART
    • 6 I2C
    • 3 SPI
    • JTAG

Unfortunately we only managed to find 24Gb LPDDR4 for the prototypes so instead of 6GB they are with only 3GB of RAM.

Now is time to prepare Linux and Android images! NXP provide iMX8MPlus with Linux Kernel 5.10 and Android 11.

MIMX8ML8DVNLZAB is industrial grade -40+105C

Quad Core 64bit Open Source Hardware Linux computer A64-OLinuXino now have version with external antenna

A64-OLinuXino is Open Source Hardware Quad core 64 bit Linux Computer.

We also offer nice metal box for it named BOX-A64-BLACK:

The only problem was that A64-OLinuXino have option for on board WiFi-BT but it uses PCB antenna and when put in box the communication range was decreasing signiificantly.

New revision of A64-OLinuXino board now supports both internal PCB antenna and U.FL externally attached 2.4Ghz antenna.

So A64-OLinuXino can be put inside the metal box and have the antenna outside:

Open Source Hardware S3-OLinuXino update – The new board targeting industrial vision applications is now with mainline Linux support

S3-OLinuXino is board we create to may add vision to the PTH components Soldering Robot we are working on for some time.

Revision.B now is a bit different than the first prototype we made. It has these features:

  • S3 SOC Cortex-A7 running at 1.2Ghz
  • 1Gb DDR3 RAM inside S3 SOC up to 1333Mhz
  • MIPI Raspberry Pi camera interface up to 8Mpix camera support
  • Parallel CSI camera interface up to 8 Mpix
  • Power Management Unit with LiPo battery charger and step-up to allow stand alone battery operation
  • 100Mb Ethernet interface with POE support (external optional module)
  • SPI, NAND, eMMC external optional module
  • LCD connector to connect to LCD-OLinuXino displays with different sizes and resolutions
  • LiPo battery connector
  • USB-OTG interface
  • UEXT connector with SPI, I2C, Serial and power supply
  • EXT1 connector for LED PWM lighting
  • audio input with microphone
  • audio output
  • WiFi and BT module with external antenna
  • micro SD card connector

We are working to offer Mainline Linux with this board.
Bootlin got sample board and have working MIPI driver.

S3-OLinuXino can take power from USB, LiPo battery or PoE (with optional PoE module).

Different NAND Flash, SPI Flash, eMMC flash options are possible with addon module

The only thing we still didn’t complete is USB-OTG functionality.

Mass production is planned for March 2021.

The popular Olimex ARM OpenOCD JTAG programmer debugger ARM-USB-OCD-H gets better, now has a modification which works with targets from 0.65 up to 5.5V

ARM-USB-OCD-H is a low-cost ARM OpenOCD debugger. It supports targets from 1.65V up to 5.0V. Many SOC manufacturers like Intel, Intel/Movidius, nVidia and others use it in their development work. Intel quotes ARM-USB-OCD-H and ARM-JTAG-20-10 in their appnote “Source Level Debug using OpenOCD/GDB/Eclipse on Intel® Quark™ SoC X1000”.

A few month ago we got an interesting question. A new SOC manufacturer was trying to debug their SOC with ARM-USB-OCD-H, but the problem was that their target was working on 1.2V. They asked us if we could modify our JTAG to be able to work at lower than 1.65V targets.

Our engineers identified a couple of components which we could upgrade to support lower voltages. The final result was that the ARM-USB-OCD-HL new modification of the JTAG can now work with targets from 0.65V up to 5.5V.

This pretty much covers all existing SOCs on the market.

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.

Come to Open Source Hardware Day on October 19th in Plovdiv and learn about how Open Source Hardware is made.

opensourceHWmonth_Logo3_2

The Open Source Hardware Association OSHWA.org choose October 2019 to be month of the OSHW. The idea is to have events all around the world which to popularize Open Source Hardware.

Here you can see the full list of registered OSHW events you may find interesting event in your country.

On October 19th in Plovdiv is the Open Source Day. It will be held at SiteGround and starts 11.00.

Come to learn about:

  • What is Open Source Hardware;
  • How to design electronic boards with KiCad;
  • How to prepare your files for PCB production;
  • Where to source your components from EU/USA/China;
  • How to assembly your boards;
  • How to certify your project as OSHW;
  • How to organize crowdfunding for your OSHW project production;

As all other events organized by TuxCon, SiteGround and Olimex  this will be free to participate.

SC1000 Open Source Pocket size Portable Scratch Digital instrument you can build by yourself and impress your friends

[rasteri] released small pocket size digital scratch instrument and the video above explains how to assembly one. A13-SOM256 is used inside with small PIC to sense the rotating plate position and potentiometers.

Looks like a fun project! We are very tempted to build one for ourselves 🙂

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