New iMX8QuadPlus System on Module is ready for prototyping

iMX8Quad Max board we developed is still waiting for components to verify the first prototypes, but we decided to develop one more SOC from iMX8 Plus series which we thought is filling niche where we do not have product.

This is how iMX8MPLUS-SOM was designed:

  • 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

MIMX8ML8DVNLZAB operating temperature is -40+105C which makes it perfect for both industrial and automotive applications.

Evaluation board iMX8MPlus-SOM-EVB is now designed with Dual Ethernet, Dual USB 3.0, PCIe, HDMI.

NXP is going to provide mainline Linux support for this SOC.

It’s impossible to comment any pricing at the moment, but it will be very competitive compared with similar industrial grade products.

May 2021 production delays and updates!

Everything is moving extra slowly this year.

On top of the Semiconductor shortages, now PCB factories also experience lack of raw materials and delay the production times more than double.

This is the reason our plans to release S3-OLinuXino, RK3328-SOM, STMP15x-OLinuXino-LIME2 and STM32MP15X-SOM to produced with delay.

At least we got the STMP15x-SOM and STMP1(A13)-EVB blank PCBs and by the end of next week they will be ready to order.

We used the time to update the product page with schematics and user manual.

Production updates for S3-OLinuXino, RK3328-SOM and STMP15x-OLinuXino-LIME2 will follow!

STMP157-SOM-512-IND industrial grade system on module status update April 2021

STMP157-SOM-512 is functional drop in replacement for A13-SOM-512 and have exactly the same features, but is industrial grade -40+85C.

All connectors have same signals on the both boards:

For STMP157-SOM-512 we made special STMP1(A13)-SOM-EVB:

With this board all SOM features can be explored:

  • two USB High Speed Hosts
  • one USB-OTG
  • WiFi/BT module with PCB antenna and option for external antenna
  • 100MB Ethernet
  • Flash connector for attaching SPI, NAND, eMMC Flash modules
  • Audio input, output
  • UEXT connector
  • LCD connector for LCD-OLinuXino-XX
  • GPIO connector

Needless to say the EVB works with A13-SOM-512 also.

Mainline uboot and Linux Kernal 5.12 with support for all peripherals is available.

STMP157-SOM-512 and STMP1(A13)SOM-EVB boards are now in production and will be on the web for sale by the end of April.

STMP157-OLinuXino-LIME2-IND status update April 2021

The last issues with STM32MP1 mainline Linux kernel support were resolved and now we run STMP157-OLinuXino-LIME2 in production!

Revision B fixes all hardware issues in the initial prototype. STMP157-OLINUXINO-LIME2 is complete analog of A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 which is one of our best selling Allwinner board.

Mainline uboot and Linux kernel 5.12 images are available with all periperials working.

We will have STMP157-OLINUXINO-LIME2 on our web for sale by the end of April.

This is also our first board with Ethernet supporting Precise Time Protocol and Time Sensitive Networking implemented.

IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) is implemented for the industrial grade Open Source Hardware Linux computer STMP1-OLinuXino-LIME2

The Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) is for real-time communication with hard, non-negotiable time boundaries for end-to-end transmission latencies.

The main use of TSN is for industrial machine controllers, robots etc.

For this purpose all devices in this network need to have a common time reference and therefore, need to synchronize their clocks among each other. Only through synchronized clocks, it is possible for all network devices to operate in unison and execute the required operation at exactly the required point in time.

The time in TSN networks is usually distributed from one central time source directly through the network itself using the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol, which utilizes Ethernet frames to distribute time synchronization information.

Linutronix helped to implement IEEE 1588 PTP on STMP1-OLinuXino-LIME2.

For Uboot changes Olimex Uboot was used as base. The Kernel patch is sent upstream and can be seen on the mailing list

https://lore.kernel.org/linux-devicetree/20210316080644.19809-1-kurt@linutronix.de/

We also apply these patches in our next STMP1 Linux images release.

The results is correctly working PTP:

# ptp4l -H -2 -i eth0 --tx_timestamp_timeout=40 -f /etc/gPTP.cfg -m
|ptp4l[1434.665]: rms    5 max   13 freq  -1069 +/-   7 delay   325 +/-   0
|ptp4l[1435.666]: rms    8 max   16 freq  -1068 +/-  11 delay   325 +/-   0
|ptp4l[1436.667]: rms   10 max   19 freq  -1060 +/-  12 delay   324 +/-   0
|ptp4l[1437.668]: rms    8 max   17 freq  -1055 +/-  10 delay   322 +/-   0
|ptp4l[1438.668]: rms    6 max    9 freq  -1057 +/-   9 delay   322 +/-   0

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.

Open Source Hardware STMP1-OLinuXino-LIME2 industrial grade Linux computer update – Debian Buster and Ubuntu Focal with mainline Kernel 5.10.12 now supports almost everything

STMP1-OLinuXino-LIME2 Industrial grade Linux Computer project took us almost an year of work to build proper software support for our hardware with mainline uboot and kernel.

ST demo board uses Yocto with kernel 5.4, our images use Linux Kernel 5.10.12

These who monitor our Official images at https://images.olimex.com probably nottice that we already have images with Debian Buster and Ubuntu Focal for STM32MP1 where almost everything now work with mainline Linux Kernel 5.10.12.

  • We had lot of troubles around the Ethernet, but now it works pretty well!
  • CAN-FD – works!
  • Two USB High speed hosts with 1A current – works!
  • LCD – works
  • HDMI – works!
  • eMMC Flash boot – works!
  • PMU and LiPo charger battery support – works

Two things on this board left not complete:

  • low power modes
  • USB-OTG

New prototypes rev.B now are in production, the Chinese New Year will delay them to end of February. We hope meantime to solve these two last issues and run production.

UPDATE: As some people wanted to know what was the Ethernet issue we were struggling so long, I posted in the comment section.

For the USB-OTG my guess is that it’s also some silly issue so people may help:

STM32MP1 has two High speed USB hosts and one Full speed USB-OTG, here is snip from their Hardware development document:

Here is our schematic which follows above guide:

The two High Speed USB hosts work as expected, but the USB-OTG has issue summarized here: https://pastebin.com/i6G90kdg

What makes us a little bit suspicious is that STM in their own demo board didn’t follow their Hardware Guide and were wiring one of their High speed USB as OTG and connecting USB hub to the other, ignoring the Full speed USB at all.

Implementation of OPC UA on ESP32-EVB

OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) is an open, implemented under GPL 2.0 license, machine to machine communication protocol for industrial automation developed by the OPC Foundation.

The OPC UA protocol specification consists of 14 documents for a total of 1250 pages. Due to this complexity, existing implementations are usually incomplete.

This is why we were puzzled to see on Twitter post by Selftronics that they made OPC UA server running on ESP32-EVB!

Here are the details of the implementation, the sources are at GitHub.

Allwinner keep their promise for long term supply of T2 (industrial A20) SOC. If you wonder how 60K of Allwinner T2 SOC looks like you can see now

T2 is the industrial version of A20 – the most successful SOC in Allwinner history. It keeps selling for more than 8 years now and demand is steady.

We are proud that our OSHW designs with A20 are part of this success story.

T2 can work in extended temperature grade and is more expensive than A20, so the demand is not so big and used just by specific customers like in automotive and industrial equipment. During the last COVID-19 economy slow down these customers decreased and Allwinner stock of T2 was sold out. While NXP, ST etc always keep some kind of guarantee that they will produce this processor for XX years, Chinese companies are practical, they sell as long as it’s profitable for them and if demand is low they just stop.

This is why many people are afraid to place Chinese SOC in their products, they are afraid that this chip may stop being produced at some point of time and their design need to be changed.

Fortunately for Olimex our sales are big enough to be interesting and supported by Allwinner. We have enough business to place custom orders even for chips which are now with status “obsolete” and Allwinner keep producing them for us.

T2 automotive/industrial market for Allwinner now is not big enough for them to justify keeping it in stock, but Olimex placed order for these in January and 60Kpcs hit our warehouse few weeks ago.

The label show these T2 SOC are manufactured 18 of May 2020 🙂

So Allwinner keeps their part of the deal for long term delivery and manufacture for us even SOCs which are not available for sale officially, this means we can keep producing our boards with Allwinner SOC for our customers and they are safe with us.

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.

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