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.

New Debian 10 Buster images released for A20 and A64 boards and SOMs

buster

We have released Universal A20 and A64 images with Debian 10 Buster.

There are few known issues which we work on:

  • Certain types of eMMC memories might start in HS-200 mode instead of SDHS mode. This causes eMMC installation and boot problems.
  • HDMI always takes precendence over LCD. This is even if you have enabled a
    display manually (interrupted u-boot and executed “olinuxino monitor set XXX”).
  • Boards with 5.x eMMC chips are unable to boot directly from eMMC;
    this is caused by poor eMMC 5.x support in eGON BROM;
    this issue is not related to the Linux image
  • The board currently cannot store rootfs on usb driver. The init script
    starts before the usb subsystem initialization.
  • If the board has eMMC and SPI, it’s not possible to boot from SPI and rootfs
    on SATA. This is due to the fact that u-boot searches first the eMMC storage
    for boot scripts.
  • LCD-OLinuXino-15.6FHD is not fully supported.
  • The GT2005 camera module in A20-SOM-EVB and A20-SOM204-EVB is not working.

New release is preparing and will be updated by the end of the month.

 

 

Programming with open source hardware educational board eduArdu and Scratch 3

Screenshot from 2019-07-29 14-52-10

New demo code which transforms eduArdu in Makey Makey and tutorial how to use with Scratch 3 is uploaded to GitHub.

Here is the result from above code:

Lime2-SD add on board for second SD card on A20-OLinuXino-LIME2

Lime2-SDa.jpg

Lime2-SD is small add on board which snaps on GPIO-1 connector and add second SD card to A20-OLinuxino-LIME2. It doesn’t interference with other parts on the board and do not increase the height.

Lime2-SD

Why we do this? Because this is an easy way to increase storage for Pioneer-FreedomBox-HSK . What we are preparing to offer soon is upgraded version of the Home Server Kit with 256GB storage made with 2 “disks” x 128GB micro SD cards. For these who already have Pioneer-FreedomBox-HSK they still can upgrade by ordering Lime2-SD .

Note that support in FreedomBox for Lime2-SD is not add, but you can try Lime2-SD with the current Armbian image for LIME2. To enable the Lime2-SD support you also have to add this dts overlay .

 

Writing applications for OLinuXino with GTK

GPIO

Many times I hear from customers – Linux has no good UI, it’s made for servers but we want to make apps with windows drop boxes, check boxes etc.

Recently we found Simon Long’s C GUI Programming book and made two “windows” examples for OLinuXino.

We recommend you first to download the book and read it then to look at the code we made and uploaded to GitHub.

In the README.TXT you will find step by step instructions how to install and configure GTK for OLinuXino.

Then you can try the code and modify for your need.

GPIO example allow you to read or write GPIO state to any of the GPIO connectors of OLinuXino.

I2C example will allow you to interface to any of our UEXT boards with I2C interface. The example we test with MOD-IO.

I2C

eduArdu OSHW educational board new demo and tutorial updated on GitHub

eduArdu-3

The eduArdu-BotKit demo is uploaded on GitHub. This code control the robot with sound.

New LED_Matrix_Light library is uploaded. It contains only Clear, SetPixel, GetPixel, ClearPixel, Line, DrawRectangle, UpdateMatrix functions and do not take lot of memory like the LED_Matrix library which contains text scrolling and fonts.

Two more demo for capacitive buttons are add. One make sound depend on capacitance, the other prints the value of the capacity measured.

Programming eduArdu with Arduino explains how to install Arduino and some basics of programming for beginners, like what are arrays, variables, etc. It may be used as practice of what is learned in C/C++ class in school.

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