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.

Fruit selection machine made with T2-OLinuXino-LIME2 and MOD-IO, runs OpenCV

As part of the OSIE project Nexedi SA, France built a small conveyor belt using entirely open-source products and technologies.

Their goal was to build a fruit selection machine, which would use AI (starting with OpenCV) to inspect fruits (and possibly many other small particles) and to do a physical separation (selection) of them.

Olimex have been chosen as a partner in the project because of the many of OSHW solutions which the company offers.

T2-OLinuXino-LIME2 and MOD-IO were used in the implementation.

Details for the project is available here.

New OSHW board with STM32F303 now can have CAN and USB working at same time, operates from -40+85C and with power supply from 4.2-40VDC

OLIMEXINO-STM32F3 is re-design of our popular OLIMEXINO-STM32 board.

What is new?

  • STM32F303RCT6TR is used which allow CAN and USB to work at the same time. The F1 Series of STM32 shared same buffer for both USB and CAN which leads to not be able to work with both CAN and USB at the same time. This is solved in F3 series
  • Increased amount of memory: 256KB Flash, 40KB RAM
  • Power supply is now from 4.2VDC up to 40VDC which allow OLIMEXINO-STM32F3 to work in Automotive applications without special power converters
  • Industrial temperature grade -40+85C
  • Real Time Clock backup battery holder for CR2032 Li battery
  • Lower cost

The price of OLIMEXINO-STM32F3 is EUR 14.95 for single unit and drops to EUR 11.96 for 50+ pcs order.

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.

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.

MOD-IO got beautiful DIN rack plastic enclosure from Giuseppe Mascolo

We noticed this Twitter post from Giuseppe Mascolo @linuxpeppe
He designed beautiful plastic enclosure for MOD-IO which could be attached to DIN reel:

the design files are uploaded to Thingiverse


Industrial grade -45+85C STMP1-SOM is almost completely routed and pin to pin compatible with A13-SOM

STMP1_SOM_bot

A13-SOM-256 and A13-SOM-512 are low cost Linux running System on Modules which are very popular but lack industrial grade operating temperature.

STM32MP1XXX series of SOC from ST is the first mass produced SOC which operates from -45 up to +125C by default, so we decided to design SOM module with STM32MP1XX SOC which to be pin to pin compatible with A13-SOM and offer same interfaces and signals so it could be drop in replacement for A13-SOM without need to re-design the complete product.

As you can see for STMP1-SOM we decided to put the SOC on opposite side of the connectors, this allow if necessary to add aluminum heatsink without interference with mainboard.

STMP1-SOM_TOP

Also we add AXP209 PMU which allow lower power operating modes and LiPo battery backup and operation on battery only which is missing in the original A13-SOM.

STMP1-SOM will be offered with three SOC choices STM32MP151, STM32MP153 and STM32MP157.

The prices will start from EUR 15 for the non industrial grade memory which are similar to A13-SOM and EUR 18 for the industrial grade -45+85C memory version.

We expect first STMP1-SOMs to be available in July 2020.

Full mainline Linux support will be available at http://images.olimex.com/

USB-gLINK – Industrial Grade Open Source Hardware LTE cat 4 module for IoT with Navigation and LiPo battery support is in stock!

gLINK

USB-gLINK is Open Source Hardware Industrial grade -25+85ºC LTE cat 4 module optimized for IoT applications with integrated LiPo Battery power supply charger and Navigation. USB-gLINK operate on all GSM frequencies with 2G 3G 4G/LTE protocols, so you can use it worldwide.

USB-gLINK will work with OLinuXino OSHW Linux Computers, Beaglebone and Raspberry Pi and any other PC running Windows, Linux or Android.

The LTE speed is 150Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink, but is backward-compatible with existing EDGE and GSM/GPRS networks. This allows USB-gLINK to connect to any existing 2G, 3G and 4G network.

Inside USB-gLINK there is build in navigation which supports: GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou/Compass, Galileo and QZSS.

The networking supported protocols are : TCP / UDP / PPP / FTP / HTTP / NTP / PING / QMI / NITZ / SMTP / MQTT / CMUX / HTTPS / FTPS / SMTPS / SSL / MMS / FILE.

USB-gLINK can operate on these bands: B1 / B2 / B3 / B4 / B5 / B7 / B8 / B12 / B13 / B18 / B19 / B20 / B25 / B26 / B28 / B38 / B39 / B40 / B41, which covers every mobile operator anywhere in the world. This allow your solution based on USB-gLINK to be sold globally without hardware changes.

There are number of carriers who already approved the module used in USB-gLINK: Deutsche Telekom (Europe), Verizon/AT&T/Sprint/U.S. Cellular/T-Mobile (North America), Telus/Rogers (Canada)

These regulatory are passed: GCF (Global), CE (Europe), FCC/PTCRB (North America), IC (Canada), Anatel (Brazil), IFETEL (Mexico), SRRC/CCC/NAL (China), KC (South Korea), NCC (Taiwan, China), JATE/TELEC (Japan), RCM (Australia & New Zealand), FAC (Russia), NBTC (Thailand), IMDA (Singapore), ICASA (South Africa)

The Industrial grade -40+125C Open Source Hardware Linux board which is hardware compatible with A20-OLinuxino-LIME2 but with ST Microelectronics STM32MP1xx SOC STMP1-OLinuXino routing is complete

TOP1

BOT1

STMP1-OLinuXino routing is complete. It took 6 months from the idea to the finish.

Why it took so long? We had several times to re-design the schematics around the DDR memory and power supply.

Our goal was to make it pin to pin compatible with OLinuXino-LIME2 and we achieved it.

STMP1-OLinuXino has:

  • Same size as LIME2
  • Same GPIOs on same places
  • Ethernet, USB, battery Lipo, buttons, HDMI, SD-card on same places
  • same mount holes
  • 1GB DDR3 memory
  • Gigabit Ethernet interface
  • HDMI interface
  • LCD interface
  • 2x USB hosts and 1x USB-OTG
  • micro SD-card
  • GPIOs have similar interfaces on the same positions
  • LiPo battery charger and step up converter for battery operation
  • CAN interface

There are few differences:

  • we add Flash connector where different flash modules will be attached: NAND Flash, SPI Flash, eMMC Flash, so instead to keep many different versions of the board with different Flash options like LIME2 this will be done with exchangeable modules
  • we put the STM32MP1 SOC on bottom where adding heatsink do not interference with the top GPIO connectors and add-on boards

The STM32MP1 devices work at -20/40+125C operating temperature by default which makes them perfect for industrial applications.

There will be different versions with STM32MP151/153/157 as they share same BGA package, also there will be some versions with commercial temperature grade components for lower cost.  Our preliminary estimations are the prices to be between EUR 35 and 70 depend on the different configurations.

Previous Older Entries