Olimage – Mainline Linux images building script for all of our OLinuXino and SOM boards

DEBIANubuntu_904

We work for more than 6 month on our own Linux building script and now we are ready with it’s initial release, which is now on GitHub .

Why do we need it? The number of our boards with all variant hit over 70 pcs when you add to them the different LCD combinations and other peripherials the support and test of these images became little hell. Our latest Armbian based image was released 3-4 months ago as we didn’t manage to properly test all board features in the newer images.

So we first made universal images for all our groups of boards (based on the SOC used) and EEPROM where we store info so uboot and kernel to may recognize the board and configure properly the parameters at boot time.

Then we decided to make one-for-all build script which will automatically build images with recent kernel and uboot automatically.

We had to leave Armbian as we wanted things to be more under our control and decision. Also we wanted everything to be 100% tested when released. Armbian official builds are not tested at hardware level other than to see board boots, so many boards are with peripheral conflicts and we had to apply our patched on Armbian anyway to adjust the images for our boards.

Our official images now are at http://images.olimex.com.

There is release folder where we have minimal and basic images for Debian and Ubuntu and testing folder where new uboot and kernel images will be built and kept until properly tested. For instance Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and kernel 5.6 images will be put there in the next couple of weeks.

The Olimage script and repositories are developed in our internal Gitlab and will be only push to Github when everything is properly tested and images moved to release folder. Also we push all our patches upstream.

With the current kernel and uboot users can easily generate any Linux distribution as it’s matter of building rootfs.

Moving to the next release would be possible simple by

sudo apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade

then re-boot of the board, so when we release new images all you have to do is to run the above commands and you will have the latest images.

For the moments the builder has A10, A13, A20, A64.

iMX233 and RK3188 SOCs are obsolete and not produced anymore by Rockchip and NXP, so they will be not included in the script. We still produce and sell these boards, but they will be discontinued when we use our existing SOC stock.

AM3352-SOM and AM3359-SOM will be included in the script, but we have no fixed date when, as we have to put earlier S3-OLinuXino and STMP1-OLinuXino-LIME2 which are with higher priority.

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.

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.

A64-OLinuXino got new metal box design

A64-1

After the blog for KODI image lot of people sent emails asking if we will release metal box for A64-OLinuXino, as it actually works very well as media player and can play 4K video @30fps according to Jernej:

Some remarks about blog post content:
"Both A20 and A64 decode up to 4K movies but of course can’t 
display  such resolutions." - A64 is actually capable displaying 
such resolutions. It supports up to 4K@30Hz. Kodi will render 
hardware decoded 4K videos without downsizing when connected 
to 4K TV/monitor.

 

So we start working on this and here is the result:

A64-2.jpg

А64-3

Now we have to laser-cut and bend some boxes and see if it’s done right 🙂

New mainline Linux images with Kernel 5.3.8 for A13-OLinuXino and A13-SOM are uploaded

adni18_Linux_Christmas

A13-OLinuXino and A13-SOM got new mainline Linux images based on Kernel 5.3.8 on our ftp.

The two distributions we usually release are Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic and Armbian/Debian buster next with build instructions and ready to burn to SD card images.

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.

If you need second (or third) Fast Gigabit Ethernet interface on your embedded Linux computer or desktop our Open Source Hardware OSHW USB-Gigabit adapter is what you need!

USB-GIGABITa

Many of our customers ask if we can design board with two or three Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. The Allwinner chips we use for OLinuXino are general purpose not communication chips so they usually have single Ethernet. The Sitara SOC we use AM335X advertise to have more than one Ethernet interface but it’s marketing as these are virtual interface i.e. share transfer speed.

USB-Gigabit allow you to add 10/100/1000Mbit interface to any of your computers which has USB host. It supports USB 1.1, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 interfaces and speed depend on your USB port speed.

Our tests with A20 OLinuXino boards with USB 2.0 host interface show 319Mbit of Upload and 295Mbit of Download speed i.e. x3 times more than our other USB-Ethernet-AX88772B interface.

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