Posts Tagged ‘yocto’

Congatec Introduces Intel Atom x5-E8000 Thin mini-ITX Board, COM Express & QSeven Modules

February 11th, 2016 No comments

Following Intel’s announcement of their new Atom x5-E8000 quad core processor with 5W TDP/4W SDP and 7-year availability earlier today, Congatec published a press release for four new platforms based on the processor with conga-QA4 Qseven module, conga-MA4 COM Express Mini & conga-TCA4 COM Express Compact modules, as well as conga-IA4 industrial-grade Thin Mini-ITX board.


conga-QA4 Q7 System-on-Module

All four products are actually variation of existing Braswell platforms, but Intel Atom x5-E8000 brings 64-bit computing even cheaper thanks to its $39 recommended customer price. So I’ll just look at the QSeven module specifications in details:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x5-E8000 quad core “Braswell” processor @ 1.04 GHz / 2.00 GHz (Burst) with 2MB L2 cache, and Intel HD Gen8 graphics @ 320 MHz; 5 W TDP.
  • System Memory – Up to 8GB onboard DDR3L with 1600 MT/s
  • On-board Storage – Up to eMMC 4.5.1 onboard flash  (optional), 8 MB serial SPI firmware flash
  • Connectivity – PCIe to GbE controller (Intel i211)
  • Board Controller – Multi Stage Watchdog, non-volatile User Data Storage, Manufacturing and Board information, Board Statistics, BIOS Setup, Data Backup, I²C bus (fast mode, 400 kHz, multi-master), Power Loss Control, embedded BIOS Features AMI Aptio® 2.X (UEFI) BIOS
  • 230-pin edge connector with:
    • Storage – 2x SATA3, 1x SDIO
    • USB – 8x USB 2.0 or 1x USB 3.0 and 5x USB 2.0
    • Expansion – 3x PCI Express 2.0
    • Low speed I/O – I²C bus, LPC bus, 1x SPI
    • Sound – High Definition Audio Interface
    • Display – DisplaPort 1.1a up to 3840×2160 or HDMI 1.4b up to 3840×2160, LVDS up to 2x 24-bit @ 1920×1200 @ 60 Hz
    • Camera – MIPI CSI2
    • Fan control
  • Power Management – ACPI 5 .0 compliant, Smart Battery Management
  • Power Consumption – 4.5W…12W typical
  • Dimensions – 70 x 70 mm (Qseven form factor)
conga-QA4 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

conga-QA4 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

The module is said to support Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8 Embedded, Windows Embedded Compact 7, and Microsoft Windows 10. There’s also some Linux with tools, and a Yocto 1.8 Project BSP.

With the name “x5-E8000”, you might have thought it shared of the features with “x5-Z8300” processor plus options specific to the embedded space such as long term support, but a comparison on Intel website shows its features are closer to other Braswell processors such as Intel Celeron N3150 with more PCIe, display, and USB interfaces, as well as support for up to 8GB RAM.


Congatec four new boards with Intel Atom x5-E8300 Processor

Congatec modules and mini-ITX board availability and pricing with the latest Atom Braswell processor have not been disclosed. You can visit Congatec products page to find out more about their latest solutions.

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Renesas R-Car M2 Porter is a Linux Development Board for Your Car

January 14th, 2016 3 comments

So far, I always assumed development boards specifically designed for automotive applications would only be available to companies in the car or truck business, but as I wrote about FOSDEM 2016 schedule yesterday, I found out that one of the talk with cover FOSS software stacks that are available for automotive, and usable on hobbyist boards such as Raspberry Pi 2 and Minnowboard Max, but also on Renesas R-Car M2 Porter board specifically designed for automotive infotainment applications.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Renesas Port board specifications:

  • SoC – Renesas R-Car M2 dual core ARM Cortex-A15 processor @ 1.5­GHz with PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU, Renesas 2D graphics processor, and Multimedia Engine SH­4A @ 780 MHz
  • System Memory – Dual channel 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – On-board 4 MB SPI, and 64 MB SPI, 1x SATA rev 3.1 connector, 1x SD card slot, and 1x micro SD card slot
  • Video Output / Display I/F – HDMI and LVDS + touchscreen
  • Analog Video In – ADV7180 Video Decoder with RCA jack, NTSC/PAL/SECAM autodetection
  • Audio codec – AK4643EN with 3.5mm jacks for Line In and Line Out
  • Connectivity – 100 Mbps (debug) Ethernet and Ethernet AVB (Auio Video Bridge) connector
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB port that supports host, device and OTG modes
  • Serial – CAN transceiver
  • Expansion
    • 1x PCI Express x1 slot
    • EXIO connector
    • IEBus (Inter Equipment Bus)
  • Debugging – 20-pin JTAG connector, micro USB port for debugging
  • Misc – Power LEDs for 12, 5 and 1.35V, power switch, 3 user buttons, reset button,
  • Power supply – 12V/9A
  • Dimensions – 170×125 mm

So the hardware is pretty interface with interfaces seldom found on hobbyist boards such as IEBus (automotive 2-wire protocol to connect multiple media devices), EXIO connector, and an Ethernet AVB bus. Video input would allow you to use some rear camera for example, LVDS and the touchscreen header a touchscreen display.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The board supports Linux built with the Yocto Project. No, I did not find at all that information on Renesas website, but instead on Porter board page on, which beside hardware information, including the hardware and setup guide, also provides a quick start guide to  run an “Hello, World!” application with a Yocto build supporting both X11 and Wayland.

All that would not be any fun is you could not purchase the board, but luckily R-Car M2 Porter board is sold on Digikey for $360.

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FOSDEM 2016 Schedule – Open Source Hardware and Software Event in Europe

January 13th, 2016 3 comments

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting) is a 2-day event that usually takes place on the first week-end of February in Brussels, but this year it will be on January 30-31. The event brings thousands of developers, hackers, and other person interested in open source technology who present their projects and share ideas. FOSDEM 2016 schedule is now available, and There will be 557 speakers, 612 events, and 50 tracks this year including 7 main tracks: Distros, Enterprise, Hardware, Communications, Miscellaneous, Office, Systems Administration, and Virtualization.


So I’ve had a look at some of the talks, especially out of  “Embedded, Mobile and Automotive” and “IoT” devrooms, and prepared my own virtual schedule although I won’t be able to attend.


For many years MIPS processors have been involved in the embedded market, particularly in areas related to networks and storage. With the success of the mobile market, and the great evolution of the world linked to the “makers”, other architectures (such as ARM), they have reached very large levels of diffusion.

Meanwhile, the MIPS architecture has evolved, introducing innovations and improvements to adapt to both the processor market from performance, both to the world of micro-controllers. The future of MIPS is a new family divided into several generations evolving.

During the presentation, after a brief and simplified introduction to architecture, will be shown the technologies available at the time and what will be the future developments.

The presentation will also show some reference platforms (ex. Imagination Creator CI20), and how to work to integrate and port on these platforms. Application examples with Yocto and buildroot, to switch to a full distribution (Debian). Finally it will also present a perspective on the use of MIPS in embedded designs.

AsteroidOS is a free and open-source smartwatch platform based on OpenEmbedded, libhybris, BlueZ5 and Qt5. The OS currently offers a basic user experience on the LG G Watch. This technical talk will briefly introduce the philosophical background of the project and more deeply its architecture’s details in order to attract developers, porters and curious.

This talk will successively be focused on how to boot an Android Wear watch, on how to gain hardware acceleration on that kind of hardware, on how Qt5 and OpenEmbedded are used and on the future of AsteroidOS.

AsteroidOS uses similar technological choices as those of projects like SailfishOS, NemoMobile, Mer, WebOS-Ports or Ubuntu Touch but adapted to the needs of smartwatches. The architecture of those project will briefly be compared during the presentation.

Based on Migen, MiSoC is a library of cores and a system-on-chip integration system to build gateware for various applications. MiSoC is lightweight (runs on FPGA devices as small as Spartan-6 LX9 with 32-bit RISC CPU and SDRAM), portable (demonstrated on Xilinx, Altera and Lattice devices) and high performance (e.g. contains the fastest open source DDR3 solution we are aware of). Designing and integrating cores is facilitated by Python and Migen features. Current MiSoC applications include LTE base stations, video processing (Numato Opsis) and experiment control system (ARTIQ).

Nemo Mobile is a long time FOSS operating system. Created in 2012 as continuation to Meego Community Edition, it has been actively developed since then. The newest iteration of it is to use Glacier UI as its renewed User Interface, along with its Qt Components. These components are now used in the NemoTablet adaptation using Raspberry Pi2 as underlying hardware and its plethora of possible peripherals to create a true DIY tablet derived from SailPi project.

With Raspberry Pi 2 introduction in February 2015, it was then possible to create an adaptation for it. This enables the myriad of functionality it offers, with its hardware provided. Initial adaptation was done originally for SailfishOS, but Nemo Mobile had the first run and checking that everything worked, before a closed system was installed. Nemo Mobile, however, was then not tried until later. The idea came once the official touchscreen by Raspberry Pi Foundation was released, so that a FOSS tablet could be built by anyone and used. Raspberry Pi 2 has non-free hardware, but Nemo Mobile itself is FOSS completely. As with all other adaptations, the questions regarding hardware freedom limitations rise for a good reason.

Libreboot is a free software BIOS replacement (boot firmware), based on coreboot, for Intel, AMD and ARM based systems. Backed by the Free Software Foundation, the aim of the Libreboot project is to provide individuals and companies with an escape from proprietary firmware in their computing. Libreboot is also being reviewed for entry as an official component of the GNU system.

Boot firmware is the low-level software that runs when you turn your computer on, which initializes the hardware and starts a bootloader for your operating system. Libreboot currently supports laptops and servers, on x86 (Intel and AMD) and ARM (Rockchip RK3288), with more hardware support on the horizon. The purpose of this talk is to describe the history of the project, why it started, why it’s important, where it’s going and, most importantly, to tell people how they can get involved.

Francis also runs the Minifree (formerly Gluglug), a company that sells computers with libreboot and Trisquel GNU/Linux pre-installed.

No abstract, but it’s clear about Olimex’s Allwinner A64 A64-OlinuXino board to be used in the company’s open source hardware laptop.

A brief discussion about the stable release branch 4 of KiCad as well as goals for the next development cycle and beyond.

The WPANKit is a ptxdist based Open-Source 6LoWPAN Board Support Package (BSP). The main focus is to provide a software development kit for the linux-wpan project. The linux-wpan project aims to implement a 6LoWPAN inside the mainline Linux kernel.

This talk will present the WPANKit: An Open-Source Linux BSP to develop 6LoWPAN IoT applications. It contains support for various common platforms such Raspberry Pi’s and Beaglebones. Additional components like the openlabs 802.15.4 transceiver SPI transceiver or BTLE USB dongles gives you a getting started platform into the Linux 6LoWPAN world.

The WPANKit will directly build a current mainline 6LoWPAN kernel, which is the official bluetooth-next tree. This is important, because the mainline 6LoWPAN development is still much in development. Additional the WPANKit offers a large of userspace IoT software collection e.g. tshark for sniffing network traffic, libcoap, etc. On top of this BSP you can develop your IoT application, setting up a Border-Router or help at the current mainline 6LoWPAN Linux-kernel development.

Through the power of ptxdist you can easily add new own packages for cross-compiling. As well we accept patches to integrate new software into the official WPANKit repository, so we getting more and more new IoT capable software into the WPANKit which can be used by other ptxdist users.

An AdaCore intern has rewritten the CrazyFlie drone software, originally in C, into SPARK. In addition to fixing some bugs, this allowed to prove absence of runtime errors. Various techniques used to achieve that result will be presented, as well as a live demo of free fall detection.

This talk will take us through the available FOSS software stacks that are available for automotive. This last year has produced a lot of working software from fiber-optic networking drivers in the Linux kernel, complete In-Vehicle Infotainment stacks, to a newly released Qt Automotive. There has also been a change in available hardware to run this software on, new boards like the Minnowboard Max, Renesas’ Porter board, and even the Raspberry Pi 2. This talk will try and cover the entire software ecosystem and how it matches to hardware, how you can get involved today, and what the future holds.

Turris Omnia aims to bring to the market affordable, powerful and secure SOHO router which is completely open-source and open-hardware. As a operating system it uses our own fork of OpenWrt which has some additional features such as automatic security updates. This talk will cover few topics such as motivation for starting this project and developing of our own hardware and software.

FROSTED is an acronym for “FRee Operating System for Tiny Embedded Devices”. The goal of this project is to provide a free kernel for embedded systems based on ARM Cortex-M CPU family, which exposes a POSIX-compliant system call API. Even if it runs on small systems with no MMU and limited resources, Frosted has a VFS, UNIX command line tools and a HW abstraction layer which makes it easy to support new platforms and device drivers.

This talk will cover why the project was started, the approach taken to separate the kernel and user-space on ARM Cortex-M CPU’s without MMU, the collaboration with the libopencm3 project to provide a high quality hardware abstraction layer and the future goals of the project. Of course there will a demo showing the latest developments: dynamic loading of applications and possibly TCP/IP communication.


Yocto project has been used at Open-RnD for building a number of IoT related products. The talk will go though the details of integration of Poky build system and OpenEmbedded layers into 3 projects carried out at Open-RnD:

  • an autonomous parking space monitoring system
  • a distributed 3D steroscopic image acquisition system
  • a gadget for acquisition of metabolic parameters of professional athletes

The presentation will approach to building software, automation and upstreaming of fixes. Only widely available hardware platforms such as BeagleBone Black, Raspberry Pi, Wandboard or Gateworks GW5400 (not as widely used as the previous ones, but still fully supported) were used in the project, hence all the points made during presentation are directly applicable by professionals and hobbyists alike.

Tizen is an open source GNU/Linux based software platform for mobile, wearable and embedded devices as well as Internet of Things. Tizen:Common provides a generic development environment for Tizen 3 which key features include, Wayland, Weston, EFL UI/UX toolkit, and a web runtime for safely running standalone HTML5 apps. Yocto Project offers tools to easily expends features of Tizen:Common by creating layers for new profiles. This talk will focus the Tizen architecture and it will provide guidelines for creating and building new Tizen profiles, based on Tizen:Common, using the Yocto Project for devices with Intel or ARM processors. It will also provide information about hidden gems in Tizen on Yocto and practical examples for packaging and deploying HTML5 applications through Yocto recipes for the open source hardware development boards like Raspberry PI2 or HummingBoard (Freescale I.MX6 ARM SoC) or MinnowBoard Max (Intel).

Finally, since Tizen aims to because the OS of everything, we will illustrate this by extending Tizen Distro with new connectivity features provided by IoTivity library, the open source implementation of OpenInterConnect’s standard.

This session will show you how to build your own retro hand-held console that is powered by Java, runs on a Raspberry Pi, and is printed on a 3D printer. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Hacking Java on the Raspberry Pi
  • Rigging input devices with Pi4J
  • Insane performance tuning on the JVM
  • Why your boss [or SO] needs to buy you a 3D printer!

And of course your retro gaming mettle will be put to the test, so make sure to dust off your old 8 and 16 bit consoles to prepare.

How to roll your own build and extend the Fairphone 2 hardware

The project is currently doing hundreds of build and boot tests for upstream kernels on a wide variety of hardware. This session will provide an introduction to the system, some live demos and how to start consuming its results, and be a forum for further discussions.

Distributed boards farms across the world are working together to deliver unified build, boot, and test results for every merge of an upstream Linux kernel tree. A community based architecture agnostic effort, aims to detect regressions in a timely manner and report back to kernel developers with a concise summary of the issues found. On every merge, all defconfigs for x86, arm, and arm64 are built, booted, and tested on over 300 real or virtual hardware platforms. Come join in the discussion and help make Linux better!

Hardware is funny stuff. It is often documented to work one way when it actually works a slightly different way. Different revisions of the hardware may have different bugs that require different sets of work-arounds. Programming it even slightly incorrectly can lead to software crashes or system hangs. Sometimes some versions of the hardware work fine, but the version not on the developer’s desk crashes. Failure modes are often opaque and give no clues for fixing the problem. Writing robust, reliable software to run directly on hardware is hard.

Software simulation of hardware is a technique that, in many cases, can alleviate some of this pain. Teams that develop hardware will often create a simulator as a by-product of hardware synthesis. Not ever developer is fortunate to have access to such tools. Those who do have access often find them slow or difficult to use. After all, these simulators are generally created as an aid for the hardware developers themselves. Much of the benefit of a full hardware simulator can be attained by developing the simulator independently from the hardware development. When the correct techniques are applied, it’s not even that hard.

This talk will present a variety of techniques based on experience with several “home grown” simulation environments. Techniques for both developing and validating the simulator and techniques for integrating simulation in the regular development process will be described.

  • 16:00 – 17:00 – PHP7 by Derick Rethans

With PHP 7 having been released, it is time to show what’s in there. Speed, scalar type hints and spaceships.

These are just a few selection from the complete schedule. Last year, most FOSDEM 2015 videos were available in mid-March, so I’d expect FOSDEM 2016 videos to be available in about the same time frame.

As usual, the event will be free, and does not require registration, so you just need to show up at the Université libre de Bruxelles in order to attend.

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Fleye is a Safe, Robust and Developer Friendly Drone Powered by NXP i.MX6 Processor (Crowdfunding)

December 8th, 2015 3 comments

In most cases, it’s a pretty bad idea to touch a drone while it’s flying, as you could potentially hurt yourself and others with the blades, so a startup based in Belgium has decided to design a safe drone with the blades hidden under a shell surrounded by protective grids, and with features such as obstacles avoidance. The design also makes the drone sturdier, and less prone to breakage should it fall or hit obstacles. The drone, dubbed Fleye, is based on NXP i.MX6 dual core processor, runs a Linux OS built with the Yocto Project, and the company also plans to provide APIs, and mobile SDKs to allow the developer community to experiment with the drone, and/or create mobile apps.

FleyeMain hardware features of Fleye drone:

  • SoC – Freescale NXP i.MX6 dual or quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 800 MHz with Vivante GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB (1GB as option)
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – WiFi up to 100 meters range
  • Camera – 5MP camera up to 1080p @ 30 fps (omnivision 5640 sensor)
  • Sensors – 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, sonar, optical flow tracking via bottom camera, altimeter, and GPS
  • Flight – 15 km/h max speed; 8km/h wind tolerance; -/+ 10 cm hovering precision
  • Battery – 1,500 mAh LiPo battery with XT60 connector; good for 10 minutes of flight time
  • Dimensions – 23 cm diameter
  • Weight – 450 grams

The Fleye will ship with a dual core processor, but a special Developer Edition will come with NXP i.MX6 Quad and 1GB RAM instead. The drone is flown with a mobile app running on iOS and Android, and does not require piloting skills, and you just need to select a camera mode such as selfie or virtual tripod before watching the video stream on your mobile device. It’s also possible to control it manually with a virtual gamepad, or an actual Bluetooth gamepad for more control. Since the blade are not exposed, the drone can be pushed around if it is on the way. You can find out more in the video below.

The board uses OpenCV for its obstacle avoidance algorithm, and some more complex apps can be accelerated with OpenGL or/and OpenCL thanks to Vivante GPU. The full APIs and SDKs have not been publicly released yet, but here what you may expect:

  • JSON-over-UDP API to control the drone over WiFi from any network capable computing device.
  • Android & iOS SDK
  • Nodejs and/or Python SDK

Since the main board runs Linux, you’ll be able to write your own applications, and access it via SSH. A different API will also be provided in order to instruct the auto-pilot to take off, land, go to specific GPS coordinated, etc… from your own application(s).

Fleye drone is on Kickstarter, and so far has raised around 100,000 Euros out of its 175,000 Euros target. The super early bird rewards are all gone, but some early bird rewards are still available, and a 699 Euros (~$738) pledge, shipping included, will hopefully get your the drone in September 2016.  You may also find more details on and their blog.

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iMX6 TinyRex Module and Development Board Support HDMI Input in Linux (Video Demo)

December 2nd, 2015 2 comments

A couple of years ago, I wrote about iMX6 Rex open source hardware project combining a Freescale i.MX6 SoM and baseboard that aimed a teaching hardware design (schematics and PCB layout). I had not followed the project very closely since then, until I watched a video showcasing HDMI input capabilities in Linux using the new version of the module and baseboard called i.MX6 TinyRex.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

i.MX6 Tiny Rex module specifications:

  • SoC – Freescale iMX6 processor up to 1.2GHz and 4 cores
  • System Memory – Up to 4GB DDR3-1066 (533MHz)
  • Storage – EEPROM
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet PHY
  • I/Os via 3 board to board connectors:
    • Display / Video Output
      • 1x HDMI (up to QXGA 2048×1536)
      • 1x LVDS (up to WUXGA 1920×1200)
      • 1x 20-bit parallel LCD display (up to WXGA 1366×768) or 1x Video Input (CSI)
      • 1x MIPI DSI differential display output (up to XVGA 1024×768)
    • Video Input
      • 1x 20-bit parallel video input CSI (up to 8192×4096)
      • 1x MIPI differential camera input
    • Storage – 1x SATA; 1x NAND Flash or 1x MMC (8bit); 2x SD (2x 4bit or optional 4 & 8bit)
    • 1x PCIe
    • 2x USB
    • 5x UART, 3x I2C, 2x SPI, 1x CAN
    • Digital audio
    • 2x GPIO, 2x GPIO or PWM
    • System signals -Reset in/out, Boot mode, Power ok, User button
  • Misc – User LED, power LED, JTAG on testpoints
  • Dimensions – 38 x 38 x 4.8
  • Power –  2.7 to 5.5V DC, single +3.3V and +5V
iMX6 Tiny Ref Module Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

iMX6 Tiny Ref Module Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

The company provides Linux support via the Yocto Project. Bear in mind that contrary to OpenRex, TinyRex is not open source hardware. In order to complement the module, iMX6 TinyRex baseboard Lite has also been designed by Fedevel, and manufactured by Voipac.


Click to Enlarge

Baseboard specifications:

  • Storage – 1x SATA port, 1x micro SD card slot, up to 128Mbit on-board SPI Flash
  • Video
    • 1x HDMI Output with Audio
    • 1x micro HDMI input with audio (e.g. from GoPro camera) via ADV7610 HDMI receiver.
    • 1x MIPI-CSI camera input (compatible with Raspberry Pi)
  • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB –  1x USB (Optional: 2x USB ), 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Expansion
    • 1x PCIE mini card socket (PCIE & USB)
    • Headers with 4x UART, 1x SPI, 1x CAN (CMOS), 3x I2C, 2x PWM, 8x GPIO
  • Debugging – 1x UART debug console header (compatible with FTDI cable)
  • Misc – Reset & user buttons, power and user LEDs,
  • Power Supply – 3.2 to 5.5V DC via power barrel
  • Dimensions – 90 x 80 mm (with four holes for heatsink)
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The schematics for the baseboard are available on request, and software documentation can be found on imx6rex website, including one part showing how to use HDMI input with the Yocto built image which using Video4Linux2 (V4L2), adv7610 driver, and Gstreamer. The demo below shows how to output the HDMI input to an HDMI monitor. It’s not very useful by itself, unless you do some processing or use as video stream as part of an application, but shows the system works, and could be modified for live video streaming for example.

I understand iMX6 TineRex module and baseboard should be available by the end of the year, or Q1 2016, with the module starting at 59 Euros for 1k orders. Further details can be found on iMX6 TinyRex SoM and Baseboard Lite product pages.

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Yocto Project 2.0 “Jethro” Released

November 24th, 2015 No comments

The Yocto Project 2.0 was released a few days ago. The framework used to create embedded Linux distributions supports Poky 14 “Jethro” reference distribution by default, but other Linux distributions can also be built with the Yocto Project.


Some of the key features and improvements of Yocto Project 2.0 include:

  • Added gcc 5.2 which is now the default compiler (gcc 4.8 and 4.9 are also provided)
  • Updated linux-yocto kernel for qemu* and reference BSPs to version 4.1
  • Added basic support for Altera Nios II and Adapteva Epiphany
  • Added tune files for Cavium ThunderX, Cavium Octeon, ARM Cortex-A17, Intel Quark X1000, and ARM vfpv3 and vfpv3d16 features
  • Toaster Web UI improvements – Better performance and reliability; simplified setup; user-friendly layout; etc…
  • wic image creation tool version 0.2.0 with bug fixed and new features, such as GPT partition tables, native tools, image compression, etc…
  • Image generation adds support for  qcow2, vdi (VirtualBox VDI), hdddirect, and wic images.
  • devtool & recipetool improvements.
  • Extensible SDK in beta state
  • Various bitbake improvements
  • Improved SDK extraction time by 10-50%

You can try Poky 14.0.0 by downloading poky-jethro-14.0.0.tar.bz2 tarball, or getting the code from Yocto Project’s git server:

You can get a full list of features, release notes, security fixes, and updated on Jethro 2.0 page.

The next version Yocto Project 2.1 is planned for April 2016, and you can find some of the planned features and improvements on the Wiki.

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Compulab Unveils CL-SOM-iMX7 Freescale i.MX7 System-on-Module and SBC-iMX7 Single Board Computer

November 17th, 2015 7 comments

After a few years of speculations and developments about i.MX7 and i.MX8 processors, Freescale announced Freescale i.MX7 family this summer. The new processors are based on one or two Cortex A7 cores coupled with a Cortex-M4 MCU for real-time tasks, and are a low power alternative to Freescale i.MX6 processors. But so far I had only seen a few announcements such Toradex i.MX7 SoM or Freescale 96Boards, without any product actually shipping, and Compulab claims to the first to market with a Freescale i.MX7 system-on-module, namely their CL-SOM-iMX7 SoM which will ship in quantities in early January 2016.

Freescale_i.MX7_SoMCL-SOM-iMX7 system-on-module specifications:

  • SoC
    • Freescale i.MX 7Solo single core Cortex-A7 @ 800MHz with NEON SIMD and VFPv4 + ARM Cortex-M4 @ 200Mhz
    • Freescale i.MX 7Dual dual core Cortex-A7 @ 1GHz with NEON SIMD and VFPv4 + ARM Cortex-M4 @ 200Mhz
  • System Memory – 256MB to 2GB DDR3L-1066
  • Storage – 128MB – 1GB SLC NAND flash, 4GB – 32GB eMMC flash
  • Connectivity
    • Up to two 2x 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet ports (MAC+PHY)
    • WiFi 802.11b/g/n (TI WiLink 8 WL1801 chipset) or Dual-band 2×2 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi (TI WiLink 8 WL1837 chipset)
    • Bluetooth 4.1 BLE
  • Other I/Os and peripherals via 204-pin SO-DIMM edge connector:
    • Display
      • 24-bit parallel display interface, up to 1920 x 1080 @60Hz
      • LVDS up to 1400 x 1050 @60Hz
      • 2-lane MIPI-DSI up to 1400 x 1050 @60Hz
      • On-board 4-wire resistive touch-screen controller
      • Capacitive touch-screen support through SPI and I2C interfaces
    • Camera
      • Up to 24-bit camera interface
      • 2-lane MIPI-CSI
    • Audio
      • Audio codec with analog stereo output, stereo input and electret microphone support (via WM8731L on module)
      • I2S & MQS audio interfaces
    • 1x PCIe x1 Gen. 2.1
    • External local bus interface, up to 32-bit
    • USB – 1x USB2.0 OTG port + up to 3x USB2.0 host ports
    • Up to 7x UART ports, up to 4 Mbps; up to 2x CAN bus, 3.3V levels
    • 2x MMC/SD/SDIO
    • Up to 3x SPI, up to 3x I2C, up to 4x general purpose PWM signals
    • Up to 124x GPIO (multifunctional signals shared with other functions)
    • Up to 6x Timer outputs
    • 4x general-purpose ADC channels + 4x additional optional general-purpose ADC channel
  • Misc – Real time clock, powered by external battery
  • Supply voltage – 3.2V to 4.5V / Li-Ion battery
  • Active power consumption – 0.5 to 3 Watts
  • Dimensions – 42 x 68 x 5 mm
  • Weight – 14 grams
  • Temperature Range – Commercial: 0° to 70° C; extended: -20° to 70° C;  industrial: -40° to 85° C.

The module is said to support mainline Linux, Yocto Linux, and U-boot, with software and hardware documentation “coming soon”.

SBC-SOM-iMX7 (Click to Enlarge)

SBC-SOM-iMX7 (Click to Enlarge)

For development and evaluation purpose, or even inclusion in your own products, the company also introduced SBC-iMX7 single board computer comprised of SB-SOM-iMX7 carrier board and CL-SOM-iMX7 module targeting industrial and embedded applications.

SB-SOM-iMX7 baseboard brings out the following connectors and features:

  • Storage – Standard full-size SD socket.
  • Display
    • Parallel RGB and resistive touch-screen interfaces via FPC connector with support for Startec KD050C 5″ 480×800 TFT LCD panel
    • LVDS interface via 100-mil header
    • DVI via HDMI connector
  • Connectivity – Up to 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports (RJ45), as well as on-module WiFi and Bluetooth.
  • Analog – 3.5mm jacks for stereo output, line-in, and microphone
  • USB – 1x micro USB2.0 OTG, 2x USB2.0 host ports, and 2 extra USB host port via 100-mil header
  • Debugging
    • 1x serial debug port via UART-to-USB bridge, micro USB connector OR
    • 1x serial debug port via RS232 transceiver, ultra-mini serial connector
  • Expansion
    • mini-PCIe socket, full-size
    • 100-mil headers with access to up to 3x UART, 1x CAN, 2x SPI, 2x I2C, 24x GPIOs
  • Misc – RTC and coin-cell battery
  • Supply voltage – Unregulated 8V to 15V
  • Dimensions  – 160 x 136 x 22 mm
  • Weight – 165 gram
  • Temperature range – Same as CL-SOM-iMX7
SoM (left) and SBC (right) Block Diagrams - Click to Enlarge

SoM (left) and SBC (right) Block Diagrams – Click to Enlarge

Compulab CL-SOM-iMX7 sells for as low as $39 for 1k orders in its simplest configuration (SOM-iMX7-C800-D256-N128) with Freescale i.MX 7Solo, 256MB RAM, 128 MB NAND flash, no wired n0r wireless connectivity, etc…, while the carrier board goes for $81 in commercial temperature range, with $10 extra for extended, and $50 extra for industrial temperature range.

More details, including options details and pricing, can be found on Compulab’s CL-SOM-iMX7 and SBC-IMX7 product pages.

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SolidRun ClearFog Pro and Base Router Boards Feature Marvell ARMADA 380/388 Processor

November 9th, 2015 6 comments

Last month, I wrote about Turris Omnia an upcoming open source hardware router board with 6 Gigbit Ethernet ports and an SFP cage powered by Marvell ARMADA 385 processor. SolidRun has now unveiled ClearFog Pro router board with similar features, but opting instead for either Marvell ARMADA 380 or 388 processor.

ClearFog_Pro_OpenWRT_Router_BoardThe company will also soon launch or lower-end version called ClearFog Base with the less ports, but with the same system-on-module as ClearFog Pro:

  • Processor – Marvell ARMADA 380 (88F6810) single core or 388 (88F6828) dual core ARMv7 processor (Cortex A9 class) @ up to 1.6 GHz with 1MB L2 cache, NEON and FPU
  • System Memory – 256MB to 1GB 16-bit DDR3L (ARMADA 380) or 32-bit DDR3L (ARMADA 388)
  • Storage
    • Pro version – M.2 slot, 1x micro SD slot, 2x mSATA/mPCIE
    • Base version – M.2 slot, 1x micro SD slot, 1x mSATA/mPCIE
  • Connectivity
    • Pro version – 6x switched Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1x dedicated Gigabit Ethernet port, 1x SFP cage
    • Base version – 2x dedicated Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1x SFP cage (ARMADA 388 only)
    • PoE expansion header
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Expansions
    • 1x or 2x mini PCI Express slots (shared via mSATA above)
    • GPIO header (mikroBUS standard)
    • Audio/Telephony – Analog audio/TDM module support
  • Debugging – micro USB port for serial console. Pro version only: JTAG header
  • Misc – RTC with battery slot, LEDs, user push buttons
  • Power Supply
    • Pro version – 9V – 34V DC input; “advanced power control”; fan control
    • Base version – 5V input; wide range ready
  • Dimensions
    • Pro version – 225 x 100 mm
    • Base version – 160 x 100 mm (TBC)
ClearFog Pro Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

ClearFog Pro Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

The boards support Linux 3.x distributions such as OpenWRT and one build with the Yocto Project. The block diagram also shows two SIM card slots not listed in the specs, and which should be on the top right of the processor. The routers board are comprised of a baseboard and the company’s microSOM-a1 based on Marvell ARMADA 380,  or microSOM-a2 with ARMADA 388 processor. The mikroBUS header allows you to use MikroElektronika Click add-on boards just like in HummingBoard-Gate board, and a module with audio and a SLIC would make the board suitable for VoIP applications too.

ClearFog Pro router board can be purchased right now for $170 without power supply, metallic enclosure or 8GB micro SD card, and if you want the full package you’ll need to spend $240, which includes $50 for the case itself. SolidRun did not say anything about price and availability for ClearFog Base board, except it’s coming soon. You can find further details, including documentation and schematics (PDF), on Solidrun’s ClearFog and ARMADA MicroSOM product pages.

Via Liliputing

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