Realtek RTD1296 U-boot & Linux Source Code Released, RTD1619 Cortex A55 SoC Shows up in Code

Media centers based on Realtek RTD1295 or RTD1296 processors have been around for a few years. They usually run both Android and OpenWrt operating systems for respectively media functions (4K video playback, HDMI input recording…), and NAS functions like file sharing. media downloads, etc…. SinoVoIP also unveiled Banana Pi BPI-W2 board powered by RTD1296 last year, but so far I was not aware of any source code for the target.

Synlogy actually released a Linux 4.4 tarball a while ago, but more recently SinoVoIP released Linux 4.9.119 and U-boot source code for RTD1296 in Github.

RTD1296 Linux Source CodeYou’ll find instructions to build from source, and flash the resulting U-boot and Kernel image from the Github page. There’s also some mainline Linux support for RTD1295, but maybe this release will help further speed up mainline support.

Beside code for RTD129x (RTD1295/RTD1296), we’ll find references to RTD139x (RTD1395) a cost-down version of RTD1295, as well RTD16xx, more specifically RTD1619, an hexa-core Cortex A55 processor with some interesting features according to the device tree files:

  • Mali Midgard GPU
  • HDMI Tx, HDMI Rx
  • SATA, PCIe, USB 3.0

There are four DTS files which normally describe boards listed with RTD16xx processor: Realtek_Mjolnir_2GB (with or without NAND flash), Realtek_Rescue_1GB, and Realtek_Thor_FPGA.

Thanks to Nobe for the tip.

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fossxplorer
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fossxplorer

So Banana Pi BPI-W2 can now boot Linux? Any reviews of this board to be seen? Pretty good I/O on this board!

tkaiser
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tkaiser

See http://forum.banana-pi.org/c/Banana-pi-BPI-W2 — for whatever bizarre reasons no one is testing what this device will be bought for.

fossxplorer
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fossxplorer
fossxplorer
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fossxplorer

And it would be very attractive if we can use mPCIe to SATA bridge on this one 🙂

tkaiser
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tkaiser

LOL! BPI folks as usual tried to come up with a funny design.

– the SoC has two PCIe lanes (1.1 x1 and 2.0 x1)
– there is not a single mPCIe slot at all
– instead there are 3 x M.2 slots. Great? Nope
– 2 x key E (only Wi-Fi cards are available with key E)
– 1 x key B (only USB2 on this connector)

If they would’ve used 3 x mPCIe you could’ve done an awful lot more things with the two PCIe lanes.

And then of course their support and documentation monkey does not write correct documentation or answers questions correctly but simply throws out BS again and again: http://forum.banana-pi.org/t/banana-pi-bpi-w2-with-realtek-rtd1296-chip-design/3924 (still ‘Cortex-A5’, ‘Realtek 1296 documents download link’ shows MediaTek R2 stuff; ‘sata , it is use PCIE interface’ –> BS, SATA is native here… and so on).

It’s great (for Banana Pi folks) that they openened up the sources now instead of playing their usual ‘just wait and see’ game for more months so that interested community members can now start to help them (as it happened with every other board so far — I really don’t get it why they repeat every mistake over and over again).

But as long as they don’t hire a technical writer and start to care about ‘information’ being correct and not just random words and numbers assembled to funny sentences there’s still a lot of room for improvements.

nobe
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nobe

tkaiser, do you have some info on why orange pi guys didn’t release their rtd1296 board (orange pi R2) ?

tkaiser
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tkaiser

Nope, all I know is ‘coming later this week for $79‘ 😉