Purism Librem 5 Linux phone development kits are now shipping

Purism Librem5 development kit

Purism Librem 5 is a privacy-focused open source Linux smartphone powered by NXP i.MX 8M processor that was launched via a crowdfunding campaign in August 2017 that ends up being extremely popular with over 1.5 million dollars raised. At the time, the phone was scheduled to ship on January 2019, but a $299 development kit with board, display and accessories was slated to ship in June 2018. There have been some delays, but the good news is that Librem 5 development kits are now shipping so third party software development for the phone will now really get started. Librem 5 development kit preliminary specifications: System-on-Module – Emcraft SOM-IMX8M module with NXP i.MX 8M Quad core Cortex A53 processor, at least 2GB LPDDR4 RAM and 16GB eMMC flash (I could not find exact RAM and storage capacities for the module used in the board) Display – 5.7″ LCD touchscreen with a 18:9 (2:1) 720×1440 resolution Camera – 1x camera module Librem […]

Emcraft Introduces NXP i.MX 8M SoM and $299 Starter Kit

I first discovered Emcraft Systems in 2011 through their work porting uCLinux to Arm Cortex M3/M4 microcontrollers, and since then the company has kept on working microcontroller software and hardware, but also moved to Arm Cortex A class solutions. Like most embedded systems companies, Emcraft engineers have also designed their own NXP i.MX 8M system-on-module, but while many have still not announced pricing, and/or show “in development” or “early product announcement” in their product page, Emcraft has started taking pre-order for their i.MX 8M SoM Starter Kit for $299, with shipping scheduled for May 21, 2018 or before. Let’s check out SOM-IMX8M specifications first: SoC – NXP i.MX8M Quad processor with 4x Cortex A53 cores, 1x Cortex-M4F core, and a Vivante GC7000Lite GPU System Memory – 512MB to 4GB DDR3L/LPDDR4 SDRAM Storage – 4 to 64GB eMMC flash Connectivity – Wireless module supporting 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, 2x u.FL antenna connectors on-module Power Management – ROHM PMIC […]

Emcraft Releases Linux BSP for NXP i.MX RT1050 Cortex M7 Evaluation Board

NXP iMX RT series is a family of ARM Cortex M7 processors clocked at 600 MHz, making the solution a “crossover embedded processor” bridging the gap between real-time capabilities of micro-controllers and the performance of application processors. This week, NXP provided some benchmark numbers for i.MX RT1050 processor, which delivers a CoreMark score of 3020, DMIPS of 1284, and 20ns interrupt latency at 600 MHz, which means it could be a good candidate for embedded Linux, and Emcraft Systems has just released a uCLinux BSP for the NXP i.MX RT1050 EVK board. The BSP features U-Boot v2017.09-rc1, Linux Kernel 4.5 with relevant device drivers such as key I/O interfaces, Wi-Fi, SD card, LCD, etc…, and GNU development tools such as a GCC 4.7 toolchain, GDB, and so on. The company has made a demo with a GUI application designed with Crank Software’s Storyboard Suite, and running in Linux on the NXP i.MX RT1050 evaluation kit The binary files for the […]

Emcraft Systems STM32F7 ARM Cortex M7 SoM and Development Kit Run uClinux

STMicro announced their STM32F7 MCU family the same as ARM announced their latest ARM Cortex M7 core for high-end micro-controllers last September. Emcraft Systems have now launched a STM32F7 system-on-module with 32MB SDRAM and 16MB NOR flash, and ported uClinux to the platform. The company has also launched a STM32F7 starter kit for evaluation and development. Both target industrial automation, system and power management, wireless networking / sensors and other embedded applications. STM32F7-SOM-1A Module STM32F7 system-on-module specifications: MCU – STMicro STM32F746 Cortex M7 MCU up to 200 MHz with 320KB RAM, 1MB flash in TFBGA-216 package System Memory – 32MB SDRAM Storage – 16MB NOR flash Connectivity – 802.3 Ethernet PHY SoM connectors – 2x 80-pin (0.4mm pitch) Debugging – ARM SWJ-DP combined JTAG and serial wire debug port Misc – Watchdog, RTC, USB and other I/Os via SoM connectors Power – 3.3V DC; Low-power mode with short startup times; Deep-sleep power mode with ultra- low power consumption profiles; Dimensions […]

Emcraft Systems Introduces IoT Devkit with LCD Display Powered by Freescale Vybrid VF6 SoC

Emcraft Systems has launched a IoT development kit based on on their Freescale Vybrid VF6 SoM featuring MVF61 SoC with a Cortex A5 MPU and a Cortex M4 MCU, and connected to a baseboard (IOT-BSB-EXT) with various connectors (USB, Ethernet, …) as well as a 4.3″ LCD (480×272 resolution) with touchscreen. The kit targets IoT gateway applications where a GUI (Graphical User Interface) and/or HMI (Human Machine Interface) are required. Vybrid IoT devkit specifications: SoC/Memory/Storage – Via Vybrid VF6 SoM with Freescale MVF61NN151CMK50 (No Security), or Freescale MVF61NS151CMK50 (with Security),  128 MB DDR3, Up to 512 MB NAND Flash, and 32 MBytes dual QSPI Flash Storage on Baseboard – micro SD card slot Display – 4.3″ 480×272 LCD with touch panel connected to the back side of the baseboard. Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet USB – 2x micro USB OTG ports, 1x micro USB for debugging and/or power Debugging – 20-pin JTAG interface, USB UART interface connected to UART port of […]

Low Power Mode (Suspend to RAM) in uCLinux for Freescale Kinetis K70 MCU

All ARM based micro-controllers and processors implement multiple power mode in order to save optimize power usage depending on the tasks. However, I’ve been told by some hobbyists/developers/makers that low power modes are not always implemented in Linux, especially for low cost systems either because of hardware limitations or the software is not implemented. EmCraft Systems has just released their latest embedded (uC-) Linux distributions for the MCU boards, and one of the features now available is “suspend to RAM” for their K70 SoM development kit, based on Freescale Kinetis K70 Cortex M4 MCU, which consume just around 600 to 700 uA @ 3.3V (2 to 2.3 mW) in this low power mode. They have connected a multimeter to measure the current drawn at different power modes. If you want to know all the details, you should probably read the company’s article on “Linux Low-Power Mode on Kinetis“, but I’ll summarize the key points in this posts. They checked the […]

U-Boot & Linux BSP for STMicro STM32 Discovery Board

If you want to run Linux on STM32 Discovery board, more exactly STM32F429 Discovery board, it’s now possible thanks to Emcraft Systems’ BSP for STM32F429 Discovery Board. It will only work on that particular version of the discovery board as it features 64Mbit external SDRAM, which is required for uClinux, and missing on other STM32 Discovery boards. You can either get u-boot and (uC)Linux from the company’s github account which contains the required patches, but lacks complete documentation, and a default config file for the kernel for example, or purchase a BSP ($33) with 3-month support, and pre-built u-boot and Linux binaries. There’s also publicly available documentation explaining how to flash the bootloader and the kernel among other things, and links to relevant external resources, without the need to spend any money. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and […]

Emcraft Systems Announces Freescale Vybrid VF6 SoM With Cortex A5 CPU and Cortex M4 MCU

Emcraft Systems has recently announced Vybrid VF6 SoM, a System-on-Module powered by Freescale Vybrid VF6 dual core Cortex A5/Cortex M4 SoC with 128MB DDR3, and 512MB Flash, as well as a starter kit composed of VF6 SoM and a carrier board. Emcraft VF6 System-on-Module specifications: SoC – Freescale Vybrid VF6 dual-core microprocessor with the ARM Cortex-A5 (up to 500 MHz) and Cortex-M4 cores (up to 167 MHz). Either MVF61NN151CMK50 (No Security), or MVF61NS151CMK50 (with Security). System Memory – 128 MBytes DDR3 SDRAM; Storage – Up to 512 MBytes NAND Flash, 32 MBytes dual QSPI Flash; Connectivity – Two 10/100 Ethernet interfaces with L2 switch; External interfaces using two 80-pin 0.4 mm-pitch connectors: Two USB 2.0 OTG interfaces Serial console interface at the UART CMOS levels; JTAG interface to the Vybrid VF6 TFT LCD interface Synchronous audio interface (SAI) supporting I2S, AC97 and CODEC/DSP interfaces Multiple serial digital (UART, SPI, I2C, CAN, SDHC) and analog (12-bit ADC, 12-bit DAC) interfaces of […]