Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained Board Unboxing and Quick Start Guide

Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained is an evaluation board running Linux powered by SAMA5D36 ARM Cortex A5 micro-processor with 256 MB DDR2, 256 MB flash, two Ethernet ports, 3 USB connectors, and more. This embedded board targets industrial automation, networks, robotics, control panels and wearable applications. The only video output is an LCD connector so it is reserved for headless or flat panel based applications. You can check full specs on my Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained announcement post. The company kindly sent me a sample, so that I can share my experience with the board. I’ll first post some unboxing pictures, show how to get started with the pre-installed image, and build my own Linux image. The board can be purchased for $79 from Atmel e-Store, as well as several distributors (P/N: ATSAMA5D3-XPLD). Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained Unboxing I’ve been sent the board via DHL in the following package, which gives  a short desscription of the board, and what it is used for. There’s …

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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 …

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$99 Parallella Supercomputer is Now Open Source Hardware

Parallella is a low cost supercomputer designed by Adapteva using Xilinx Zynq-7010/7020 FPGA+2x Cortex A9 SoC combined with Adapteva Ephipany 16 or 64 cores epiphany coprocessor. The project had a successful kickstarter campaign which allowed then to provide the 16-core version for $99, and the 64-core version for $750. The board will soon be shipped to people who pledged on kickstarter, and one of the promise of the campaign was to fully open source the platform, and today, they just fulfilled that. Before going into the details of the open source release, let’s have a look at the specs: SoC – Xilinx Zynq7000 Series (Z-7010 or Z-7020) Dual-Core ARM Cortex A9 with 512KB L2 Shared Cache Coprocessor – Epiphany Multicore Coprocessor. The Parallella-16 board includes the 16-core Epiphany-III processor The Parallella-64 board includes the 64-core Epiphany-IV processor System Memory – 1024MB DDR3L Boot Flash – 128 Mb QSPI Flash Indicators – 2 User controlled LEDs USB: USB 2.0 Port(0) Connects …

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Wandboard Dual Benchmarks, Serial Console Fun, and Distributions List

Since last time I tried Android and Ubuntu on the Wandboard, a few things happened. I’m not talking about Wandboard Quad announcement, but instead I received a Class 10 SD card, which makes the system so much responsive, and a RS232 to USB adapter so that I can access the serial console. So today, I’ll publish some benchmark results on Wandboard Dual since none appear to be available, and play a little with the serial console. A few things also happened on the operating systems side with more distributions now available for the board. Prerequisites I ran benchmark in Android, so I installed the latest Android 4.1.2 image (11th of April 2012) to my new SD card (ADATA 16 GB Class 10), and contrary to my poor experience on a 4GB Class 4 micro SD, everything was very fluid. I’ve also installed Google Play in order to install the applications. To do so in any device, you need to download …

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Wandboard Releases Updated Android and Ubuntu Linux Images and Source Code

Since I’ve received my previous short review of the Wandboard Dual development board, there has been more work on done the platform with new Android and Ubuntu images, Jelly Bean source, Linux SDK release, and git repo setup. I’ve tried the binary images, and had a quick look at the source code and corresponding documentation. Android 4.1.2 Image and Source Code Wanboard has release an improved Android image on the 14th of March which you can download for both Solo and Dual version of the development board with the following Changelog: Fix HDMI audio/playback issue with certain monitor. Add support for wifi on wandboard-dual. Known issue: Might need to turn off “Avoid poor connections”  in Wi-Fi ->Advanced to keep connection alive. I’ve given it a try in Wandboard Dual, and it seems Ethernet support is gone (Sorry my mistake, Ethernet IS working, but there’s no indication when it’s connected, and it’s pretty slow), Wi-Fi works but I’ve encountered the known …

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Developer Community for Freescale i.MX6 HDMI Dongles

Last week, I explained how to build U-boot, the kernel, and Android for Freescale i.MX6 HDMI dongle reference platform. Since them, there has been a bit more activity, with Richtechie releasing source code to some ARMTvTech members. However, this source code is very similar to the one released by Freescale, and misses some part present in the kernel config on GK802 such as CONFIG_MACH_MX6Q_RICHTECHIE, and the company clearly does not comply with the GPL. Let’s forget that for now, as Jasbir (who is also behind the Hackberry board) has managed to build and boot the kernel on his mini PC. There’s still more work to do, but at least we have a based to work on. In the meantime, I’ve noticed rz2k, an other developer, was also giving it a try on #arm-netbook Freenode IRC channel, so we decided to setup a few things to facilitate development and communication between developers. There are now 2 repositories on gihub rz2k account for HI802/GK802 …

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Atmel Introduces SAMA5D3 Cortex A5 Embedded MPUs and Evaluation Kits

Atmel has recently announced the Atmel SAMA5D3 series, a family of high performance, low-power microprocessor units (MPUs) based on ARM Cortex-A5 core. The SAMA5D3 series is designed for embedded applications in the industrial space, including factory and building automation, smart grid, medical and handheld terminals, as well as consumer applications such as smart watches, outdoor GPS, and DECT phones. SAMA5D3 family has the following characteristics: ARM Cortex-A5 core up to 536MHz (850DMIPS). Floating point unit (FPU) with up to 3 times the performance of Cortex A8 FPU. 166MHz bus speed delivering up to 1328MB/s bandwidth. Power consumption: <200mW in active mode at 536MHz with all peripherals activated 0.5mW in low-power mode with SRAM, registers retention and <0.5ms wake-up time ~1.2µA in backup mode with RTC running Connectivity: Dual Ethernet and dual CAN ports (Only one model has both) Gigabit Ethernet MAC with IEEE1588 and 10/100 MAC Two CAN controllers 3x HS USB ports that can be configured as three host …

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Barebox Bootloader Status Update – ELCE 2012

Sascha Hauer, kernel developer at Pengutronix, gives an update about the status of Barebox bootloader at the Embedded Linux Conference 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. Abstract: Booting Linux is still a hot topic on embedded systems. It has been 3 years since the last presentation about Barebox at ELC-E, and the barebox community has grown and developed many new and unique features during that time. The talk gives an update on the status of barebox, including MMU support, compressed images, menu system, automouter, tftp, nfs filesystem, USB updating techniques and other goodies. The presentation is for kernel porters who need a robust, flexible,extensible and well structured tool to bring up Linux on embedded hardware. It is equally suitable for new and experienced barebox users. Agenda of the talk: Tour through Barebox – Basic hardware initialization (SDRAM, clocks), Startup, User Interface, Start operating system, Update and Initial hardware bring-up. Devicetree support Multi-platform Bootloader Barebox live demo on Freescale i.MX53 LOCO You can …

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