Posts Categorized: Linux

Linux 4.1.15 on Opal-6

We have a BETA release of Linux 4.1.15 available for Opal-6!

Apart from an update to Linux v4, this is also the first release to support the Opal-6 QUAD SoM.

All the details are on the release page.  There will be a further update early June which will include new documentation.

Drop us a line of you need hardware to try it out!

RS485 on the Opal-6 Development Kit

Our last post looked at CAN bus on the Opal-6 Development Kit and how easy it is to connect to and get a prototype working.  In this post, we want to highlight the RS485 implementation, which also uses the push-wire wire connectors.


The Opal-6 Dev Kit includes an RS485 transceiver on UART2.  If your products interface to other devices using RS485, then getting everything talking with Opal-6 will be easy.  Just connect your device – no soldering required.

When it comes to software, the Linux driver takes care of managing the transmit enable line.  Just go ahead and use UART2 and it will work in RS485 mode with our dev kit image.

RS485 is also supported in Windows Embedded Compact 2013.  To get this working, simply enable the fRtsControl option to be RTS_CONTROL_TOGGLE when you are opening the COM port and the driver will take care of the rest.

Do you use RS485 in your devices?  Is this a helpful feature for you?  Let us know in the comments, or contact us to talk more about how Opal-6 could help you take the hassle out of your new product development.

Quartz Development Kits Shipping Now!

WP_20140210_09_12_24_ProAs you can see from the picture, we have Quartz Development Kits in stock!

Quartz is based on the Freescale Vybrid chip which is a dual-core ARM Cortex-A5 + M4 part.  Here is our quick intro video which shows the key features of the kit.


The kits are running a Timesys Linux build. Check out their development centre page for information on the tools that are available FREE to support Quartz software development.

Other Operating System ports are in the works including Windows Embedded Compact 2013 and FreeBSD.

The kit is designed around the connector version of the Quartz module. This is small (45mm x 35mm x 7mm) , but we have an even smaller surface-mount LGA version (38mm x 38mm x 3mm) for applications where vibration or space is an issue. You can still start your prototyping and evaluation with the development kit and move to the LGA when developing your product.

The Quartz Development Kit cost is $399 without LCD and $499 with a 7″ LCD. It can be ordered direct from us here.

Getting Started with Linux Development on the Quartz Vybrid-based SOM

imageTimesys is our development partner for Linux on Quartz, our latest SOM based on the Freescale Vybrid processor. They have been working with Freescale since the start of the Vybrid project so we think they qualify as experts on all things Vybrid.

The main tool set provided with Quartz is the LinuxLink PRO edition suite. This is usually US$5,000, but is free for Quartz development. LinuxLink PRO is a suite of tools for both platform and application development.

The best place to get started is the Quartz Development Center page on the Timesys site. This has links to download code and tools along with demos, documentation and getting started videos.

Announcing the Topaz i.MX25 CPU Module and Development Kit

We are very pleased to announce the Topaz i.MX25 CPU Module and Development Kit.  Topaz is a new CPU module designed for portable, industrial and automotive applications.

Topaz i.MX25 CPU ModuleThe Topaz module includes a Freescale i.MX25 (400MHz ARM926), 64MBytes mobile DDR, 128MBytes NAND flash, Freescale Power Management IC and Ethernet PHY.  Like Meridian, Topaz is a surface mount module.  This is easy to mount on new hardware and scales well in volume production.

Topaz i.MX25 CPU Module Topaz includes 10/100 Ethernet (just add a MagJack), USB Host and High-Speed OTG ports, LCD controller, Touch-controller, ADC, SD card, CAN, 5x serial ports, PWM, One-Wire, SPI, I2C, Security and more.  Check out the product page and data sheet for all the technical details.

For Topaz, we worked with partners to support Windows CE and Linux, as well as the .NET Micro Framework.  We are shipping today with Windows CE 6.0 R3 in conjunction with GuruCE.  The .NET Micro Framework and Linux are in development.

Topaz is ideal for portable applications as it uses low-power memory and can be powered from a LiIon cell.  For HMI applications, the built-in LCD and touch-screen controllers make it simple to connect a variety of display types.   For automotive applications, Freescale supply specific variants of the i.MX25 and these are supported by the Topaz module.

Topaz Development Kit

The Development Kit is great for evaluating the Topaz CPU module and development devices.

It includes 10/100 Ethernet, Serial, USB host and OTG ports, SD card and audio out.  All other signals are available on 0.1” interface headers for easy connection.

You have a choice of LCDs for use with the kit:

4.3inclLcd 4.3” 480×272 TFT LCD with touch-screen.

7inchRunningNoCable-small 7” 800×480 TFT LCD with touch-screen.

The development kit is priced at US$299 and the LCD kits are US$199 for the 4.3” option and US$299 for the 7” option.  These are available from our web shop now, and will be with distributors in the next 2-3 weeks.

Announcing the Topaz SO-DIMM module


Meet the latest addition to the device solutions module family: the Topaz i.MX25 CPU module in a plug-in, 200-pin SO-DIMM form factor.

This is the same circuit as the surface-mount version, so transitioning a design from one to the other is easy.

It also has the same world-class operating system support for Windows Embedded CE from GuruCE and Linux from Trygtech.

The new form-factor offers excellent flexibility for prototyping new designs, and makes production easier – especially for low-volume products. The surface-mount module is still available and ideal for applications that need a low profile module, or operate in high-vibration environments.

The Topaz web page has all the details including an updated Technical Reference Manual and schematic library symbols.

Contact us for samples – they are in stock now!

Announcing the Opal i.MX53 CPU Module

Module-TopWe are very pleased to announce the Opal i.MX53 CPU Module and Development Kit.

Opal is based on the Freescale i.MX53 processor, and includes up to 1GB DDR3 RAM, NAND flash, power management and an Ethernet PHY. It uses two 168-pin HiRose connectors to interface to a product-specific board.

Opal is perfect for devices that have demanding graphics requirements. The i.MX53 supports multiple displays, and includes outputs for TFT LCD panels with parallel and LVDS interfaces, as well as support for analog VGA. There is hardware acceleration for video as well as 2D and 3D graphics up to 1080p.

Connectivity highlights include Ethernet, USB and FlexCAN, as well as the usual embedded interfaces like serial, I2C and SPI.

Module-BottomOpal is a 60mmx60mm plug-in module. With complex processors like the i.MX53, it can be difficult to strike a balance between exposing all the features, system cost, physical size and mechanical strength. We think the Opal form-factor achieves this for the types of industrial, automotive and medical devices our customers create.

For the development kit, we have gone with the “more is more” approach :-) and included Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. There is also support for 2 LVDS panels (you can connect the Freescale 10.1″ panel used for the Quick Start Board), 7″ touch-screen LCD, CAN transceivers and digital I/O.

Another feature we hope will be useful on the development kit is the USB to serial converter for the debug serial port – you no longer have to go looking for your adapter!

Initial operating system support will be for Windows Embedded Compact 7 from GuruCE, with Linux and Android to follow from Trygtech.

We will have hardware available in July for beta customers with full availability shortly after that. If you think Opal might fit your application we would love to hear from you, and get you on the list for a beta unit.