Freescale recently released the i.MX6 Series of ARM SoC for industrial and mobile computing. This new SoC is based on ARMv7 Cortex-A9 MP architecture, that can scale from 1 to 4 core(s), clocked at up to 1.2 GHz, obviously also featuring a complete 2D/3D GPU based on Vivante GC400 engine, supporting OpenVG, OpenGL|ES 1.x and 2.x and OpenCL hardware acceleration APIs. The Freescale i.MX6 also provides a complete Multimedia Codecs API, allowing 1080p H.264/VC-1 video encoding/decoding.
While the chip is yet barely available to manufacturers, the OpenBricks team is proud to already feature it as supported within its framework. All hardware components aren’t yet fully supported, but we do already provide enough for you to start playing with the chip. So far, the OpenBricks framework provides full support for U-Boot and Linux Kernel (and basic/usual drivers) as well as complete support for IPU (Image Processing Unit) and GPU (with all Khronos libs for console-based environment). Still missing are the related X.Org video drivers and all hardware-accelerated audio/video codecs support but we’re definitely working on getting these in.
In other words, if you’re looking for an updated filesystem, we provide you everything one could need to start hacking with Freescale i.MX6 ARM2 and SabreLite evaluation boards. More to come on this in the following weeks …
The OpenBricks team has just brought support for Disko, yet another framework for designing user interfaces and applications for embedded devices. The project now features support for most of the application framework, including:
- Nokia Qt
- Enlightenment EFL
Disko is an LGPL-licensed user interface (UI) application framework for the fast and simple development of flexible applications on Embedded Linux systems – with a particular focus on interactive user interfaces. It is high-performance and easy to learn, and due to its architecture is well suited to creating complex applications. Disko also provides support for OpenGL and OpenGL|ES hardware graphic acceleration (wherever possible), as to offload your embedded CPU. The framework is really mature and provides a wide range of features.
Early October 2010, Texas Instruments (TI) released the PandaBoard, the first community-driven embedded board featuring TI’s OMAP4 SoC, that everyone will see as BeagleBoard‘s successor. PandaBoard is a very nice piece of hardware, featuring a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, PowerVR SGX540 GPU, IVA-HD Ducati DSP capable of 1080p hardware video decoding and encoding, 1GB RAM, FastEthernet, Bluetooth, WiFi, HDMI, FM Radio and so much more. OMAP4 SoC will definitely reached 2011’s Smartphones and Set-Top-Boxes (at least!) but no doubt they’ll be integrated in so much more devices. PandaBoard is the first low-cost (174$ only) available mobile software development platform featuring OMAP4.
Early shipments of the board have barely started at DigiKey and it’s yet really hard to get your own but the OpenBricks project has been sponsored a couple boards from TI as early adopters. As a result, we’re proud to announce that OMAP4 SoC and PandaBoard is now fully supported by our cross-toolchain, with complete support of all of its peripherals, including all of its multimedia parts. It is then very easy for everybody to build your own customized distribution for this board and tune it to your taste, including X-Loader, U-Boot and root filesystem.
Some ready-to-flashed SD Card images of GeeXboX distribution with full-featured MediaCenter will be made available in the next days to come.