One of the main key drivers behind hardware adoption tends for any platform to be the availability of software resources. In the case of the MaaXBoard things are no different. Lets discuss what is currently available and what is to come!
Currently Available Resources
Debian Linux Out of Box Image - The Debian Out of Box Image is a users first experience with getting their MaaXBoard up and running. In the Quick Start Booklet that comes with the MaaXBoard, you will see all instruction in regards to where to find this image, how to setup your SD card up with this new image, and additional required hardware to properly run the Out of Box Image.
MaaXBoard Linux Debian User Manual - This Debian Linux User Manual is a continuation of the Out of Box Image. In the User Manual it goes through the entire functionality of the Out of Box Image. To give you an overview I'll discuss what application and peripherals are used in this user guide.
1. HDMI - An interactive Desktop environment is displayed over the HDMI connector to an HDMI monitor
2. MIPI-DSI Display- If so chosen, instead of displaying the Desktop environment over the HDMI monitor, a MIPI-DSI display can be used instead. To find a compatible MIPI DSI display search for on AES-ACC-MAAX-DSIP1 Avnet.com
3. UART - Uart 1 in this image can operate as a serial communication link, this requires the use of a USB serial communication debug board. Avnet recommends the following debug board https://www.newark.com/microchip/adm00559/evaluation-board-usb-to-uart-i2c/dp/55Y8325
4. USB - In the desktop environment we use the USB ports to connect various peripherals to the MaaXBoard, such as a USB Camera, Keyboard, and Mouse.
5. Wi-FI & Bluetooth - Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are exercised in this user guide, we go through the process of both enabling/connecting and sending/receiving packets with both.
6. MIPI-CSI Camera - The MIPI-CSI interface is used by connecting the AES-ACC-MAAX-CAM1 accessory to your MaaXBoard and running the camera interface in the interactive Desktop.
1. Terminal - A terminal application can be ran from the Desktop Environment, this can be used in the same manner as you would the UART 1 interface to control/access the file system.
2. Chromium Explorer - A Chromium Explorer is available in the Desktop Environment. Assuming you have made a network connection you can surf the internet.
3. Movie Player - Pre-loaded video is available on the MaaXBoard to exercise the Movie Player application. The highest resolution video supported is 4k.
4. Text Editor - Similar to your standard Text Editor, the Gedit text editor is available for use within the desktop environment
5. Camera Display and Capture - You can use either a USB or MIPI CSI camera to display and capture video within the Desktop environment.
6. Network Manager - Using the Network Manager you can connect to either a hard line Ethernet connection or to a Wi-Fi connection.
7. Bluetooth Manager - Using the Bluetooth Manager we can search and connect to Bluetooth devices, then we can transmit and receive files over that same connection.
8. Image Viewer - Finally after we capture images using the camera application, we can display them using the Image View application.
Debian_Linux_Sources - Currently the Debian sources for the out of box image are available for download. In regards to on-going Linux Source support, we are intending to update the sources on a Quarterly basis. In terms of what will be updated, we are intending to update Kernel releases, address bug issues, and take customer input into consideration for further functionality. So if you have any feedback in regards to the current source release (additional functionality desired or Bugs found) I highly encourage you to post it to the forum area where it can be properly discussed.
Yocto_Linux_Sources - As of now there are Yocto Linux Sources available for the MaaXBoard from Embest - http://www.embest-tech.com/prod_view.aspx?TypeId=117&Id=388&FId=t3:117:3
Unfortunately we have taken the approach for the time being to only offer limited support for a Yocto Based Linux. We are focusing our support structure behind the Debian Linux sources. So in the event of wanting to use the Yocto Linux, and the need for support, I would highly recommend contacting Avnet Design Services for support.
Now lets chat about what is to come.
Android 9.0 - As of now Avnet is in the process of testing an Android 9.0 operating system on the MaaXBoard, we are expecting to have this fully tested and released come Early April.
Debian Linux Development Guide - Currently in development, Avnet is working on a Debian Linux Development Guide. This guide will give the user the basic understanding of the following.
1. Build Environment Setup - The required Ubuntu OS environment along with necessary packages and space requirements are defined.
2. Compiling Source Code - We will define a process for compiling both the Linux Kernel and Uboot.
3. Burning the image to an SD Card - We will discuss how to partition your SD Card properly along with how burn the image to the SD Card from the Ubuntu environment
4. Compiling User Code - Finally we will go through the process of compiling and testing user code.
Lastly lets talk about where additional support and feedback can be obtained.
Forum - Basic support can be provided through the support forum area. Go to http://avnet.me/maaxboard and ask your question!
Avnet Design Services - If the scope of your project requires support outside of the forum capabilities, we recommend you contact Avnet Design Services for assistance. Please note this will most likely require a Paid Contract approach for getting assistance.
To find any of the documentation talked about above go to http://avnet.me/maaxboard
Feel free to ask questions below!