I recently set up a couple of demos on I.MX 6 based boards for one of the tech suport guys to take to the Designing with Freescale seminar in Warsaw. The best of the bunch was a RIoTboard demo showcasing compatibility with a portable LCD display, camera and WiFi. The demo creation process is simple enough for a relative beginner to follow and when completed makes for a great platform for Android development.


Equipment Required

For this project you will require the following:


Flashing the board


For the demo, we flashed the image to the RIoTboard itself. Putting the image on a bootable SD card is also possible and instructions for this are in the RIoTboard user manual.


First create a working directory to make things easier, in this example I used C:\riot, if you feel the need to use a different directory remember to alter any paths in this guide where appropriate.

Next, go to www.element14.com/riotboard and find the Quick links box. You will need to download both the Android OS Image (Android Image.zip) and Android Tools (tools.zip) to C:\riot. Once the zip files have been downloaded extract them both with your preferred archiving software.

Copy u-boot-mx6solo-RIoTboard.bin from C:\riot\Android Image and the three files boot.img, recovery.img and system.img from C:\riot\Android Image\eMMC to C:\riot\tools\tools\Mfgtools-Rel-4.1.0_130816_MX6DL_UPDATER\profiles\mx6dl linux update\os firmware\files\android and overwrite any files if prompted.


Set the on board dip switch to serial download mode as shown



Plug your RIoTboard into yor PC using a mini USB cable, make sure you use the USB OTG interface (as shown in the image) and not the Open SDA!



Supply power to the RIoTboard via the 5V PSU





Start MFG tools (C:\riot\tools\tools\Mfgtools-Rel-4.1.0_130816_MX6DL_UPDATER\MfgTool2.exe). The RIoTboard should have been detected and listed in the MFG tools window as "HID-compliant device". Click "Start" to begin the procedure.



During the flashing process an error may be displayed, this is nothing to worry about, just click cancel and it will go away.



After approximately two and a half minutes the window will show 1 successful operation. This indicates that the procedure is complete, click stop then exit.



Now remove all the cables and reset the DIP switches as follows to enable booting from the eMMC:


Install the UART

If this is the first time using the UART8000-U with your PC then you may need to install compatible drivers. The driver I used was CDM 2.08.30 WHQL Certified. This is available from the FTDI website.



The downloaded driver is provided as an executable. Once downloaded, double click the CDM v2.08.30 WHQL Certified.exe file and click Extract on the window shown:



Click Next to start the installer



This screen indicates that the installation process was successful. Click Finish to close the window



The final stage is to visit Device Manager (How-To). Expand the "Ports (COM & LPT)" section by clicking the + symbol and take note of the COM port that has been assigned to the UART8000-U (in this case COM15) as you will need this later.


Connecting the UART8000-U

The image you previously flashed to the RIoTboard has it's default video output set to HDMI. Swapping this to use the LVDS is a simple process with a lot of typing.


Use the UART8000-U to connect the RIoTboard to your PC as in the image. The debug header you are looking for (J18) is tucked away in a corner between the Ethernet port and the USB OTG we used to flash the board



Terminal Emulator Config

The simplest way to modify Uboot settings on your RIoTboard is to communicate via a terminal emulator. While there are several free terminal emulators available we will use PuTTY for this guide.

Download PuTTY (Link)http://www.putty.org/ then configure the settings as shown, substituting COM15 for the COM port you identified in the previous setion:

putty config.PNG


Click Open and reconnect the RIoTboard to the 5V PSU. when the console shows "Hit any key to stop autoboot:" do as you're told to get the Uboot prompt


Now for the typing! Enter the following line of code into the terminal window:


setenv bootargs console=ttymxc1,115200 init=/init nosmp video=mxcfb0:dev=ldb,bpp=32 video=mxcfb1:off fbmem=10M vmalloc=400M androidboot.console=ttymxc1 androidboot.hardware=freescale


Hit enter on your keyboard then type in:




And hit enter again.You can now turn off the RIoTboard and plug in the LCD8000-97C


Then turn it back on


Congratulations, you now have a fully functional RIoTboard demo!

Both the WiPi and the CAM8100-U are plug and play and supported by the newly installed image, just plug them into one of the USB ports and have fun!

Hungry for more? Click here for part 2!