|Product Performed to Expectations:||8|
|Specifications were sufficient to design with:||7|
|Demo Software was of good quality:||9|
|Product was easy to use:||9|
|Support materials were available:||9|
|The price to performance ratio was good:||5|
|TotalScore:||47 / 60|
This review will dive into embedded software development using the i.MX RT1170-EVK PCB. The evaluation kit (EVK) helps you take your design to the next level by reducing complexity and accelerating time to market. NXP’s MCUXpresso software and tools offer comprehensive development solutions designed to optimize, ease and accelerate embedded system development of applications based on Cortex-M core devices from NXP. At center of the EVK is NXP part# MIMXRT1176DVMAA processor. The EVK PCB allows embedded software developers to experiment with the powerful capabilities of the processor. The i.MX RT1170 MCU Family of processors are setting speed records at 1GHz. This ground-breaking family combines superior computing power and multiple media capabilities with ease of use and real-time functionality. I will be experimenting with some of these capabilities using the MCUExpresso SDK for the i.mx RT1170 Board. The evaluation kit supplied also contains a 5.5" 720 TFT LCD DISPLAY, which I also plan on experimenting with.
I do not have an electronics background, but I am interested in IoT. My background is more on the software side, with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Computer Science from Boston University. I Graduated from BU in 1980 and had been working as a Software Engineer since then until I retired in 2018. I've been presently experimenting with IoT and I've used a few Development kits. I'm not keen on soldering (my dexterity is not as good as it use to be !) So, Development Kits allow me to experiment without soldering.
I have evaluated another NXP product, the LPC55S69 EVK for a review on the AVNET Monarch LTE-M Development Kit -- EU . This kit uses the NXP LPC55S69-EVK as the base MCU PCB with an attached Avnet Monarch Go Arduino Shield. Attached to the Shield, is a Sequans Monarch Go LTE modem. This kit is comprised of hardware components from 3 hardware companies (NXP, Advent, Sequens) and 1 Telecom company (Verizon). The Ultimate goal of this product is to develop, prototype and test embedded software for use with the Sequans Monarch Go LTE Modem.
The Development for NXP boards is done through NXP's free Software development tools. You will need to become a member, to use them, but it's all FREE. I will describe the use of these tools and give you valuable links to them in this review.
So let's get started shall we.....
The .MIMXRT1170-EVK arrived as scheduled on Thursday May 27 2021 late in the day via UPS. I did not get to the Unboxing till a day later on Saturday May 29 2021, about midday. Here are some images and a video of the unboxing. Now its time to dive into the review.
If you watch the unboxing video I mentioned a empty static bag (in the image it's to the left). Well it was not empty the MIMXRT1170-EVK Packing List. has an item that I could not find.
"Item: 901-77346 Description: Full resolution 2592x1944 Pixel Size 1.4um x 1.4um camera module image sensor with Huatian technology"
Well it was in that static bag, but was too small to see at first. The bag was marked clearly with "901-77346".Luckly I did not throw the bag out in the trash!!! LOL
|camera module image sensor with Huatian technology. that will plug into the camera module connector on the board.|
I realized both the camera sensor module and the TFT LED display were not attached to the EVK. I looked through online documentation for the kit and could not find any indication on the orientation and how to attach these components to the EVK. I created in 2 tickets on the online NXP customer support portal at https://support.nxp.com/s/ , And I received my 2 answer in a day. I've included the screen shots for these 2 cases as they appear on the customer Support Portal. very nice experience with getting the problem solved. I highly recommend it.
Screen shot of my case support request on the right and the Support Solution on the Left
Screen shot of my case support request on the right and the Support Solution on the Left
Another great place to get answers on the the nxp.com site is through the Community Forums. I use the i.MX Forums page for questions on the i.RXMX1170-EVK.
I received an answer to my question about the camera module SDK examples. Here is my question and my reply posted to the i.MX RT Forum.
The information proved to be correct and I was able to load in the example into the IDE. I did respond to the contributor of this reply post and marked the reply as "ACEPT AS SOLUTION".
I thought I would take a closeup of the 4 pages of the guide. The link given on the last page http://www.nxp.com/MIMXRT1170-EVK/startnow should be your first landing page on the NXP website. If you have not already done so, I recommend you become a member. They have great resources and I have given links to them also in my REFERENCES section at the end of this review.
Page1describes all the components of the EVK. Page 2 show you how to plug in the power supply and describes the demo that is run when you turn on the board.
The real fun comes when you explore the getting started page. SO lets do that in the next section, shall we.
|PAGE 2||Back Cover|
Follow the link http://www.nxp.com/MIMXRT1170-EVK/startnow to this landing page
I'll describe the navigation links on the Left side that when Selected display the Topic content in the right Frame.
I have followed similar getting started pages when I evaluated another NXP product, the LPC55S69 EVK for a review on the AVNET Monarch LTE-M Development Kit -- EU .. It was very helpful and guided me through the steps I needed to run my experiments with that EVK. experimentation with the
|Header 1||Header 2|
|On the right hand side of the page you should go through every option on the menu. At the end you will have the Software tools (MCUExpresso IDE & SDK) and examples that you will need to start exploring the capabilities of the EVK.As you click on these links A page is open to the right with the content on the topic.|
|This is similar to the 2 pages in the Quick Start Guide pictured above.|
|These links will get your embedded software tools installed and running. It demonstrates how to Build and Debug the numerous examples in the SDK.You will learn how to build an SDK complete with examples for this specific EVK and the RT1170 family of MCU's|
|These links will get you explore the examples by building and debugging one of the examples in the SDK|
I have gone thru these steps and have my software development environment ready to start some of my experiments on this review. Next, I'll list some highlights and chip architecture of the EVK. and then some capabilities of the EVK and Finally the RT1170 line of processors.
I thought to Include these picture suppled from the FACT SHEET for discussion in this review.
The EVK contains an MCU from the family of processors known as the NXP i.MX RT1170 family. The following list was taken from the fact sheet and all the features of the MCU.
Ok, some of the highlights of the i.MX RT1170 family for me, include:
The multicore capabilities with the M4 and the M7 Cortex processors.
The integrated multimedia for GUI & HMI. The graphics accelerator and display interfaces available.
The multiple memory options available.
the Security options available.
Here are the highlights:
According to the "Quick Start Guide" on Page 1, the MCU part number is MIMXRT1176.
The following configuration grid from the fact sheet, shows this MCU on the EVK at the top of the pack with only a NO "Tamper Protection" feature.
The following Chip Architecture Diagram, is included in a lot of Presentations and Literature on the MCU family. The dotted lines represent features not supported on all MCU's in the i.MXRT1170 family.
Notices that " Tamper Detection" in the "Security" section is not on all MCU's in the family. In fact it is only available on the industrial only qualifying chip, the i.MXRT1173. Not sure what "Target Detection" is, but it might have something to do with qualifying the chip as Industrial Only. Some of the other chips in the family do not support a "Secondary CPU" and/or "Multimedia". The chip included on he EVK however does include all these features.
Notice there is an abundance of Connectivity features and an abundance of Times, Multimedia, System Control and Security features.
This list all the neat features available for you to experiment with on the EVK. There are plenty of interesting interfaces and feature packed in to this kit.
If you have gone through the Getting started exercise on the NXP geting started Page, then you will have experienced and should have your development environment set up .The following section will describe the NXP Toolchain available to developers for FREE.
If you have not gone thru the getting started page and wnt to installed the latest version of the editor go HERE.
Again the getting started page will have taken thru the installation of the SDK for the i.mxRT1170-EVK, but if you have not already installed it yet or want to update the SDK this section might Help.
I did a few experiments to run some of the IMXRX1176 chip and the EVK through it's paces. This section contains my notes on the experiments.
There are several graphics libraries supported by the IMXRX1170-EVK, (refer to GUI solutions for NXP MCU) , but I used the Light and Versatile Graphics Library (LVGL) for my experiments. And the good news is that it is FREE to use with the open source license.
The SDK has a few examples using this library. They are mentioned in this section and are very useful for experimenting with the TFT Board connected to the IMMX1170-EVK. SO lets get into it, shall we.
For this experiment you will need to have the FREE NXP Software Tool "GuiGuider ", Which you download from here Download GUI Guider
After downloading and installing GUI Guider I ran through the video on the getting started page. I did have a few problems but with the help of the NXP Forum and the User manual I was able to get through it
NXP i.MX RT1170-EVK Development Environment Setup
GUI Guider Resources
NXP Design Resources