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Freescale i.MX6 SoloX SoC gains embedded Linux support

Mar 16, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 2,517 views

The Timesys LinuxLink tool suite now supports Freescale’s i.MX6 SoloX SoC, including support for Freescale’s MQX RTOS that runs on the SoC’s Cortex-M4 MCU.

Timesys, which has long supported Freescale’s i.MX6 system-on-chip family with its LinuxLink embedded Linux development platform, has now added support for the new SoloX variant. Freescale’s i.MX6 SoloX combines a 1GHz Cortex-A9 core with a Cortex-M4 microcontroller unit (MCU) specializing in real-time processing. As Timesys explains it, the combination enables the SoC to “run a UI-rich OS while still benefitting from fast real-time responsiveness.”

i.MX6 SoloX-based SBCs: Freescale SABRE, Udoo Neo, F&S Efus A9
(click images to enlarge)

Freescale supports the SoloX with a special version of its SABRE development board. Other i.MX6 SoloX based products to date include an Udoo Neo single board computer and an Efus A9 computer-on-module from F&S Elektronik Systeme, both aimed at Internet of Things applications. The SoloX is also touted by Freescale as being an excellent SoC for automotive applications.

i.MX6 SoloX block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Like other i.MX6 SoCs, the SoloX integrates a Vivante GPU with 3D acceleration, in this case optional. It also provides features not found on the standard i.MX6. These include a configurable resource domain controller that allows peripherals to be locked or shared by the CPU cores. The SoC integrates cryptography and secure boot features, and its dual-port gigabit Ethernet audio video bridging (AVB) feature is said to enable quality-of-service with enhanced traffic shaping and packet prioritization.”

Renesas RSK HDK

Timesys LinuxLink, which most recently added support for the Cortex-A9 based Renesas RZ/A SoC and RSK HDK platform, is available in free and commercial versions. With a free account, you can build a custom embedded Linux BSP or download Freescale’s Yocto Project-based board support package.

The commercial service includes “cost-effective and simple annual support agreements direct or through any major distributor,” says the company. Timesys also provides embedded Linux services optimized for the i.MX6 SoloX, including porting to custom hardware, GUI development with Qt, and boot time and power usage optimization support.

Other services include application development for mixed Linux/MQX heterogeneous OS environments. Freescale supports the Cortex-M4 with its own MQX RTOS, although the Udoo Neo SBC instead uses the chip to mimic at Atmega Atmega MCU for Arduino compatibility.

Timesys has previous MQX experience by providing a mixed Linux and MQX BSP for Phytec’s Cosmic+ SBC, which uses Freescale’s previous Vybrid-F SoC. The Cortex-A5 based Vybrid-F also integrates a Freescale MCU running MQX.

“We believe the i.MX 6SoloX applications processor will be very popular with embedded systems designers,” stated Brian Gildon, Vice President of Business Development for Timesys. “We can build on our strength of MQX and Linux mixed-environment software systems that started with our support of Freescale’s controller solutions to ensure i.MX 6SoloX application processor customers have a rock solid offering.”

“Freescale has a long history with Timesys, and their support can help embedded Linux customers navigate the complex software requirements for a powerful device like the i.MX 6SoloX applications processor more effectively than doing it themselves,” stated Amanda McGregor, i.MX 6 Series Product Manager at Freescale.

Further information

LinuxLink for i.MX6 SoloX is available now. More information may be found at the Timesys i.MX6 product page where you can also find out about the company’s other i.MX6 BSPs.

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