One of the latest board we’ve been playing with is the new STE U8500.
The U8500 is a smartphone platform created by ST-Ericsson, offering a dual ARMv7-A Cortex A9 core, with strong hardware decoding power and ARM Mali 400 GPU.
More about it’s features:
* Full HD 1080p camcorder, multiple codecs supported via OMX (H264 HP, VC-1, MPEG-4)
* High-resolution, touchscreen display support up to XGA
* Simultaneous dual display support
* High performance 3D graphics, support for OpenVG 1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0
* Dual camera support with Integrated ISP 18 Mpixel and 5 Mpixel
* Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS enabled platform
* Built-in USB 2.0, HDMI out
* Highly efficient, low-power ARM dual Cortex™- A9 processor
* Dual multimedia DSP for low-power, flexible media processing
* High-bandwidth LP-DDR2 interface
* ARM Mali™ 400 GPU and NEON®CPU extensions
Now, about the things that interest me the most, the current status in Linux in general:
The kernel we’ve been working on is a vendor’s based one, using 2.6.29 as base. With this kernel we have many features implemented, like blitter support, framebuffer, hdmi output and many more.
At upstream side, the code is just starting to be merged, and you can see already some basic commits going on linux-2.6, like commits 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. STE seems to be doing a great job on getting the changes upstream, since it’s the only feasible way to make it supported in mid, long term in linux. So expect more changes at 2.6.34 and 2.6.35.
Similar with the kernel, we’re also using a custom vendor’s version. They’re just starting to make the support upstream, and you can find the patch series here.
Once we get the basic U-Boot and Linux support upstream, we can start working directly with mainline, fixing and improving it when needed.
Since we got the board we’ve been playing on supporting many different Linux platforms, and optimizing the basic Linux OS core to be commonly used by different distros.
We started with Maemo 5, as a proof of concept, and we got it up and running with a very good performance and hopefully soon we’ll be able to share more details.
OE Angstrom/Mamona is very easy to support, since we just need to create the machine configuration and use the same compilers already used by other ARMv7 architectures.
Personally I started testing Ubuntu Lucid release, and just got the very basic support, with a custom and simple image. Ubuntu is now a very good option since it’s targeting ARMv7 platforms, with compiler optimizations and Thumb2 support. NEON support is not included by default, but you can support it by compiling specific components by hand. For more information please check at ubuntu wikipage.
Meego also boots and runs fine at this platform, but since it’s just a basic OS ATM (armv5 only), doesn’t have anything interesting to play with.
Besides platform support, we’ve been working on creating the hardware accelerated X server video driver, to use EXA, DRI2 and Xvideo with overlay. Once we get it all running we can easily use it in any Linux distro we want, and X we’ll be accelerated by default.
Now the important question, where’s the code?
STE still didn’t deliver the main software in public, so we can’t just release the Kernel, U-Boot and other development that requires support from these software components. But this is changing, and I believe that very soon we’ll be able to get most of the things in public, so others can download and test if needed.
In the next posts I’ll be showing more about the status of these distros on this hardware, also showing the performance and demonstrating it.
Board I’ve being playing on:
root ~# cat /proc/cpuinfo
Processor : ARMv7 Processor rev 1 (v7l)
processor : 0
BogoMIPS : 1199.30
processor : 1
BogoMIPS : 1199.30
Features : swp half thumb fastmult vfp edsp neon vfpv3
CPU implementer : 0x41
CPU architecture: 7
CPU variant : 0x1
CPU part : 0xc09
CPU revision : 1
Hardware : ST Ericsson U8500 Platform
Revision : 0000
Serial : 0000000000000000
Links and videos about U8500:
* ST-Ericsson U8500
* ST-Ericsson U8500: PlayStation controller, PlayStation grap
* U8500 3D Video
For those who are going to FISL this year, I’m going to make a presentation about OpenEmbedded and Mamona, showing how the OE woks and also how OE can support so many different machines, distros and packages.
The presentation is going to happen this wednesday (24/06) at 17h. If you are planning to understand more about how the embedded environment works, learn about it’s problems and how OE is handling that, you can’t miss it ;)
Besides the presentation I’m quite happy that I’m going to meet some good old friends. Hopefully we’ll learn more about what each other are doing and also to drink some beers together :)
See you all there :)
At this weekend I finally had some time to work on something that I was in debt for a while, a gentoo overlay for Mamona.
If you’re a Gentoo user and want to test and run Mamona at your favorite distribuition, you now just need to install Mamona overlay and emerge mamona-installer.
For installation procedure just access Mamona Gentoo Overlay wiki page.
List of ebuilds at the moment:
- libdebian-installer (required by cdebootstrap)
It has some good instructions explaining how to start playing with Mamona.
And remember, in case you need/want to understand Mamona better, just access Mamona’s Trac.
See ya ;-)
I’m really happy to announce the final release of Mamona 0.2!
We’ve been working very hard to accomplish what we wanted for the final release, since the 0.2-Beta release.
We could not delivery everything we wanted, but this is a major improvement from the latest release.
Some of the main highlights for 0.2:
- Improved SDK
- Xephyr support on SDK
- Full Emulation
- Virtual Keyboard
- Wireless Network with Network Manager API
- Command line interface for Network Manager
- Web browser: Midori
- New installer, with our own Qemu (don’t need to mess up with your system anymore :-)
- Completely rewritten wiki documentation
- New Enlightenment wallpaper
You can find the installation instructions and much more at the Documentation wikipage.
And, as always, features planned for the next release:
- Rebase to the latest OE repository
- Push Mamona’s patches to OE
- Full support of QT 4
- Initial support for KDE 4
- Something to report the battery status to the user
- More machines: beagleboard
- ARMv7 support
- a newer gcc, glibc and other applications.
- more applications
- MDM – Mamona Device Manager
We’re also planning to make new releases more often, so wait for the next release soon ;-)
Please, try Mamona 0.2 and give us some feedback, so we can improve the platform for the next release.
And finally, a big thanks for everybody who helped making this release possible :-)
Today I finally had a chance to put my hands at my beagleboard! My lovely girlfriend brought it from her trip to USA :-)
This is just the beginning, just booted it to test if it was working ok, still need to get the serial port working to let the fun part begin!
First step is to boot Mamona and get everything we already have at OE so we could integrate one more board at Mamona ;-)
Beagleboard is a really great idea and a fun toy, it’s like keesj said, the hardware is just sexy :-)
If you don’t know what exactly is the Beagleboard project, I recommend you to take a closer look at http://beagleboard.org/ it’s really cool to see all the movement on this little board :-)
Hope to post more about it soon ;-)