Xilinx’ Zynq Z007s: Is it really single core?

Introduction Xilinx’ documentation says that XC7Z007S, among other “S” devices, is a single-core device, as opposed to, for example, its older brother XC7Z010, which is dual-core. So I compared several aspects of the PS part of a Z007S vs. Z010, and to my astonishment, I found that Z007S is exactly the same: Two CPUs are [...]

Lubuntu 16.04 on ARM: Turning off the “Suspend” etc. options

In short On an embedded ARM-based Lubuntu 16.04, I had LXDE’s logoff dialog window offering suspend as an option, and when that was chosen, the system got itself into some nasty state with network and keyboard off. The serial console was still active, and yet, I was better off without it. It turned out that [...]

NXP / Freescale SDMA and the art of accessing peripheral registers

Preface While writing a custom SDMA script for copying data arriving from an eCSPI peripheral into memory, it occurred to me that there is more than one way to fetch the data from the peripheral. This post summarizes my rather decisive finding in this matter. Spoiler: Linux’ driver could have done better (Freescale’s v4.1.15) I’ve [...]

NXP / Freescale i.MX6 as an SPI slave

Motivation Even though SPI is commonly used for controlling rather low-speed peripherals on an embedded system, it can also come handy for communicating data with an FPGA. When using the official Linux driver, the host can only be the SPI master. It means, among others, that transactions are initiated by the host: When the bursts [...]

Linux kernel: /proc/iomem-like output to kernel log during boot

In order to have something similar to /proc/iomem printed out to the console (and dmesg), this piece of code can be implanted somewhere in the kernel code (in my case it was arch/arm/mach-zynq/common.c). It may be required to add #include headers, depending on the file it’s added to. The original code that produces /proc/iomem is [...]

Linux Device Tree: What those status = “okay” are about

There are a lot of “okay” assignments in the kernel’s device tree. For example, arch/arm/boot/dts/zynq-zed.dts starts with /dts-v1/; #include “zynq-7000.dtsi” and later on there’s, among others, &sdhci0 { status = “okay”; }; &uart1 { status = “okay”; }; &usb0 { status = “okay”; dr_mode = “host”; usb-phy = <&usb_phy0>; }; Let’s look on the last [...]

Raspberry Pi 3 notes

These are messy, random notes that I took while setting up my little Raspberry Pi 3. Odds are that by the time you read this, I’ve replaced it with a mini-PC. So if you ask a question, my answer will probably be “I don’t remember”. Even though the Pi is cool, it didn’t supply what [...]

iowrite32(), writel() and memory barriers taken apart

Introduction Needing to remove superfluous memory barriers from a Linux kernel device driver, I wondered what they actually do. The issue is discussed down to painful detail in Documentation/memory-barriers.txt, but somehow it’s quite difficult to figure out if they’re really needed and where. Most drivers rely on subsequent iowrite32′s (or writel’s) to arrive to the [...]

i.MX: SDMA not working? Strange things happen? Maybe it’s all about power management.

I ran into a weird problem while attempting to enable SDMA for UARTs on an i.MX53 processor running Freescale’s 2.6.35.3 Linux kernel: To begin with, the UART would only transmit 48 bytes, which is probably a result of only one watermark event arriving (the initial kickoff filled the UART’s FIFO with 32 bytes, and then [...]

Simple GPIO on Zybo using command-line on Linux

Running Xillinux on the Zybo board, this is how I toggled a GPIO pin from a plain one-liner bash script in Linux. The same technique can be used for other Zynq-7000 boards (Zedboard in particular) to easily control GPIO pins. First, I looked up which GPIO pin it is. The pin assignments can be found [...]