SOM’ores and Sunshine

Summer is finally in full swing in the Pacific Northwest and that can only mean one thing…spending time in the great outdoors! If there’s one thing you can look forward to in the summers here it’s perfect weather for hiking, backpacking, camping and any other outdoor activity you can imagine. Q2 was full of adventures and travel, getting resourceful to build new demos for trade shows, and collaborating with each other on many different projects. Grab a seat around the fire, a stick, some graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows – you’re gonna want to get comfortable for this highlights reel.

Hitting the trail

Q2 Events

This was a travel heavy quarter for us as we participated in quite a few trade show and training events.

  1. First up on our itinerary was Embedded Open Source Summit April 16-18 where we didn’t have to travel far as it was held here in Seattle! Embedded Open Source Summit (EOSS) is an umbrella event for open source embedded projects and developer communities to come together under one roof for important collaboration, discussions and education. As a hardware company we may have seemed like the odd ones out, but Linux is the software standard for our Arm-based embedded platforms. PHYTEC helps our customers navigate the open source community and successfully bring industrial embedded Linux projects to market (whether that be through PHYTEC’s reference Yocto Project Linux Distribution, or a vendor specific distribution). Learn more about our software offerings here!
  2. Next up was Open EV Charging Summit hosted by LF Energy and TI. This was a two-day event hosted May 15-16 at the Texas Instruments campus in Dallas which explored open source technology as a solution for EV charging reliability, efficiency, and interoperability. It was nice to share PHYTEC EV Charging reference designs and discuss open source software solutions like Pionix EVerest at this event.
  3. Did you know PHYTEC is a proud NXP Platinum Partner? That means you’ll always find PHYTEC sponsoring at events like NXP Tech Days – a global training program that offers engineers step-by-step instruction, in-depth lectures, and hands-on workshops led by experts addressing topics across automotive, mobile, smart home, communication infrastructure, smart city, and industrial markets. We just attended NXP Tech Days Chicago, and we also partnered with NXP at Sensors Converge to showcase IoT solutions in Santa Clara, CA!

Teamwork makes the dream work

New PHYTEC demos

If you caught up with PHYTEC at the events you may have seen some new demos. Our Applications Engineers worked hard together to whip up some exciting new demos that we could bring to our events over the quarter, starting with the phyCADE based on our phyCORE-AM62x SOM. This demo is a mini arcade with no other purpose than to be pure PHUN. While for its debut it was only loaded with PacMan, we plan to add other games to its library for future shows.

Next up we created an EV GUI Zephyr® demo using NXP’s GUI guider based on our phyCORE-RT1170 , a SOM that’s easy to develop with and integrate in a design. The demo simulates an EV charging evaluation tool and includes a night mode that activates when you cover the photo-resistor light sensor, which operates on an ADC signal.

See the Zephyr demo in action

Fireside chat

Design for Software

DfM, DfT, DfA are terms you have likely heard before – Design for Manufacturing, Design for Test, and Design for Assembly, and Design for Cost – but have you heard of DfS Design for Software?

Our Hardware Engineering Lead, Zach Hudson, discussed this concept at the Open EV Charging Summit this year. He highlights how a PHYTEC phyCORE-AM62x SOM can be leveraged to accelerate a custom EVSE hardware solution. Topics covered include typical design considerations, component selection, digital and analog circuits, Linux OS and real-time interface selections, and thermal management. In this case, Design for Software principles allow for seamless integration of Pionix EVerest and Basecamp. By minimizing the impact of software it allows you to reduce your overall software development expenses for bring up and maintenance.

Read LF Energy’s blog post recapping the entire thing below, and check out the entire presentation recording while you’re at it!

Hardware Design Considerations for EV Charging Recap and Video

Upstream (not without a paddle)

PHYTEC products in mainline U-Boot and Linux

The BSP’s for the following products are now fully upstream in Linux:

  1. phyCORE-AM64x – except for M4 and ethernet. Patches for PRU will be available soon!
  2. phyCORE-AM62x – except for M4, camera and display
  3. phyCORE-i.MX 8M Plus

phyCORE-i.MX 93 got a gear upgrade

Introducing phyBOARD Nash

Who doesn’t love new gear? We redesigned the carrier board for the phyCORE-i.MX 93 which serves as a reference platform for rapid application development with the SOM. Features include support for LVDS displays, a MIPI-CSI 2 camera interface and Gigabit Ethernet. Interfaces such as Ethernet, USB and others are available via standard connectors and an expansion bar enables the connection of customer-specific circuits and offers a selection of signals from the i.MX 93 processor. With a fully customized Linux® operating system and worldwide technical support, development is made easy. In addition, the phyBOARD offers enhanced security with the EdgeLock® Secure Enclave, tamper detection, watchdog timer, and temperature and voltage monitoring. You can also now download the phyCORE-i.MX 93 symbol and cell from SnapMagic! Check it out below.

phyCORE-i.MX 93 Symbol and Cell
Purchase your phyBOARD-Nash

On the horizon

What’s coming up in Q3

While events have largely come to a close, we still have a few exciting things to look forward to in quarter 3!

  1. You may have seen our Cafe Yocto series on phyCORE-AM62x and phyCORE-AM64x hosted by Applications Engineer True Loan. Well, he’s back with a new YouTube series showcasing various GUI vendors on the phyCORE-i.MX 8M Plus. Subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss out when the first episode drops!
  2. QNX support for phyCORE-i.MX 93 Development Kits is coming soon
  3. Not quite Q3, but save the date for NXP Tech Days Boston on October 1st. Registration is free and opens July 30th.
  4. Our new expansion board, PEB-X-005, is nearly ready for its big debut! Designed specifically for integration with the phyCORE-AM62x dev kit, the PEB-X-005 expansion board is a combination of Power Line Communication (PLC) and Real-time circuits required for EV Charging applications. With this expansion board you gain access to a modular reference platform that seamlessly integrates with Pionix EVerest. Sign up here to be in the loop when more info is released.
  5. There is currently Zephyr support for a few PHYTEC products including the top-selling phyCORE-i.MX 8M Plus, but we’re working on adding even more so stay tuned.

PNW Magic

Recently the Northern Lights were visible from Seattle and the surrounding areas and it was a magical kickoff to summer in the Pacific Northwest. Wishing you a spectacular summer, wherever you are, full of all the best outdoor fun your backyard has to offer. See you in the fall for another quarterly update!

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