News Item from February-2010
On February 2nd 2010, Technologic Systems released a new software load for some of its TS-LCD-READY FPGA computers and TOUCH PANEL computers, including the TS-7350, TS-7370, TS-7390, TS-7395, TS-TPC-7390 and TS-TPC-7395. This is a single software load and applies for all the listed products. Orders received after 02/02/2010 will ship with this new software release.
Besides fixing some known issues in the kernel, initial ramdisk and Debian filesystem, this new development is intended to provide better support for GUI (Graphical User Interface) application development. The new Debian filesystem includes a complete development environment with more GUI library options (Xorg, DirectFB, GTK, Java) and examples available.
The following is a list of the major issues resolved and improvements included:
- KERNEL: 2.6.21 Kernel was fixed to detect hardware with 128MB RAM installed; Touchscreen driver fixed calibration and RGB color information issues; Sources for tssdcard, xuart and tsuart drivers were included in the Kernel.
- INITRD: Initial ram disk now includes tsuart and xuart drivers; wait and rmmod calls included in the checkusbupdate script; nand_on call fixed in the ts700.subr script; linuxrc-fastgui script included to allow faster boot to a direct framebuffer GUI demo application; default linuxrc boot script now points to linuxrc-fastgui.
- DEBIAN: DirectFB, Lite for DirectFB, GTK for DirectFB and GTK for Xorg GUI libraries are now available; development environment now includes directfb, xorg and gtk development libraries; jikes java compiler and jamvm virtual machine were installed; xorg.conf updated with evtouch information; evtouch driver fixed for more sensitiveness; portmap, nfs-common and bzip2 packages installed; folder /home/eclipse was populated with many GUI application samples.
Please, contact Technologic Systems should you need more details about the software issues addressed in this new release..
UPGRADING YOUR EMBEDDED SYSTEM
We advise our customers to update their boards with the latest software release. All the required files are available for download at our FTP site - the TS-7350 repository applies for all the listed products (TS-7350/70/90/95):
The easiest way to update a single board is through the 512 MB SD Card image. Copy the most recent image to a 512MB SD Card, or larger, and boot to the computer using this card (jumper 1 ON). Execute the command 'createmtdroot' to update the whole on-board NAND flash (TS-7390 and TS-7395 only) with the contents from the SD Card (including Kernel, initial ramdisk and Debian). Notice that this command will erase the current contents of the on-board flash. In case you want to keep the contents of the Debian partition, use the command 'createmtdboot' and only the Kernel and initial ramdisk partitions will be updated.
The latest 512MB SD Card image and MD5 checksum file can be found at:
Alternatively, the user can individually upgrade the Linux Kernel (1st partition of NAND and 2nd of the SD), initial ramdisk (2nd partition of NAND and 3rd of the SD) and Debian filesystem (3rd partition of NAND and 4th of the SD). Please notice that the new drivers will only work with the new Kernel. The following are the files of interest:
Please, contact Technologic Systems if you are having problems upgrading your embedded platform.
NEW LINUXRC-FASTGUI SCRIPT AND DEMO
Customers using a Touch Panel computer will be able to notice that this software release includes a new GUI demo application that is faster and simpler. After power up, the linuxrc-fastgui script is called and a Direct Framebuffer demo application is loaded in about 6-7 seconds. In contrast, the Xorg environment (still available either through the button “Start Xorg” or through the linuxrc-fastboot script) takes about 20-25 seconds to load. This new demo screen provides 9 buttons that enable customer interaction as described below:
- TERMINAL: starts a terminal that can be used with a USB keyboard.
- START XORG: calls the linuxrc-fastboot script and starts Xorg/IceWM.
- GTK DEMO: runs the GTK samples suite.
- DFB BENCHMARK: runs a graphical benchmark with the Direct Framebuffer libraries.
- DFB NEO SAMPLE: starts the dfb_neo animation from the Direct Framebuffer samples suite.
- DFB ANDI SAMPLE: starts the dfb_andi animation from the Direct Framebuffer samples suite.
- FULL DEBIAN: terminates the fastboot environment and starts full Debian.
- REBOOT: reboots the Linux system.
- EXIT: terminates the fastgui demo.
NEW GUI LIBRARIES AND EXAMPLES
This new software release can be better leveraged with the TS-TPC-7390 and TS-TPC-7395 Touch Panel computers because it includes great improvements for graphical application development. Development libraries for Xorg, GTK and Direct Framebuffer are included in the Debian Filesystem, enabling more options to our customers. Direct Framebuffer libraries are particularly interesting for embedded systems because they are much lighter and faster if compared to the LibX libraries. This advantage is shown through the new demonstration screen that is loaded by the fastboot environment in about 6-7 seconds.
In addition, many examples using the available GUI libraries are included under the /home/eclipse folder. They are ready to run and compile, providing customers with a jump-start to graphical application development with the TS-TPC-7390/TS-TPC-7395 computer. Available samples include:
- Basic Xorg/LibX examples, including xcalc.
- GTK examples on top of Xorg/LibX, including the GTK sample suite.
- Basic Direct Framebuffer examples, including the DFB sample suite.
- Lite on top of Direct Framebuffer sample suite.
- GTK on top of Direct Framebuffer examples, including the GTK sample suite.
- Basic Java AWT helloworld examples.
Please, take a look at the /home/eclipse/README file for instructions on how to start and compile the examples. Contact Technologic Systems if further assistance is required.
ABOUT TECHNOLOGIC SYSTEMS
Technologic Systems is an Embedded Systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. We have been in business for over 25 years. Our product base consists of a wide variety of off-the-shelf PC/104 single board computers and peripherals, and offer custom configurations and design services. In addition, we specialize in the ARM architecture, FPGA IP-core design and open-source software support based on Linux, providing advanced custom solutions using hardware-software co-design strategies.
TECHNOLOGIC SYSTEMS INC.
16525 East Laser Drive
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268