Utilite & XBMC

In a previous post, I shared my first impressions regarding my brand new utilite pro.

I have just managed to get XBMC up and running on this device so it is time for a little update.
First, as I have just alluded : my XBMC build for iMX6 now works on the utilite. Basically, after a few tweaking in the utilite kernel, my whole yocto image runs fine. As compulab seemed to be very interested in getting XBMC up and running (and I shared all my work with them so far), odds are high they will package it in their own sw delivery (This is only my guess, not an official announcement in any way…)
Then, I expressed some fears regarding thermal dissipation when I realized that the case was used as a heatsink. In fact, I had a bad experience with my GK802 stick which exhibits a similar approach with very bad results. At the end, the utilite thermal behavior is correct : Not as good as the wandboard but perfectly acceptable : Using heavily the XBMC GUI for a few minutes enables to reach the following worst core temperature :

  • On the GK802 : 80°C (With an additional heatsink on the case, without it, you trigger the thermal protection at 90°C !)
  • On the wandboard quad : 55°C (The big heatsink is really efficient)
  • On the utilite : 65°C (Safe and far better than the GK802)

Note that the junction temperature of iMX6 (the consumer version) is 105°C and that a kernel driver is in charge of protecting the device against overheating (it handles an interrupt which is triggered when core temp reaches 90°C).
The 65°C worst figure of utilite seems just fine and, as a side note, it surely proves that the main issue with the GK802 is its thermal pad (and not the concept of heat dissipation through its aluminum case)

In my previous post, I also mentioned an issue with the second Ethernet interface. It is now solved thanks to compulab support : My device was one of the first produced units and some eeproms (whose content is required by the ethernet driver) were not properly programmed. No doubt that it will not happen with mass production units…
At last, I still have my little issue with the serial line (bad characters at 115200bps) but not a big deal as reducing the baudrate is a functional workaround. Out of curiosity, I will certainly plug a scope to understand why the reception is so poor at 115200bps…

As a conclusion, almost all my issues are solved and utilite is definitively a great product. It would be even better with a toslink connector for sure but well, I guess many people will be happy with the coax interface and this device has some serious assets with its SSD and its 2 Gbps Ethernet links…
As my yocto RFS is fully compatible, I will release images both for wandboard and for utilite in the future.
Ho, and you can expect a new image very soon : It is almost ready with an updated XBMC (new codecs and improved support for sound devices) and a full HardFloat ABI build. Stay tuned… 😉