u-boot failed on iMX53QSB-R (new revision)

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u-boot failed on iMX53QSB-R (new revision)

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ChenYosfe
Contributor I

Hi,

I have a working image that works just fine on the old iMX53QSB board. The same MicroSD card doesn't work on the new revision (MCIMX53-START-R). 

Does anyone have an idea what may be the problem ? I am currently using LTIB L2.6.35_11.01.00_ER. Should I use a newer version ?

Thanks in advance,

Chen

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Robb1z
Contributor I

OK, I figured it out- hope this helps someone in the future...

In the ltib config screen there is an option "Build MFG Firmware"  that was checked.

Apparently this removes the saveenv command from U-Boot.

I'm booting the kernel now...

Thanks Mark!

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TheAdmiral
NXP Employee
NXP Employee

Keep in mind that I said I am the HW guy and not the SW guy:

saveenv has always worked for me in the past with the uBOOT provided with the Quick Start Board.

But, I have never used setenv. I have always used set <variable name> <'variable contents'>

If that doesn't work, maybe you should provide the terminal screen contents from the point you get out of autoboot to the point you begin booting the kernel.

Cheers.

Robb said:

Stuck again!

For some reason that I can't figure out or find an answer to on Google, my U-boot prompt does not have a saveenv command.  Even the help lists all commands except saveenv. 

I'm using u-boot 2009.08 that comes built with ltib and using the Manufacturing Tool to create my SDcard.  When I get to the u-boot prompt and enter the proper setenv properties, I can boot my kernel.  However I can't make anything persistent.

Any ideas??

Thanks!

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Robb1z
Contributor I

Stuck again!

For some reason that I can't figure out or find an answer to on Google, my U-boot prompt does not have a saveenv command.  Even the help lists all commands except saveenv. 

I'm using u-boot 2009.08 that comes built with ltib and using the Manufacturing Tool to create my SDcard.  When I get to the u-boot prompt and enter the proper setenv properties, I can boot my kernel.  However I can't make anything persistent.

Any ideas??

Thanks!

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TheAdmiral
NXP Employee
NXP Employee

I'm glad to help.

 

I hope you encounter smoother sailing as you begin working on the software in earnest.

 

Good luck!

Robb said:

WOW.

yep, a straight serial cable yields a U-Boot prompt.

Please don't tell my alma mater or they will surely strip me of my EE degree!

Thanks so much for your help Mark.

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Robb1z
Contributor I

WOW.

yep, a straight serial cable yields a U-Boot prompt.

Please don't tell my alma mater or they will surely strip me of my EE degree!

Thanks so much for your help Mark.

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TheAdmiral
NXP Employee
NXP Employee

Now I have a better picture.

The uBOOT demo image should always output a few lines on the debug serial port, and should pause 3 seconds to allow you to abort the the kernel autoboot. This is how you get the option to change your environmental variables.

So let us focus on how we can get those lines to show up on your host terminal:

Please verify that you have the correct serial cable. The female end (DB-9) plugs into the computer and the male pins match exactly the pins at the computer end. [This is not a null modem cable, but a straight up serial cable] The receive pin (2) on the computer matches the transmit pin (2) on the QSB. Pin 3 and pin 3 on both ends should be connected straight through. This is the easiest way to confirm the cable. Pin 3 on the computer is transmit and pin 3 on the QSB is receive.  If pins 2 and 3 swap, its the wrong cable. [This has been a problem since the days of external modems]

Once the cable is verified, bring up your terminal program of choice. Terra Terminal, Hyper Terminal or something different. Make sure your COM setting matches the one assigned by windows. Verify that the settings are correct:

115.2 kbaud

8 data bits

1 stop bit

no parity

no HW flow control.

For hyperterminal, make sure you have initiated a call (this one gets me every now and again)

If you don't see anything on one computer, try another. Between three boards, one of them has to be outputing serial communications.

Once you solved this problem, then hopefully you can use the debug output to help you solve what your code is doing.

Unfortunately, this will be the limit of how far I can help you. Software is best left to the experts.

Cheers.

Robb said:

Thanks for the reply Mark, sorry to sound so frustrated!

I should have mention that the boards DO boot with the Ubuntu demo image.

However we have the need to develop custom kernel modules so we basically pushed the Ubuntu demo aside and are trying to get the build/ltib environment working.

I have the microSD card in the micro slot, and only use the full-sized SD adapter when programming on the desktop linux PC.

I am using a null modem cable connected to a laptop running hyper terminal set to 115200 8-N-1.  I have tested the setup with another PC running minicom and the serial line is working.

Even with the Ubuntu SDcard I do not get anything at the Terminal.  I assumed perhaps the Ubuntu SDcard is not set for terminal output- is this incorrect?  If so than the problem that I thought was my SDcard setup is probably a terminal setup issue??

Thanks for your help,

Robb

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Robb1z
Contributor I

Thanks for the reply Mark, sorry to sound so frustrated!

I should have mention that the boards DO boot with the Ubuntu demo image.

However we have the need to develop custom kernel modules so we basically pushed the Ubuntu demo aside and are trying to get the build/ltib environment working.

I have the microSD card in the micro slot, and only use the full-sized SD adapter when programming on the desktop linux PC.

I am using a null modem cable connected to a laptop running hyper terminal set to 115200 8-N-1.  I have tested the setup with another PC running minicom and the serial line is working.

Even with the Ubuntu SDcard I do not get anything at the Terminal.  I assumed perhaps the Ubuntu SDcard is not set for terminal output- is this incorrect?  If so than the problem that I thought was my SDcard setup is probably a terminal setup issue??

Thanks for your help,

Robb

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TheAdmiral
NXP Employee
NXP Employee

Hi Robb,

From your post, it sounds like you are very frustrated. I would like to help you if I can, and I certainly don't want to make you feel any worse. Please don't take anything I ask the wrong way. Most of these are problems that other people have had.

You say that you have received three new i.MX53-START-R boards and they all behave the same way. The MicroSD card that was pre-formatted with bootable code did not work, and recompiling the code did not work.

The original thread started with code that was working on the older Quick Start board. When the new design switched over to the Freescale PMIC, it did require new code to run. Therefore, the microSD card needed to be flashed.

In your case, you are starting with the i.MX53-START-R boards. Therefore, the code that was on the microSD card should have worked.  The boards go through a factory acceptance test after they are assembled on the line in the factory.  The SD cards are programmed from a master card.  While one board may occasionally be bad after shipping, it is unlikely that all three boards were bad in exactly the same way, where they did not boot and they gave the same lack of indications.

So my first set of questions would be centered around what would most likely affect three boards identically that would give the indications you are seeing.

1. The microSD card has been removed from the adapter and placed into the microSD card slot, correct? This is actually one of the most common problems.

2. The serial cable is the correct type serial cable (null modem) and the terminal program has the correct settings?. Have you tried different cables and different host computers?

If you are satisfied that neither of these is the problem, them go to the following link: http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=IMX53QSB&fpsp=1&tab=Design_Tools_Tab and down load from "Board Support Packages" the software labeled MX53_QSB_UBUNTU_SD_DEMO_IMAGE and follow the instructions for placing it on the microSD card. This will eliminate any issues with compiling the code as this should be known good code.

Give that a shot. Hopefully, trying the above will help get you to the point where your boards are actually working.

Cheers.

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Robb1z
Contributor I

I'm not an idiot, but I sure feel like one today!

Any help please??

I'm feeling pretty frustrated as we got 3 of the iMX53 QSB R boards to evaluate for new projects and for almost a full week we can not get a single sign of life out of any of these boards.

Here's what I have tried:

Downloaded the QSB "VMware UBUNTU BUNDLE" image that is labeled "all tools pre-installed".  There is nothing on that VM but a base install of Ubuntu.  Complained to Freescale Tech Support, it took 3 rounds back and forth before they finally admitted the image is blank and apologized that they don't have any plans to fix it (!).

They pointed me to iMX53 START Linux user guide, which I followed.  Ltib build failed to install mtd-utils, but I found a workaround on the boards that got me through that.  I applied all the patches I could find and built the image, ltib ran for a while and finished without errors.  I then copying all the files to a Windows machine, used the Manufacturing tool to create the SDCard.  The tool worked its magic and completed with no errors.  But still the boards show no sign of life on power up.

Found this guide to using the QSB:

http://eewiki.net/display/linuxonarm/i.MX53+Quick+Start#i.MX53QuickStart-Available%3A

followed those instructions to a T, same results on all 3 boards.

Tried manually downloading and installing U-Boot after applying two patches I got from above site, still no dice.  Tried reformatting the SDCard and writing the UBoot.bin using dd.  Nada.  Tried applying Mark's patches above to the ltib version of UBoot, rerunning ltib and reflashing.  No dice.

Tech support has been useless, and we're about to pull the plug in the iMX53- I'm hoping someone can get me any kind of clue on how to get just a UBoot prompt on a serial terminal connected to J6???

Or does anyone know of a similar ARM-based product that actually ships with working build tools??  We've been so disappointed...

Thank you,

Rob

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ChenYosfe
Contributor I

Thanks for your comment Remi & Mark - I will give it a shot.

Chen

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TheAdmiral
NXP Employee
NXP Employee

The MCIMX53-START-R board has different settings in the UBOOT script to set up the Ripley PMIC. You need to use the code specifically for the START-R. They are not interchangeable. If you did not get it in the box, there should be a link to the new code at: www.freescale.com/imxquickstart

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rlorriaux
Contributor I

Hi Chen,

You should get the latest release (11.09 or more recent).

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ChenYosfe
Contributor I

I forgot to mention - when I said "u-boot failed' I mean that there is no output on the serial console what so ever when the board is powered up (not even u-boot prompt).

Thanks,

Chen

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