If you have just purchased your phyCORE-i.MX8M mini development kit (phyBOARD-Polis) and want to know how to get started, this guide will help you. 
This guide is specifically written to boot PHYTEC's Embedded Android Board Support Package (
BSP) on the phyCORE-i.MX8M mini development kit.  The Linux BSP utilizes Yocto and OpenEmbedded as well as NXP's SDK release. Follow the guide below to learn how to set up your host machine, connect to the device and get started with your software development.

Requirements


All PHYTEC development kits ship with the necessary cables to get started. For this kit you should have received:

Power Supply (12V @2A or higher) 

SD Card (Prebuilt with phyCORE-i.MX8M-Android)


Standard CAT5e or CAT6 Ethernet cable

USB A to micro-B cable

Additionally, a host machine is required to communicate with the hardware for development. Host machine requirements will depend on the use case, but some recommendations are provided below to help get started.

For Basic Evaluation 

The host system requirements are minimal for simple communication over a serial shell and basic command execution, without the need for compiling code. Basic serial communication can be accomplished with most modern Operating Systems today and this includes Windows 10, MacOS and Linux.

Machine RAM

>4GB

Machine CPU

>2 cores

Free disk space 

>5GB

For BSP or Application Development

If you are designing a custom carrier board or are integrating custom software layers and need to make boot-loader and kernel level changes, the host machine must meet the criteria below. In this environment you will be able to build the software BSP and develop custom Yocto meta layers.


Linux
Tested operating system versionUbuntu 18.04 64-bit
Machine RAM>8GB
Machine CPU>4 cores
Free disk space >300GB

Virtual machine platforms such as Virtual BOX, VMWare, and Docker can be used to host your development environment. Certain SD-card readers, USB serial adapters, and other peripherals have proven to be unstable when working with Virtual Machines. Please keep this in mind or contact PHYTEC Support for a recommendation.

Inset the SD Card 


Insert the SD card (phyCORE- i.MX8M mini Android BSP) included with your kit.

Connect the Peripherals


You only need to make a few connections to get up and running with your development kit. You will make all the connections between the development kit and your computer first and then in following steps we will guide you on how to set up your serial terminal and establish a console session with the phyCORE-.i.MX8M min.

CableDevelopment Kit ConnectionConnect To
Power SupplyConnect to X33Wall power outlet
Ethernet CableConnect to X1 ETH0

An ethernet switch that is connected to the same network as your host/development machine. Ensure that the network has DHCP enabled.

USB A to micro-B AdapterConnect to X2 X3Your host/development machine USB A port

Set up a Serial Terminal


If you don't already have a terminal application set up on your host machine, we have provided a few different methods below depending on your host operating system.

Windows 10

Determine the COM port associated with the development kit:

  • Open Device Manager
  • Expand Ports (COM & LPT)
  • You should see 1 "USB Serial Port" on the development kit.

  • Remember this port number.
  • If you are having trouble determining which COM port to use:
    • Reconnect the USB cable to your computer and see what disappears/reappears in the Device Manager.
    • Check "Other Devices"

Configure your Terminal Session:

  • Download or open the terminal emulator of your preference. There are many options such as PuTTY and TeraTerm.
  • Configuration of your terminal will vary slightly depending on the terminal emulator software you are using.
  • Specify that you will connect using "Serial" to the COM port (found in previous step)
  • Other parameters include: 115200 Baud, 8 bit data, no parity bits, 1 stop bit and no flow control.
 

You might not see anything in your serial terminal once it opens. That is OK, if the board was powered on for more than a minute while setting up the terminal session, then it has already booted. Simply press 'enter' in the terminal to get a new line OR press the "Cold Reset" button (S1). Otherwise, make sure your hardware is plugged in and powered on and the correct COM port has been selected.

MacOS Mojave

 Click here to expand...

On your host machine open up a Terminal and type the following command to list all of the USB serial devices

Host (MacOS)

ls -ltl /dev/cu.usb*
CODE

Verify the output is similar to:

Start a serial terminal session using screen. From the list choose the USB device that ends in 'A'. In this case, that will be /dev/cu.usbserial-00002014A. 

Now type the following command: 

Host (MacOS)

screen /dev/cu.usbserial-00002014A 115200 
CODE

The '115200' is the default baud rate. 

You might not see anything in your serial terminal once it opens. That is OK, if the board was powered on for more than a minute while setting up the terminal session, then it has already booted. Simply press 'enter' in the terminal to get a new line OR press the "Cold Reset" button (S1). Otherwise, make sure your hardware is plugged in and powered on and the correct COM port has been selected.

Boot the Board


  • Once you plug in with power, the device will boot automatically.
  • If you have not already powered on the development kit, you can do this now.
  • The board will begin booting and the output will look similar to the one below:

  • If you are not getting any output and have already plugged in power, you might need to reset the board. You can press the "Reset" button (S1) to reset the board:


  • On your serial console you should see as below.

  • Enter su to get the permission of the serial debug console. 

    Expected Output

    127|phyboard_polis:/ $ su
    phyboard_polis:/ #
    CODE

Turn Off the Device


Before removing power from the development kit, you must make sure that the operating system has safely shutdown. This will help to avoid things like filesystem corruption which can prevent the hardware from booting the next time it is needed.

  • To initiate a shutdown run the following command:

    Target (Linux)

    reboot -p
    CODE

If you had any problems getting your kit up and running or if you just have general questions about what you would like to do next, feel free to contact PHYTEC Support!