News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Proposals open for Cortex-A8 system contest

Feb 4, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Genesi and Freescale are offering free systems with Linux board support packages (BSPs) to developers with innovative proposals for developing on Freescale's new netbook-oriented i.MX515 system-on-chip (SoC). The i.MX515 Developer Program is now open for proposal submissions for developing on the ARM Cortex-A8-based platform.

Genesi markets developer-targeted PowerPC-based boards and systems for the embedded and desktop markets, and has in the past offered similar developer contests for Freescale-based PowerPC systems. Now, it is following Freescale into the world of ARM's superscalar Cortex-A8-based processors.

Genesi's Efika 5200B
PowerPC eval board

As of yet, there do not appear to be any details on the actual hardware that will be provided to winning entries. Freescale had previously announced a development board for the i.MX515 sourced from Pegasus. The board would ship with Ubuntu Linux, Freescale said (Ubuntu officially launched an ARM port last November).

In its previous contests, Genesi has offered its Efika 5200B evaluation boards (pictured), which are based on Freescale's PowerPC-based MPC5200B processor. It also offered an Open Desktop Workstation, which has since been discontinued.

Genesi and Freescale will supply a Linux BSP along with a development board or system, but says that supplies may be limited at first, and shipment dates will be flexible. The company will “donate resources and hardware where we deem appropriate, and fund projects where relevant,” but suggests that it cannot completely fund a project.

Genesi's guidelines for proposals ask that developers include extensive detail about the projects, and that they first make sure that the processor can meet the needs of their designs. The project leaders also ask that developers do not submit projects that rely on the release of NetBSD, FreeBSD, QNX or other operating systems (OSes) being ported to the platform “unless you're porting it!”

Freescale's i.MX515

Freescale's netbook-focused i.MX515 SoC is sampling now, and is the first of many i.MX51-family SoCs to appear over the next few years, says Freescale. Based on ARM's Cortex-A8 core clocked from 800MHz to 1GHz, the HD-capable i.MX51 integrates OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenVG 1.1 accelerators, and will be be delivered in several variants suitable for specific consumer electronics and embedded applications, Freescale says.

i.MX51 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Multimedia processing is enhanced by a multi-level cache system and multi-standard hardware-accelerated video and audio codecs, says Freescale. The SoC is also equipped with an autonomous Image Processing Unit (IPU) that offers image signal processing, image manipulation and enhancement, and CMOS camera sensor support. In addition, the i.MX51 integrates ARM's “NEON” SIMD media accelerator. The SoC offers power management features including multiple independent power domains, power gating, and dynamic process and temperature compensation, says the company. More on the i.MX51 family may be found in our previous coverage.


Genesi is open for proposal submissions for Genesi's i.MX515 Developer Program, with projects to be approved in March. More information may be found here.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.