Android Q 10.0.0_1.0.0 for Boundary Devices Nitrogen8M Mini

Android Q 10 for Boundary Devices' Nitrogen8M Mini

by Roberto Sartori and Nicola La Gloria

Introduction

The Nitrogen8M_Mini SBC is the latest in the Boundary Devices line of i.MX based Nitrogen platforms, featuring the NXP i.MX 8M Mini family of applications processors. It includes an accessory kit option with a 5V power supply, 8GB microSD card, battery, and serial console cable. The Nitrogen8M_Mini is designed for mass production use with a guaranteed 10 year life span, FCC Pre-scan results, and a stable supply chain. Industrial temperature and conformal coating options are available.

This technical note introduces the latest Android 10.0.0 and shows how to instal the BSP on the Nitrogen 8M Mini Single Board Computer. This release features A/B partitions and full integration with Update Factory for remote updates. Embedded in the build some useful apps for testing GPIO, Ethernet and Serial Ports. It also introduces dual bootloader support.

Release Notes

Here are some important remarks about this build:

  • Android 10 with Linux Kernel 4.19
  • U-Boot bootloader 2019.04
  • Based on NXP release: android-10.0.0_1.0.0 (GA 1.0)
  • Compatible with the Nitrogen8M Mini (Rev 1 and 2) single board computer
  • 2GB of RAM
  • at least 8GB of eMMC
  • not compatible with Rev 1 and 2G Rank0 RAM module
  • Compatible with the BD080MCC1 MIPI display (8 inches)
  • Userdebug build with permissive SELinux and disabled DM Verity. DM verify and full chain of trust is suported by Kyentics commercial Android.
  • Android Verified Boot 2.0 is fully supported but disabled here.
  • Android A/B partitions enabled with dual bootloader. Single partition is supported on commerical Kynetics Android.
  • This is an unsupported release. For commercial support please contact us.

The build includes the following Kynetics applications:

Flash Instructions

The following steps will guide you through the installation of Android 10 on the Nitrogen8M Mini.

Hardware Requirements

  • Nitrogen8M Mini single board computer (2GB of RAM and at least 8GB eMMC)
  • BD080MCC1 MIPI Display (8 inches)
  • A host computer running GNU/Linux, MacOS or Windows
  • Micro USB cable to use Fastboot and ADB

Software Requirements

  • Download the Android 10 for the Nitrogen8M Mini binary image here.

Software installation

  • Set the jumper SW1 on the Nitrogen8MM to ON.
  • Connect the Micro USB cable from the micro USB connector of the board to the host computer. A USB 2.0 cable is recommended, as U-Boot could have some issues with USB 3.0 cable.
  • Power up the board with a 5V power adapter.
  • From the Host PC:
$ unzip BoundaryDevices_Nitrogen8MM-AndroidOS-10-eval-1.0-SNAPSHOT-[date].zip -d nitrogen8mm_android10
$ cd nitrogen8mm_android10
$ chmod +x uuu
$ sudo ./uuu binaries/gpt.lst
$ sudo ./uuu binaries/nitrogen8mm.lst
  • Wait for the [Done] FB: done message, then set the SW1 switch to OFF and reboot the board removing the power. Android 10 will start.

This release supports both the first and the second revisions of the Nitrogen8MM: if your board reports REV30 on the PCB, replace the latest command with:

$ sudo ./uuu binaries/nitrogen8mm_rev2.lst

Software support

Kynetics includes in this image different applications to help your evaluation. In particular these apps help with testing and managing common peripherals from Android userspace. The example applications sources are available on Kynetics Github

The Android libraries used by these apps are not public and they can be purchased to be used in your own code, contact us for more details.

  • GPIO handler:
    • the GPIO handler to test the GPIO functionality.
  • TTY Serial handler:
    • the Serial handler application. It is possible to read and write on the serial RS232 available as /dev/ttymxcX. As example, the ttymxc1 RS232 serial is used as console output on Android: connect the serial console adapter from Boundary Devices to see its output on a host pc. Using the Serial handler app it is possible to write on the /dev/ttymxc1 device. Is also possible to communicate between two Nitrogen8M Mini SBC.

More applications are available on Kynetics Github.

Q&A

  • Is ADB available in this release?
  • Yes, ADB is available and enabled by default.
  • Is root available?
  • Yes, run the adb root command from the host pc to start ADB as root.
  • Can I use this release to develop apps?
  • Of course yes. You can deploy any APK on this evaluation OS.

Known limitations

  • Sometimes it is not possible to access the Android Quick Settings menu from the status bar. Reboot or access the Settings app to change any setting.
  • When the Android brightness bar is in the lower half, it sets brightness to the minimum instead of gradually decreasing it.

Enjoy the Art of Coding™