Seeed Studio Arch Mix NXP i.MX RT1052 Board

The Seeed Studio ‘Arch Mix’ board is a small and versatile development board with an NXP i.MX RT1052 on it, and it costs only $29.90. So I was not able to resist and just have ordered one so I can explore it.

Seeed Arch Mix Top Side

Seeed Arch Mix Top Side

It comes with a pre-installed RT-Thread realtime operating system and with built-in MicroPython. The RT-Thread is a kind of ‘FreeRTOS from China’, but for now I’m more than covered with FreeRTOS, so this might be something to look at in the future.

The board is small (70×44 mm). It has an LCD connector, 3 buttons (User, reset and power on/off). Using a 4-pin DIP switch the boot source (Hyperflash, SPI flash, SD card) an be configured, but the Hyperflash is not populated. There is dedicated USB port for powering the board plus one host/device USB port. The pins are nicely labeled and the board has 4 useful mounting holes.

Seeed Arch Mix Top Side

Seeed Arch Mix Top Side

On the bottom there is a connector for the RTC battery and the micro-SD card connector:

Seeed Arch Mix Bottom Side

Seeed Arch Mix Bottom Side

The board is bread-board friendly with the pins mapped to the sides of the board:

💡 I have not found a schematic for this board at Seeed Studio, but I have asked for it if I have missed it.

💡 UPDATE: Seeed has uploaded the schematics of the board to http://wiki.seeedstudio.com/Arch_Mix/

With a UART-2-USB cable I connect to the board with GND, Rx and Tx:

UART Connection

UART Connection

After pressing the reset button, the board writes the boot messages to the console:

Arch Mix i.MX RT Boot Messages

Arch Mix i.MX RT Boot Messages

Below the full log of the messages:

sdram heap, begin: 0x80000000, end: 0x81e00000
sram heap, begin: 0x20006e8c, end: 0x20020000

 \ | /
- RT -     Thread Operating System
 / | \     4.0.0 build Dec 21 2018
 2006 - 2018 Copyright by rt-thread team
[1B][32m[I/[FLEXSPI]] NorFlash Init

[1B][0m[1B][32m[I/[FLEXSPI]] Vendor ID: 0x16

[1B][0m[1B][32m[I/[FLEXSPI]] NorFlash Init Done

[1B][0m[D/FAL] (fal_flash_init:61) Flash device |                norflash0 | addr: 0x00000000 | len: 0x00800000 | blk_size: 0x00001000 |initialized finish.
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] ==================== FAL partition table ====================[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | name     | flash_dev |   offset   |    length  |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] -------------------------------------------------------------[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | bl       | norflash0 | 0x00000000 | 0x00040000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | env      | norflash0 | 0x00040000 | 0x00001000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | pt       | norflash0 | 0x00041000 | 0x00001000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | app      | norflash0 | 0x00042000 | 0x00100000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | download | norflash0 | 0x00142000 | 0x00100000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | fs       | norflash0 | 0x00242000 | 0x00000000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] =============================================================[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] RT-Thread Flash Abstraction Layer (V0.3.0) initialize success.[1B][0m
[1B][36;22m[I/OTA] RT-Thread OTA package(V0.2.2) initialize success.[1B][0m
[Flash] (packages\EasyFlash-latest\src\ef_env.c:152) ENV start address is 0x00000000, size is 262144 bytes.
[Flash] (packages\EasyFlash-latest\src\ef_env.c:821) Calculate ENV CRC32 number is 0xD808A5B2.
[Flash] (packages\EasyFlash-latest\src\ef_env.c:833) Verify ENV CRC32 result is OK.
[Flash] EasyFlash V3.2.3 is initialize success.
[Flash] You can get the latest version on https://github.com/armink/EasyFlash .
Hit any key to stop autoboot : 1
Hit any key to stop autoboot : 0

run application

0x60042000
sdram heap, begin: 0x80000134, end: 0x81e00000
sram heap, begin: 0x200066d4, end: 0x20020000

 \ | /
- RT -     Thread Operating System
 / | \     4.0.0 build Dec 25 2018
 2006 - 2018 Copyright by rt-thread team
[1B][32m[I/[FLEXSPI]] NorFlash Init

[1B][0m[1B][32m[I/[FLEXSPI]] Vendor ID: 0x16

[1B][0m[1B][32m[I/[FLEXSPI]] NorFlash Init Done

[1B][0m[D/FAL] (fal_flash_init:61) Flash device |                norflash0 | addr: 0x00000000 | len: 0x00800000 | blk_size: 0x00001000 |initialized finish.
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] ==================== FAL partition table ====================[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | name     | flash_dev |   offset   |    length  |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] -------------------------------------------------------------[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | bl       | norflash0 | 0x00000000 | 0x00040000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | env      | norflash0 | 0x00040000 | 0x00001000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | pt       | norflash0 | 0x00041000 | 0x00001000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | app      | norflash0 | 0x00042000 | 0x00100000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | download | norflash0 | 0x00142000 | 0x00100000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] | fs       | norflash0 | 0x00242000 | 0x005be000 |[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] =============================================================[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] RT-Thread Flash Abstraction Layer (V0.2.0) initialize success.[1B][0m
[Flash] (packages\EasyFlash-latest\src\ef_env.c:152) ENV start address is 0x00000000, size is 4096 bytes.
[Flash] (packages\EasyFlash-latest\src\ef_env.c:821) Calculate ENV CRC32 number is 0xD808A5B2.
[Flash] (packages\EasyFlash-latest\src\ef_env.c:833) Verify ENV CRC32 result is OK.
[Flash] EasyFlash V3.2.3 is initialize success.
[Flash] You can get the latest version on https://github.com/armink/EasyFlash .
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] The FAL block device (fs) created successfully[1B][0m
[1B][32;22m[I/FAL] The FAL char device (download) created successfully[1B][0m
File System on fs_part initialized!
build time: Dec 25 2018 09:03:15
msh />

The codes at the beginning of some lines are color codes for the terminal, so here is the same with the SmarTTY:

boot process with SmarTTY

boot process with SmarTTY

This shows the running RT-Thread OS with the built-in micro-python. The RT-Thread comes with a command line interface:

RT-Thread Shell commands

RT-Thread Shell commands

The built-in MicroPython REPL is nice, but unfortunately did not work for me:

Micropython

Micropython

UPDATE: got it working 🙂 Here is how:

  1. Use PuTTY
  2. start python with
    msh />python
  3. Press CTRL+E to enter paste mode
  4. Paste code block with pressing right-mouse button (on Windows)
  5. Press CTRL+D to exit paste mode and to start code execution
  6. Press CTRL+C to stop executing the code
  7. Type exit() to end python

The board has the SWD debug pins available on the header. I tried to use a J-Link EDU mini (but that failed for unknown reasons). What worked out-of-the-box was using a NXP LPC-Link2 debug probe. I have to use an adapter and to connect GND, VddSense, SWDIO and SWDCLK (see here for a similar connection).

💡 Do *not* install the jumper JP2 (provide power to the target), as with this debugging most likely will fail.

SWD Debug Connection with LPC-Link2

SWD Debug Connection with LPC-Link2

And voilà: I’m able to debug the board with the NXP MCUXpresso V11.0.0 Eclipse IDE:-). Below is a NXP MCUXpresso SDK RAM based application running with the IDE on the board:

Debugging Seeedstudio Arch Mix with MCUXpresso

This is for now an application in RAM. I have to change it to use the external SPI Flash. More about this (hopefully) later. You can find the project on GitHub.

I like this inexpensive and small i.MX RT board: finally a RT board to be used in my projects. And if time permits: I’m going to order an LCD for that LCD connector: that will be fun :-).

Happy ArchMixing 🙂

Links

11 thoughts on “Seeed Studio Arch Mix NXP i.MX RT1052 Board

  1. Hi Erich,
    If you run TeraTerm (or something that handles ANSI aka VT240) all those
    [1B][32;22m funny strings will colorize the output.

    To bad it doesn’t have a camera connector… Still very interesting board – do they provide the schematic?
    Brynn

    Like

    • ANSI/VT240: Yes, I have posted another screenshot with a different terminal. I like the Termite because it is very simple and easy to use. But has limited features of course. I love the SmarTTY too, especially because of the SSH and file transfer intergration. But SmarTTY had problems with that board and the microPython interpreter copy-paste function. It worked better with PuTTY. I find PuTTY hard to use, so I’m juggling with 2-3 different terminal programs depending on my needs :-).

      Like

        • I see they posted the schematics for you/us(from your next blog article). I also see from the schematic that the J4 expansion header has all the CSI pins (The camera interface), so that makes the boards even more interesting for my camera project.

          I really like TeraTerm, it also has the ability to emulate the ancient Tek terminals.
          I needed to display some waveforms in a project recently, and found you can easily put TeraTerm into Tek mode and draw oscilloscope like vector graphics. – all from the (USB CDC) serial port on a K22.

          Brynn

          Like

        • Yes, I was asking Seeed to provide the schematics, and after a few days they responded :-). I have ordered a matching LCD for that connector ($100, yikes!), so hopefully it is worth that money.

          Like

  2. Pingback: Debug and Execute Code from FLASH on the Seeed Arch Mix NXP i.MX RT1052 Board | MCU on Eclipse

  3. I think your MicroPython REPL executed error is by you keyboard input. Please don’t using any key input when using paste mode. Just copy the code to REPL and press CTRL+D to execute it.

    😉

    Like

    • Thanks for the hint! I tried it now again, carefully not doing any other keyboard input, and now it works :-). I have updated the article with the exact order of steps, just for the next time.

      Like

  4. Pingback: Restoring Default Firmware on Seeed Arch Mix NXP i.MX RT1052 Board | MCU on Eclipse

  5. Pingback: Using SEGGER J-Link with QSPI FLASH on NXP i.MX Boards | MCU on Eclipse

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