Recently we ported our Zynq SoC based digital power controller onto a new SoM (System on a Module). A SoC is a System on a Chip. The new SoM is from Enclustra who typically do good work. There SoMs are great but typically not the least expensive. Probably with SoMs you do get what you pay for.
Our Zynq based power converter controller is called the Fyfe. It is named after a river.
The porting went really well. Enclustra provide a uBoot, a Linux Kernal, a devicetree and a simple Ramdisk. The SoM boots from the attached SD card and we get linux startup. Except that we want our Linux with our data streaming and our devicetree, and our Ramdisk with all our cool scripts to do things like schedule the small signal injection to do the frequency response measurements and start the python based web config tool
We used the Enclustra uBoot to connect to our tftp server and tftpbooted our Linux kernal, ramdisk and devicetree onto the new platform. And everything worked in the Linux except for the Ethernet connection. So we asked our super effective Linux guy and he looked at the old and the new devicetrees to see the difference. He changed a few compatibility lines and we now have our Linux based Zynq controller platform ported to a new Zynq Som and converter hardware controller platform. And the Ethernet works.
So why have we done this on Linux. Three main reasons
- Linux makes everything portable. It is the ultimate abstraction layer with all those things that are so useful like Python, Scripting, and Ethernet that just goes.
- The development flow is that all the Zynq fabric bitstreams are on the tftp server or on a network connected drive on the development machine.
- Our kernel driver allows us to stream real time power converter controller data over the ethernet connection to our PC based softscope. Real time debugging at full speed for digital power.
The platform technology allows us to concentrate on the application development and not the platform.
And we can get applications up quickly and reliably.
Want to know more about the Fyfe platform. Get in touch.