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NXP i.MX6UL

Expanding the i.MX 6 series, the i.MX 6UltraLite is a high performance, ultra-efficient processor family featuring an advanced implementation of a single ARM® Cortex®-A7 core. The Pico variant is pin-compatible with the Intel® Edison for sensors and low-speed I/O, but also adds additional expansion possibilities for multimedia and connectivity, giving you cutting edge technology that can easily be expanded and implemented for IoT designs.

Flashing the image

Before you begin flashing, you will need the following items in addition to your board:

To flash Android Things onto your board, download the latest preview image and follow these steps:

Step 1: Connect the Hardware

Connect the board to your host computer:

For Pico i.MX6UL:

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  1. Connect a USB-C cable to the USB OTG connector.
  2. Connect a 5V power adapter to the power input connector.

For Argon i.MX6UL:

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  1. Ensure switch SW1 is in the OFF position.
  2. Connect a Micro-USB cable to the OTG (J7) connector.
  3. Connect a 5V power adapter to the power input (J2) connector.
  4. Move SW1 to the ON position to power the board.

Step 2: Flash Android Things

Use the following steps to flash the Android image:

  1. Update the Android SDK Platform Tools to version 25.0.3 or later from the SDK Manager.

    • Verify that the fastboot binary is installed in the platform-tools/ directory of your Android SDK.
    • After you have the fastboot tool, add it to your PATH environment variable.
  2. Open a command line terminal and navigate to the unzipped image directory.

  3. If your device is not already in Fastboot mode, use the adb tool to activate it:

    $ adb reboot bootloader
    
  4. Verify that the device has booted into Fastboot mode by executing the following:

    $ fastboot devices
    1b2f21d4e1fe0129	fastboot
    
  5. Ensure that the bootloader is unlocked.

    $ fastboot oem unlock
    
  6. Execute the flash-all.sh script. This script installs the necessary bootloader, baseband firmware(s), and operating system. (On Windows systems, use flash-all.bat instead).

  7. To verify that Android is running on the device, discover it using the adb tool:

    $ adb wait-for-device
    ...
    $ adb devices
    List of devices attached
    1b2f21d4e1fe0129	device
    

Connecting Wi-Fi

After flashing your board, it is strongly recommended to connect it to the internet. This allows your device to deliver crash reports and receive updates.

Before connecting your board to a Wi-Fi network, attach an external IPEX or u.FL Wi-Fi antenna to your board as shown:

For Pico i.MX6UL:

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For Argon i.MX6UL:

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To connect your board to Wi-Fi using adb:

  1. Send an intent to the Wi-Fi service that includes the SSID and passcode of your local network:

    $ adb shell am startservice \
        -n com.google.wifisetup/.WifiSetupService \
        -a WifiSetupService.Connect \
        -e ssid <Network_SSID> \
        -e passphrase <Network_Passcode>
    
  2. Verify that the connection was successful through logcat:

    $ adb logcat -d | grep Wifi
    ...
    V WifiWatcher: Network state changed to CONNECTED
    V WifiWatcher: SSID changed: ...
    I WifiConfigurator: Successfully connected to ...
    
  3. Test that you can access a remote IP address:

    $ adb shell ping 8.8.8.8
    PING 8.8.8.8 (8.8.8.8) 56(84) bytes of data.
    64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=1 ttl=57 time=6.67 ms
    64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=2 ttl=57 time=55.5 ms
    64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=3 ttl=57 time=23.0 ms
    64 bytes from 8.8.8.8: icmp_seq=4 ttl=57 time=245 ms
    

If you want to clear all of the saved networks on the board:

$ adb shell am startservice \
    -n com.google.wifisetup/.WifiSetupService \
    -a WifiSetupService.Reset

Serial debug console

The serial console is a helpful tool for debugging your board and reviewing system log information. The console is the default output location for kernel log messages (i.e. dmesg), and it also provides access to a full shell prompt that you can use to access commands such as logcat. This is helpful if you are unable to access ADB on your board through other means and have not yet enabled a network connection.

To access the serial console:

For Pico i.MX6UL: Connect a USB to TTL Serial Cable to the debug interface as shown below.

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For Argon i.MX6UL: Connect a USB Type B cable to the board as shown below.

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Open a connection to the USB serial device on your development computer using a terminal program, such as PuTTY (Windows), Serial (Mac OS), or Minicom (Linux). The serial port parameters for the console are as follows:

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