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mini2440 – My new ARM toy

Last week I recieved a new ARM toy. I unpacked it a minute after I got, and started messing with it straight ahead – and that’s why I’m first writing about it now πŸ™‚
It’s called mini2440 and it has a Samsung S3C2440A ARM920T chip, clocked at 405 MHz (Max freq. 533 MHz), and a 3.5″ touch screen display on top. There is also 2MB NOR flash, 64MB SRAM, and 128MB NAND flash (you can get up to 1GB) on the board.

The mini2440 board



 
The mini2440 has alot of connection possibilities, as there is both a USB slave, USB master (OTG), ethernet, RS232, SD card slot and sound output. All these are routed to real connectors, but there is also alot of GPIO’s which is routed to small pin headers and connectors. There is also a microphone soldered to the board!
You can read more about the mini2440 board here: http://www.friendlyarm.net/products/mini2440

The mini2440 board without the LCD



 

 
As the ARM920T hasn’t any flash itself, it is connected to a NOR and a NAND chip. In the NOR chip there is a bootloader called Supervivi, which makes it easy to upgrade the NAND chip and set boot-options in the NOR, using the USB and serial (RS232) port.

The Supervivi menu



 
The mini2440 comes preinstalled with Linux 2.6.3 and a graphics layer called Qtopia. But as I haven’t messed alot with Linux I started investigating other opportunities.
Some of the operation systems (also RTOS’s) which can be installed on the mini2440 are for example:

  • Linux 2.6.3 and Qtopia (Linux)
  • Embedian (Linux)
  • Angstrom (Linux)
  • Android (Linux)
  • Windows CE 5.0
  • Windows CE 6.0
  • uCos (RTOS)

 
Of course it is also possible to write code for the board without using an OS – this can be done in different ways

  • Writing code for the 2MB NOR chip, and then boot from that
  • Writing code for the NAND chip – this requires a specific bootloader which is placed in the bottom of the NAND chip

Right now I haven’t tried any of theese, but I have removed the Linux and installed Windows CE 5.0 and afterwards Windows CE 6.0. The great thing about Windows CE 6.0 is the .NET 3.5 Framework. This does the application development much easier, and I’ve already made my first “Hello World” application!

 

 

It took me hours to get started, as the CD which came with my mini2440 only included the Chineese manual.
But then there is two amazing sites:

  • http://www.friendlyarm.net
  • http://www.andahammer.com/
  • And also the IRC channel on Freenode called #mini2440

Theese helped me getting started – but remember, the mini2440 is not for beginners. It requires a clear mind, and alot of time!

 
So to help you who may find it difficult to get started, I’ve uploaded some usefull documents and files.

In the following weeks I will upload more things, and write a couple of guides to get started… Especially guides about getting started with Windows CE 6.0 development, as I’m doing right now!

Categories: mini2440 Tags: , ,
  1. Alan
    May 25th, 2010 at 06:37 | #1

    Hi, have you ever tired to connect it with and arduino… under Linux or WinCe?
    Does it work?

  2. May 27th, 2010 at 15:28 | #2

    @Alan
    Nope, I haven’t tried that… But it should work by connecting the serial ports together!

  3. Travis
    June 12th, 2010 at 22:53 | #3

    Hi, and thanks for the info!

    I have the following problems I need help with:
    1) I have the 64MB NAND Mini2440 and want to get Win CE 5 running on it. However the image you provided is 132MB… I think the solution is to loading WinCE5 on a flash card and then telling the mini2440 to boot to the flash. But how?
    2) I have both a 3.5″ lcd and 7″ lcd and need to know how to get both working. It would be excellent if one image could work with either screen.

    Thanks!

    • June 15th, 2010 at 17:40 | #4

      When building images for the mini2440, both Linux and Win CE images, you build for a specific target, which means a specific NAND size and a specific display.
      With Linux I’ve tried booting images from an SD card thoug, but I don’t think it’s possible with Win CE.
      So the image I’ve provided can only be used with the 128MB mini2440!

      Also, when you build Win CE images, you chose which display driver to include. But with Linux you chose it in the startup parameters, so with Linux, both drivers is included!

      Best Regards
      Thomas Jespersen

  4. joan
    August 26th, 2010 at 12:57 | #5

    Hi Thomas
    I bought the same board and I have to try linux, android or Win CE. Linux and Android are free but WinCE? What’s the price of each WinCE license?.
    Thanks.

  5. August 28th, 2010 at 11:47 | #6

    @joan
    Hi.
    I don’t know the price for a single WinCE license, as I don’t think you can buy a single license.
    Normally, the mini2440 is sold with a WinCE sticker if the license is included – fx; you can get one with sticker (license) from Andahammer!

  6. October 18th, 2010 at 09:28 | #7

    For more details of SBC product , the manufacturer of mini2440v2

    please refer to website:www.developmentboard.net

  7. saleem
    November 30th, 2010 at 08:39 | #8

    hi,
    I have also bought mini2440 with 256MB NAND flash with Qt image loaded.
    Can I use it in image processing projects and controlling the robots.

    Regards

    • November 30th, 2010 at 20:01 | #9

      Hi.
      Yes, you will definitely be able to do those things, all it requires is a great knowledge in Embedded Linux programming and development.
      I can recommend you to start reading some guides about making Qt applications!

      Best Regards
      Thomas Jespersen

  8. saeed
    October 3rd, 2011 at 20:06 | #10

    dear sir/madam

    I need to Interface mini2440 (with Win Ce 6) with a usb camera, so I have the following questions. please help.

    1.I want to know if protocol of usb camera`s are general or each camera has it’s own usb protocol?

    2.if camera has WinXP driver, is it possible to use this driver with this board (in WinCE 6)?

    3.I saw that this board support camera in it’s camera port and usb.what kind of camera does this board support?

  9. October 6th, 2011 at 20:13 | #11

    @saeed
    Hi Saeed.
    Unfortunately I haven’t used any cameras with the board, not the supported nor a USB one.
    The camera supported by the board is the CAM130 CMOS-Camera Module, though I don’t have this module, so I haven’t been able to test it.

    If you are going to use a USB Webcam you would probably have to write your own driver for it, or if possible find an existing one – FOR WinCE! In general Webcam drivers and webcam interfaces are the same, they don’t nessecarily use the USB commands, but when converted using the driver, the have the same functions – webcam functionality.
    That is why you can use almost every webcam in all webcam-supported applications.

    I recommend you to have a look at the driver used for that USB webcam you have, for Windows XP, and then you should have a look at how to write drivers for the WinCE. It will probably be possible to port the driver easily.

    Best Regards
    Thomas Jespersen

  10. RM
    March 24th, 2013 at 10:47 | #12

    Hi

    The links to the documentation appear to be broken. Are the documents still available for download?

    Regards
    RM

  11. March 24th, 2013 at 11:12 | #13

    @RM
    I have now updated the links so they should be working again.
    Regards Thomas

  12. Abdul
    March 27th, 2015 at 11:59 | #14

    Hi,
    I am new to embedded programming. I have fedora installed in my PC. I successfully installed linux kernel and everything is going good on mini2440. Now i have some image processing program, which i want to run on mini2440 without OS. like, only process running on board should be my program. and in that program, how can i access the on board cam to take image, and serial port to send output to the PC. Can you Please shed some light on it .
    Thanking you in anticipation.

  13. March 28th, 2015 at 22:11 | #15

    @Abdul
    What do you mean with On board cam? If you are about to connect a USB Webcam it will be difficult to read the images without the use of a Linux distro which most likely already comes with the proper drivers embedded into the kernel.
    If you are not using Linux or Windows CE but instead an RTOS like uCos you would have to write these USB drivers yourself.

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