Technical Articles

Gateworks' technical articles cover software and hardware topics related to Gateworks rugged and industrial SBCs. For the latest Gateworks news, please also view our News Page for product press releases and announcements.

Speeding Up Boot Times with Falcon Mode

June 9, 2015

Everyone desires computers that boot very fast! The software that is shipped bydefault on Gateworks boards is tuned to be very ‘developer friendly’ for getting started in the development cycle.Common questions like: ‘How can I make my software boot quicker?’ are asked frequently and Gateworks hasdevoted time into documenting various methods of increasing boot speed or boot speed perception (see Gateworks has additionallyimprovedboot speeds by implementing U-Boot’s Falcon mode in the Ventana bootloader. Gateworks Ventana is the first IMX6 based board in mainline U-Boot to get this support.What is U-Boot Falcon mode? Falcon mode is named after the Peregin …

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Android KitKat Software Release for Ventana SBCs

March 31, 2015

Gateworks is proud to announce the release of Android KitKat for it’s family of Ventana SBCs. The source and pre-built images for Android 4.4.3 (KitKat) have been released. To find out what is new in KitKat 4.4 compared to the prior Android JellyBean release, please see the Android documentation: Notable changes include: Update to the Android Open Source Project’s 4.4.3 code base Added NAND flash support (for Ventana boards that have 2GB NAND) Added support for new products such as the GW551x and GW552x Freescale has added manyIMX6 performance and stability improvements. Newer 3.10.53 based Linux kernel which has …

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Yocto 1.7 Dizzy BSP Update for Ventana SBCs

March 9, 2015

Gateworks would like to announce the availability of OpenEmbedded Yocto 1.7 ‘Dizzy’ for the Ventana Family of SBCs. Yocto is the Linux distro that Gateworks supports for Video and Audio applications. Yocto 1.7 is an update ofYocto 1.6 with many smaller changes to note, primarily in the form of package and buildtool updates.To stay inline with Freescale’s Yocto BSP, the proven 3.10.17 kernel is being used. To see the full release notes and build Yocto 1.7 from source or to download pre-compiled binaries, please visit the Gateworks Wiki site here: To view Gateworks’ changes to the Yocto BSP, please visit our …

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New GSC Watchdog

February 24, 2015

Gateworks has posted before about their very valuable Gateworks System Controller (GSC) here. A new feature that has recentlybeen added is a GSC watchdog. A watchdog timer is a functionality that forces a reset of the system in response to a problem in the software. Watchdog timers are very important in embedded systems that are installed in remote, rugged, and hard to reach installations and environments. CPU’s typically have a watchdog timer but the GSC watchdog will completely power cycle the board removing any software dependencies in the shutdown process. The GSC watchdog isa more robust and reliable watchdogthan the …

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H.264 Video Streaming over Network

January 15, 2015

The Gateworks Ventana Family of Single Board Computers is well suited for multimedia applications. The Freescale i.MX6 processor has hardware encoding and decoding making for very little processor overhead. To take advantage of this hardware decoding it is important to always use the ‘vpuenc’ and ‘vpudec’ gstreamer pipeline elements. vpuenc – VPU (Video Processing Unit) encoder vpudec – VPU (Video Processing Unit) decoder It is also important to use a high compression video format such as H.264 which uses significantly less network bandwidth while retaining good quality. To use this, we encode by using the following pipeline element: vpuenc codec=avc …

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Ventana Family Model Numbers & Ordering Options

December 16, 2014

The Ventana Family of Single Board Computers has been a very popular offering with the HDMI HD video input and HDMI output, the CAN Bus port and high performance i.MX6 processor along with many more great features. To provide the widest range of options, variations of each family member was created to make ordering more simple. These variations along with their part numbers are listed on our Ventana ordering options Wiki page:

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New and updated Gateworks Developer Mailing Lists

October 28, 2014

Gateworks prides itself on support for it’s customers. Software is a constantly evolving element to the system and Gateworks is committed to continuously updating and stabilizing it’s Board Support Packages (operating systems supported). Customers can be notified via email through mailing lists about recent code commits to Gateworks repositories. This transparency allows customers to be notified of improvements, new features, and solutions for the software. There is typically a mailing list for each BSP (Board Support Package) to better match the development system being used. This blog post is to announce two new mailing lists for Android and OpenEmbedded. Follow …

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Ventana JTAG Software Release

August 21, 2014

Gateworks is proud to announce JTAG programming support for the Ventana family of Single Board Computers. This support allows precompiled binaries that include the kernel, bootloader, and root filesystem to be flashed via Gateworks JTAG software onto any Ventana board. This is valuable as it is the most simple way to load new software and updates onto the board. The same JTAG software is also backwards compatible with all previous Gateworks boards. This release is limited to Linux and provides programming support and does not include upload or verify support. Ventana is unique in that it is the first family …

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Yocto 1.6 BSP Released for Gateworks Ventana Family

July 1, 2014

Gateworks is proud to announce the release of Open Embedded Yocto Daisy Version 1.6 for its Ventana Family of Single Board Computers. The Yocto BSP is primarily used by customers utilizing the video features on the Ventana family. This release is a major improvement over the previous 3.0.35 kernel. Key Features of this release: 3.10.17 Freescale Vendor Kernel Featuring Device Tree Full VPU & GPU Support Latest and Improved Wireless Tools hostapd 2.2 wpa_supplicant 2.2 iw 3.15 compat-wireless 20140516 Hard Float support for i.MX6 To build from source and pre-complied images: Please find our main Yocto Software Wiki page here: …

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Ventana Fiber-Optic and Ethernet Expansion Module

June 16, 2014

Gateworks proudly announces the official release of the Ventana GW16083 Ethernet and Fiber-Optic expansion module. The product is shipping now with support on OpenWrt Linux. The expansion module can connect to any of the Ventana SBCs with an optional expansion connector (see website for specific models). The expansion module provides 6 copper GbE Ethernet ports of which two can be steered to SFP cages for Fiber-Optic module support. Four of the ports can additionally be configured with an optional PSE PoE module to allow the board to power PoE devices such as IP cameras. Over the last few years, fiber …

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