NXP I.MX RT1050 EV KIT and Display - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: NXP I.MX RT1050 EV KIT and Display

Author: dixonselvan

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: DRAGONBOARD 410C ($75) by Arrow.

What were the biggest problems encountered?: 1) DISPLAY AND TOUCH RIBBON CABLES - Since it is my first experience with ribbon cables, I had a pretty tough time inserting the display and touch ribbon cables into their respective slots. Keeping my experience aside, the slots do require more physical force to open and close leaving us in a state of fear of breaking either the slot or the cable. 2) DISPLAY DEMO PROGRAM - MCUXpresso - which is the official IDE for the NXP MIMX RT1050 EV Kit does not come with options to program the display. Also, there are almost no examples or self-help guide for getting started with the display. I could also find my fellow road testers struggling a bit at this point. 3) OOB DEMO - The Out of the Box (OOB) Demo mentioned in the official getting started document/ webpage did not work for my board right out of the box. Later I managed to get the onboard accelerometer checked after I had installed the IAR Embedded Workbench and programmed the board with the bubble demo (OOB Demo).

Detailed Review:

Last Modified Date & Purpose - May 20, 2018 & Road Test Review Creation

Introduction

     NXP MIMX RT1050 Evaluation Kit priced at $79 is a bundle of crossover power. The i.MX RT1050 EV board has the crossover processor with ARM Cortex 7. Along with the board, the kit contains,

      • a 4.3-inch Display
      • a Micro-USB Cable and
      • Four Female Header pins

 

    The Kit is good to start with right out of the box. Except the fact that we don't have a case to hold the display in place. It would be appreciated if there is one included in the kit. The size of the i.MX RT1050 EV board is a bit larger than the usual development boards. It is around 5 inches in length. The board is PCB green and looking at its size, it makes one think it as a motherboard of a PC or a laptop. It is provided with four screw mounts to work comfortably placing it on your workbench. The display is bright and responsive to touches similar to smartphones. This credit should go to the crossover processor which handles data in real-time and processes information much quicker. It is also said to operate at low power, which makes it a crossover between the application processor and the low power MCUs.

 

     To get started with the kit visit this page. This will be my road test review of the NXP MIMX RT1050 EV kit. Click here if would like to know About me.

 

Table of Contents

1. Plan

     The major difficulty in road testing the i.MX RT1050 EV Kit was finding the IDE suitable to program the Display. Though there were getting started documents and demo codes for display, All I received were errors and a ton of efforts was required to clear them. This altered the originally planned schedule. The plan proposed in the road test application is as follows:

 

          1. Get familiar with the coding of the MX RT1500 EV Kit - 2 weeks

          2. Build a simple GUI application (Calendar) - 2 weeks

          3. Test the various sensors and display the results - 2 weeks

          4. Build a complex GUI application - 2 weeks

 

2. Unboxing and First Impressions

     As mentioned earlier, when I unboxed the kit I was surprised to see a huge CPU? No, it was actually a green crossover development board. The markings in the top of the board to define the components are so congested that they look like white lines. The 4.3-inch display and the board was received undamaged all because of the packaging and quality shipping. Thanks to UPS and Element14 Road Test team.

 

     Below is the unboxing video of the NXP MIMX RT1050 EV kit.

 

 

3. Out of the Box Experience

     Usually, the NXP MIMX RT1050 board comes preloaded with the bubble level demo to check the onboard accelerometer out of the box. But there was no demo program preloaded into my road test board. I later was able to get it from the IDE under Example Projects which will be covered in later part of the road test review. Phew, I almost went to a point where I would take a hammer and push in the display and touch ribbon cable into their respective slots. Might be because this is the first time for me! This is also covered as part of the OOB Experience.

 

     Have a look for yourself to see how the NXP MIMX RT1050 EV Kit performs out of the box in the below video.

 

 

4. Specifications

     I have tried to consolidate all the specification of the NXP MIMX RT1050 EV Kit in the table below.

 

Description

Value

Kit
Product NameNXP MIMX RT1050 EV Kit or i.MX RT1050 Evaluation Kit
i.MX RT 1050 board
Processor TypeCrossover
Processor

MIMXRT1052DVL6A with ARM Cortex 7

Speed600 MHz
Memory256 SDRAM
Flash512 MB Hyper Flash
ConnectivityEthernet 10/100T
Other Features
  • Footprint for QSPI Flash
  • SD Card
  • Camera Connector
  • 4-pole audio headphone jack
  • External speaker connection
  • Microphone
  • OTG connector
  • CAN transceiver
  • Arduino interface
Display
Part NumberRK043FN02H-CT
Display Size & Type
4.3-inch Capacitive Touchscreen
BacklightLED Backlight
Header Pins
Female x4
CableUSB Type-A to micro-B

 

5. IDEs available to program the board

     There are different IDEs available other than the official MCUXpresso to program the NXP MIMXRT1050 EV board. This section will cover the IAR embedded workbench for NXP's i.MX and the graphical user Interface designing IDEs available.

 

IAR Embedded Workbench

     The IAR embedded workbench version 8.2 can be downloaded here The download size is about 1.2GB. I found it easy to use with a simple yet powerful user interface. The details on how to program the i.MX RT1050 board are covered under the 'Example Programs to Get Started'.

 

Issue:

     While programming the 'emwin graphics demo' to the board, I was thrown an error while building it. It was due to the license I had selected during installation. The license allowed only code of size 32k to be built, whereas the emwin demo was around 100k. You can change the license under Help -> License Manager

 

Note:

     The 'Download & Debug' option programs the board in the temporary memory and it will not be available on the next time we power the board. To program the i.MX RT1050 permanently (i.e., until next time we program it) got to 'CMSIS-DAP' and select 'Leave Target Running'.

 

     There are different IDEs available to program the display that comes with the kit. The first one I found out on the web was Touch GFX and later I came to know that few more exist from my fellow road testers and This list is also available on the NXP Website in this page under UI Build Tools.

  1. TouchGFX Designer
  2. Embedded Wizard
  3. Storyboard Designer and Suite by Crank Software

 

TouchGFX Designer

     TouchGFX can be downloaded here and the getting started document is available here. The details on how to use Touch GFX for designing graphical user interface are covered under the section 'Complex GUI Projects'.

 

Embedded Wizard

     Find instructions for getting started, download and installation under their respective tabs.

 

{tabbedtable} Tab LabelTab Content
Getting Started

Getting started document is available at the following link - https://doc.embedded-wizard.de/getting-started-mimxrt1050-evk?v=8.30

 

When you click the installed 'Embedded Wizard Studio Free' executable the below welcome screen appears.

Download

1. Go to this link - https://www.embedded-wizard.de/

2. Scroll down a little and Click the 'Download Free Edition' button.

3. You will be redirected to the below page where you will have to fill in your name, company email address, select your target platform and if you wish, you can enter the details of your project you intend to create with Embedded Wizard. Then prove that you are not a robot and click 'Register and Download'.

You can find NXP I.MX RT1050

4. You will then be redirected to a page with links to download the main software (Embedded Wizard Studio Free 8.30) and packages available for i.MX RT series. Also, there are links to various informative content in getting started with the software to create projects. The download size of the file is

5. The above page will not be available after you have closed it. You will have to register again in order to access it! But there is no need to register again. Since the team will send you an email to the registered mail ID like below, from where you can access the same content.

Installation

1. Click on the downloaded content with name 'EmbeddedWizardFree.msi' to begin the installation.

2. Click on 'Next' to begin the installation in the below window.

3. Read the End-User License Agreement and accept the terms in the license agreement and click 'Next'.

4. Click 'Install' on the next screen to begin the installation.

5. Click 'Finish' on the next screen to finish the installation.

 

6. Example Programs to Get Started

Testing the Sensors - Bubble Demo

     The i.MX RT1050 EV kit comes preloaded with the bubble demo. This is used to test the onboard accelerometer available on the board. The video below explains how to program the bubble demo into your board using IAR Embedded Workbench.

 

 

7. GUI Projects

Simple GUI application

     Emwin graphics demo is available in the NXP MCUXpresso SDK. The video below explains how to program the emwin graphics demo into your board using IAR Embedded Workbench.

 

 

Complex GUI application

     TouchGFX is a graphical IDE available to program the NXP i.MX RT1050 EV Kit. The video below explains how to design GUI using the TouchGFX Designer.

 

 

8. Conclusion/Summary

     As soon as this road test was put in place, I was much attracted to the display and the power of the Crossover processor. These two months are short to master this powerful board. This mainly because of the lack of sufficient demo programs to get started with the GUIs. Still, I appreciate the demos provided and the getting started documents available. Below are some of the Pros and Cons which I found during this road test.

 

Pros

     1. The response is in real-time. There is absolutely no delay between touch and display.

     2. The Display is the main attraction of the board with beautiful while backlit and clear display.

     3. It is compatible with Arduino shields.

 

Cons

     1. Plugging in the display and touch ribbon cables into their respective slots is quite hard.

     2. Lack of demo programs and capability of NXP's own IDE is limited in terms of programming the display.

 

     With this ends my road test review of the NXP MIMX RT1050 EV Kit.

 

     I have tried to summon some useful quick reference links in the table below.

 

DescriptionLinks
Buyhttps://www.nxp.com/products/processors-and-microcontrollers/applications-processors/i.mx-applications-processors/i.mx-r…
User Guides

https://www.nxp.com/products/processors-and-microcontrollers/applications-processors/i.mx-applications-processors/i.mx-r…

MCUXpresso SDK API Reference Manual: Introduction

Communityhttps://community.nxp.com/
Getting Startedhttps://www.nxp.com/products/processors-and-microcontrollers/applications-processors/i.mx-applications-processors/i.mx-r…

MCUXpresso - Download Link

(File Size: 139.71 MB)

https://mcuxpresso.nxp.com/en/license?hash=b53a7f28817a7db0b2fa96e8b85b79e5&hash_download=1 -

IAR Embedded Workbench

(File Size: 1284.03MB)

http://netstorage.iar.com/SuppDB/Protected/PRODUPD/013008/EWARM-CD-8222-15996.exe

(Version 8.22)

Online SDK Builderhttps://mcuxpresso.nxp.com/en/welcome
Touch GFX Software

https://touchgfx.com/product-information/touchgfx-designer/

Demos - https://www.nxp.com/video/:IMX-RT1050-ONE-FB

Other useful Links:

https://touchgfx.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360000027852--SOLVED-TouchGFX-4-9-0-with-i-MX-RT1050-EVK-is-not-ma…

https://touchgfx.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/206159289

https://touchgfx.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002670032-TouchGFX-4-9-0-Installation-guide-for-NXP-IMX1050RT

videos - https://touchgfx.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001801745

Crank Software

Crank Software | Embedded GUI Prototype and Development

Demos - Video Library | Crank Software

Embedded Wizard Software

https://www.embedded-wizard.de/

Demos - https://www.embedded-wizard.de/demo.html

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