The X1501 Pico SoM

  • Based on a very powerful chip, the Ingenic X1501
  • Only 16x16x2mm
  • Runs mainline Linux
  • Self contained power management

Production

This project is already submitted to Croud Supply for fundraising. We're waiting for their response.

After the fundraising is completed, all PCB design files will be open sourced under the CERN-OHL2-S license.

Limited amount of early prototypes (hardware 100% working) will be available to be purchased separately.

What is it for?

Want more computing power, but a STM32H7 is too expensive? And a Raspberry Pi is too big?

Have no more space on your PCB for an extra SRAM/SDRAM?

Tired of debugging your MCU firmware and want some behavior-standardized programming APIs?

Want to use modern programming languages for your hardware project?

Need IP protection for your software but that's virtually nonexistent on entry-grade MPUs & too easy to break on regular MCUs?

That's it. The X1501 Pico SoM. It is:

  • Only the same size as a MCU chip
  • Runs mainline Linux kernel + 800KB user code without any external storage
  • Only 3 external resistors are needed to power it up, and you can place them at anywhere you like

About the Ingenic X1501

It's a tiny but powerful MPU chip made by Ingenic Semiconductor.

Specs:

  • BGA-81, 6x6mm
  • 65nm process
  • 1GHz MIPS32r2 main core with hardware double precision floating point, 16K L1 & 128K L2 cache
  • 300MHz MIPS32r2 secondary core w/o FPU and MMU
  • 8MB LPDDR and 16KB tightly coupled SRAM
  • 16Mbit NOR flash
  • USB 2.0 OTG, I2C, SPI, SDIO and DVP
  • Analog mono audio output & digital microphone input
  • EFUSE based Secure Boot

It has 2200+ CoreMark and is able to outperform many ARM MPUs which don't even have hardware FP support at all. This chip is originally designed to run RTOS, but it's able to run mainline Linux out of the box, and most peripherals (USB OTG, UART, I2C, SPI, SDIO) are supported at this moment.

Complete datasheets are provided. No need to play hide & seek with vendor. No big fat "Confidential" watermarks on each page. :)

Unbelievably Small

The SoM is very tiny in size. It's only 16x16x2mm, and that's usually the size of a whole MPU chip! So it's great for size constrained applications.

UBoot, mainline Linux kernel with USB stack, and ~800KB user program will all fit in the internal NOR flash.

Mainline Linux

The X1501 is a close relative to another chip from Ingenic, the X1000, which is already supported by mainline Linux. The only differences are less pins, less DRAM size and the addition of an internal NOR flash. So, only a few changes are needed to run mainline Linux on the X1501.

Currently the DVP camera interface is not supported, and the DMA is unusable due to some missing workarounds in the cache management code. The audio part is supposed to be supported but currently untested. Everything else works.

Self contained power management

The SoM supports a very wide voltage range for its power supply, that is 3.0-6.0V. So it can be directly powered from a variety of things, such as USB, Li-ion and AA batteries.

There's also a regulated (buck) 3.3V 1A output, which can be used to power other components, and can greatly decrease the complexity of PCB design. The MOSFETs inside the DC-DC will stay conducted when the power supply input is less than 3.3V.

No decoupling caps are needed outside the SoM!