Designed and developed SPI Flash Performance Evaluation Board
based on i.MX8 Processor

Client Overview

US based technology leader that designs, develops, and markets high performance integrated circuits, flash and memory products for automotive, communications, digital consumer, industrial and medical markets.

Business Challenge

With recently launched new flash products, client wanted to create a sales tool showing live performance evaluation and comparison (like time to boot and display images stored in flash memory) of their Quad SPI and Octal SPI products. Client was looking for a technology partner with experience of integrated circuits, who can develop an evaluation platform enabling their business generation team to showcase the new products’ performance demo to the end-customers and prospects or demonstrate at any industrial events.

VOLANSYS Contribution

VOLANSYS helped its semiconductor industry client to develop a performance demonstration tool for their new SPI flash products. We provided hardware and embedded engineering services to design and develop a performance evaluation platform based on i.MX8 processor which compares the performance of their Quad SPI and Octal SPI flash. It will display images read from the flash memory along with its boot-time and image read time over HDMI monitor. This tool enhanced products sales facilitating their sales team to carry it at industrial events and showcase live demo to prospects and customers.

  • Hardware
    • Designed and developed a performance evaluation board based on NXP i.MX8 processor
    • Designed a hardware architecture to be flexible and easily configurable to support multiple memory types and voltages for the evaluation platform
    • Selected appropriate class A components to accomplish the performance evaluation
    • Performed power budget analysis to derive the power consumption of system architecture and derived the power tree architecture for supporting i.MX8 processor design
    • Designed schematics, PCB layout, and routing, component placement
    • Tested fabrication, assembly, and board bring-up
    • Performed DVT (Design Validation Testing), high-speed Flex SPI interface testing to verify the signal quality and system functionality
  • Embedded
    • Modified U-boot to boot the evaluation platform from Quad Flash/Octal Flash or Octal Multi-Chip Package Flash
    • Performed board bring-up to achieve the readiness of the evaluation platform after manufacturing
    • Developed and validated memory drivers (Linux based) for Octal Flash, RAM and MCP memories
    • Implemented Read/Write commands for Octal RAM, and developed a test application to validate the Octal RAM driver commands
    • Evaluation platform booting from the Quad Flash, Octal Flash and Octal MCP Flash memory depending upon the configured boot mode
    • Developed an OpenGL based test application that displays 1080p resolution images read from the flash memory along with its boot-time and image read time display over HDMI monitor
Technologies | Engineering Expertise

System Architecture Design | PCB Schematic and layout | Design Validation Testing | Board bring-up | Linux | BSP | Driver development | i.MX8 | Hardware Engineering | Embedded Engineering

Solution Architecture

Designed and developed SPI Flash Performance Diagram

Benefits Delivered
  • Improved sales for the new products with live performance demonstration platform (marketing tool)
    • Comparing Quad SPI flash and Octal SPI flash boot time performance
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