Posts Categorized: Opal

Update – Windows Embedded Compact 7 on Opal

GuruCE have released an update to the WEC 7 BSP for the Opal i.MX53 CPU Module.  You can get details and download the latest version here.

The update includes bug fixes, performance tweaks and a couple of new features:

1. Fully re-written SPI driver for the i.MX53
2. Update feature allowing eboot and nk updates from within Windows CE.

Please contact us if you want to know more about this update, or think Opal might be a good solution for your new product design.

You may have also noticed the product section of our web site has had an update, and something new has appeared…  watch out for some more information on the blog and mailing list in the coming weeks as we get the hardware finished up.

Using Silverlight with the Opal Development Kit


We have a new sample app for the Opal Development Kit.

This is a Windows Embedded Compact 7 application and uses the Silverlight tools for the user interface. The goal is to demonstrate how to access the extra features we have on the Opal Development Kit including the I/O, accelerometer and GPS.

You can download the source and a pre-built binary here.

Windows Embedded Compact 2013 on Opal

GuruCE have been hard at work porting the latest version of Windows Embedded Compact to the Opal i.MX53 module and development kit.


Contact GuruCE for more information on the i.MX53 port and us (Device Solutions) for information on Opal.

MVP Logo

We also want to congratulate Erwin Zwart from GuruCE on his Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award!  This award recognizes technical excellence in Windows Embedded, and Erwin joins Michel Verhagen (APAC branch) who also has the MVP award.

GuruCE provide Windows CE and Windows Embedded Compact BSPs for our Topaz, Opal and Quartz products.

Product Longevity

Finding replacement components for a design that is in production is no fun, and having to re-design a product because of an obsolete component can be expensive and damaging for a business.

Here are 2 ways Device Solutions modules help minimise this problem:

1. Freescale Longevity Programme
All our products are based on Freescale processors that are part of their longevity program. This guarantees availability of the key component of our modules for at least 10 or 15 years from first production. For our current products, this means availability until:

  • 2023 for Quartz (Vybrid – 10 year program)
  • 2026 for Opal (i.MX53 – 15 year program)
  • 2024 for Topaz (i.MX25 – 15 year program)

2. We take care of component issues on the module
Using a module isolates you from the most common components that go end-of-life in a design.

Memory is one of the worst offenders when it comes to revisions and changes. It is also a difficult one when it comes to supply issues, but we won’t cover that here.

Whenever there is a change, we will notify existing customers and give them an option to qualify the updated module before we ship the new version. If software changes are required, these are taken care of by the operating system.

Announcing the Opal i.MX53 CPU Module

Module-TopWe are very pleased to announce the Opal i.MX53 CPU Module and Development Kit.

Opal is based on the Freescale i.MX53 processor, and includes up to 1GB DDR3 RAM, NAND flash, power management and an Ethernet PHY. It uses two 168-pin HiRose connectors to interface to a product-specific board.

Opal is perfect for devices that have demanding graphics requirements. The i.MX53 supports multiple displays, and includes outputs for TFT LCD panels with parallel and LVDS interfaces, as well as support for analog VGA. There is hardware acceleration for video as well as 2D and 3D graphics up to 1080p.

Connectivity highlights include Ethernet, USB and FlexCAN, as well as the usual embedded interfaces like serial, I2C and SPI.

Module-BottomOpal is a 60mmx60mm plug-in module. With complex processors like the i.MX53, it can be difficult to strike a balance between exposing all the features, system cost, physical size and mechanical strength. We think the Opal form-factor achieves this for the types of industrial, automotive and medical devices our customers create.

For the development kit, we have gone with the “more is more” approach :-) and included Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. There is also support for 2 LVDS panels (you can connect the Freescale 10.1″ panel used for the Quick Start Board), 7″ touch-screen LCD, CAN transceivers and digital I/O.

Another feature we hope will be useful on the development kit is the USB to serial converter for the debug serial port – you no longer have to go looking for your adapter!

Initial operating system support will be for Windows Embedded Compact 7 from GuruCE, with Linux and Android to follow from Trygtech.

We will have hardware available in July for beta customers with full availability shortly after that. If you think Opal might fit your application we would love to hear from you, and get you on the list for a beta unit.

FAQ: Designing with Device Solutions Processor Modules

OpalModule-Top  TopazCPUModule-Top  TopazSO-DIMM

Designing with a processor module is about more than making sure the technical specs meet your needs.  Hardware and software design support are essential to making projects successful.

We have put together some of the frequently asked questions to give you an idea of how the design process works with our modules.  It includes hardware design and the support we provide, operating system support and how that is delivered in conjunction with our software partners, and manufacturing questions.

We are pretty sure this document is not going to answer all your questions, but even if it does, we would love to talk to you about your project




“Focus on what you are good at” is a message we give our customers all the time.  When designing embedded products, starting with a processor module lets you do just that.  We try to do the same in our business, and partner with other companies so that we can focus on designing and manufacturing the best modules.

We recently added a Partners page to our web site that highlights the companies we are working with.  Some have been visible on our web site before, like GuruCE and Trygtech who provide Operating System ports. 

A new section is our System Integrators.  These are companies who have experience in designing with our modules and provide turn-key product development. If you are looking for help with your new project, get in touch directly or contact us for an introduction.

Opal Videos

We have created a couple of videos demonstrating specific features on the Opal Development Kit.  They cover the display options, and the USB/Serial debug interface we have on the kit.

There are some more videos in the works which will be online in January.  If there is anything specific you want us to highlight in future videos, let us know!

Display Options

USB/Serial Debug Feature

Using Digital I/O on the Opal i.M53 Development Kit

The Opal Development Kit has several I/O features to make prototyping applications easy.  These include: 4 x protected digital inputs,  4 x 5V digital outputs, 2 push-buttons and 2 LEDs.  

This video shows how easy it is to get developing with these features. 

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The source code for the Windows Embedded Compact 7 demo application is available here.

FlexCAN on the Opal i.MX53 Development Kit

The Opal Development Kit makes it easy to interface to devices on a CAN bus.  It has CAN transceivers on-board, and push-wire connectors so you can get developing fast. 

This video has more details, along with a Windows Embedded Compact 7 demo.  The demo source code is available here.


The GuruCE FlexCAN driver is also included in the Windows CE 6.0 BSP for the Topaz i.MX25 CPU module.