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The Road to Using the i.MX RT685 Crossover MCU with Zephyr RTOS

By September 1, 2022No Comments

Written by Eli Hughes, NXP Pro Support Engineer

In 2020, I gave a keynote for Altium Live titled “Crossing the Chasm: The Road to Becoming a Full-Stack Hardware Engineer”.   In that session, we examined how the “dynamic range” of skills connected to electronics, embedded systems and software is incredibly large.  The amount of raw information needed to become an effective embedded engineer can be overwhelming, especially to those just coming into the field. 

Within the web technology domain, there is the concept of the “full-stack” developer who can work on both frontend (what you see) and backend (how data is processed) technologies. This concept also exists in the hardware engineering domain and there is an increasing need for people who are effective “full-stack hardware engineers”.  Zephyr can be a critical tool to building your own “skill stack”.

It is a connecting technology that spans the “low-level” and “high-level” components of an embedded software system. From Low-Level drivers,  bootloaders,  an RTOS kernel,  networking APIs all the way to the build system and configuration tools,   Zephyr contains of the pieces needed for a modern embedded project.  Being able to connect the dots from hardware concept through booting the kernel can seem like a daunting task!  

Today, we’re excited to announce a new white paper titled, “From Hardware Concept to Zephyr Bring Up—The Road to Using the i.MX RT685 Crossover MCU with Zephyr.” This paper illuminates a path that will take you from the bare SOC through PCB design, board bringup and getting to the shell.   I specifically chose a specialized part, the NXP i.MX RT685,  as it is an interesting SOC whose capabilities lie between the traditional MCU domain and the Applications Processor domain.  Seeing an end-to-end flow on complex SoC will help build confidence that you can start from scratch and bring up a working system. The world needs true “Full Stack” engineers who can bridge multiple disciplines.  I hope you can take the time to read through the white paper and get inspired to tackle your next project.

Read the white paper here:

To ask questions or learn more, we invite you join the Zephyr technical community on Discord.

Zephyr Project