Alternate Serial Downloader


I was wondering if you are able use to the on-board Ethernet MAC on the iMX8 SoM as an alternate serial downloader rather than using the USB or UART? We want to potentially use this a high bandwidth diags/serial downloader port without having to use USB.

Also, could you talk to each core independently via the Ethernet MAC?

Nathan Kumaraperu

Hi @kperu01 and Welcome to the Toradex Community!

Could you provide the version of the Hardware (including carrier board) and Software of your module?

What is your application? What are you trying to do?

Best regards,

Hi Jaski,

We are making our own carrier board for the iMX8QM 4GB WB SoM and the use of USB is highly undesirable in this context. We are currently using the Ixora dev board (v1.18) as a reference for the carrier board design. I will check the software version and get back to you.

Thanks, Nathan.

Hi @kperu01

The serial downloader is used for recovering a module in which the software is completely corrupted. This means not even the bootloader (U-Boot) is coming up anymore. Basically, you can recover a module that has an empty eMMC. The serial loader is part of the boot-ROM of the SoC. The i.MX 8QM SoC supports only the USB port as a serial loader. There is nothing we can change there as it is in the boot-ROM which is not changeable.

However, in many cases, serial downloader is not required. The module is delivered with the Toradex Easy Installer preloaded. The Toradex Easy Installer allows you to flash the module over Ethernet by connecting it to a server. More information on Toradex Easy Installer, you can find here.

If you want to recover a system that has not anymore the Toradex Easy Installer on it but is still possible to run the bootloader (U-Boot), you could also use a SD-Card or USB-Flash drive for flashing a new Linux system on the eMMC. Theoretically, it would be possible to use Ethernet for flashing the system. However, Ethernet flashing is currently not supported by Toradex.

If you are running Torizon, it is possible to use over the air updates. More information about the OTA feature, you will find here.

Thanks Peter, that is extremely useful.

Thanks again,

You are welcome. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Best regards,