First Successful Porting of Windows 10 IoT Core on i.MX 8
Since the availability of the Windows 10 IoT Core Board Support Packages for the NXP i.MX family of processors was announced by Microsoft’s Ian LeGrow in his keynote at CEATEC in October 2019, the race had been on to see which embedded software company would be the first to successfully port the two and deliver commercial-ready hardware. Witekio engineers working out of its Friedberg, Germany office, emerged as the winners, porting Windows 10 IoT Core on the i.MX 8 for the Avnet Integrated Maaxboard.
While porting Windows 10 IoT Core to i.MX 8 was theoretically possible, the Witekio team found that it remained a significant challenge. For one, the memory layout posed problems as Windows 10 IoT Core requires multiple different software packages to work together seamlessly. With crucial elements including mkimage, ATF, and the user extensible firmware interface (UEFI) having incorrect (but still hardcoded) memory configurations, Witekio’s engineers needed to apply their technical expertise in combination with their creativity, trying different approaches to overcome the inevitable pitfalls expected in any groundbreaking embedded software project. Some issues also emerged from Windows 10 IoT core drivers yet the team managed to solve them.
Witekio engineers not only managed to debug the existing board support package (BSP) but ‘hardened’ the same BSP for deployment on the MaaxBoard to improve reliability. In addition, Witekio’s team developed crucial knowledge about the Windows 10 IoT Core boot process and the Windows 10 UEFI, knowledge that now allows them to adapt their world-first port to other hardware projects for other customers.