Posted by Colin Murphy
Product Marketing Manager, Windows Embedded
To BSP or not to BSP: That is the question! Okay, maybe not so much. You need a BSP, or Board Support Package, if you are going to make a small-footprint device, even a “virtual device” and, as such, Windows Embedded Compact 2013 hits the ground running with three BSPs in the box:
- CEPC or “Compact Embedded Personal Computer” allows for the creation of a Compact-based device on both real and virtual PC hardware. Find out more about this BSP here.
- G-Series from AMD is an x86 processor based platform from AMD, and I have an AMDY-7002 to play with, myself. To find out more about this BSP, you can find its particulars right beside the CEPC in MSDN here.
- OMAP 4470 from Texas Instruments works with a super-cool developer kit called the Blaze 2 Tablet and I am also lucky enough to have one in my possession that will not be given up without a fight! This BSP is also documented close by the other two here.
While these are great BSPs, Windows Embedded Compact relies on its partners to fill out the BSP landscape and enable even more hardware options.
Within the first three months of releasing the product, our platform partners added 18 more BSPs, with many more in the works. This speaks of our excellent Compact partner community that makes Windows Embedded Compact 2013 the platform of choice for building specialized, small-footprint devices that need real-time performance and silicon flexibility on ARM and x86 architectures.
So, where do you find all these great new BSPs? The Windows Embedded Team has a searchable catalog, but I would like to highlight a few of the latest BSPs for Windows Embedded Compact 2013 because I think they are noteworthy. These are listed below alphabetically, because it would be hard to pick a favorite:
- Adeneo i.MX6 – If you search for developer = “Adeneo” you will find a dizzying amount of BSPs, but filter further on Compact 2013 and ARM and the multiple ARM based i.MX6 options will appear. This latest version of the i.MX series is likely to be very popular.
- BSquare Beagleboards – Search for developer = “BSQUARE” and you will find a fantastic assortment of BSPs including those for the i.MX6 and the very popular Beagle series as well. BSquare was one of the original partners on the development of CE and has a huge history with this product.
- Toradex T30 – If you search for developer = “Toradex,” you will find this fast boot platform based on the NVidia Tegra 3. I have a Toradex demo board that consistently boots in under 500ms based on similar hardware.
Use the search tool, because there are many other options, but if you don’t see your favorite chip, you can reach out to these partners through their contact data and find out if it is in their road map. Also, check back to the BSP site regularly, as we have great partners producing new options all of the time. Don’t forget: The Windows Embedded Compact 2013 full toolset is available for free download here. So, if you’re thinking about bringing a new compact device to market or just prototyping for now, you can rapidly speed up the process with these tools and a BSP partner from our BSP site.
One final note: register for our upcoming webinar, where you’ll learn about developing Windows Embedded Compact 2013-based devices in Visual Studio 2012, including choosing OS component and hardware to meet the need of the type of device you want to create. And read more about Windows Embedded Compact 2013 here.