VGA Output On A Freescale

Even though VGA is an outdated and becoming somewhat deprecated, getting this video output running on non-standard hardware is a rite of passage for some hackers. [Andrew] is the latest to take up the challenge. He got VGA output on a Freescale i.MX233 and also got some experience diving into the Linux kernel while he was at it.

The Freescale i.MX233 is a single-board computer that is well-documented and easy to wire up to other things without specialized hardware. It has video output in the form of PAL/NTSC but this wasn’t quite enough for [Andrew]. After obtaining the kernel sources, all that’s needed is to patch the kernel, build the kernel, and build a custom DAC to interface the GPIO pins to the VGA connector.

The first thing that [Andrew] did was load up the Hackaday home page, which he notes took quite a while since the i.MX233 only runs at 454 MHz with just 64 MB of RAM. While our retro page may have loaded a little faster, this is still an impressive build and a great first step to exploring more of the Linux kernel. The Freescale i.MX233 is a popular chip for diving into Linux on single-board computers, and there’s a lot going on in that community. There are some extreme VGA hacks out there as well if that’s more your style.

5 thoughts on “VGA Output On A Freescale

  1. This is a good hack in it;s own way but getting VGA from something like a ATmega328p @ 30 odd MHz is a lot more of a challenge.

    I cheat and use CPLD (small FPGAs) and I can get basic VGA from a 72 Register chip – possibly even a 36 but I didn’t try that.

    Old small CPLDs are cheap on ebay now. I bought 50 x, 5 Volt tolerant, 36 register chips for $40. If nothing else they will be great level translators to work between 3v3 and 5v chips lol.

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