Update Firmware

Getting the Latest Firmware

This manual will assist you in setting up your software development environment and updating your firmware/system for your development.

Download full system image file

If you want to update Debian 11 to Blade 3, click here image-release-debian-20230110.img to download the full system image

Downloading to Mixtile Blade 3

Blade 3 comes with Debian 11 pre-installed, and it can be updated with any custom built firmware. The system firmware may be updated via either an USB cable or a MicroSD card. Under normal circumstances, the [MicroSD card method] is preferable for the users. Users with specific requirements who need to burn the system with USB cable and SD cards should back up their data in their own method.

The A/B (Seamless) system update is used by Blade 3. Blade 3 will not brick unless the hardware is damaged.

What you need

  1. A downloaded firmware
  2. Firmware update tool
  3. Blade 3 device
  4. MicroSD card/USB drive with more than 2GBytes capacity (only for updating via MicroSD card)
  5. RK-USB driver (only for updating via USB cable with Windows)

Update Methods of Full System Image

Two distinct methods for updating system firmware are demonstrated step by step. To upgrade your Blade 3 system with the latest firmware, follow the procedures below.

Option 1: MicroSD card update (suggested)

Use the upgrade card making tool to make the MicroSD card into an upgrade card. Then insert the upgrade card into the motherboard, turn it on, and the system will upgrade automatically in about 5 minutes.

Important: These update methods will delete all user data. Please back up the data before performing the update.

Option 2: USB cable update

Connect the Blade 3 to a PC via USB Type-C cable; the firmware update tool takes around 1 minute to burn the firmware.

Updating Full System Image with MicroSD card

To upgrade using a MicroSD card, you need to use the card building tool on the PC to write to the MicroSD card uniformly. The operation can only be completed on the Windows system.

Step 1: Preparation

  • Prepare a firmware to burn, please download full system image using above link.
  • Prepare a MicroSD card with more than 2GB capacity.

Step 2: Download MicroSD card building tool

Note: As Blade 3 uses A/B (Seamless) system update, SD_Firmware_Tool requires additional configuration.

  • open config.ini under SD_Firmware_Tool file folder
  • Modify UPGRADE_PROGRAM_PARTITION= boot_b

Step 3: Build update MicroSD card

  • Open SD_Firmware_Tool.

  • Follow the instruction in the below figure

    Upgrade_tool.png

Step 4: Update system

  • Insert the Upgrade card into Blade 3.
  • Reboot Blade 3 and wait for the upgrade to complete.

Update Full System Image with USB Cable

Boot modes

Blade 3 has two start modes: Normal and Maskrom modes. Maskrom mode are for firmware update.

  1. Normal mode
    Normal mode is the normal startup process. Each component is loaded in turn and enters the system normally.

  2. Maskrom mode
    Maskrom mode can be used for updates when the bootloader or uboot is broken. To enter Maskrom mode:

  • Please turn the position 4 of SPST four-position dip switch to ON, then Blade 3 enters MaskROM mode for firmware development. There are detailed information about the usage of dip switch in Blade 3 manual, you could also check the below picture for reference.

    ![Dip Switch Position.png](Dip Switch Position.png)

Updating Steps in Windows System

Step 1: Download update tool on PC

Step 2: Install RK-USB driver

  • Download RK DriverAssistant.zip, unzip, and run the DriverInstall.exe.

    RK-USB

    Note: To use the latest driver version, uninstall the current driver before installing the latest driver.

Step 3: Connect devices

  • Connect Blade 3 USB 0 Type-C port (the one that near the HDMI port) to PC with USB cable. ![Debug Port of Blade 3.png](Debug Port of Blade 3.png)

    device-manager

    Note: Blade 3 would be recognized as Rockusb Device by Windows in Maskrom mode.

Step 4: Enter Maskrom mode

  • Refer to Boot mode, select and boot Blade 3 in Maskrom mode.

Step 5: Update firmware

  • Open RKDevTool with administrator access

  • Click Firmware to select firmware location

  • Click Upgrade to update firmware to Blade 3

maskrom-mode

Updating Steps in Ubuntu System

Two upgrade tools can be used in Ubuntu, and both tools require a USB cable.

Step 1: Download upgrade tool

Step 2.1: Install upgrade tool

Edge 2 boots into Loader/Maskrom mode

  • Install Upgrade_Tool:
unzip Linux_Upgrade_Tool_xxxx.zip
cd Linux_UpgradeTool_xxxx
sudo mv upgrade_tool /usr/local/bin
sudo chown root:root /usr/local/bin/upgrade_tool
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/upgrade_tool
  • Upgrade firmware:
Unified firmware upgrade:
sudo upgrade_tool uf update.img


Mirrored partition upgrade:
sudo upgrade_tool di -b /path/to/boot.img
sudo upgrade_tool di -r /path/to/recovery.img
sudo upgrade_tool di -m /path/to/misc.img
sudo upgrade_tool di -u /path/to/uboot.img
sudo upgrade_tool di -dtbo /path/to/dtbo.img
sudo upgrade_tool di -p paramater
sudo upgrade_tool ul bootloader.bin


If the upgrade is abnormal or fails, you can low-level format, then upgrade.
sudo upgrade_tool lf update.img # low-level format
sudo upgrade_tool ef update.img # Erase

Step 2.2: Install Fastboot

  • Install Fastboot:
sudo mv adb /usr/local/bin
sudo chown root:root /usr/local/bin/adb
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/adb
sudo mv fastboot /usr/local/bin
sudo chown root:root /usr/local/bin/fastboot
sudo chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/fastboot
  • Upgrade firmware with Fastboot:
adb reboot fastboot
sudo fastboot flash vendor vendor.img
sudo fastboot flash system system.img
sudo fastboot reboot