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Hawkboard Issues - TI Annoucement

Other Parts Discussed in Thread: AM1808, OMAP-L138, OMAPL138, AM1806, AM1810, TMS320C6748


TI is aware of the instability problems that many customers are experiencing with the current HawkBoard and is working actively to solve the problem. Unfortunately, the current HawkBoard does not follow TI’s recommended layout recommendations. Even after trying Innovate Solutions’ proposed solution, the boards in our possession are still exhibiting problems

Therefore, due to design instabilities, TI does not recommend the design of the current HawkBoard. We do not recommend new customers order the current HawkBoard.

TI is currently doing a root cause analysis. We hope to update the community with a new HawkBoard design that is TI recommended and supports the earlier HawkBoard software. We hope to engage a new manufacturer for this new HawkBoard in the near future.

TI has many customers that are in production with OMAP-L138 and the AM1808 processors. We advise our customers to follow our design specifications. We also offer a schematic review for your convenience.

For the time being, for a known good design, we suggest starting with our recommended development platform, the LogicPD Experimenter/EVM: the LogicPD board does not support DDR2, we have used a separate vendor to prove the use of DDR2 on the AM1808 and the OMAP-L138. Although not officially recommended as the development platform of choice, and not open for order entry, we do refer customers to the schematics found here: for a known good DDR2 layout.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly so that I may help you get the necessary support to continue your project. 


Best Regards,

Huy Pham
OMAP-L138 Marketing Manager  

  • Thanks for your info... last week we bought a hawk board from innovate i found more troubles in uboot level itself it shown nand bad blocks. uImage is not booting no proper docs from innovate solutions Bangalore..

    i lost my nand u boot i stuck in how to bring my uboot again in nand...

    please help me..


  • Prabhu,

    I am sorry that you have had problems with your Hawkboard from Innovate.

    I would try to contact them first for support. If that does not work, I would try to use some of the Wiki information found here: 

    Although the Hawkboard is not an official TI product, we are doing our best to fix the design and hope to push out a TI recommended design to the community soon.

    Best Regards,


  • prabhu marimuthu said:

    Thanks for your info... last week we bought a hawk board from innovate i found more troubles in uboot level itself it shown nand bad blocks. uImage is not booting no proper docs from innovate solutions Bangalore..

    i lost my nand u boot i stuck in how to bring my uboot again in nand...

    please help me..


    Take a look here:!48CAA8345A2495B1!374.entry?wa=wsignin1.0&sa=890095025


  • Hi,

    Can we purchase Hawkboard now???


  • We are currently working on a design and hope to have a TI-recommended hardware design out in the next month. 

  • Hi,

    Thanks for the support.

    We want to use AM1808 in one of our application, we made schematic using AM1808.

    We want approve our design by you, can we send to you?? and How??


  • Yashpal,

    Send me an email at We usually take 2 weeks to turn around.


    Huy Pham
    OMAP-L13x Marketing Manager 

  • Huy,

    Do you have an updated ETA for the new Hawkboard? Is it imminent, or still some way off?


  • Imminent. Please email for latest schedules and information. 

  • Hi there Huy,

    perhaps you could get the status and post it here so that they don't get flooded with emails and the people following this thread can be kept up to date.  I emailed Special Computing and haven't had a reply back.


  • Hi Shareef,

    This is a special computing project with a TI recommended design, so they are in the best position to provide updates.

    I will ping them myself in hopes of getting you better responses.

    thanks - Huy




    I  also wrote to Special Computing several days ago and have received no reply.  

    I think it would be prudent for them to post even a tentative schedule (or at least a status) if they want to be considered as a viable source of development/evaluation boards.


    - Orlando

  • What exactly is the problem with this board? I ask because i thought about buying one in the near future. Are these problems in some special areas or will all users face these sooner or later?

    - Michael

  • Michael,

    please work with Special Computing to get a TI-recommended and stable design.

    The older hawkboard had some board instability issues related mostly to the DDR memory. We would not recommend using it. 

  • Hello  Huy.


    Does TI provide a reference design ? I would like to design our board from scratch so I can not blame any one other than us in case of failure :)



  • The first post in this thread suggests an alternative through the LogicPD board.

  • Still no reply from Special Computing...

  • Brandon,

    I have not asked about alternatives. I have asked if there is a TI created Design Reference. I believe that TI owns us as much.


    Do you leave us, the enginnering comunity using YOUR product, at the will of some non descript third party MORON?




  • Perhaps I should rephrase my statement to avoid being yelled at and have others called names.

    If you happen to go to the product folder of the OMAP-L138, you will find a link to another product folder representing the evaluation module for this device.  This EVM is the basis of our software development for our Linux BSP, etc. and has been designed by Logic PD.  The same is true of the AM1808.

  • Mark,

    I recommend you purchase and read this:

    I think you will find it helps a lot.....


  • Alister,

    You are to young to be able to advise me! Ti is and was my friend. Until recently. TI is now a leach feeding on the back of the  development community!

    where do you think TI would be without us, the developers? I need now to go to my partners and tell them that I need to find alternatives to TI as they do not provide enough information about their product and it becomes impossible to produce a good design the first time around. How many times do you, Alister, want me to re-spin my boards just because you are pushing the development tools on some nondescript third party company? And it is not the first time this happens to me. It first occurred with the CST about 5 years ago. Since then I have erased TI from my preferred vendor lists. Recently, having a need for a blue tooth solution and being unhappy with CSR it wanted to give TI an other shot. Guess what. The history repeats it self this time exacerbated by  a used car sales man that some how has become the product spokesman. I had to abandon TI again an go for RFM and NORDIC. And now this! If you are not willing to support me as a designer why should I sell your product? Do you think I am an Idiot?

    I just went into my data base. Since 1980 I have completed 67 product designs. Until 2006 TI has sold 205million dollars worth of components because I insisted to have it as a preferred vendor. TI WAS NOT MY FRIEND! TI WAS MY BUSSINESS PARTNER! And any time a partner is not playing right, it is kicked out.

    Our WiFi solution now  comes from MAXIM. we estimate that our customer will sell about 100Kunits next year.

    Our Ultrasound SOLUTION uses Analog Devices component instead TI's. About 15Kunits next year

    Same for the HYDROPHONE MAPPING Project. Analog Devices. About 10Kunits next year.

    And there will be NO TI component in them.

    I do not need "FRIENDS"  I meed RELIABLE business partners!


    I am just plain lucky that you have bought National and not Analog. Should that happen, I will have to retire to my French farm and grow chickens :)

    To tell the thruth, at my 75 years, I am looking forward to it. No more used car sales persons!

    Please forward this to your Senior Vice President. He might understand.

    Mark Van Dareen

    CEO/Owner Sand Wave LLC


  • Brandon

    Please provide a URL link to the TI own Reference Design.


  • TI responders here and Alister:

    Please do not open the can of worms.

    I know TI from 1980's.

    TI has never screwed up a major technical opportunity as it is doing it now.

    about a year ago TI was going to make history in the micro business. But then gave the implementation of the vision to some just-college-graduated engineers.

    Internally they seem to have many disagreements and some of them are determined to be foolish enough to screw the chance TI has got and instead are moving TI to a bunch of Meeee-Toooo product lines like Stellaris.

    I know I can prove this so don't start on what you don't know notthing about!!

    and for that TI employee....

    No you don't have a good reference design and LogicPD is NOT a good one!

    1- there is NO real DDR memory suggestion/layout...(and LogicPD is NOT based on DDR2) and it is NOT open source and they dont' give out sample of layout, and ....

    2- Without DDR2, Sata,.. why should someone dump the Atmel or Samsungs and choose AM1xx?

    3- there is a suggestion of one reference with DDR2 that uses 10(TEN) layers!!!. There used to be a Home-Kits company called Heath-Kit years ago. Looks like their designs(10 layers).

    4- these college guys in TI are still fooling around with Power supply and still have NOT told us how the power supply exactly supposed to turn On and Off.

    5- Seems that some of these guys are purposely screwing up the AM1xx.  If you look carefully; you'll see that they have dumped most excellent features of AM1x from higher devices like AM35x and AM37x...

    To get these features, now they say purchase a higher model at $43 price! (more expensive than Intel Atom and Marvel's).

    7- Look at the product line carfully; those in TI that are pushing for a handset/phone cpu are winning. and those for data-intensive and industrial/commercial lines are loosing!

    8- I WISH THEY WOULD LET ME HANDLE THE AM1XX LINE FOR 1 Year! I wouldn't charge then anything; Just 10% of above $100 million in sales per year on AM1xx alone!!

    well; I'll stop. I have lost too much money on this so far and can't afford to make them my enemy! I wish they would have taken our help to topple intel-microGoft dictatorship.

    AND mark is correct; those

    PS... AM18xx can make far far far better beagle board. why don't you get it!!


  • Gentlemen,

    Trust me, I am listening and I Feel your pain. I guarantee you that we are not sitting idle on this problem.

    Let me remind you that I have offered a schematic review for any of your boards. If it would help - I can also task my applications team with turning out a DDR2 reference layout. Just send me a personal email and we'll get you started.

    When TI releases a processor, we work closely with a trusted third party vendor to create a board that is verified and tested. That board is used to bring up the chip and is always the foremost TI recommended design. In the case of the OMAPL138 and AM18xx, that board was the LogicPD Experimenter/EVM:

    Although the LogicPD board does not support DDR2, we have used a separate vendor to prove the use of DDR2 on the AM1808 and the OMAP-L138. Although not officially recommended as the development platform of choice, and not open for order entry, we do refer customers to the schematics found here: for a known good DDR2 layout. I understand there are some concerns that this board has too many layers and we are looking for something to help

    Beyond these boards, we do have third parties (and customers) that use our products to create custom boards. Innovate Solutions decided to create the HawkBoard and we helped them by marketing the product. When TI found out about the latest instabilities in the Hawkboard, even though it wasn't a TI product, we quickly reacted by letting our customers know and pulling any endorsement of the Hawkboard.

    Special Computing has come to us on its own accord to create a new Hawkboard with a TI-approved design. Special Computing has had a long history with being party of the community and is a trusted vendor. I know their have been some diffculties contacting Special Computing. I will get on that. I apologize for the delay. Special Computing was planning on creating a new Hawkboard in its own spare time, but has been loaded lately with other service contracts.

    As many of you are designers, you know very well how difficult it can be to root-cause a board instability issue. In our case, it is even more difficult as we did not design the original Hawkboard, and there are a few design guide violations. We will release more details as soon as we can, but it is starting to look as if the instability is caused by a unknown quirk that only occurs in certain timing situations when using a particular revision of memory.

    I thank you for holding me accoutable and being passionate about this issue, and encourage you to remain so. Some find the passion annoying - I enjoy it.

    When you have customers that aren't mad at you for doing the right things because you have the right products - that's when you should really be worried.

    Huy Pham
    DSP+ARM Business Manager

  • Dear Mr Pham.

    Pleased to meet you.. Business manager for DSP AND Arm. Wow. You must have your hands full and yet you still have time to write on this forum. I need to congratulate you for your dedication.

    There is no pain :) It is surprise! TI used to be much better once upon a time! What happened? I hear that there are changes at the very high level of management and what we are experiencing now is just a reflection of  a TITAN battle :)


    Any how, over the weekend I was able to get the documentation package for the board. In liew of all the samples TI has so graciously provided here are my two cents about the board and the chip it self.

    I understand that the expectations for this board is to run the memory at 1GHz rate. This will be very hard to achieve and the board will become instable (as you already observed) for the following reasons.

    First of all, the architectural decision not to incorporate the memory on the die with all other devices is fundamentally wrong and it is the source of all the problems you have now and will have in the future. The cost of the chip it self due to die size increase for the addition of the memory is insignificant. Actually the cost is lower as your chip has less pins. Also, if the decision HAD TO be for an external memory, the connection to it should be serial and not parallel.  The usage of SERDES becomes imperative. Memory manufacturing is a mature  operation now so yields should not be a problem.

    Because of the very high speed of the signals any trace closing to the 1/16 of the wavelength has the potential to become resonant and thus it will distort the signal.

    There was no effort to keep the data and address lines at the same lenght. Any delay in one of these traces, will make the board useless. This is in fact your problem now. Setup times are violated because of the delay induced by the longer traces.

    The choice of PCB material is wrong. FR4 is known to be highly hygroscopic and any high speed design using it must have traces under 0.5inch lenght.

    This board might work when your air conditioner is on but it could fail miserably if it is not :)

    The core material of the Board is not specified. However there is an attempt by LogicPD to have a captive market by asserting that any board quality change must be "APROVED" by them. So they are aware of the problem. You will have to change the PCB to Teflon or ceramic to get around this problem but this will kill the entire product, isn't this so?

    In short Mr.Pham, you need to respin the board. Mount the memory chip UNDER the SoC even if this means buried vias. This will save the chip. However, for future generations of it I strongly recommend that the memory to be incorporated on the die.

    I will let a group of four students to play with the idea to produce a functional board. I have ordered some samples of the chip and will send them to them. It would be helpful for them to have a HawkBord even if it is butchered but it is not imperative. In fact, my experience indicated that ANY EVB is just a waste of money and time.

    As far my imediate needs, I think I will have to see if Sony/Samsung/nXP etc etc etc have someting that will fit the imediate need.

    As a last note. I am realy confused by your last statement. Are you saying that I am mad because you are doing the right thing? Where did you get this idea?

    I merely expressed my disappointment in the new TI policies that somehow forget that we, the designers, are the staple of the company. Now and then we must remind this fact to the power to be ;:)



  • Thank you Mark. I will keep your comments in mind.

    My last comment wasn't meant to be confusing. What I meant was that it was good to see you passionate and mad at us because it meant that you thought our products are good (although our execution could use improvement). I rather our customers cared than not care at all. 

  • Greetings Hawkboard fans, developers, and the disappointed:

    Like you, we are highly disappointed with TI, and Inovative Solutions and now becoming disappointed with Special Computing.  We are startup company trying to design new products around the TI ARM architecture.  Specifically we are looking to use the Hawkboard project to help us design our own 1808 board that has less layers than the current 12 layer, cell phone evaluation board.   Because we don't want to wait much longer, we would like to spur on the community to  chip and get a contract with special computing to accelerate their effort.  According to Huy, " Special Computing was planning on creating a new Hawkboard in its own spare time, but has been loaded lately with other service contracts."  What we don't know is if they are still "planning on creating a new Hawkboard" or not?

    I would like to propose a community effort to contract Special Computing in starting and completing a workable Hawkboard design.    Secondly, I would to officially request that TI contribute 50% matching funds to the contract with Special Computing.   At this point in time, having been part of this mess since Oct when I bought a Hawkboard lite that wouldn't boot from Inovative, I feel as if TI needs to make this right by me.  I also feel that TI owes the community decent reference designs and evm boards.   Yes they have a nice cell phone design of the 1808, but we don't want to build a 12 layer board with mobile ram on it.  By the way, I am currently stuck with multiple TI Inovative Solutions Hawkboards.  If anyone wants additional paperweights for their desk, please don't hesitate to write....

    If your interested in contracting special computing, please send me an email.


    Daniel Jones


  • oh daniel; sorry I forgot the images;

    here are two of them.


  • I had a reply from Special Computing yesterday and they're hoping to have the board ready by the end of May.

  • I got such an email too. They say if everything progresses as planned the new L138 board will be out sometimes in may.

  • Hi Huy,

    I'm planning to buy the Hawkboard from innovate this weekend, but after reading your anouncement i'm confused now.

    Is stable version of Hawkboard released? If not... can you please suggest any other alternative solution for this.



    Balaji Singh



  • Balaji,

    I would not recommend that you purchase the Hawkboard from Innovate Solutions. It has known instability issues that have not been fixed.

    I suggest you email special computing () to get information on their new OMAP-L138 board.

    Best Regards,

    Huy Pham

  • Hi Huy,

    I had the same trouble with hawkboard. After I switch to LogicPD AM1808 evm, everything works fine. However, I have some questions which LogicPD does not answer. So, I was wondering if you may help.

    Here are my questions:

    1. What is the difference between OMAP-L138 and AM1808 ? I keep seeing theses two terms. Are they referring to the same thing ?

    2. LogicPD AM1808 uses DDR and Serial Flash. In our product, we plan to use SDRAM and NAND. Does TI have suggested design for such memory configuration ? Or, could you direct me to proper documents ?

    3. Also, we plan to use AM1806 + TI WiFi. Does TI have suggested design for this ? Or, could you direct me to proper documents ?



  • Hi Winston,

    (1) The AM1808 is ARM9-only and the OMAP-L138 is ARM9 + C674x DSP. They are pin for pin compatible, so they are excellent for scalable designs. Since they share the same peripherials you will see them used interchangeably. 

    (2) I'll let one of my apps engineers comment on that. In general, I have seen most of my customers use DDR and flash or NAND.

    (3) I assume you are using this: ? That would be our suggested solution.

    I apologize for the late reply - holiday weekend in the states.



  • Hi Huy,

    Thank you for help. I will study this

    One more question. Since our product will use WiFi as the method of connecting to internet, we are considering AM1806.

    However AM1806 does not have EMAC, the method that uboot downloads uImage and Filesystem to flash is not feasible for AM1806. May I have your suggestion to resolve this ?




  • Hi mr. Pham,

    I consulted Special Computing website today and they are selling the hawkboards. After reading all these comments about the hawkboard problems, I want to know if it's safe to buy the halkboard now, is it safe?

    I've read so many things (most bad things), but I'm still confused about that. In the first paragraph of this site it's mentioned that the problem has only ocurred in hawkboards shipped from July through October 2010. So, what about the hawkboards now?

    I just want it for learning, so I don't want to pay much money and deal with other problems, like samtec interconnects... I don't have the equipment to work with this at home. I'll apply it on my Master's Degree project, maybe.




  • Janio,

    TI does not recommend the Hawkboard for production. We are working on a board tailored to be used as a DDR2 production reference design, and that should be available in the 4Q timeframe.

    That being said, Special Computing is a trusted partner, and I feel comfortable recommending them. If you are using the equipment as a learning tool, others have found the Hawkboard suitable for such a purpose.


    Huy Pham 

  • Friends,

    I know many of you are still struggling with the Hawk Board. As I have
    said in the past, TI does not recommend use of the Hawk Board and have
    repeatedly asked Innovate to fix the issues and to pull the product
    from the market until it is resolved.

    At TI, we are working our hardest to come up with a solution for our
    customers. We have been working with Circuit Co, the makers of the
    popular Beagle Board, on a new C6748/OMAP-L138 Development Kit that
    will retail for about $150, complete with a TI software load. We
    anticipate our first boards will come in October, with mass production
    to begin in January. The board will be routed in 6 layers and will be
    a suggested reference design for our customers.

    We will share more details about the board as the mass production date
    approaches. Although the Hawk Board was not a TI product, we will do
    our best to do something special for disgruntled Hawk Board customers.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

    best regards,

    Huy Pham
    C6000 Manager

  • Hi Huy,

    I am an engineer in China. I'm very glad to hear that TI is working on a new L138 Development Kit. Is this project going well? Can I buy it in January?


  • The project has been going very well, although there has been a small delay. I hope to get the boards out still in late January, early February. I will provide more details when I have more concrete dates. 

  • Glad to know that it has been going very well. I had bought Hawkboard this year but did not do it becos of the problems encountered mentioned in the forums.

    I decided not to do it because I would be wasting my precious time and have other better things to do it than troubleshooting and crying over the problems I faced.

    Finally  the better OMAP-L138 board is coming next year. I hoped to get my hands on it soon. Hopefully the TI would be in better position to  support us with lots of materials and helps so that we can do better with OMAP-L138 boards.


  • Huy Pham said:

    The project has been going very well, although there has been a small delay. I hope to get the boards out still in late January, early February. I will provide more details when I have more concrete dates. 

    This is interesting. Is it too early to give a few more details? I've just bought some beaglebones, but I'd also like something with SATA.

    Thanks for your efforts!

  • Rob, I'll try to post a block diagram in the next week.

    It has similar connectors to the hawkboard + some. Should take care of your SATA needs. 

    Things are going well with the first batch, waiting on some minor tweaks to beta before we release in end of Jan/early Feb as before. 

  • Any chances of getting a block diagram or some size and interface specs before Christmas? :) It would be a welcome Christmas present.

  • Nikolaj

    Here is a link to some details

    The information should be considered preliminary and subject to change/tweaks till the board is officially announced and released.

     The release time frame for this board is 1Q2012.

    Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays :)



  • Hi,
    Curious to know what will be the market price of this new board?


  • The board will be more full featured than the previous Hawkboard, and will come with more out of the box. We are anticipating a cost of $150-$200, but are in the process of finalizing. 

  • Hi Mukul,

    Any update on this board? will the Layout files for this board be available?



  • Betas should come in this week. Making sure everything checks out before we release in the next few weeks. Design files will be available for free download at that time.  

  • Hi Huy,

    I'm looking forward to getting my hands on one of these boards. Do you know if there will be a 456MHz version available or will it be 375MhHz only?

    -Tom Pope