Gateworks provides an Android Board Support Package for the Ventana Product family. Android is a popular Operating System, developed by Google and based on a Linux kernel.

Gateworks Android BSP is based on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code, with Freescale patches applied (some proprietary and not open-source), with some extra Gateworks patches on top specific to Ventana boards.

The following Ventana hardware is currently supported:

  • GW551x/GW552x/GW553x/GW54xx/GW53xx/GW52xx/GW51xx
  • LVDS Touchscreen / Backlight / Display (Freescale LVDS1 aka MCIMX-LVDS1 - see here for details)
  • HDMI Display
  • Analog Video Input (camera)
  • Analog Audio Input (sound recording)
  • Analog Audio Output (used when using LVDS video output)
  • HID Mouse / Keyboard input
  • Boot Devices: NAND (2GB required), micro-SD, USB Mass Storage (EHCI/OTG), mSATA

Gateworks has BSP's for the following versions of Android:

  • Lollipop (Android 5.1.1)
  • KitKat (Android 4.4.3)
  • JellyBean-MR2 (Android 4.3)

Compatibility Matrix

The following is a hardware compatibility matrix:

Device JellyBean-MR2 (4.3) KitKat (4.4.3) Lollipop (5.1.1) Notes
Memory size 512M 512M 512M 1GB+ ram recommended
GW551x No Yes Yes
GW552x No Yes Yes
GW553x No Yes Yes (IMU not yet supported)
GW54xx Yes Yes Yes (HDMI/LVDS output only - no CVBS)
GW53xx Yes Yes Yes
GW52xx Yes Yes Yes
GW51xx Yes Yes Yes
PCIe Yes Yes Yes
LVDS touchscreen Yes Yes Yes see here
HDMI out Yes Yes Yes
HID Mouse / Kbd Yes Yes Yes
Analog Video In Yes Yes Yes (front Camera) see #camera
Analog Audio In / Out Yes Yes Yes
GPS (on board Wi2Wi) Yes Yes Yes see here
External Storage Yes Yes Yes USB / micro-SD / SATA / NAND
Ethernet Yes Yes Yes see here
WiFi (client mode) Yes Yes Yes see here
Accelerometer Yes Yes Yes see here
Magnetometer Yes Yes Yes see here
boot from micro-SD Yes Yes Yes
boot from USB Yes Yes Yes
boot from mSATA Yes Yes Yes
boot from NAND No Yes Yes (requires 2GB NAND)
Over-The-Air (OTA) update No No Yes see here

Building Android Source Code

Android Pre-Compiled Software

Booting Android

Android Development Notes

Development Resources:

Android GW11036 Development Kit

Display Output

The Gateworks Android BSP's support HDMI and LVDS output. An HDMI connection will be auto-detected on bootup by the Android boot script but will default to 1080p resolution. If you need to specify 720p or 480p you can set the bootloader hdmi env variable to 720p or 480p or manually set the video parameter for more specific control. Note that Analog Video (CVBS) output available on the GW54xx is not supported.

The ability to mirror two displays is also available in the Gateworks Android BSP. The steps for duplication of displays as well as setting the outputs of individual displays is further documented on the Android/Booting wiki page.


Wired Ethernet Networking

Android does support Ethernet interfaces, but lacks the UI to select which interface to use if multiple are available.

By default the eth0 Network Interface is automatically configured via DHCP.

See Android/OSDevelopment for details on how to change this.

Wireless Networking

Android isn't designed to support a random variety of hardware, therefore supporting 'XYZ' radio device may involve customization.

The Gateworks Android BSP kernel is built with the following wireless device support by default (defined in kernel_imx/arch/arm/configs/gwventana_android_config):

  • ath5k (PCI 802.11a/b/g)
  • ath9k (PCIe 802.11n)

See Android Wireless for more info

Cellular Modem Networking

Modem support in Android is less than other operating systems.

Freescale has added support for one modem ( HUAWEI EM770W ). Gateworks has not tested this.

Please read more in the Freescale Release documents that apply to the release being used:

Modem configuration:


The Wi2Wi W2SG0008i on-board GPS module available as an option on Ventana boards is supported by the Android BSP.

Example Apps:



The Gateworks Ventana GW54xx/GW53xx/GW52xx boards have a Freescale FXOS8700 3-axis accelerometer/3-axis magnetometer sensor which is supported under the Gateworks Android BSP. This combination of sensors can provide you with:

  • portrait/landscape detection, tap detect, fall detect
  • pedometry, vibration analysis, and activity monitoring
  • eCompass: device orientation and magnetic heading
  • virtual gyro (in a magnetically clean/stable environment)

Note that while Android defines an 'orientation sensor' it has been deprecated in Android 2.2. Some apps however have not moved on to using the accelerometer/magnetometer for orientation.

Example apps:

  • clinometer - a clinomometer (slope finder) and bubble level
  • elixir-2 - a set of tools with a nice sensor monitoring app


Analog Video Input for Camera

The Gateworks Android BSP's support Analog video capture via the ADV7180 CVBS video decoder.

The HDMI video input receiver is not supported at this time.

Over-The-Air Updates

Android has support for Over-The-Air software updates built-in. Gateworks has augmented this to improve it in several areas:

  • single ota image for multiple boot devices (NAND/ubi or blockdev)
  • add filesystem support used by Ventana Android BSP
  • update Ventana bootloader/SPL

See Android/Updates for more details

Developer Tools

Developers can get started quickly by purchasing a USB Stick Pre-Loaded with Android on the Gateworks Online Shop

For Windows Developers (WinCE, Wec7), C# and .NET can be used for development, including but not limited to Xamarin.Android.

Android pairs great with Eclipse as an IDE.

It features a Full Java IDE, a Graphical UI Builder, and on device debugging options.

Please see the following link for more information:

There are many other options around the net, including a Visual Studio option vs-android: Developing for Android in Visual Studio

Android Apps

Below are some apps. Apps can be found on many marketplaces or as APK's. Please note, Gateworks does not license is in no way affiliated with the companies or has tested any of these apps.

Sideloading Applications

Devices that are Android compatible may seek to license the Google Play client software. This allows them to become part of the Android app ecosystem, by allowing users to download developers' apps from a catalog shared by all compatible devices. This option isn't available to devices that aren't compatible. The process to achieve Google Android Compatibility is up to the end-user product as the Gateworks baseboards themselves are not a finished product until radios, modems, etc are added by the end user.

In order to install apps outside of the Google Android ecosystem (aka Google Play App Store) you will need to side-load apps or install an alternative marketplace. You will need to enable 'Unknown sources' in the 'Security' tab of the Settings application to load apk's. Once you do this you have a few options such as (to name a few):

Extended Multimedia functionality (not available in standard Gateworks BSP)

Freescale offers additional packages to extend Android KitKat (4.4) and Lollipop (5.0) functionality avaialble to approved customers.

  • Extended Multimedia Feature Package (additional codecs)
    • local playback
    • enhanced codecs, demultiplexer, and file formats: MOV, AVI, ASF, FLV, MPEG-PS, MPEG-TS, MJPEG (
    • trick mode playback
    • multiple audio track selection
    • recording
    • stream playback: HTTP, RTSP, HTTPLive, RTP, UDP
    • subtitle support
  • Wi-Fi Display Sink Feature Package (Miracast support)
    • the source provided is for a Realtek 8723AS WiFi SDIO card but the design of this feature allows porting to any WiFi hardware module

Some additional 'License limited codecs' can be obtained from Freescale as well which include:

  • fsl_ac3_dec.tar.gz - AC3 Audio decodec
  • fsl_ddp_dec.tar.gz - DD Plus Audio decoder
  • fsl_ms_codec.tar.gz - ASF Demuxer, WMV Video decoder, WMA Audio decoder (Microsoft)
  • fsl_real_dec.tar.gz - RM Demuxer, VPU Video decoder, RA Audio decoder (Real)


Extended Multimedia Feature Package Installation instructions

To install the Freescale extended codec package you need the following:

  • a build of the Gateworks Android BSP
  • the tarball obtained from Freescale via an e-mail request to L2manager-android@… appropriate for the version of Android you are building (ie android_L5.1.1_2.1.0-ga_omxplayer_source.tar.gz)


  1. untar the tarball in your Android build directory:
    tar -xzvf android_L5.1.1_2.1.0-ga_omxplayer_source.tar.gz
    • this will extract the following:
      • device/fsl-codec/ - pre-built core codecs
      • external/fsl_imx_omx/ - integration into OpenMAX/stagefright via OpenMAXIL
      • - script for switching between full and core install
      • -
  2. execute scripts to configure, clean, and make:
    source build/
    lunch ventana-user # select build variant
    ./ full

There are two methods of inclusion:

  • core - includes pre-built core codecs via shared-object libraries on filesystem only
    • uses device/fsl-codec (HAVE_FSL_IMX_CODEC = false)


  • full - integrates new codecs and functionality into OpenMAX/stagefright via OpenMAXIL
    • uses external/fsl_imx_omx (HAVE_FSL_IMX_CODEC = true)
    • includes the CactusPlayer app (built from provided source) that takes advantage of some of the features

You can later remove the Freescale extended codec package by removing the two directories and scripts it installs into your build directory:

rm -rf device/fsl-codec external/fsl_imx_omx

Other Gateworks Android Pages

Last modified 2 years ago Last modified on 07/28/2022 06:11:23 PM

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