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Since the end of 2014 we have been supporting Windows Embedded Compact on ARM systems-on-module manufactured by Variscite, which is one of the leading embedded SOM manufacturers worldwide.

In the framework of this cooperation we developed a Windows Embedded Compact 2013 BSP for Variscite modules using the NXP (formerly Freescale) iMX6 CPU.

Please contact us for any question or information you cannot find in this page.

Supported hardware

Current pre-built images are configured for running on the VAR-SOLOCustomBoard and the VAR-MX6CustomBoard

Supported features

Boot and kernel:

  • boot from standard U-Boot
  • boot supported from any storage device: SD card, eMMC, NAND
  • OS image download over Ethernet via TFTP
  • Serial debug port
  • KITL debug connection over Ethernet

Peripheral drivers:

  • Ethernet
  • USB
  • serial interfaces: SPI, I2C, UART
  • SD card and eMMC
  • LVDS and HDMI display
  • capacitive and resistive touch screen
  • audio output

Optional features:

  • PCI-Express
  • NAND flash storage
  • CAN bus

Getting started

The standard Variscite U-Boot bootloader is used to launch Windows Embedded Compact.
U-Boot is normally present on the NAND flash of all new Variscite SOMs, along with a Yocto Linux or Android image. In case you need to restore it, you can use the recovery procedure described in the Variscite Wiki.
To prepare your board to run Windows Embedded Compact 2013 do the following:

For VAR-SOLOCustomBoard:

  • Copy the NK.nb0 OS image file to a FAT32 formatted microSD card and insert it into the microSD slot
  • Connect the microUSB debug port to a PC and open a terminal on the corresponding COM port
  • Make sure NAND boot is selected from SW6

For VAR-MX6CustomBoard:

  • Copy the NK.nb0 OS image file to a FAT32 formatted SD card and insert it into the SD slot
  • Connect the debug serial adapter cable from J34 on the board to a PC and open a terminal on the corresponding COM port (settings: 115200,N,8,1)


  • Power up the board and press any key on the terminal to get the U-Boot command prompt
  • Type the following commands at the U-Boot prompt:
    setenv bootcmd 'fatload mmc 0:1 0x10200000 NK.nb0; go 0x10200000'
  • Now U-Boot is configured to load the WEC2013 image on startup.
  • To revert back to Linux or Android boot, type the following commands at the U-Boot prompt:
    env default -a
Note: this is just one of the many possible boot configurations supported by U-Boot. The OS image can also be loaded from the network or from other storage devices.
U-Boot can also start from the SD card when selected (SW6 on VAR-SOLOCustomBoard, middle button on VAR-MX6CustomBoard). For more information about installing U-Boot on an SD card refer to the Variscite Wiki

The OS images available for download have been tested with U-Boot 2013.10 (Sep 01 2015), which is installed by the recovery procedure using the v43 SD card image file. If you are experiencing any issues, please first check your U-Boot version. More recent U-Boot version are generally OK, but in some cases the display may not work due to a conflicting initialization between U-Boot and the display driver.

Demo OS images

The following images contain a basic WEC2013 configuration with the open-source Compact2013tools shell. All of them can run with either VAR-SOM-MX6, VAR-SOM-DUAL or VAR-SOM-SOLO modules, automatically detecting the CPU type.
Each file is a zip archive containing one NK.nb0 WEC2013 image file.
Follow the above instructions to start it.

Board Display File
VAR-SOLOCustomBoard HDMI monitor Download binary image (.zip)
LVDS panel with capacitive touch
Download binary image (.zip)
VAR-MX6CustomBoard HDMI monitor Download binary image (.zip)
LCD panel with resistive touch
Download binary image (.zip)
LCD panel with capacitive touch
Download binary image (.zip)
Other files
Download SDK for application development with Visual Studio 2013 on any of the above OS images
(other Visual Studio versions are not currently supported)

Please contact us for more information and BSP licensing terms.