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ARM11-based processor module to support Linux soon

Dec 15, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Logic Product Development (LPD) is shipping a small, component-like board integrating a Freescale i.MX31 applications processor with memory and I/O functions. The i.MX31 SOM (system-on-module) and associated development kit will support Linux soon, the company says, and target medical, industrial, wireless, and consumer… electronics applications.

(Click for larger view of the i.MX31 SOM)

Freescale shipped the i.MX31 in June of 2005, and the chip gained support under TimeSys's LinuxLink Linux support service in May.

The Freescale i.MX31 apps processor, on which the SOM is based, integrates an ARM1136JF-S processor core, plus USB host and function controllers, an FPU (floating point unit), an LCD controller, PCMCIA and CF controllers, UARTs, a Secure Digital controller; and numerous other on-chip functions (see block diagram, below).

i.MX31/i.MX31L block diagram

To these functions, Logic's SOM i.MX31 adds on-board flash memory, low-power DDR SDRAM, a 10/100 Ethernet interface, a touch-screen controller, and an audio codec, the company says. The compact module measures 3.0 x 2.3 inches (76 x 59 mm) and can be used like a macro-component.

Logic also offers a “Zoom Development Kit” that aims to simplify developing products based on the i.MX31 SOM. In addition to the SOM, the Kit includes a baseboard (pictured below). The baseboard provides connectors for mounting the SOM, along with interface electronics and “real-world” external I/O connectors for access to the peripheral interfaces implemented on the SOM and within the i.MX31 apps processor. The Kit also comes with a bootloader and a Windows CE 5.0 BSP (board-support package).

i.MX31 Zoom Development Kit baseboard, with i.MX31 SOM identified by yellow box

Monica Hamilton, Freescale's director of wireless developer relations, stated, “Logic did a brilliant job of focusing on features that pertain to a broad set of embedded applications, including connectivity, touchscreen, and audio,”

Logic marketing director Eric Harnisch claims that “customers typically realize a six-nine month time savings in their product development cycle by integrating the SOM into their product.”

Regarding embedded Linux support for the i.MX31 SOM, Harnish told that the module is currently running Windows CE only, but that “Linux will be coming shortly. We are working with the open source community and a couple of commercial linux providers. I would anticipate Linux being available in February.”

Harnish added, “The i.MX31 is a very popular part right now, being the first ARM11 available in the general market.”


The Zoom Development Kit for Freescale's i.MX31 is immediately available, at a list price of $675 (price includes the i.MX31 SOM). The i.MX31 SOM, in quantities of 1,000 units, lists between $175 and $203, depending on configuration, Logic said.

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