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Petite i.MX31 module comes with Linux BSP

Nov 15, 2007 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Phytec has announced an embedded processor module aimed at simplifying the development of devices based on Freescale's highly-integrated i.MX31 SoC (system-on-chip). The PhyCore-i.MX31 comes with a Linux BSP, and is optionally available with a carrier board and touchscreen LCD.

The Freescale i.MX31 SoC, which forms the core of Phytec's 3.3 x 2.3-inch processor module, integrates an ARM1136 processor core along with a Java accelerator, a vector floating point math coprocessor, a video processing engine that supports full-motion (30 frames/sec) VGA video, and numerous other functions and interfaces (see block diagram).


The PhyCore-i.MX31 (left) fits onto the carrier board provided with the companion development kit (right)

On the PhyCore-i.MX31 module, the processor is clocked at a core frequency of 532 MHz. Offered memory configurations include 128 MB or 512 MB of RAM, 512 KB or 2 MB of SRAM, 32 MB or 64 MB of NOR flash, and 64 MB or 1 GB of NAND flash.

Features and specifications listed by Phytec for the PhyCore-i.MX31 processor module include:

  • Processor — Freescale i.MX31 clocked at 532 MHz

  • Memory:
    • 128 MB or 512 MB of RAM
    • 512 KB or 2 MB of SRAM
    • 32 MB or 64 MB of NOR flash
    • 64 MB or 1 GB of NAND flash

  • Display — accelerated LCD controller
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • ATA interface
    • 3 x USB 2.0
    • CAN SJA1000 field bus interface (on carrier board)
    • 3 x SPI
    • 2 x SSI (I2S)
    • 3 x I2C
    • 1-wire interface to fast IrDA
    • 5 x serial ports
  • Expansion:
    • 2 x MMC/SD (1 card slot)
    • PCMCIA/CompactFlash interface

  • Dimensions — 3.3 x 2.3 inches (84 x 58 mm)

  • Temperature range — 0 to 70 deg. C (-40 to +85 deg. C, “optional”)

Development kit

Phytec says the PhyCore-i.MX31 is available as part of a “Rapid Development Kit” that includes a carrier board, a 3.5-inch QVGA LCD (Sharp LQ035Q7DH06) with integrated touch and LED backlighting, an AC power adapter for the required 5 VDC input, and a Phytec tools CD.

According to Phytec, signals pass from the PhyCore-i.MX31 to its companion carrier board via two high density, 200-pin connectors. The carrier board is said to include I/O connectors plus some interface circuitry not present on the module itself. Once programmed, the module can be removed from the carrier board and inserted like a “big chip” in a target hardware application.

Key features and specifications listed by Phytec for the carrier board include:

  • Networking — RJ-45 10/100 Ethernet connector
  • Audio — AC97 audio/touch controller (Wolfson WM9713L) (microphone, speaker, line in, line out)
  • Other I/O:
    • GPIO expansion board connector (provides all signals from module to user port)
    • USB host standard-A socket
    • USB OTG connector

    • 2 x DB-9 sockets for RS-232 interfaces
    • DB-9 socket for CAN (CAN controller NXP SJA1000T)
    • camera ZIF connector and pin header
    • ZigBee connector
    • Interface for matrix keyboard
    • Lithium cell connector
    • JTAG interface

  • Expansion:
    • CompactFlash card slot
    • SD/MMC card slot

The carrier board also includes power on-off buttons, power LEDs, and a system reset button.

On the software side, the Linux BSP supplied by Phytec is currently available, although many features are not yet complete. The list below shows asterisks (*) for BSP features yet to be completed:

  • i.MX31
  • DDRAM – detection of memory size*
  • NOR Flash – CFI, boot device MTD drive
  • NAND Flash – boot device*, MTD device*
  • Ethernet 10/100MBit
  • Serial COM interfaces – UART3, UART2, UART1
  • USB Host – keyboard, mouse, memory devices
  • USB OTG HS -USB Ethernet gadget, file storing gadget
  • LCD display – 320 x 240, backlight control
  • LCD display touch – tslib*, X11*
  • SD/SDIO
  • One wire interface*
  • Audio – Line out, Line In, Mixer, MIC-IN
  • Compact Flash
  • SPI*
  • I2C
  • RTC*
  • EEPROM*
  • Camera interface*
  • CAN
  • SRAM battery buffered*
  • Power Management*

Availability

According to Phytec, the PhyCore-i.MX31 module is available now for approximately $260. The Rapid Development Kit, including the module, LCD, and carrier board, costs approximately $849. The Linux BSP is available pre-installed on the board, or separately by emailing the company. Alternatively, the product is offered with support for Windows CE 6.0.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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