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SODIMM-sized Cortex-A8 module sports CAN bus, onboard flash

Feb 2, 2012 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive

EMAC announced a SODIMM-sized computer-on-module (COM) that runs Linux 2.6 or Windows CE 6.0 on a 600MHz TI ARM Cortex-A8 processor and can be purchased with a carrier board. The SoM-3517M offers up to 512MB of RAM, 1GB of NAND flash and 4GB of onboard eMMC flash, and I/O including Ethernet, four serial ports, three USB 2.0 ports, and CAN bus.

The SoM-3517M is well-suited to data acquisition, control, or user interface applications, says EMAC. Like all of EMAC's modules — including the ARM9-based SoM-9307M we covered back in 2008 — the device measures 2.66 x 2.375 inches, passing all processor signals on to a carrier board via the SODIMM connector.

EMAC can work with customers to develop a customer carrier board, and also offers an off-the-shelf SoM-250ES carrier board. Both the module and board are supported with packages for Linux 2.6 and Windows CE 6.0, says the company (see farther below).

(Click to enlarge)

The SoM-3517M is equipped with the Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara AM3517 system on chip (SoC) clocked at 600MHz. Compared to TI's earlier OMAP35xx, the AM3517 switches to DDR memory, adds 10/100 Ethernet and a CAN controller, and provides PHY (physical layer) functionality for its USB 2.0 on-the-go interface — and sure enough, all of this is cited as featuring on the SoM-3517M.

The SoM-3517M ships with 256MB of DDR2 RAM, expandable to 512MB, as well as 256MB of NAND flash, expandable to 1GB, says EMAC. In addition, there's a 2GB eMMC flash allotment, which is said to be expandable to 4GB.

A 16-bit LCD interface supports resolutions up to 2048 x 2048 pixels, and a resistive 12-bit touchscreen controller is also available, says EMAC.

A 10/100 Ethernet MAC with PHY is said to be available, along with dual USB host ports and a USB On-The-Go port. Other I/O includes four serial ports, as well as SPI, I2C, I2S Audio, CAN 2.0B, ADC, and GPIO interfaces.

The module is said to support fanless operation at temperatures ranging from -40 to 185 deg. F, as long as no eMMC storage is used.

Features and specifications listed for the SoM-3517M include:

  • Processor — TI ARM Cortex-A8 processor running at 600MHz (Sitara AM3517)
  • Memory:
    • 256MB DDR2 RAM, expandable to 512MB
    • 256MB NAND flash, expandable to 1GB
    • 2GB eMMC flash, expandable to 4GB
  • Display — 16-bit DSTN/TFT LCD video interface up to 2048 x 2048 pixels; 12-bit TSC2004 touchscreen controller (resistive)
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet MAC with PHY (Micrel KSZ8041)
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 1.1/2.0 high speed host
    • USB 2.0 OTG high speed host or device (software configurable)
    • 4 x TTL level serial ports with RTS/CTS handshaking
    • 2 x high speed SPI ports with chip selects
    • 2 x multimode I2C port
    • 16 x GPIO (with option for more GPIO)
    • 12-bit ADC from external 4-wire touchscreen controller TSC2004
    • CAN 2.0B controller
  • Audio — I2S synchronous serial controllers with analog interface support
  • Other features — temperature sensor; watchdog; RTC; PWM ports
  • Power — +3.3 Volts DC +/- 5%
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 85 deg. C) fanless (when not using eMMC)
  • Dimensions — 2.66 x 2.375 inches; SODIMM form factor with length dimension extended

SoM-250ES carrier board
(Click to enlarge)

The recommended SoM-250ES carrier board (above) extends most of the SoM-3517M module's features, offering an MMC/SD card slot, a keypad, an Ethernet port, four serial ports, and two USB ports, among other real-world I/O. In addition, one can purchase the 7.55 x 4,15 x 1.5-inch board with an optional seven-inch 800 x 600 pixel resistive touchscreen, says EMAC. More information may be found in the data sheet link below.


No pricing or availability information was provided for the SoM-3517M. However, the SoM-250ES carrier board is said to cost $199 in its bare-bone incarnation or $399 with the seven-inch LCD. More information may be found on EMAC's SoM-3517M and SoM-250ES product pages.

Eric Brown can be reached at

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