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$75 SODIMM-sized SBC runs Linux

Jun 20, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

India-based E-con Systems has announced a Marvell PXA270-based system on module (SOM) that sells for as little as $75. The SODIMM-sized eSOM270 comes pre-installed with Linux, includes 64MB or 128MB of RAM, and has a camera interface and a LCD controller, E-con says.

(Click here for a larger view of E-Con's eSOM270)

Measuring just 2.63 x 1.22 x 0.15 inches, the eSOM270 is one of the smallest SODIMM SOMs we've seen. Like others, it is designed to plug into an application-specific carrier board, relaying all signals to and from the system via its 200-pin SODIMM connector.

Marvell's PXA270 has, of course, been well-known since its 2004 introduction for its variety of interfaces, including “Quick Capture” technology that supports cameras up to four megapixels. The camera interface is duly supported by the eSOM270, which provides access to the following additional features, according to E-Con:

  • LCD controller
  • SDRAM controller
  • Real-time clock
  • USB 1.1 host port
  • USB 1.1 device port
  • USB on-the-go
  • SDIO
  • 3 x serial ports, including 1 FFUART
  • JTAG
  • Camera interface, with special low-light settings
  • AC'97 audio and I2S (integrated interchip sound)
  • PWM (pulse width modulation)
  • USIM (universal subscriber identity module) support

The eSOM270 is available in versions corresponding to all three PXA270 clock speeds, i.e. 312MHz, 416MHz, or 520MHz. It is also offered with 64MB or 128MB of soldered-on RAM, and 16MB or 32MB of NOR flash memory. A power management IC is included on the device, which has an operating temperature range from -25 to 70 deg. C.

Touting the fast design and manufacturing time made possible by the eSOM270, E-con says custom baseboards designed around it will usually only need to be four-layer. However, the company did not specify information on any ready-made baseboards that might be used for interim product development.

As for operating system support, the eSOM270 is said to include a pre-installed, bootable Linux installation. Apparently it is also compatible with Windows CE 6.0, via a BSP (board support package) originaly devised by E-Con for its Sirius. The latter is a PXA270-based reference design that includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen display.

Pricing and further information

E-con says the eSOM 270 costs $110 in quantities of 1K or above, for a 520MHz version that includes 128MB of RAM and 32MB of flash. Other versions can cost as little as $75, the company adds.

Information on compatible baseboards may become available on the company's website, here.

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