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Android dev kit targets OMAP35x SoCs

Nov 17, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Mentor Graphics is shipping an Android development platform for the Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP35x system-on-chip (SoC) family. The Android Development System for OMAP35x supports TI's OMAP35x evaluation module (EVM) and open source BeagleBoard development boards, says the company.

The Android Development System for OMAP35x is aimed at medical, communication, industrial, instrumentation, home security, and digital video applications, Mentor Graphics says. While TI's smartphone-oriented OMAP3430 SoC has been used for Android phones, such as the Droid by Motorola, and the OMAP3440 powers the Android-based Archos 5 tablet, we are unaware of any Android-ready device using the similar, more general-purpose OMAP35x platform.

Both the full-featured TI OMAP35x EVM evaluation board and the BeagleBoard are built around TI's OMAP3530, the high-end model in the OMAP35x portfolio of SoCs. Like the other OMAP3x processors, the OMAP3530 is based on ARM's Cortex-A8 core, which offers superscalar processing. Clocked at 600MHz (or 720MHz for the new Rev E version), the OMAP3530 also incorporates Imagination Technologies' SGX 2D/3D graphics processor and a TI TMS320C64x DSP core clocked at 430MHz.

Developed by TI employees, the 3.0 x 3.0-inch BeagleBoard (left) shipped in July 2008 for $150, distributed by Digi-Key. A Revision C version, released in May of this year, doubled memory to 256MB, added a second high-speed USB port, and provided an LCD expansion connector. As with the original BeagleBoard and TI's EVM, it ships with a Linux board support package (BSP).

When Mentor Graphics acquired Linux development firm Embedded Alley in late July, a TI testimonial hinted that Mentor would provide Linux and/or Android support for the OMAP35x platform. The acquisition came shortly after Embedded Alley had completed the first Android port to the MIPS platform. In late October, Mentor Graphics announced an Android port to Freescale's Power Architecture (PowerPC) based QorIQ and PowerQUICC III processors. (More recently, Acer announced what appears to be the first Android port to the x86 platform with the Intel Atom-powered Aspire One AOD250-1613 netbook.)

Previous to its recent foray into Android and Linux development, Mentor Graphics was primarily known for its electronic design automation (EDA) products and services, as well as its Nucleus real-time operating system (RTOS).

Stated Gerard Andrews, OMAP35x product line manager, TI, "Today, our customers can realize their Android-based designs due to Mentor Graphics' technical expertise and services that delivered this optimized framework for the OMAP35x devices."

Stated Glenn Perry, Mentor Graphics Embedded Systems Division GM, "There is tremendous business potential for Android-based embedded devices beyond the mobile market, so our collaboration with TI fulfills the demand from our mutual customers today."


The Android Development System for OMAP35x appears to be available now, but no further details of the product were provided. More information on Mentor's Android application framework for TI's OMAP35x processors is said to be available here.

Mentor Graphics will demonstrate Android running on the TI OMAP35x evaluation module at the Embedded Technology Conference in Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan, Nov. 18-20, at Mentor's booth #C-43.

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