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App-specific uClinux dev kits target tiny ARM SBCs

Sep 29, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 73 views

Digi International is shipping three ARM-based embedded CPU modules available with a variety of application-specific uClinux-based development kits. The ConnectCore 7U, ConnectCore 9P 9360, and ConnectCore 9P 9750 target access control systems, POS (point-of-sales/service), RFID readers, medical devices,… instrumentation, and networked displays, among other embedded applications.

Digi in March acquired FSForth, thereby gaining a line of tiny SBCs (single-board computers) based on SoCs made by NetSilicon, a company which Digi had acquired earlier. FSForth, which ported uClinux to several of NetSilicon's “Net+” chips, also brought substantial Linux experience to Digi. (NetSilicon was one of the earliest chip-makers to supply uClinux for its processors.)

Digi's new ConnectCore products are based on FSForth embedded CPU modules, based in turn on ARM SoCs supplied by NetSilicon. The modules are available with a variety of application-specific development kits based on uClinux.

ConnectCore 7U

Digi's ConnectCore 7U is based on an FSForth UNC20

Digi's 7U product is based on FSForth's UNC20, a tiny CPU module constructed in a 48-pin DIP (dual in-line pin) chip-style format. The UNC20 module is powered by a 32-bit NetSilicon NET+ARM SoC (system-on-chip) with an ARM7TDMI core. The module has 8MB of onboard Flash, 16MB of RAM, an integrated 10/100 Ethernet MAC/PHY, configurable UART/SPI ports, an I2C bus software interface, 16 shared GPIO ports, and an external 10-bit address/8-bit data bus interface.

An available FSForth baseboard breaks out a variety of UNC20 interfaces

ConnectCore 9P

The ConnectCore 9P offers a choice of FSForth modules

The ConnectCore 9P is a compact CPU module available with NetSilicon's 177MHz NS9360 or 200MHz NS9750 processor. It can be configured with up to 128MB of onboard Flash and RAM. Integrated peripherals include 10/100 Mbit Ethernet, UART and SPI ports, USB 1.1/2.0 host/device connectivity, and an integrated LCD controller for TFT/STN displays.

FSForth offers an A9m9750 development board for its NS9750-based CPU module

Digi's director of project management, Steve Ericson, said, “Our common embedded software platform and development tool offering allows customers to utilize the same design across multiple product lines and technologies, and offers a seamless migration path.”


ConnectCore 7U and ConnectCore 9P modules and development kits are available now. Available “ready-to-run” uClinux application development kits for the 7U include Java, serial LCD integration, CAN bus communication, Bluetooth connectivity, CompactFlash/WLAN support, and biometric fingerprint reading.

Embedded Solutions AG also offers a uClinux-based biometric dev kit for FSForth's UNC20 module.

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