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Atmel-based industrial SBC runs Linux

Sep 2, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 22 views

Taiwanese industrial computing specialist Artila Electronics is shipping a single-board computer (SBC) for industrial applications. The M-508 Linux Computer and its temperature-resistant M-508T twin are based on ARM9 Atmel processors clocked to 180MHz, and include a preloaded version of Artila's Linux 2.6.14 based… distribution.

(Click for larger view of the M-508 Linux Computer)

Artila's M-508 is an upgraded version of the Atmel-based M-501 SBC announced in 2006. The new model is built around Atmel's ARM9-based AT91RM9200 system-on-chip (SoC) clocked to 180MHz, says Artila. The SBC is equipped with 64MB SDRAM, 32MB flash, and a variety of I/O including Ethernet, four serial ports, and dual USB ports.

The M-508T is identical to the M-508 except for its more ruggedized construction, its extended temperature range (-4 to 176 degrees F), and its extra 512KB of non-volatile F-RAM. The F-RAM is designed “for critical applications that require safekeeping of data during power outages,” says Artila. Operating without a charge pump, the F-RAM requires no external battery, says the company.

Two views of the M-508 Linux Computer
(Click on either to enlarge)

Features listed for the M-508 and M-508T include:

  • Processor — Atmel AT91RM9200 at 180MHz (ARM9 core)
  • Memory — 64MB SDRAM; 512KB non-volatile F-RAM (M-508T only)
  • Flash — 32MB flash
  • Memory expansion — 1 x SD memory card slot
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100Mbps Ethernet
  • USB — 2 x USB 2.0 Hosts
  • Serial — 4 x RS-232/485 ports (921.6Kbps)
  • Other I/O — 32-pin CMOS level digital I/O
  • Power — 5V input
  • Dimensions — 4.1 x 3.0 inches (105 x 75 mm)
  • Temperature range — M-508: 32 to 158 degrees F (0 to 70 degrees C); M-508T: -4 to 176 degrees F (-20 to 80 degrees C)
  • Operating system — Linux 2.6.14

The M-508 and M-508T ship with a CD carrying Artila's own Linux distribution, including a GNU C/C toolchain and cross-compiler and U-Boot 1.1.2. Linux 2.6.14 and busybox are preinstalled in the flash, says Artila, and the CD includes utilities such as openVPN, mysql, php, and Python. “Building blocks” are said to be available for WiFi, GRPS/GSM, Bluetooth, USB camera, keypad, GPS, and graphics mode LCM display.


The M-508 and M-508T Linux Computers will be available by the middle of September at an undisclosed price, says Artila. More information may be found here.

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