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Automation controller comes with Linux

May 9, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Artila Electronics is shipping a passively cooled ARM9-based system targeting applications such as industrial control and building automation. The Matrix-520 is based on a 180MHz Atmel SoC (system-on-chip), includes lots of I/O ports, and comes with an open Linux development environment and a stout metal case.

(Click for larger view of Matrix-520)

The Matrix-520 is primarily intended to allow users to interface via Ethernet with serially-connected devices, such as HVAC (heating, ventillation, air-conditioning), elevator systems, factory equipment, and so on. It measures 6.3 x 4.1 x 1.5 inches (150 x 104 x 38.5mm), and is available with a DIN rail mounting kit. It features a 144×32 dot-matrix display module that can display two lines of 18 English-language characters each.

Matrix-520 typical application
(Click to enlarge)

The Matrix-520 is based on an Atmel AT91RM9200 ARM9-based processor clocked at 180MHz. It has 32MB of SDRAM and 16MB of flash memory, along with 2KB of EEPROM.

Artila Matrix-520, front and back
(Click to enlarge)

The device's input/output ports include:

  • 2 x 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
  • 8 x high speed serial ports
  • 2 x USB hosts
  • Audio out
  • 21 programmable digital I/Os

The Matrix-520 comes with a Linux package said to provide “everything necessary” for some embedded applications. Provided components include a 2.6 Linux kernel, JFFS2 flash filesystem, busybox, and a collection of network-oriented utilities (SSH, SCP, and boa).

Also shipped with the device are cross-compiling GNU tool chains for C/C++.


The Matrix-520 appears to be available now. Pricing was not disclosed.

Atila also sells industrial control processor modules and boards, such as its recently launched M-501 CPU module.

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