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Compact ARM9-based SBC supports Linux

Oct 15, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Shenzhen-based Embest Info & Tech has added another board to its growing line of ARM9-based single-board computers (SBCs) and evaluation kits. The SAM9315V1 is a PC/104-sized board that supports Linux, Windows CE, “and other high-level operating systems,” according to the company.

(Click here for a larger view of the Embest SAM9315V1)

The SAM9315V1 is based on a Cirrus EP9315 “universal” SoC (system-on-chip) processor. The EP9315 integrates a 32-bit, 200 MHz ARM9 processor, a “MaverickCrunch” Math Engine, a raster/LCD controller with 1024 x 768 resolution at up to 24 bits per pixel, and an analog resistive touchscreen interface.

EP9315 SoC block diagram
(Click image for larger view)

The SBC's extensive functionality is essentially all provided by the EP9315. Touted features and specifications of the SAM9315V1 include:
  • Processor — Cirrus EP9315 clocked at 200 MHz
  • Memory — 64 MB DRAM and 32 MB NOR flash
  • Display:
    • LCD and VGA interfaces, supporting resolutions up to 1024 x 768
    • touchscreen interface
  • Keyboard — 8 x 8 matrix keypad interface
  • LAN — 10/100 Ethernet port
  • I/O ports:
    • 3 x RS-232/TTL/TTL serial
    • 4 x RS-232/TTL/RS485/RS422
    • audio interface
    • IDE interface

  • Expansion — CompactFlash socket
  • Dimensions — 3.8 x 3.5 inches (96 x 90 mm)
  • Power: +5 VDC

It should be noted that although the SAM9315V1 may conform with overall PC/104 footprint dimensions, it does not appear to implement the PC/104 standard's self-stacking ISA and PCI expansion buses, so it is not actually a “PC/104 module.”

While the SAM315V1 is said to be compatible with Linux, specific details of its Linux support were not disclosed. Software bundled with the SBC includes a Windows CE 5.0 BSP (board-support package), which includes drivers for all the interfaces and functions mentioned above, according to the company.

Embest established a joint venture with ARM Ltd. last month. The company previously helped localize ARM's RealView MDK (microcontroller development kit) and became the company's official tools distributor.

Other recent boards from Embest, all typically supporting Linux, are the EM104V1, NK9315, SBC-2440-I and SBC2410-II.

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