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Cortex-A8 dev system supports Linux

Sep 9, 2009 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 9 views

Direct Insight announced a SODIMM-sized CPU module that runs Linux on an ARM Cortex-A8 processor. Available with a separate 90 x 90mm breakout board, the SwiftModule-OM includes up to 256MB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, Ethernet, and optional WiFi, the company says.

Last year, Direct Insight released the Windows CE-based SwiftModule, a 2.4 x 1.6-inch module based on the VAR-320SBC produced by the Israeli company Variscite. Connecting to a separately available baseboard via two 140-pin connectors, the SwiftModule — still offered, and now dubbed the SwiftModule-PX — comes with Marvell's PXA300 or PXA320 processor, with clock speeds of 208MHz, 624MHz, or 806MHz.


Direct Insight's SwiftModule-OM

Now, Direct Insight offers the SwiftModule-OM, yet again based on Variscite hardware (specifically, the VAR-OM35xxSBC). This time around, the module measures 2.67 x 1.37 inches, and employs a 200-pin SODIMM connector as its interface to the outside world.

The SwiftModule-OM gains increased processing power from an ARM Cortex-A8-based CPU, clocked at 600MHz. According to Direct Insight, the module is offered with any of TI's OMAP35xx processors, including the low-end OMAP3503, the mid-range OMAP3515 or OMAP3525, and the high-end OMAP3530. Also included are 128MB or 256MB of soldered-on RAM and 256MB of flash storage, the company says.

As shown in the Variscite-supplied block diagram below, the SwiftModule-OM includes the OMAP35xx CPU, TI's TPS65930 power-management IC, and an SMSC LAN9220 10/100 Ethernet controller. The module also is said to provide a touchscreen interface, three UARTs, up to four high-speed USB 2.0 host ports, S-Video output, and optional WiFi, among other interfaces.


A block diagram of the SwiftModule-OM
Source: Variscite
(Click to enlarge)

A key rival for the SwiftModule-OM is DigiKey's similarly endowed BeagleBoard. DirectInsight asserts, however, that the SwiftModule-OM is more likely to let customers take their designs to production without a complete redesign. Because of the module's extensive functionality, most baseboards need do little more than supply "real world" connectors, the company adds.


The SwiftLite-OM baseboard
(Click to enlarge)

DirectInsight's own, separately available SwiftLite-OM baseboard (above) measures 90mm x 90mm and comes with a seven-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen. As well as accepting the SwiftModule-OM, the SwiftLite-OM provides connectors for HDMI output, USB host and On-The-Go ports, and 10/100 Ethernet. Also included are headers for a second, LVDS-interfaced display and an RS232 port, plus a SD slot, says Direct Insight.

According to Direct Insight, an optional extension board adds two more RS232 ports, a three-port USB hub, JTAG, and access to the on-module analog-to-digital converter. The extension board also includes an interface for GPS and GSM/GPRS modules, the company adds.

Features and specifications listed by Direct Insight for the SwiftModule-OM module and SwiftLite-OM baseboard include:

  • Processor — TI OMAP3530, OMAP3503, OMAP3515, or OMAP3525 clocked at 600MHz
  • Memory — 128MB or 256MB of RAM and 256MB of flash storage
  • Display:
    • Module supports touchscreen displays with up to 2048 x 2048 pixel resolution
    • Baseboard comes with 7-inch touchscreen (800 x 480), plus header for separate LVDS display
  • Networking:
    • LAN — 10/100 Ethernet; baseboard provides RJ45 connector
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g (on-module option)
  • Other I/O:
    • 3 x UARTs (1 RS232 header on baseboard)
    • 1 x USB host (or, optionally, 4 x USB host), with connector on baseboard
    • 1 x USB On-The-Go, with baseboard connector
    • 2 x I2C
    • 1 x SSP
    • 1 x HDMI, with connector on baseboard
    • 1 x LVDS (connector on baseboard)
    • S-Video out
    • 1 x IrDA
    • JTAG
    • Headphone out
    • 6×6 keypad interface
    • CAN (via baseboard)
  • Expansion — 2 x SD/SDIO (1 SD slot on SwiftLite-OM baseboard)
  • Dimensions:
    • Module — 2.67 x 1.37 inches (68 x 35mm)
    • SwiftLite-OM baseboard — 3.54 x 3.54 inches (90 x 90mm)
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 158 deg. F (0 to 70 deg. C)

Direct Insight is a product development company that typically collaborates with single-board computer vendors, sometimes helping with hardware, as well as with Windows Embedded OS ports. Previous collaborators have included Germany's Ka-Ro Electronics, India's E-Con Systems, and Japan's Sophia Systems.

Availability

According to Direct Insight, the SwiftModule-OM is supplied with "comprehensive, production-quality" board support packages (BSPs) for either Linux 2.6 or Windows CE 6.0. Available now, the module costs 995 U.K. Pounds (approximately $1,642) with the SwiftLite-OM baseboard and an 800 x 480 display, the company says.

More information on the SwiftModule-OM and SwiftLite-OM may be found on the Direct Insight website, here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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