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Cortex-A8 module ships with baseboard, Linux BSP

Dec 3, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Direct Insight is readying a SODIMM-sized computer-on-module (COM) based on Freescale's ARM Cortex-A8 i.MX51 system-on-chip. The 800MHz, 2.7 x 1.0-inch Triton-TX51 module offers extensive I/O, including Ethernet and USB 2.0 On-The-Go and host, plus an available “StarterKit-5” baseboard with a Linux BSP, says the company.

Like certain other COMs from U.K.-based Direct Insight (as well as Sweden's Strategic Test), the Triton-TX51 is manufactured by Germany's Ka-Ro Electronics. Other recent Direct Insight modules include the SwiftModule-OM, a Variscite-manufactured product that is based on Texas Instruments' Cortex-A8 OMAP35x system-on-chip (SoC).

Triton-TX51 module

The Triton-TX51 (above) is instead based on the other major, general-purpose Cortex-A8 SoC now shipping in volume: Freescale's i.MX515. The SoC is the first of several i.MX51-family SoCs, including industrial-focused models, and has already featured in other recent modules — Avalue's RSM-MX515 and Digi International's ConnectCore Wi-MX51.

The i.MX515 offers a Cortex-A8 core clocked to 800MHz, and is equipped with a NEON floating point unit, a PowerVR graphics engine supporting OpenGL ES 2.0, and a hardware-implemented video codec. These capabilities are said to provide the Triton-TX51 with D1 encode (at 30fps) and 720p decode for MPEG-4/H264 video. The SoC's image processing unit also includes a CMOS sensor input, 24-bit LCD controller, and TV out, says Direct Insight.

The Triton-TX51's i.MX515 is accompanied by 128MB of mobile DDR400 RAM and 128MB NAND flash, according to the company. The 68 x 26mm, 200-pin SODIMM module offers two high-speed SDIO/SD Card ports, a 1280 x 768 LCD touchscreen controller, plus PAL/NTSC out. Other I/O is said to include a 10/100 Ethernet controller, USB 2.0 OTG and Host, and interfaces including I2C, SPI, I2S, 1-Wire, and PWM.

The Triton-TX51 module uses a single 3.0 to 5.5 V power supply, accompanied with power management capabilities. It provides up to 1A output current 1.8V and 3.3V outputs for use on Direct Insight's StarterKit-5 baseboard development system (below).

StarterKit-5 baseboard
(Click to enlarge)

The StarterKit-5 ships with a "production quality" BSP for either Linux 2.6 or Windows CE 6.0. Physical connectors are provided for all the module interfaces listed below, and the board also supplies additional peripherals, including a UCB1400 audio codec, touchscreen controller, and video DAC, says Direct Insight.

An optional 640 x 480 touchscreen is also available that connects via the 40-pin LCD header. The board can be powered via USB OTG, or with a li-ion/polymer 3.0 – 4.2 V battery, or an external 5 V supply (not provided).

Specifications listed for the Triton-TX51 include:

  • Processor — Freescale i.MX51 @ 800MHz
  • Memory — 128MB mDDR400 SDRAM
  • Flash — 128MB NAND flash
  • Display:
    • 1280 x 768 LCD controller (24bpp)
    • Optional 640 x 480 VGA display
    • Touchscreen interface
    • 1 x PAL/NTSC out (via headers)
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100 Ethernet PHY
  • Other I/O interfaces:
    • 1 x USB 2.0 Host
    • 1 x USB Client
    • 1 x USB OTG
    • 2 x SSP
    • 3 x RS232 UARTs (D-SUB 9 on baseboard)
    • 1 x 1-Wire
    • 2 x SD card/SDIO (4-bit)
    • 1 x SPI
    • 1 x PWM controller
    • 1 x JTAG
  • Other features — Audio, external RTC (DS1339)
  • Operating temperature — -4 to 185 deg. F (-20 to 85 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 2.7 x 1.0 inches (68 x 26mm); SODIMM200 connectors
  • Operating system — Linux 2.6; Windows CE 6.0

Availability

The Triton-TX51 will be available in January, says Direct Insight, with pricing expected to be around 150 Euros (about $227 U.S.).

Direct Insight also offers baseboard design and manufacturing services. More information may be found on the company's 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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