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CPU module runs Linux on dual PPC cores

Sep 26, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 18 views

[Updated Sep. 27] — Advanced Knowledge Associates (aka AKA) has started shipping a compact, 3-inch-square processor module powered by an FPGA with dual PowerPC 405 hard cores. The PRISM200 (packaged reconfigurable integrated system-on-module) runs Linux, and targets low-powered military, medical, industrial,… automotive, and networking applications.

(Click for larger view of the Prism200)

The PRISM200 is implemented in a 656-pin PGA (pin grid array) or BGA (ball grid array) package measuring 3-inches square. It is based on a Xilinx Virtex-4FX FPGA (field-programmable gate array), which has two embedded 32-bit PowerPC 405 hard cores clocked up to 450MHz.

The FPGA also integrates:

  • A pair of “tri-mode” (10/100/1000Gbps) Ethernet MACs (media access controllers)
  • Four 622 Mbps to 6.2 Gbps serial transceiver blocks
  • Dedicated hard DSP blocks
  • On-board high-speed clock management circuitry
  • 160+ high speed general purpose input/outputs (GPIO)
  • “Numerous” other hard-IP core blocks

PRISM200 function block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

In addition to the FPGA, the PRISM200 integrates 256MB of DDR2 SDRAM — 128MB for each PowerPC core — and 128MB of NAND flash plus 64MB of NOR flash. The pair of flash memories support multiple boot images, the company said.

AKA Prism, under the hood
(Click to enlarge)

The module's I/O interfaces include:

  • 2 x 1553RT avionics bus remote terminal interfaces
  • 2 x CAN (controller-area network)
  • ARINC 429 avionics databus interface
  • USB 2.0 host or device
  • SPI (serial peripheral interface) temperature sensor
  • 4 x multi-gigabit transceivers
  • Supports SERDES (serializer/deserializer) technology, for multi-gigabit-per-second transfers on differential trace pairs
  • 160 1Gbps+ GPIOs, each supporting any of 20+ electrical standards, including HSTL, SSTL, LVDS, and LVPECL
  • 45 x low-speed GPIOs

The PRISM200 is said to support “industry standard RTOS packages,” including Linux, VxWorks, and others.

Guy Marom, CEO, stated, “The PRISM200 features an on-board programmable clock-generation unit as well as on-board voltage regulation and power-monitoring circuits for simpler and more complete system development and integration.”

The PRISM200 is available now, according to the company. Pricing was not disclosed.

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