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Embedded computer module aims Linux at industrial apps

Oct 27, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Taiwanese industrial computing specialist Artila Electronics is shipping a processor module pre-loaded with a Linux 2.6 kernel and filesystem. The M-501 is based on a 180MHz ARM processor, has lots of standard PC I/O available through several high-density connectors, and is available with a baseboard.

Artila positions the M-501 as a springboard for industrial device designers interested in migrating control systems to 32-bit processors. The board includes a complete Linux filesystem and tools, and is available with a development baseboard.

The module also appears to be the basis of Artila's “Matrix-500” industrial computer (pictured at right). The Matrix-500 measures 3.1 x 4.25 x 1 inches (78 x 108 x 25mm), and targets browser-based monitoring and control of industrial devices and systems with serial interfaces, as depicted below.

Matrix-500 typical usage
(Click to enlarge)

The M-501

The M-501 itself measures 3.1 x 2 inches (80 x 50mm), and is based on a 180MHz Atmel AT91RM9200 SoC (system-on-chip). It has 32MB of SDRAM, and 16MB of flash, expandable through an SD card interface, according to Artilla.

Artila M-501, top and bottom

The M-501's flash is pre-loaded with a Linux 2.6 kernel, busybox utility collection, boa web server, and “various device drivers,” Artila says.

The M-501's I/O expansion is available through a pair of 2×25 DIL connectors, and a single 2×14 DIL connector. The 2×25 DILs offer:

  • 1 x 10/100M Ethernet
  • 4 x UART serial ports
  • 2 x USB 2.0 hosts
  • SPI (serial peripheral interface
  • I2C (Inter-IC) bus
  • I2S (Inter-IC Sound) bus
  • 32-bit programmable digital I/O

The third 2×14 DIL connector offers:

  • 8-bit local bus for custom peripheral expansion

The M-501 comes with GNU tools, including a cross compiler environment. It is also available with a carrier board (pictured at right with the smaller M-501) offering:

  • 1 x RS-232/422/485 line driver, RJ45 connector
  • 3 x RS-232 line drivers, RJ45 connector
  • 1 x RJ45 connector for Ethernet
  • 2 x USB host connectors
  • 1 x USB client connector
  • 2 x 20-pin headers for 32x GPIOs
  • Status LEDs for Etherent port and serial port
  • Power input circuitry (9~48VDC)


The M-501 and baseboard appear to be available now. Pricing was not disclosed.

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