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Embedded development kits link up to Amazon cloud

Oct 7, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

SSV has launched two x86-compatible, Debian Linux-based embedded development kits equipped with access to Amazon's S3 cloud services. The first two SSV/ECC (SSV Embedded Cloud Computing) Starter Kits are the DNP/SK29-ECC, based on SSV's DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 module, and the eSOM/EK1-ECC, which incorporates SSV's eSOM/EK1-ECC module.

The two SSV/ECC kits are designed for data logging, firmware updates, VPN-based remote access, and remote configuration applications, says German embedded vendor SSV. One specific example provided is a data logging service in which process measurement data is forwarded to cloud storage in a data center where it can be accessed over the Internet.

Shipping with Amazon S3 cloud storage clients preinstalled, the kits are offered with a prepaid test account valid for 30 days, including 25MB of storage on an S3 storage server, says the company. Clients can also be provided or developed for other cloud services.

The DNP/SK29-ECC kit is based on SSV's DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 computer-on-module (COM) announced in February. Based on a long line of Linux-ready DIL/NetPC modules, the DNP/2486 measures 3.2 by 1.1 inches (81 x 28mm), and targets TCP/IPv4-6 embedded networking applications. Attaching to custom I/O boards via "DIL" (dual in line) sockets, the DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 runs an IPv6-ready Debian Linux stack on an x86-compatible, 300MHz Vortex86SX system-on-chip (SoC) from DMP Electronics.

DIL/NetPC DNP/2486

The DNP/2486 mates the Vortex86SX to 64MB of SDRAM and 1GB of NAND flash. I/O interfaces include Ethernet, USB, serial, GPIO, and SPI, says SSV. An 8-bit expansion bus offers support for interrupts and chip selects, says the company.

The new DNP/SK29-ECC Starter Kit incorporates a "DNP/EVA11-SV1" evaluation board, which appears to be based on the previously available SK29 starter kit (pictured below). The SK29 kit includes a carrier board with a DIL-64 socket for the DNP/2486, as well as an Ethernet port and two RS-232 ports, and a breadboard for individual adaptations.

The SK29 kit also includes a CD-ROM with an Eclipse-based Java development environment, TCP/IP stack, web server, Telnet server, TFTP client, and FTP server. Other features include a Java runtime environment, "extensive" class libraries, and the OpenVPN and OpenSWAN utilities.

Enlarged view of DNP/2486 (top) and SK29 starter kit (bottom)

Specifications listed for the DNP/SK29-ECC Starter Kit include:

  • Processor module — DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 with Vortex86SX x86 @ 300MHz
  • Evaluation board — DNP/EVA11-SV1
  • Memory — 64 MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Flash — 1GB NAND flash
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100Mbps Ethernet
  • USB — 1 x USB 2.0 host (480Mbps)
  • Serial — 2 x RS232 ports
  • Firmware:
    • Amazon S3 cloud storage client preinstalled
    • Java runtime environment (Java 6 J2SE) preconfigured
    • Debian Linux


The second kit is based on the eSOM/2586 processor module announced by SSV around the same time as the DNP/2486. The 3.1 x 2.0-inch (80 x 50mm) module is the first in a planned series of processor modules based on SSV's custom "eSOM-200" form factor, says SSV.


Like the DNP/2486, the eSOM/2586 runs Debian Linux on an x86-compatible Vortex SoC, but it moves up to the more powerful Vortex86DX, which it clocks to 600MHz, 800MHz, or 1GHz. The module is further equipped with 128MB of DDR2 DRAM and 1GB of NAND flash, says the company.

The eSOM/2586 provides an LCD controller with 64MB video memory, as well as a four-wire touchscreen interface. I/O is said to include a 10/100Mbps Ethernet interface, dual 480Mbps USB host 2.0 interfaces, three UART interfaces, an SPI interface, and a CompactFlash interface. The module's 1GB of NAND flash is pre-installed with Debian Linux, X server, and the "original" Sun Java 6 Runtime (J2SE JRT), says SSV.

The eSOM/EK1-ECC Starter Kit is said to be based on the BB6/eSOM, which formed the basis of a EUI/57V touchscreen control unit designed for HMI industrial applications, announced by SSV in August. The 5.7-inch TFT LCD touchscreen was said to offer VGA resolution and a four-wire touchscreen interface (also provided with the eSOM/EK1-ECC).

The EUI/57V module was said to provide interfaces including 10/100Mbps Ethernet, USB 2.0 host interfaces with 480Mbps support, dual RS232 ports, and an RS485 port (also mirrored in the specs below). The eSOM/EK1-ECC Starter Kit, however, does not appear to offer the EUI/57V's touchscreen display or supported interfaces including CAN, GPIO, and SPI.

Features listed for the eSOM/EK1-ECC Starter Kit include:

  • Processor module — eSOM/2586 with Vortex86DX x86 @ 800MHz
  • Evaluation board — Basis Board BB6/eSOM
  • Memory — 128MB DDR2 SDRAM, plus video RAM (see below)
  • Flash — 1GB NAND flash
  • Flash expansion — 1 x CompactFlash interface
  • Display — VGA controller with 64MB RAM; 4-wire touchscreen interface
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100Mbps Ethernet
  • USB — 2 x USB 2.0 host (480Mbps)
  • Serial — 2 x RS232 ports; 1 x RS485
  • Firmware:
    • Amazon S3 cloud storage client preinstalled
    • Java runtime environment (Java 6 J2SE) preconfigured
    • Debian Linux


The first two SSV/ECC Starter Kits should be available by the end of the month, says SSV. The DNP/SK29-ECC is available for 200 Euros (about $293 U.S.) and the eSOM/EK1-ECC for 250 Euros ($367). Both ship with prepaid Amazon S3 test accounts valid for 30 days, including 25MB of storage on an S3 storage server, says the company.

More information may be found here. A whitepaper on the SSV/ECC and the benefits of embedded cloud computing is available for free with a short registration here.

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