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Embedded Linux developer service adds ARM9 MCU

Oct 5, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Embedded Linux developer services specialist TimeSys has launched a “LinuxLink” subscription offering that supports designs based on a $6, ARM9-based Atmel microcontroller (MCU). The AT91SAM9260 has a 200MIPS (million instructions per second) ARM926EJ-S core with onboard flash and SRAM, is pin-compatible with Atmel's ARM7-based MCUs, and targets real-time control applications.

TimeSys says Atmel's AT91SAM9260 is suitable for “highly connected image processing applications,” including POS (point-of-sale/service) devices, Ethernet-based IP cameras, and barcode readers. The chip is said to support deterministic, real-time operation, while offering supervisory functions and enjoying “third-party RTOS support comparable to those of 8-bit controllers,” according to TimeSys.

When it launched the AT91SAM9260 in June, Atmel positioned the chip as the first member of a planned ARM9-based family of MCUs that would be pin compatible and have a “shared programming model” with Atmel's ARM7-based SAM7-series MCUs.

Atmel AT91SAM9261 block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

TimeSys's LinuxLink service aims to provide ongoing access to up-to-date embedded Linux resources for a given target processor. TimeSys says its AT91SAM9260 LinuxLink support includes:

  • Performance enhancing reference distribution that serves as a starting point for customized distributions
  • Kernel patches from Atmel and TimeSys for the AT91SAM9260 reference board
  • Access to a repository of “hundreds” of source and binary cross-compiled packages
  • An IDE (integrated development environment)
  • Testing and profiling tools
  • Online environment for collaborative design and development
  • Weekly alerts to notify customers of new content and resources
  • Access to a “Developer Exchange” forum said to offer extensive resources and interactive support from TimeSys, Atmel, and the open source community

Alfredo Vadillo, director of ARM-based products for Atmel, stated, “The LinuxLink port for the AT91SAM9260 is a milestone in the on-going partnership between Atmel and TimeSys. The large number of associated qualified code modules lowers risk.”

TimeSys CEO Larry Weidman stated, “We've had a great response to our existing Atmel LinuxLinks, and look forward to supporting developers working with the AT91SAM9260.”


TimeSys's LinuxLink for the AT91SAM9260 is available now, with multiple subscription options enabling customers to choose the level of functionality they need, TimeSys says.

TimeSys announced in May that Atmel had selected LinuxLink to be the “primary Linux distribution mechanism” for its ARM-based processors. TimeSys also recently updated its AT91SAM9261 LinuxLink.

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