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Linux-based dev kit to target “digital media devices”

Feb 28, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Empower Technologies is developing a digital media tablet (DMT) reference design based on a new RISC/DSP chip in TI's “DaVinci” processor line. The DMT design will include hardware based on TI's TMS320DM6441 chip, along with Empower's “LEOs Digital Media Edition” embedded Linux operating system, according to the company.

Canada-based Empower is best-known for LinuxDA (digital appliance), a uClinux-based software stack for Motorola Dragonball processors that powered several generations of inexpensive “PowerPlay” Palm Pilot clones (pictured at right) sold in Canada and elsewhere. With the market for PDAs declining rapidly, Empower ported LinuxDA to TI's OMAP5910 RISC/DSP processor in September of 2004, and joined TI's partner network a few months later. It subsequently announced an OMAP5910-based audio/visual product design win of an unspecified nature, and began shipping an LDK591x software development kit.

Empower says its new DaVinci-based DMT reference design will help developers, value-added integrators, and manufacturers create innovate digital media devices for automotive, RFID, and consumer electronics markets. The design is based on TI's TMS320DM6441, a RISC/DSP SoC (system-on-chip) targeting digital set-top boxes.

The TMS320DM6441 integrates an ARM926EJ-S core clocked at 202.5 MHz, along with a TMS320C64x+ DSP core clocked at 405 MHz. Additionally, the dual-core SoC includes a video/imaging coprocessor (VICP) said to be capable of offloading many video and image processing tasks from the DSP core, when used with codecs available from TI. Currently available codecs support H.264, MPEG4, Dolby Digital decoding, DTS decoding, voice/speech recognition, and biometric authentication, Empower says.

TMS320DM6441 SoC architecture
(Click to enlarge)

While unwilling to disclose hardware specifics at this time, Empower characterizes its forthcoming DMT reference design as a “Lego set” of hardware and software building blocks suitable for “mobile media players, stereo receivers, DVD players, flat panel TV/displays, handheld data terminals, headend units for machineries, and in-car or in-flight infoprocessing/infotainment systems.”

On the software side, the DMT will include Empower's LEOs (Linux embedded OS) Digital Media Edition SDK (software development kit) for the DM6441, which is based on a 2.6 kernel, and provides power management, a customizable embedded GUI, xDM codec support, an integrated SQLite database, and a “comprehensive suite of applications and sample programs,” the company said.


Empower said it plans to ship the DMT reference design this summer. Pricing was not disclosed.

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