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Linux BSP supports ARM-based microcontroller

Apr 14, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 52 views

Timesys announced a free board support package (BSP) for Atmel's ARM9-based AT91CAP9 microcontroller. As usual, the 2.6.23-kernel BSP can be upgraded to a full Timesys LinuxLink DIY subscription, including software and development tools.

(Click for larger view of Atmel's AT91CAP9A-STK Starter Kit)

The BSP is designed for rapid design validation on the customizable AT91CAP9 microcontroller, says Timesys. Announced last June, the AT91CAP9 integrates a Linux-friendly ARM9 core together with a metal-programmable function block where users can implement cores, DSPs (digital signal processors), or custom peripherals. Atmel says that compared to RISC/DSP chips, its CAP devices cost less and offer greater customizability. In February Trango announced a version of its Trango Hypervisor that supports the AT91CAP9.

The Atmel AT91CAP-DKM motherboard, part of the AT91CAP9A-DK development kit
(Click to enlarge)

The BSP appears to work with either Atmel's AT91CAP9A-STK Starter Kit for rapid prototyping (pictured at top) or the AT91CAP9A-DK Development Kit for full application development (pictured above). The former is based on a self-contained single-board computer, while the latter comes with an AT91CAP-DKM motherboard and a processor mezzanine card based on a CAP microcontroller. The development boards include an FPGA (field programmable gate array) for emulating the CAP Metal Programmable Block for custom logic, says Timesys.

The Timesys BSP includes Atmel's Linux kernel and drivers, BusyBox utilities, documentation and support, and a Linux host/cross toolchain that can be used to rebuild the Linux kernel and other included packages.

Atmel Cap architecture
(Click to enlarge)

The full LinuxLink subscription provides a regularly updated list of Linux components optimized for CAP9, including the 2.6.23 Linux kernel, hundreds of pre-compiled packages, and a reference distribution. The subscription also provides open source and Timesys-developed tools, including the TimeStorm Eclipse-based IDE.


The CAP9 BSP and LinuxLink subscription are available now, says Timesys. They will be demonstrated at both the Atmel booth (#928) and the Timesys booth (#946) at this week's Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose. More information on the CAP9 may be available on this Atmel page, and the free BSP and LinuxLink subscription should be available at this Timesys page.

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