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Linux computer thinks it’s a chip

Jun 29, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

A board vendor specializing in military and rugged markets is sampling a 2-inch-square ARM9/FPGA processor module designed to plug into a 462-pin CPU-style socket. Advanced Knowledge Associates (AKA), says its LM150 comes with a Linux BSP (board support package) and supports applications requiring custom … interfaces.

AKA LM150, top and bottom
(Click either view to enlarge)

The LM150 looks more like a chip than an SBC
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The tiny LM150 module appears to come with a large heatsink mounting plate that makes it look more like a large chip than what it really is: a tiny single-board computer (SBC). Packaged in a 462-pin pin-grid array (PGA) housing, the LM150 is designed to plug directly into a CPU socket on a development board or user-supplied carrier board. A solderable BGA (ball-grid array) version also appears to be in the works.

The tiny module integrates an Atmel AT91RM9200 processor clocked at 180MHz, along with 512MB of NOR flash, 256MB of SDRAM, network PHYs, and other typical SBC components. Larger RAM and flash capacities may be available on a special-order basis.

Interestingly, the LM150 also contains a Xilinx Spartan 3E Series FPGA with 30,000 logic elements. This part could be used in conjunction with Xilinx's Microblaze softcore to run another OS instance, but would more typically be used to implement vertical market or special-purpose I/O interfaces.

AKA LM150 function block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

I/O interfaces that can be implemented via appropriate programming of the FPGA are said to include:

  • Dual MIL-STD-1553 interfaces
  • Dual CAN fieldbus interfaces
  • I2C/SPI

Other standard interfaces that are implemented by the LM150 include:

  • Dual RS232
  • USB
  • Dual Ethernet 10/100Base-T
  • 100 GPIOs (general-purpose I/Os)

LM150 mechanical dimensions

The LM150 requires a single 3.3V power source, and has a programmable clock said to support multiple power/performance profiles. It supports Linux and other MMU-capable OSes, and like all AKA boards, comes with a Linux BSP (board support package), according to spokesperson Vijay Rao.


The LM150 is available in sample quantities now, with production availability “a month out,” according to Rao. Pricing was not disclosed.

Another recently shipped chip-like PC that runs Linux is Eilabs's LinSeed

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