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Linux dev kit targets SODIMM-sized computer module

Oct 22, 2007 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Microcross Inc. has released an embedded Linux development kit aimed at easing the design of portable, multimedia-enabled devices. The new version of Microcross's GX-Linux Enterprise Platform targets Cogent Computer Systems's CSB735, a tiny embedded computer module based on Freescale's i.MX21 SoC (system-on-chip).

Microcross, an established distributor of open-source embedded development tools, has been partnering with board-maker Cogent for several years on development kits for Linux-based device designs.

Cogent's new CSB735 module integrates a Freescale i.MX21 SoC, memory, and several other components, and is built in an SODIMM-sized format. The module is said to be socket-compatible with the company's recently-released CSB726 module (shown at top of story), which is based on a Marvell PXA270 SoC.

According to Microcross, Freescale's i.MX21 SoC targets portable devices such as cell phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, medical devices, industrial controls, and kiosks. The ARM926EJ-S-based SoC also features MPEG 4 compatibility, “Smart Speed” power management technology, integrated security features, plug-and-play connectivity, and a wide array of integrated peripherals designed to reduce system chip counts and power requirements.

Block diagram of Freescale i.MX2 SoC
(Click image to enlarge)

Key features of the GX-Linux Enterprise Platform, as listed by Microcross, include:

  • Visual X-Tools IDE
  • GNU X-Tools ARM Linux/ELF toolsuites, with Visual GDB and GDB Server
  • Linux v2.6.16+ kernel and BSP (board-support package) with MMU support
  • Shared glibc and stdc++ libraries
  • ROM, USB (pen drive), or remote NFS filesystem mounts
  • BusyBox v1.7.2 utilities
  • Linux drivers — serial I/O, SD/MMC, TCP/Ethernet, Audio, USB Host, framebuffer, SDIO, and SPI (available with customization)


The Enterprise GX-Linux Platform for Cogent's CSB735 is available immediately for $4,500, including a year of engineering technical support, Microcross said.

Freescale's i.MX21 SoC is also incorporated into the Linux-based Sony Mylo handheld.

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