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Linux development service cracks DaVinci code

May 15, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 8 views

Timesys announced its first LinuxLink development subscription support for the Texas Instruments (TI) DaVinci architecture. The LinuxLink framework now supports TI's video-oriented DM6446 and DM355 RISC/DSP system-on-chips (SoCs), and provides Linux-based reference board device drivers and… automated development tools, says the company.

(Click for larger view of TI/Aptina's DM355-based DM355IPNC-MT5 IP camera design)

The subscription-based LinuxLink service offers DaVinci device drivers including Ethernet, serial, LCD display, audio, and USB, as well as “the best Linux code from Texas Instruments and the open source community,” says Timesys. Developers can choose between the new LinuxLink Factory online build system, or a traditional desktop-hosted version that enables users to integrate third-party packages and proprietary software.

The Timesys Factory is part of the more automated LinuxLink 3.0 update of Timesys's embedded Linux development subscription service. Version 3.0 incorporates web services technology to package the Timesys Factory and related services, such as automated patch updates and GIT tree access.

Each LinuxLink platform contains a user-defined mix of a GNU-based cross toolchain, a subset of the hundreds of available application-specific root filesystem (RFS) package sources, and commonly used open source development tools, including GDB, OProfile, and Mpatrol. Subscribers are also provided with platform-specific recommendations, advice, technical support, tutorials, and documentation for common embedded Linux development tasks, says Timesys.

DaVinci DM6446 and DM365

The DaVinci DM6446 and DM6443 were introduced in 2005, targeting portable multimedia players (PMPs), digital video recorders (DVRs), and other video-oriented consumer devices. The SoCs were some of the first of TI's line of Linux-ready DaVinci architecture SoCs, which combined ARM9 RISC cores with TI DSP cores.

DaVinci DM644x architecture

Whereas the DM6443 is aimed at video decoding applications in devices such as PMPs, the DM6446 targets video transcoding in DVRs and videoconferencing equipment. The latter SoC integrates an ARM926EJ-S core clocked at 297MHz with a C64x+ DSP core, clocked at 594MHz, and also provides a video processing subsystem (see diagram above).

The newer DM355 arrived in 2007, costing less than $10 in volume. The chip targets portable, battery-powered consumer video devices, including digital cameras, IP video cameras, digital photo frames, video doorbells, and baby monitors.

DM365 architecture

The DM355 draws only 400mW while encoding 720p MPEG-4 video streams, and only 1mW while standing by, claims TI. In the last two years, it has appeared in several low-cost IP camera reference designs, such as TI/Aptina's DM355-based DM355IPNC-MT5 IP camera (pictured at top). In March of this year, TI released a DM365 variant on the design that adds 1080p HD support.


For a limited time, Timesys is offering free LinuxLink access to configure, build, and evaluate embedded Linux on the TI DaVinci DM6446 and DM365. More information may be found here. For the free trial, enter promotion code “TI6446,” says the company.

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