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Linux development service supports new TI SoC

Apr 19, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Timesys announced that its LinuxLink development framework for custom embedded Linux devices now supports the recently announced Texas Instruments (TI) TMS320DM368 DaVinci video processor. The LinuxLink for DM368 service offers Linux development tools and a pre-integrated build environment for the ARM-based chip, the company says.

The LinuxLink for DM368 development service and toolsuite exploits the video acceleration and codecs on TI's recently announced TMS320DM368, including H.264 and MPEG-4, says Timesys. LinuxLink also provides the Linux GStreamer framework, enabling developers' Linux applications to take advantage of hardware video acceleration in their code, says the company.

It's said that with a  LinuxLink subscription, those developing for the DM368 processor can integrate open source code, media playback frameworks and applications, and GUI frameworks, including Qt Embedded. LinuxLink's desktop version of its "Factory" build framework enables integration of third-party packages, custom applications, and proprietary software, the company adds.

LinuxLink has not yet posted specifics of the kernel provided with its LinuxLink for DM368 service, but we expect it to be similar to that provided with the LinuxLink for DM365 offering announced in March. The DM365 version was said to include the recent 2.6.32 Linux kernel and to support the device drivers available with TI's DM365 evaluation module (EVM), including Ethernet, flash, LCD, McBSP, TV in/out, and USB.

Sonia Ghelani, a TI marketing manager for the DM3x products, stated, "Timesys continues to support customers using TI processors for embedded Linux product development. This newest addition to their LinuxLink offering provides a bridge for users looking to integrate the TI software for the DM368 device and add further customization with their easy-to-use user interface, integrated open-source plug-ins and a tested build environment."

TI's DM368

Announced earlier this month, TI's Linux-ready TMS320DM368 cranks up its ARM926EJ-S core to 432MHz, while offloading video encode/decode functions to DSP-driven HD video accelerators. The DM368 is a faster, higher-resolution version of the 300Mhz TMS320DM365 SoC (system-on-chip), and it's available with the DM365 IP camera design pictured at right.

Pin-to-pin and software compatible with the DM365, the DM368 is designed for applications including HD video cameras, real-time digital video recorders (DVRs), HD video communications systems, and digital signage, says TI. The ARM core is 40 percent faster than that of the DM365, enabling advanced application programming interfaces (APIs) for HD video processing, as well as more "sophisticated user experiences," TI says.

DM368 block diagram

(Click to enlarge)

Like other DaVinci processors, the DM368 combines an ARM core with a DaVinci digital signal processor (DSP) that offloads video processing tasks. There are also dual video image co-processors, called the HDVICP and MJCP. All these chips help the DM368 provide MPEG2, MPEG4, MJPEG and H.264 video encoding, says TI.

The processor also supports multi-format decode, multi-rate multi-stream, and HD multi-channel capabilities, says the company. Audio, speech and other HD video codecs are also said to be available.

TI said earlier this month that it's prepping Linux-compatible video communication and camera software development kits (SDKs) for the DM368. Nearing release, the SDKs include camera applications, such as video-conferencing, web cameras, interactive signage, and other low-cost embedded video communications products, says the company. Until the SDKs ship, developers can use the software- and pin-compatible TMDXEVM365 EVM, available for $595, which ships with the TMS320DM365 DVSDK v. 3.10 with open source Linux code, adds TI.

For more information about the DM368, including details of the Appro IP camera reference design pictured earlier in this story and a DVR reference design developed by UDWorks, see our earlier coverage, here.


Timesys says its support for TI's DM368 will be available during the second quarter. A list of included drivers, packages/middleware, and other utilities may be found on the company's website, here.

More information on the DM368 itself, which is said to be sampling now, may be found on TI's website, here.

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