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Linux-friendly dev board available for 64-bit MIPS SoC

Jun 27, 2005 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Toshiba America Electronic Components is shipping a reference board for its newest 64-bit MIPS/RISC chip. The RBTX4939 includes a TX4939XBG-400 processor module available for use in embedded designs. Toshiba is developing a Linux BSP (board support package), with BSPs also expected from MontaVista and Wind River.

TX4939XBG-400 SoC

Toshiba announced the TX4939XBG-400 SoC (system-on-chip processor) in February, saying it would sample in August and ship in Q4. The SoC targets consumer applications, including IP set-top boxes, home gateways, and multimedia appliances. It is the company's first embedded PCI-based processor built with its 90-nanometer process technology, and the first to use its proprietary TX49/H4 400MHz CPU core, it says.

(Toshiba shipped its TX9956CXBG last summer, also on 90-nanometer technology, but based on a TX99/H4 core clocked at 533MHz and lacking a PCI bus.)

On-chip peripheral functions include an 8/16-bit local bus controller, security engine, serial/parallel video ports, ATA controllers, a DDR SDRAM controller, a NAND flash controller, Ethernet MAC controllers (RMII), a PCI controller supporting up to six devices, a DMA controller, an interrupt controller, an AC-link controller, serial and parallel ports, timers/counters, and an RTC (real-time clock) with battery back-up.

RBTX4939 reference board

Toshiba says designers can use the new RBTX4939 reference board to evaluate TX4939XBG-400's basic performance and features, evaluate drivers, and develop applications prior to availability of hardware prototypes based on the chip.

The RBTX4939 includes processor module and baseboard
(Click to enlarge)

The RBTX4939 includes a plug-on processor module that Toshiba says has enough circuitry to boot the TX4939XBG-400, enabling customers to use the module in their own designs without worrying about high-frequency DDR SDRAM design and layout.

The processor module comes standard with 256MB of 4 x 512Mbit DDR SDRAM, a power supply circuit to drive the SDRAM, an EJTAG interface, a DIP switch for boot configuration, and a reset, clock, and RTC circuit for the processor.

The RBTX4939 also includes an ATX format baseboard that includes:

  • Two 10/100 Ethernet MACs (TX4939XBG-400's internal two Ethernet MACs and external PHY)
  • NAND flash ROM (x8bit)
  • Two channel ATA (IDE) interface
  • Audio (AC-link/I2S) interface
  • Five PCI slots
  • USB 2.0 host chip
  • NOR Flash ROM
  • Four channels of RS-232C
  • 100Base-TX Ethernet controller for debugging
  • ROM emulator connector
  • Two ISA slots
  • An outside bus expansion connector
  • An input/output controller
  • A power supply circuit

Toshiba's VP of SoCs, Shardul Kazi, said, “Our new RBTX4939 reference board lets our customers get a jumpstart on evaluation of the TX4939XBG-400 microprocessor.”


Engineering samples of the reference board are currently available for $3,000, with mass production planned for October, 2005. Toshiba says it is developing a “prototype Linux BSP” for the board, and that MontaVista and Wind River will also create BSPs for the board.

The TX4939XBG-400 is expected to reach production quantities in Q4.

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