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Module runs Linux on Texas Instruments SoCs

Dec 23, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

CompuLab announced an ARM Cortex-A8 COM (computer on module) with up to 256MB of RAM, 512MB of flash storage, 10/100 Ethernet, plus integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Linux-ready CM-T3517 comes with Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara AM3505 or AM3517 CPUs clocked at up to 600MHz, has a touchscreen controller, and includes a camera interface, according to the company.

CompuLab's new CM-T3517 is similar to the CM-T3530 announced in February, but that device came with TI's 600MHz OMAP3503 or 720MHz OMAP3530, while the new module offers two different Cortex-A8-based system-on-chips (SoCs). Specifically, they're the Sitara AM3505 and AM3517.

The Sitara SoCs resemble their OMAP35x forebears but do not include the TMS320C64x+ DSP (digital signal processor) that's found on the OMAP3525 and OMAP3530, and their video capture functionality is less elaborate, according to TI. On the other hand, the chipmaker says, they can use lower-cost DDR2 memory instead of LPDDR, add 10/100 Ethernet controllers, provide PHY (physical layer) functionality for their USB 2.0 on-the-go interfaces, and include high-end CAN controllers.

Like the OMAP35x, the AM3505 and AM3517 includes a display subsystem offering picture-in-picture, color space conversion, rotation, and resizing support, according to TI. The AM3517 adds the same Imagination PowerVR SGX graphics accelerator that is found on OMAP35x devices, the chipmaker adds.

CompuLab's CM-T3517 again measures just 2.6 x 1.73 inches (66 x 44mm). As did the CM-T3530, it incorporates two surface-mount CAMI (CompuLabs aggregated module interface) connectors, which convey all signals to and from a separately available baseboard (see later in this story for details).

The top (left) and bottom (right) of the CompuLab CM-T3517

According to CompuLab, the CM-T3517 is available with up to 256MB of soldered-on DDR2 memory, plus an integral flash disk that can be as large as 512MB. Integral touchscreen and graphics controllers support STN and TFT panels with resolutions up to 1400 x 1050 pixels, and a camera interface port is also included, the company says.

A block diagram of the CM-T3517
(Click to enlarge)

CompuLab says the CM-T3517 offers both 802.11b/g wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1, provided via a Marvell 88W8688 chipset. Wired connectivity, via the CAMI connectors, includes a USB host/On-the-Go port, one to four additional USB 2.0 hosts, up to three serial ports, and 10/100 Ethernet, according to the company.

The CM-T3517 also includes a CAN bus interface, plus GPIO, SPI, and I2C. Both Linux and Windows CE are supported, according to CompuLab.

According to Compulab, the recommended carrier board for the CM-T3517 is the SB-T35, which measures 6.53 x 3.22 inches (166 x 82mm). The SB-T35 (below) is said to include two Ethernet ports with RJ45 connectors, an S-Video output, an SD/MMC/SDIO socket, plus host and slave USB ports.

The SBT-35 baseboard with the CM-T3517 on board

Specifications listed by Compulab for the CM-T3517 include the following:

  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3505 or AM2517 clocked at up to 600MHz
  • Memory — up to 256MB of soldered-on DDR2 RAM; bootable flash disk with up to 512MB of storage
  • Display — Supports TFT, STN, or composite displays with resolutions up to 1440 x 1050 pixels; AM3517 version adds 2D/3D graphics acceleration via PowerVR SGX
  • Networking:
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g
    • PAN — Bluetooth 2.1
    • LAN — 10/100 Ethernet
  • Expansion — MMC/SD/SDIO support
  • Other I/O (all via CAMI connectors):
    • Camera interface
    • 1 x USB host/On-the-Go
    • 1 to 4 USB 2.0 hosts
    • up to 4 serial ports
    • CAN bus
    • GPIO
    • SPI
    • I2C
    • Audio — mic in, stereo out
  • Power — 3.3VDC; active consumption 0.2 to 2 Watts
  • Operating temperature:
    • Commercial — 32 to 158 deg. F (0 to 70 deg. C)
    • Extended — -4 to 158 deg. F (-20 to 70 deg. C)
    • Industrial — -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 185 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 2.6 x 1.73 inches (66 x 44mm)

Further information

According to Compulab, the CM-T3517 is available now. More information may be found on the CM-T3517 product page and the SB-T35 product page.

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