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PowerPC reference board comes with Linux

Oct 30, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 12 views

An electronic design services (EDS) provider in San Jose has started shipping a PowerPC-based reference board with a Linux 2.6.24 BSP (board support package). GDA Technologies' “Bali” board is based on Freescale's MPC5121e, a system-on-chip (SoC) product targeting automotive telematics, building automation, medical diagnostics, surveillance, digital home, and gaming applications.

GDA provides EDS and SIP (silicon intellectual property) services, it says. It is a subsidiary of L&T Infotech, Ltd. It says its Linux BSP for the Bali board is based on a 2.6.22 kernel, with a 2.6.24 port in progress. BSP coverage reportedly includes:

  • LCD
  • VGA
  • Touch Panel
  • PATA
  • Ethernet
  • Wifi, Bluetooth (HID)
  • AC 97- Audio
  • USB
  • Serial Port

The Bali reference board is based Freescale's 400MHz MPC5121e processor. Debuting in May of last year, the chip went on to attract software suppliers, including Linux support from Wind River, Outside of telematics applications, it has powered the interesting LimePC UMPC and CherryPal network computing appliance.

In touting its reference board, GDA notes that the MPC5121e is based on an e300 PowerPC core designed to deliver 760 MIPS (millions of instructions per second) when clocked at 400MHz. The SoC has 32KB each of data and instruction cache, a double-precision FPU, MMU, and the various PC-style and automotive interfaces depicted in function block diagram below. Furthermore, it has a built-in PowerVR display controller with MBX Lite 2D/3D acceleration.

MPC5121e function block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

To the MPC5121e, the Bali reference board adds 512MB of DDR2-400 SDRM, 128MB of NOR Flash, and up to 2GB of NAND Flash. Alternative, a PATA interface can support a 1.8-inch, 80GB hard drive, GDA suggests.

The Bali board is available with a 1024 x 600 TFT module connected via an LVDS interface. I/O includes 10/100 Ethernet, two high-speed USB 2.0 OTG ports, 802.11b/g, and Bluetooth.

Gopa Periyadan, GM of systems and software at GDA, stated, “[We have a] flexible global business engagement model and expertise with Freescale processors.”

Listed specs for the Bali board include:

  • Processor: 400MHz MPC5121e
  • Memory: 512MB DDR-II SDRAM memory at 400MHz
  • Storage: Up to 128 MB NOR Flash Memory (for boot flash image)
  • Up to 2GB of NAND Flash Memory (with boot compatibility)
  • 80 GB 1.8″ HDD with PATA interface
  • Display: 1024 x 600 TFT LCD module with LVDS input
  • I/O:
    • Realtek RTL8201 10/100BT PHY
    • 2 x USB 2.0 OTG Ports
    • 802.11 B/G and Bluetooth wireless modules
    • AC'97 audio codec with “built in touch screen support”
    • I2C based EEPROM for configuration and temperature sensor (optional)
    • I2C based RTC for clock/calendar function

Additional details may be available on GDA Tech's website, here, though details of the board had not been posted, as of press time.

Since launching the MPC5121e, Freescale later followed up with the “dual-core” MPC5123, which adds a 200MHz DSP to the package.

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