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PXA300 reference platform gains industrial-focused Android BSP

May 2, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 28 views

E-con Systems announced an Android board support package (BSP) for its Marvell PXA300-based eSOM300 module and related Alioth baseboard reference platform. The company says it added to Android's hardware abstraction layers with blocks that support non-mobile, industrial-focused peripherals including RS232/RS485, CAN, GPIO, ADC, and various sensors.

E-con Systems announced its Alioth reference platform in April 2010, along with Linux 2.6.x and Windows CE 6.0 BSPs (see farther below for details). A month before, it had announced the underlying eSOM300, a SODIMM-sized processor module. The 2.63 x 1.61 inch module includes a 624MHz Marvell PXA300 processor, offering up to 256GB of soldered-on RAM, and up to 1GB of flash storage.

Alioth reference platform, running Android
(Click to enlarge)

The Android BSP supports industrial applications such as rugged handhelds, industrial controllers, in-vehicle telematics, vehicle mount systems, and test and measurement equipment, says E-con.

The Android stack builds upon an undisclosed Android release with new blocks in the hardware abstraction layer (HAL). The BSP offers new and modified Android libraries to enable access to peripherals including ADC, GPIOs, CAN controllers, RS232/RS485, and various sensors including temperature, among others, the company says. The BSP supports device drivers and user applications for all the peripherals on the Alioth board, E-con adds.

E-con's Android stack for Alioth

(Click to enlarge)

E-con's Alioth baseboard measures 6.3 x 4.13 inches (160 x 105mm), and includes a 204-pin connector for the eSOM300, as well as an Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 host ports, and a USB 2.0 port. There's also a VGA output that supports resolutions up to 640 x 480 pixels, according to E-con.

The Alioth additionally sports two DB9 connectors for serial ports — one RS232 and one RS 232/485 — and a CAN port. Three additional serial ports are also included, terminated to headers for optional GPRS/GPS and WiFi/Bluetooth modules.

E-con's Alioth (top)
(Click to enlarge)

E-con says the Alioth supports optional touchscreen displays (4.3-inch, with 480 x 272 pixel resolution, or seven-inch, with 800 x 480 pixels) via its LCD module connector (see image at top). The board also has a microSD slot and a connector for optional camera modules, available in 1.3-, two-, or three-megapixel versions, the company adds.

E-con's Alioth (bottom)
(Click to enlarge)

The eSOM300 module that drives the Alioth is available with 64MB, 128MB, or 256MB of soldered-on RAM, plus from 128MB to 1GB of NAND flash storage. Fast Ethernet is also present, though using it requires an optional connector and magnetics, the company says. According to E-con, the module's interfaces include two USB 2.0 hosts, a USB 2.0 client, three serial ports, two SPI interfaces, two MMC/SDIO interfaces, and I2C.

E-con Systems offers the Alioth with BSPs, detailed schematics, documentation, bill of material, and application notes, says the company. The Android BSP is said to be available with device drivers for all peripherals, and is completely customizable. (More information on both the Alioth and the eSOM300, including block diagrams and spec lists may be found in our previous Alioth coverage.)

Alioth Android BSP demonstrated on YouTube
Source: E-con Systems
(Click to play)

Stated Ashok Babu, president of E-con Systems, "Using the e-con BSP provided on top of the Alioth platform our customers will get access to a wider peripheral set that are not present in the base Android release. We believe that this will help many customers who are willing to use Android on rugged handhelds and/or any industrial devices that require a display."


The Android BSP for the Alioth reference platform is available now, says E-con, which says pricing is available upon request. More information may be found at its Alioth page.

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