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Solar-powered board runs Linux

Mar 13, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 12 views

Technologic Systems is shipping an ultra-low-powered SBC (single-board computer) for solar and battery-powered applications. The ARM9-based TS-7260 RevB has flexible input power needs, comes with an embedded Linux 2.4.29 development kit, and can be configured with an SD card slot, custom logic port, or extra TTLs.

(Click for larger view of TS-7260 Linux dev kit)

Technologic claims that the TS-7260 draws a maximum of 1 Watt, at full-speed operation, or as little as 1/4 Watt under certain configurations. The default configuration, without Ethernet, can operate for 172 hours on a small, 12-volt, 7.2Ah UPS (uninterruptible power supply) battery, the company says.


The TS-7260, top and bottom, with SD-card option
(Click either to enlarge)

The TS-7260 has three high-efficiency, switching power supply circuits that generate all internal voltages, allowing the board to accept power from regulated or unregulated sources between 4.5 and 20VDC, according to the company. An onboard ADC (analog-to-digital converter) supports software monitoring of temperature and input voltages, and the board also supports software-controlled shutdown of USB, LCD, RTC, Ethernet PHY, and RS232 level converters.

The TS-7260 can be configured with either an SD Card slot, two extra TTY serial ports, or Technologic's “TS-XDIO” port. The port interfaces with a TS-XDIO coprocessor core aimed at supporting common controller tasks that would be “difficult, costly (CPU intensive), or impossible” to achieve in software, Technologic says. The optional TS-XDIO port supports eight schmitt-trigger DIOs (digital-I/O lines), a PWM (pulse-width modulation), and a quadrature counter, edge counter, and pulse timer.

Additional hardware features list by the company include:

  • 200Mhz ARM9 CPU with MMU
  • 32MB SDRAM (64MB or 128MB available)
  • 32MB on-board NAND flash drive
  • 1-Watt at full-speed operation
  • Two USB 2.0 “full-speed” OHCI ports
  • 10/100 Ethernet port
  • 30 total DIO pins
  • Three standard COM ports
  • Watchdog timer
  • 2-channel on-board 12-bit ADC (analog-to-digital converter)
  • PC/104 expansion bus (apparently P1-subset only)
  • SPI bus interface
  • Matrix keypad and alphanumeric LCD interfaces
  • Optional 802.11g WiFi (via USB)
  • Size — 3.8 x 4.8 inches
  • Fanless operation from -20 to +70 degrees C (-40 to +85 version available)

Software support

The TS-7260 comes with the RedBoot open source boot-loader, which can be used to initialize hardware and boot Linux from on-board flash, removable flash, or network servers. The board also comes with an 8MB Linux 2.4.26 kernel image installed in on-board flash.

Additionally, Technologic distributes a variety of “TS-Linux for ARM” kernels, RTAI-enhanced kernels, initrd filesystems, NFS-root filesystems, Debian filesystems, and sample applications that support the board, it says.

Availability

The TS-7260 is shipping now, priced at $150 in quantities of 100. About 40 configuration options are available, at various prices, including an $8 SD card socket and a $70 Flash drive (256MB) loaded with an ARM-Linux cross-development toolsuite.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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