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SuperH CPU module runs Linux

Mar 14, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 24 views

Karlsruhe, Germany based Emtrion has launched a processor module based on a 400MHz SuperH processor, and targeting battery-powered and/or highly integrated devices in harsh industrial environments. The HiCO.SH7780 is available with a choice of baseboards, and can also be customized for specific requirements, Emtrion said.

(Click for larger view of the HiCO.SH7780

Emtrion said the board's processor delivers 720 MIPS (millions of instructions per second), and can run at full tilt without overheating, even when built into highly integrated devices. The board's components were selected for high heat tolerance, and it reportedly uses little enough power for battery powered designs.

As its name might suggest, the HiCO.SH7780 is based on Renesas's SH7780 system-on-chip (SoC). The SoC integrates a SuperH SH-4A core clocked at 400MHz, along with a DDR SDRAM controller, 32-bit PCI bus, and a 32-bit local bus for connecting to flash memory, SRAM, ATAPI (advanced technology attachment packet interface) and PCMCIA.

The board comes standard with 128MB of DDR SDRAM, and 32MB of flash, expandable via an optional MMC or CF interface. Peripheral interfaces are brought out to fine-pitch connectors comprising Emtrion's “HiCO.nect” CPU module interface, as depicted in the function block diagram below.

Emtrion SH7780 function blocks
(Click to enlarge)

The HiCO.SH7780 is one of seven Emtrion processor modules that interface with carrier boards via the company's HiCO.nect interface. The HiCO module family includes five boards based on SuperH-based SoCs from Renesas, as well as two based on ARM9 processors. All use the “same function blocks and peripheral interfaces,” the company said, and can thus share baseboards.

Emtrion offers two off-the-shelf carrier boards for its Emtrion modules. The HiCO.nect-base follows the PC/104 form factor, while the HiCO.nect-openbase (pictured below) offers PC/104 expansion along with real-world I/O connectors in a slightly larger footprint. Additionally, the HiCO.SH7780 module itself can be customized, as shown below on a model with real-world I/O connectors.

The “Openbase” development board and a custom HiCO module with real-world I/O connectors

The NiCO.SH7780 supports Linux 2.6, Windows CE 6.0, and QNX, Emtrion said. It is available now for mass production, Emtrion said. Pricing was not disclosed.

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