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Tiny ARM11 board gains Linux support

Aug 14, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

A small processor module based on a Freescale i.MX31IL processor is now supported by embedded Linux support services provider TimeSys. Subscribers to TimeSys's LinuxLink service for the i.MX31 now have access to a reference distribution for Atmark-Techno's Armadillo-500.

(Click for larger view of Armadillo-500 and baseboard)

The Armadillo-500 module measures 1.3 x 2.1 inches (34 x 54mm), and weighs 0.35 ounces (10 gm). It is based on Freescale's i.MX31L SoC (system-on-chip), which integrates a 400MHz ARM1136JF-S core, together withhardware MPEG-4 acceleration and lots of on-chip peripheral interfaces.

Freescale i.MX31IL SoC block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Along with the i.MX31L processor, the tiny Armadillo-500 board contains 64MB of DDR SDRAM and 16MB of NOR flash. A pair of bottom-mounted 140-pin board-to-board connectors attach the module to custom hardware or an available development board.

Atmark-Techno Armadillo-500 and dev board
(Click to enlarge)

Atmark-Techno's development board for the Armadillo-500 module measures 3.9 x 5.7 inches (98 x 146mm), and weighs 4.9 ounces (140 grams). Interfaces implemented on this board includes:

  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • Codec acceleration for MPEG-4 and H.263
  • RS-232C serial port
  • 22-bit (3V) and 8-bit (1.8V) GPIO interfaces
  • CompactFlash slot
  • SD/MMC slot
  • USB 2.0 host port
  • Analog RGB video out (D-Sub)
  • 5V power in

TimeSys said its reference distribution for the Armadillo-500 is based on a 2.6.19 Linux kernel. It includes a GNU tools toolchain based on GCC 4.1.1, BinUtils 2.17, GDB 6.4.1, Glibc 2.4.4, and uClibc 0.9.27. Also included are 100 or so cross-compiled binaries, including common Linux utilities, network daemons, development tools, and so on.

The TimeSys reference distribution is said to support the following interfaces on the Armadillo-500 module and dev board:

  • Serial
  • Ethernet
  • SD/MMC
  • CompactFlash
  • Audio
  • Framebuffer
  • USB host

Atmark-Techno itself offers a uClinux-based BSP for the Armadillo-500. Its BSP uses a “2.6.18-12-at0” kernel, and is based on Debian 4.1.1-21. It comes with a thin web server, sshd, filesystem components, and flash programming utility.


TimeSys's Linux reference distribution for the Atmark-Techno Armadillo-500 board is available now to i.MX31 Linuxlink subscribers. TimeSys launched its i.MX31 LinuxLink subscription service in May of last year.

The Armadillo-500 module and dev board appear to have limited availability, as they are not yet fully listed on Atmark-Techno's website.

Additional details about Armadillo-500 support in LinuxLink can be found here.

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