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Tiny ARM9 module ramps up to 400MHz

Aug 12, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 16 views

Bluewater Systems is shipping a $145 computer-on-module (COM) built around an ARM9 Atmel AT91SAM9G45 processor clocked at 400MHz. The Snapper 9G45 module measures only 2.7 by 1.0 inches, offers 128MB SDRAM, 1GB NAND flash, a wide variety of interfaces, and a Linux 2.6.33 BSP.

Like last year's Snapper 9260, which was based on a 180MHz AT91SAM9260 processor, the Snapper 9G45 is aimed at security imaging and camera systems, dedicated smart instruments, deeply embedded headless systems, and mobile/industrial control systems, says Blue Water Systems.

Snapper 9G45
(Click to enlarge)

The Snapper 9G45 module is built around the Atmel AT91SAM9G45, which offers a "fully-featured system controller," says Blue Water Systems. Clocked to 400MHz, the AT91SAM9G45 provides 32KB each of data and instruction cache. This is twice the clock speed and four times the cache of the earlier AT91SAM9260. Like the SAM9G20, the SAM9G45 provides 64K of internal SRAM.

The Snapper 9G45 incorporates 128MB SDRAM and 1GB NAND flash, and offers dual MCI interfaces for additional flash data storage, says Blue Water Systems. An audio codec and an LCD controller that can drive a 1280 x 860 pixel display are also said to be supplied.

The Snapper 9G45 measures 2.7 x 1.0 inches

The Snapper 9G45 is equipped with a 10/100 Ethernet controller, and offers both USB Host and Device ports, as well as four serial UARTs, says Blue Water Systems. Other I/O is said to include Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), I2C, an Image Sensor Interface (ISI), and 40 GPIOs.

Like the Snapper 9260, the COM uses a 2.7 x 1.0-inch SODIMM 200 form-factor, says the company. Power consumption on the 3.3 Volt device is said to run at a typical 600mW.

Specifications listed for the Snapper 9G45 include:

  • Processor — Atmel AT91SAM9260 (ARM926E-S Thumb core), at 400 MHz
  • Memory — 128MB SDRAM; 1GB NAND flash
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet interface
  • Other I/O:
    • USB Host port
    • USB Device port
    • 3 x serial UARTs, including RTS/CTS flow control and 1 x debug 3-wire UART
    • Up to 40 GPIOs (some sharable with peripheral functions)
    • 2 x Multimedia Card Interfaces (MCI)
    • I2C
    • SPI
    • Image Sensor Interface (ISI)
    • LCD controller (1280 x 860 res. supported)
  • Other features — Stereo audio codec (I2S); real time clock
  • Power — 3.3V single input; 600mW typical consumption
  • Operating temperature — Commercial or industrial options
  • Dimensions — 2.7 x 1.0 inches (68 x 25mm); 5mm thickness; SODIMM 200 form-factor
  • Operating system — Linux 2.6.33 BSP

The New Zealand-based company lists only a Linux 2.6.33 board support package (BSP) for the module, although the previous Snapper also ran Windows CE. 


The Snapper 9G45 is available now for $145 USD in single quantities. Bulk pricing discounts are also said to be available. More information may be found here.

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