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Tiny Monahans SBC runs Linux

Oct 18, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

[Updated Oct. 20] — Strategic Test is prepping a tiny processor module based on an 806MHz “Monahans P” processor. The 200-pin SODIMM-sized Triton-290 is expected to ship in November with a Linux 2.6-based development kit.

(Click for slightly larger picture of the tiny SBC)

The TRITON-290 is based on an Intel/Marvell PXA290 processor, which was codenamed “Monahans P” during its development. The tiny module has a 200-pin SODIMM connector said to bring out “most” of the PXA290's internal signals, with software and firmware configuration options allowing some user control over which signals are brought out.

Unfortunately, the Triton-290 is not electrically compatible with Strategic Test's earlier XScale processor modules based on the SODIMM-200 form factor, such as the Triton-270, Triton-250, and Triton-Eco.

Strategic Test claims that the Triton-290 will use only 2 mW in sleep mode, when used with 1.8-Volt ultra-low-power memory. The module includes a “programmable CPU power supply” said to work in conjunction with Intel's “Wireless SpeedStep Power Manager Technology” to ensure minimum power and maximum performance.

Board specifications and features, as listed by the company, include:

  • Processor — Intel/Marvel “Monahans P” PXA290, clocked at 806MHz
  • Memory:
    • 64 MB SDRAM
    • 16-bit A/A/D multiplexed external memory interface allows additional memory to be placed on the carrier board
  • Display:
    • LCD controller
  • Storage:
    • 128 MB Flash
  • I/O ports:
    • 3 x SSP (serial SCSI protocol)
    • 3 x async serial
    • USB host and client
    • IrDA
    • PWM, I2S, AC'97
    • Bluetooth-capable UART port
    • DS1339 RTC
  • Expansion — PCMCIA, CompactFlash, SD/MMC interfaces
  • Dimensions — 2.6 x 1 x 0.16 inches (67.6 x 26 x 4.2 mm)
  • Connector — DIMM-200, low profile
  • Power:
    • Single 3.3V to 5V power supply
    • On-board regulator for 3.3V peripherals
  • Operating temperature — -25 degree C to +85 deg. C
  • ROHS compliant (lead free)

Development kit

The tiny SBC is supported by a development kit that includes both a Linux 2.6.17 OS and a Windows CE 6.0 BSP. The kit also includes various cables, a power adapter, and a baseboard (pictured at right) with:

  • SODIMM 200 socket for the TRITON-290
  • CompactFlash Type II socket, selectable true-IDE or CF mode
  • SD/MMC-card socket
  • 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet port (DM9000)
  • UCB1400 audio codec and touchscreen controller
  • Connectors for 3 RS232 ports, USB Device and Host ports, VGA, and audio in/out
  • JTAG interface
  • DS1339 RTC
  • All pins of the TRITON socket are connected to flat cable headers
  • Daughter board slot addition of custom functions
  • 3.3V single supply design, 5V also available onboard
  • Transient protected power supply for automotive applications
  • Size: 3.9 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches (100 x 160 x 17mm)
  • Schematics included


The Triton-290 and Triton Development Kit-4 are expected to ship in November, pending Marvel's delivery of the PXA290. Pricing was not disclosed, but is expected to range between $350 and $400 in quantities of 1,000 or more, pending final pricing of the PXA290 and the Euro/USD exchange rate.

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