Posts Tagged ‘arm’

Gigabyte MP30-AR0 is an ARM Server Motherboard Powered by Applied Micro X-Gene 1 SoC

March 27th, 2015 13 comments

So far, it’s been pretty hard to buy ARM server motherboards for individuals, as most, if not all, products were reserved to corporate entities, but with Gigabyte MP30-AR0 server motherboard featuring the first generation Applied Micro X-Gene 64-bit ARM processor this might be about to change. [Update: As mentioned in comments I was probably wrong here, since the motherboard is listed on the Gigabyte’s B2B website, and not its B2C website].

MP30-AR0MP30-AR0 specifications:

  • Processor – AppliedMicro X-Gene 1 processor with 8 ARMv8 cores up to 2.4GHz (TDP 45W)
  • System Memory – 8 x DIMM slots, Single, dual rank UDIMM modules @ 1333/1600 NHz supported (up to 16GB)
  • Storage – 4x SATA III 6Gb/s ports + 1x SD card slot
  • Connectivity – 2x 10GbE SFP+ LAN ports (integrated), 2x GbE LAN ports (Marvell 88E1512), 1x 10/100/1000 management LAN
  • Graphics – Video Integrated in Aspeed AST2400. 2D Video Graphic Adapter with PCIe bus interface up to 1920×1200@60Hz 32bpp.
  • Expansion Slots – 2x PCIe x16 (Gen3 x8 bus) slots
  • Other Internal I/O
    • 1 x CPU fan header
    • 4x system fan headers
    • 1x USB 2.0 header
    • 2x Front panel headers
    • 1x APM strap header
    • 1x HDD back plane board header
    • 1x PMBUS header
    • 1x BMC JTAG header, 1x JTAG PLD header
    • 1x BIOS_H header
    • 1x Chassis intrusion header
    • 1x SATA DOM jumper, 1x BIOS recovery jumper, 1x ACK selection jumper
    • 1x IPMB connector
  • Rear I/Os
    • 2x USB 2.0, 1x Mini USB
    • 1x VGA
    • 1x Serial
    • 2x SFP+, 3x RJ45
    • 1x ID button with LED, 1x Power button with LED, 1x Status LED
  • Power – 1x 24-pin ATX main power connector; 2x 4-pin ATX 12V power connectors
  • Dimensions –  244 × 244 mm (microATX form factor)
MP30-AR0 Motherboard (Click to Enlarge)

MP30-AR0 Motherboard (Click to Enlarge)

The motherboard supports Ubuntu 14.04, and can also be configured with Avocent MergePoint IPMI 2.0 web interface.

Pricing information is still to be announced according to the motherboard page, and the company also integrated it into R120-P30 single socket 1U rackmount server with a 350W PSU and support for 4 hard drives.

Via Tom Cubie

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AMD “Hierofalcon” Octa-core ARM Cortex A57 Embedded Processors to Ship in H1 2015

March 26th, 2015 12 comments

AMD started using the ARM license(s) by embedding ARM Cortex A5 cores into some of their x86 processors to add TrustZone security, followed up with Opteron A1100 ARM Cortex A57 processors for servers, and now they’ll soon ship AMD Embedded R-Series SoCs featuring up to 8 Cortex A57 processors. The processors, codenamed “Hierofalcon”, target embedded data center applications, communications infrastructure, and industrial solutions.

AMD R-Series "Hierofalcon" SoC Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

AMD R-Series “Hierofalcon” SoC Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

AMD Embedded R-Series SoC will have the following key features:

  • Up to 8 ARM Cortex A57 cores with 4MB L2 cache (total)
  • Cache Coherent Network with 8MB L3 cache
  • Memory – 2x 64-bit DD3/4 channels with ECC up to 1866MHz; up to 128GB per CPU
  • I/Os:
    • Two 10GbE KR
    • 8x SATA 3 (6Gb/s) ports
    • 8 lanes PCIe Gen 3 (1×8, 2×4 or  1×4+2×2 configurations)
    • SPI, UART, I2C interfaces
  • System Control Processor – ARM Cortex A5 for TrustZone technology and 1Gb Ethernet port for system management
  • Crypto co-processor
  • Freedon Fabric
  • Manfacturing Process – 28 nm
  • Package – 27 x 27 mm SP1 BGA

The SoC is probably mostly targeting headless applications since there’s no embedded GPU, but you could still probably add a graphics card via PCIe if needed.

Hierofalcon SoCs are not exactly new since they were reported last year, but AMD Annual Report 2014 sheds some light to when solutions will be available:

In October 2014, we began sampling our first 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57-based AMD Embedded R-Series SoC, codenamed “Hierofalcon.” The AMD Embedded R-Series SoC platform is designed for embedded data center applications, communications infrastructure and industrial solutions and is expected to ship in the first half of 2015.

Via WCCFTech

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Categories: AMD Opteron, Processors Tags: amd, arm, cortex a57, server

Asus C201 Chromebook to be Powered by Rockchip RK3288 Processor

March 20th, 2015 2 comments

If you’ve been following this blog, you should know that Rockchip is working with Google on Chrome OS, so it was just a matter of time before a Rockchip powered Chromebook or Chromebox sees the light of the day. The first Rockchip RK3288 chromebook might end up being Asus C201 Chromebook with apparently a custom version of the Cortex A17 processor dubbed Rk3288-C, as OMG Chrome found out in Troxell’s 2015 brochure for K-12 education.

Asus_Chromebook_C201So far we only know a few details about the specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3288-C quad core Cortex A17 processor @ up to 1.8GHz
  • System Memory – 2 to 4 GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC
  • Display – 11.6″ display with 1366×768 resolution
  • Webcam – VGA resolution

The exact model name should be C201PA. Rockchip RK3288 should provide performance quite similar, and in some cases even better, to Intel Atom Z3735F, except possible when it comes to multimedia extensions, which may give an advantage to the Intel platform for tasks like video transcoding.

Troxell did not disclose pricing in the catalog, and instead asks customers to contact them for pricing. The company however says “the NEW C201 is Asus’s most affordable Chromebook to date”, so prices could be below $200. We can certainly hope to find out soon, as more RK3288 Chromebooks are announced.

Via Liliputing.

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Embedded Systems Conference 2015 Schedule – May 6-7, 2015

March 11th, 2015 No comments

The Embedded Systems Conference took the name “Design West” for a couple of years, but this year, there’s no mention of Design West, and the Embedded System Conference 2015 will take place in Boston, MA, US on May 6-7, 2015. The 2-day event will have a demo hall, and well as sessions divided into 8 tracks:Embedded_Systems_Conference_2015

  • Connected Devices and the IoT
  • Embedded Software Design
  • Hardware: Design, I/O and Interfacing
  • Prototyping
  • Embedded Systems Design
  • Software: Design, Languages, & Quality
  • Fantastical Theater
  • Teardowns

The full schedule has now been posted, and I’ll build a virtual schedule with some of the sessions provided.

Wednesday May 6, 2015

  • 8:00 – 8:45 – Understanding Google/Nest Thread by Michael Anderson, Chief Scientist, The PTR Group, Inc.

The IoT will live or die based on its connectivity. In examining existing wireless protocols, Google/Nest found most of them lacking. In order to address the needs for low-power wireless communications in the home, Thread was created. Thread is an implementation of an IEEE 802.15.4 mesh-based network that provides IP connectivity using existing radio silicon. Come to this session to get the latest information on Thread, its capabilities and characteristics and how you can use Thread in your next IoT device.

  • 9:00 – 9:45 – Best Practices for Designing Hardware APIs by Matt Haines, Communications Manager, Electric Imp

We are rapidly heading toward a world in which most of the objects we interact with on a daily basis will be connected to the Internet. What does this world look like, and how do we design Connected Things that will live in this world? This presentation will address the issue of API design; a topic often talked about in web development but just as often overlooked in conversations about the IoT. What should we be thinking about when we’re designing an API for a connected product? Why do our connected products even need APIs? What strategies and best practices can we apply from web API design?

  • 10:00 – 10:45 – Choosing Between Multicore CPU, GPU & FPGA Technology for Vision Applications by Julianne Kline, Systems Engineer, National Instruments

FPGA, GPU, and multi-core CPU processing will be compared and contrasted. Examples will be highlighted on when customers may want to use one technology over the other. A heavier focus will be placed on FPGA technology. This presentation will discuss recommendations for when to integrate FPGA technology into vision applications, such as for image pre-processing, high-speed control, or processing parallelism. Types of algorithms well-suited to FPGA technology will also be discussed, and resources for accessing existing FPGA IP will be provided.

  • 11:00 – 11:45 – Mob Programming for Embedded Systems Software by Nancy Van Schooenderwoert, President, Lean-Agile Partners, Inc.

Mob Programming is a practice where a whole software team works together, at one computer, one line of code at a time, outperforming their previous work significantly in both quality and volume. Impossible? Maybe except for the teams actually doing it now. One team in California began in 2011, and it’s been spreading since. This session tells the story of the first embedded systems teams to use MobProgramming.This session is a double experience report plus a demo: Speaker Simon Clements-Hawes gives his observations as an embedded systems team member starting to use MobProgramming, and Nancy describes how to get a team started in MobProgramming. Thru video clips, the team’s coding of a LeanKit interrogator in C# will be shown using Mob Programming of course!

  • 14:00 – 14:45 – Is There an Arduino Debugger in the House? by Guido Bonelli, President, Innovative Electronic Solutions LLC

Arduino development and the hardware debugging landscape OR THE LACK THEREOF! In this session you will delve into the Arduino developer’s tool chain from a hardware perspective. What hardware debugging solutions are currently available and how Dr.Duino the Arduino hardware debugger can reduce your debugging pain. We shall discuss the blissful highs of easy firmware development on a standard platform while then exploring the lowliest of lows when debugging the hardware/firmware interactions.

  • 15:00 – 15:45 – ARMv8 Kernel Internals by Arun Thomas, Senior Principal Engineer, BAE Systems

This talk is meant to be a quick start guide for embedded developers who are new to the ARMv8 architecture. I will discuss how operating systems interface with the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture and will cover the ARMv8 specific kernel internals of Linux and FreeBSD. I will discuss how booting, memory management, exceptions, and interrupts work using examples drawn from the kernel source.

Thursday May 7, 2015

  • 08:00 – 08:45 – Open Source Software: Tips for Avoiding Licensing Surprises by Jason Kunze, Attorney, Nixon Peabody LLP

A practical, quick hitting summary of the key considerations that anyone developing, purchasing or licensing software should consider. After a brief discussion of legal basics, practical concerns relating to open source software will be explained through the lens of actual cases in this developing area of law. The participant will gain a general understanding of:

  1. The intellectual property rights that may attach to software
  2. The competing ideologies behind open source software and how this drives licensing terms
  3. Some of the leading open source software licenses and their relative level of restrictions
  4. Pitfalls to recognize and avoid in relation to open source software
  • 09:00 – 09:45 – How NOT To Do Embedded Development! Practical Lessons From Real Projects That Almost Went Off A Cliff by Dave Nadler, President, Nadler & Associates

In an interactive (Socratic) discussion, we’ll review some real-world projects in trouble and how they were sorted. Projects include an automated toll-collection system, an aircraft collision-avoidance system (cool movie!), a manufacturing instrumentation product, and an integrated flight computer. We’ll cover a variety of coding and testing techniques used to get these projects on track.

  • 10:00 – 10:45 – Designing for the IoT with Lower Power and Way More Intelligence by Dana Myers, Channel Marketing Manager, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, Texas Instruments

As the Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way we live, do business and make decisions, it has also impacted engineers’ designs. This presentation will address the benefits and challenges of designing for the IoT in regards to low-power, integration and performance. This will let engineers weigh the tradeoffs of each connectivity architecture and provide a quick pathway to begin designing their products for the fast-growing IoT.

  • 11:00 – 11:45 – Squeezing the Most Out of Battery Life using ARM Cortex-M Processors by Jacob Beningo, Principal Consultant, Beningo Engineering

The proliferation of mobile devices has led to the need of squeezing every last micro-amp-hour out of batteries. Minimizing the energy profile of a micro-controller is not always straight forward. A combination of sleep modes, peripheral control and other techniques can be used to maximize battery life. In this session, strategies for optimizing micro-controller energy profiles will be examined which will extend battery life while maintaining the integrity of the system. The techniques will be demonstrated on an ARM Cortex-M processor.

  • 14:00 – 14:45 – Network Insecurity: Simple Hacks of ARM Cortex-M Devices by Jonny Doin, CEO, Grid Vortex Systems

The IoT is a very new domain of a very old activity: Embedded Systems Design, with a twist: connection to the most toxic of environments, the Internet. One of the main concerns of the IoT is how to cope with the massive amount of unanticipated network traffic and problems. Malformed packets, corrupted messages, specifically targeted attacks, buffer overflow exploits, spoofing, stuxnet emulation messages, denial of service, fake OTAP, and other exploits and attacks can transform your IoT devices into something you did not design for. This situation demands several good practices and programming concerns regarding network safety and security into even the smallest of things. Buffer integrity checks, full parameters domain verification, message authentication, data path integrity verification, and crypto security are among the needed elements of a safe and secure IoT system, and can be implemented on nearly any Embedded System. Examples of simple attacks on ARM Cortex-M devices will be presented, including RET2ZP and buffer attacks.

  • 15:00 – 15:45 – RTOS Smackdown: 7 RTOSes in 45 Minutes! by 7 speakers

There are a lot of Real Time Operating System (RTOS) options out there. Which one is right for your embedded system? Do you even need an RTOS at all? In this feisty presentation, one industry expert will argue that an RTOS is superfluous to requirements, while another will contend that an RTOS is an invaluable, “must-have” asset, even if your embedded application performs only a handful of tasks. After the dust dies down, proponents of seven of the leanest, meanest, coolest, hottest contenders in the RTOS multi-universe will take it in turns to explain why their RTOS is the bestest of the best.

If you’d like to attend the conference you can register online. Access to the demo hall is free, unless you come without registration, in which case you’d have to pay $75 for entry. A pass is required for the full conference and access to sessions with the following pricing:

  • SUPER EARLY BIRD (Ends January 30) – $799
  • EARLY BIRD (Ends March 6) – $949
  • ADVANCED (Ends May 1) – $1,149
  • REGULAR/ONSITE – $1,299

Seven vendors’ sponsored sessions can be attended with a free “demo hall” registration.

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ARM Cortex M0+ Based Arduino Zero Pro Board Gets Listed on

March 5th, 2015 3 comments

A new “Arduino Zero Pro” board has been listed on, which looks very similar to the Arduino Zero board announced last year, with Atmel ATSAMD21G18 ARM Cortex M0+ MCU, and that is still listed as “Coming Soon” on website. So it feels a little odd Arduino would release a board with basically the same features.

Arduino Zero ( vs Arduino Zero Pro ( - Click to Enlarge

Arduino Zero ( vs Arduino Zero Pro ( – Click to Enlarge

Arduino Zero Pro key specifications are indeed exactly the same:

  • Microcontroller – Atmel ATSAMD21G18 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32 KB SRAM, 256 KB flash, up to 16KB EEPROM (By emulation). 48-pin LQFP package.
  • Digital I/O Pins – 14, with 12 PWM and UART
  • Analog Input Pins – 6, including 5 12bits ADC channels and one 10 bits DAC
  • DC Current per I/O Pin – 7 mA
  • USB – 2x micro USB ports
  • Debugging – USB via Atmel’s Embedded Debugger (EDBG) on-board debugger, and JTAG
  • Misc – reset button, 5 LEDs (Tx, Rx, L, On, Debug)
  • Operating Voltage – 3.3V

If you look closer at the boards there are some small changes including different passive components, and SWD header is soldered, but all connector placements are the same. So what is going on here?

HackaDay has the explanation, and this is a case of Arduino vs Arduino, as there seems to be a rift in the original Arduino team, split into Arduino LLC (US) and Arduino Srl (Italy), both fighting for the Arduino trademark, and having different views about manufacturing. The US company ( website) wants to license manufacturing of the Arduino boards to third parties, while the Italian company ( wanted to keep manufacturing in Italy and list the company on the stock market.

So from a technical perspective Arduino Zero and Arduino Zero Pro have just the same functionalities, but it’s just the money that apparently flows to different parties. We’ll have to wait for the outcome of the court case to find out who comes on top, or if the companies can find a win-win compromise.

Arduino Zero Pro is said to be available now, but I could only find it on little known website Semaf Electronics for $47.95, and using Arduino Zero pictures.

Thanks to Freire for the tip.

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Xilinx Introduces Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC with Cortex A53 & R5 Cores, Ultrascale FPGA

March 5th, 2015 1 comment

Xilinx Zynq-7000 dual core Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC family was announced in 2012, and provides a wide range of SoC with features and price range, and led to low cost ARM + FPGA such as ZedBoard, and more recently Parallela and MYiR Z-Turn boards. The company unveiled its successor with Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC providing five times more performance per watt, with four ARM Cortex A53 cores, two ARM Cortex R5 real-time MCU cores, a Mali-400MP GPU, an UltraScale FPGA fabric manufactured with 16nm FinFET+ process.

Zynq_Ultrascale+_MPSoCThere are two main sub-families in Zynq Ultrascale+ MPSoC for “smarter control & vision”, and “smarter network”. Both share the same processing systems (CPU, GPU, MCU, Peripherals, Security), but the networking family has beefier FPGAs,  and lacks the H.264/H.265 video processing unit found in the control & vision version:

  • Processing Systems
    • Processor – Quad ARM Cortex A53 MPCore up to 1.3GHz
    • Real-time Processor – Dual ARM Cortex-R5 MPCore up to 600MHz
    • GPU – Mali-400MP2 up to 466MHz
    • External Memory I/F – DDR4, LPDDR4, DDR3, DDR3L, LPDDR3, 2x Quad-SPI, NAND
    • High-Speed Connectivity – 2x USB3.0, SATA 3.0, DisplayPort, 4x Tri-mode Gigabit Ethernet, PCIe Gen2x4
    • General Connectivity – 2xUSB 2.0, 2x SD/SDIO, 2x UART, 2x CAN 2.0B, 2x I2C, 2x SPI, 4x 32b GPIO
    • Security – AES, RSA, and SHA
    • AMS System Monitor – 10-bit, 1 MSPS– Temperature, Voltage, and Current Monitor
  • Programmable Logic
    • FPGA
      • Control & Vision (C&V) – Up to 485K Effective LEs, 405K Logic Cells, 1,728 DSP Slices, 6.2 Mb distributed RAM,  11.2 Mb BlockRAM, 27 Mb UltraRAM
      • Networking (N) – Up to 1,095K Effective LEs, 920K Logic Cells, 3,528 DSP Slices, 11 Mb distributed RAM,  34.6 Mb BlockRAM, 36 Mb UltraRAM
    • PCI Express Interface – Gen4 x8;  Gen3 x16
    • 1x Video Codec Unit (C&V only) – H.264/H.265 up to 4Kx2Kp60 or 8Kx4Kp15
    • Serial Transceiver – C&V: 28 up to 16 Gb/s; N: 76 up to 33 Gb/s
    • Analog Mixed Signal (AMS) – System Monitor—10-bit, 1 MSPS ADCs with 17 Differential Inputs, Power supply line voltage monitoring & JTAG, PMBUS, I2C support

The processing systems and programmable logic are interfaced via 128-bit AMBA AXI4 interfaces.


Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

There are 5 parts for Control and Vision (XCZU2, XCZU3, XCZU4, XCZU5, and XCZU7), and 6 parts (XCZU6, XCZU9, XCZU11, XCZU15, XCZU1 and XCZU19) for Network, and even more if you include different packaging options. SKU details and nomenclature can be found in the product selection guide.

The Cortex A53 cores will run Linux, Cortex R5 cores FreeRTOS, and design tools include Vivado Design Suite, Xilinx SDK, and PetaLinux SDK. Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoCs can be used for connected control/machine-to-machine applications for manufacturing, 2D/3D vision application (video-processing, object detection…), wired and wireless networking, and data centers.

I could not find any availability information from Xilinx, but LinuxGizmos reports that “early access to the UltraScale+ processors starts in the second quarter, with samples coming later this year, and volume production due in 2016″.

Visit Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC page for more information.

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MYiR Tech Announces Low Cost Rico and Z-turn Boards Powered by TI AM437x and Xilinx Zynq-7010 SoCs

March 3rd, 2015 3 comments

Shenzhen based MYIR Tech has just launched two new single board computers with Rico board featuring Texas Instruments Sitara AM437x ARM Cortex A9 industrial processor, and Z-Turn board based on Xilinx Zynq-7010 ARM Cortex A9 + FPGA SoC. Both boards sell for $99 in single quantity.

Rico Board


  • SoC – Texas Instruments AM4379 single core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0GHz with PowerVR SGX530 GPU, and 4x PRU @ 200 MHz. Other AM437x on request.
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 (Options: 256MB or 1GB)
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC, 256 or 512 MB NAND flash (reserved), 16MB QSPI flash, 32KB EEPROM, and micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI and LCD interfaces (LCD connector located on bottom of the board).
  • Connectivity  – 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet
  • USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 device port, 1x USB 2.0 host post
  • Camera – 2x 30-pin camera interface
  • Debugging – 1x debug serial port, 1x 20-pin JTAG interface, 1x 14-pin JTAG interface
  • Expansion Headers – 2x 40-pin headers with access to 2x SPI, 2x I2C, 2x CAN, 4x UARTs, 1x MMC, and 8x ADC
  • Misc – 4x buttons (reset, power, and 2x user), 5x LEDs (reset, power, and 3x user), boot selection jumpers
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A power barrel
  • Dimensions – 100 x 65 x 1.6  mm (8-layer PCB)
  • Temperature Range – 0 to 70°C

Rico_Board_DescriptionThe company provides a Linux 3.14.0 SDK for the board with the source code for the bootloaders (SPL and U-boot), the kernel and relevant drivers, and buildroot build system, as well as a complete hardware development kit that includes a Rico Board, various cables, a 4GB micro SD card, a 5V/2A power adapter, and an optional 7-inch LCD Module with capacitive touch screen. Source code is provided with a CD that comes with the board.

You can find more information and order the board or kit on MYiR Tech Rico Board product page. The kit sells for $139, and you’ll need to add $99 for the 7″ touchscreen display.

Z-Turn Board

MYS-XC7010 / MYS-XC7020 boards specifications:

  • SoC – Xilinx XC7Z010-1CLG400C (Zynq-7010) with two ARM Cortex A9 cores @ 667 MHz, Artix-7 FPGA fabric with 28K logic cells, 17,600 LUTs, 80 DSP slices. Zilinx Zynq-7020 optional.
  • System Memory – 1 GB of DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 512MB, 32-bit)
  • Storage – 16MB SPI flash, 512 NAND flash (reserved), and a micro SD slot
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet
  • USB – 1x mini USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Debugging – USB-UART debug interface, 14-pin JTAG interface
  • User I/O (via two SMT female connector on the bottom of the board) – 90/106 user I/O (7010/7020), configurable as up to 39 LVDS pairs, or I/Os such as SPI. I2C, LCD, camera, CAN, Ethernet, etc…
  • Sensors – 3-axis acceleration sensor and temperature sensor
  • Misc – CAN interface, 2x buttons (reset and user), boot selection jumpers, 5x LEDs, 1x Buzzer
  • Power – 5V via USB, or 5V/2V power barrel
  • Dimensions – 102 x 63 x 1.6 mm (8-layer PCB)

A Linux 3.15.0 SDK is provided with gcc 4.6.1, a binary bootloader, the source code for the kernel and drivers, and a minimal ramdisk and Ubuntu Desktop 12.04 root file systems.

MYiR Tech newsletter claims the board sells for $99, but on the product page, you’ll only find a complete kit with the board, cables, a 4GB micro SD card, a power supply, and CD for source code and documentation for $139, the same price as the TI Sitara kit. Z-Turn board is somewhat similar to the $189 ($125 for education) ZYBO board, so it’s probably the most cost-effective Zynq board available to date.

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Freescale Kinetis based Mbed IoT Starter Kit Ethernet Edition Connects to IBM IoT Cloud

February 24th, 2015 No comments

ARM, IBM and Freescale have jointly announced Mbed IoT Start Kit – Ethernet Edition at Embedded World 2015 that consists of  a Freescale Kinetis Cortex M4 mbed-enabled development board and a sensor IO application shield that interface with IBM Bluemix cloud platform.


Freescale FRDM-K64F Freedom development board specifications:

  • MCU – Freescale Kinetis K64 (MK64FN1M0VLL12) ARM Cortex M4 MCU @ 120 MHz with 1 MB flash memory, 256 KB RAM
  • External Storage – SDHC slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – Dual role USB interface with micro-B USB connector
  • Sensors – FXOS8700CQ accelerometer and magnetometer
  • Headers – Arduino R3 compatible I/O connectors
  • Misc – RGB LED, two user push buttons
  • Power Supply – OpenSDAv2 USB, Kinetis K64 USB, and external source


The board also features a programmable OpenSDAv2 debug circuit supporting the CMSIS-DAP Interface software that provides a mass storage device (MSD) flash programming interface, or a CMSIS-DAP debug interface, or a virtual serial port interface. The board also support RF and Bluetooth add-on module but these are not included in the IoT kit, and instead a shield is provided with a 128×64 graphics LCD, two potentiometers, a joystick button, a PWM connected speaker, a 3-axis accelerometer, an RGB LED (connected via PWM), and a temperature sensor. A Xbee socket can be used to connect a Zigbee or WiFi module.

Getting started with the board is very easy. Connect the two boards, add an Ethernet cable, and a USB connection to your PC. The board will show as a storage device, and you can open IBM.html file to start the user interface in your web browser and monitor and play with the sensor and other hardware parts.

Mbed_IBM_Cloud_Web_InterfaceDevelopment is done via Eclipse and Mbed SDK. Pricing and avaibility have not been disclosed so far, but as reference FRDM-K64F board can be purchased separately for $35, and mbed Application Shield for 31 GBP exc. VAT, so the kit could go for around $80.

Further details can be found on mbed’s IBM Ethernet Kit page as well as a dedicated page on IBM website also including hardware design files.

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