Posts Tagged ‘bsp’

U-Boot & Linux BSP for STMicro STM32 Discovery Board

February 20th, 2014 3 comments

If you want to run Linux on STM32 Discovery board, more exactly STM32F429 Discovery board, it’s now possible thanks to Emcraft Systems’ BSP for STM32F429 Discovery Board. It will only work on that particular version of the discovery board as it features 64Mbit external SDRAM, which is required for uClinux, and missing on other STM32 Discovery boards.


You can either get u-boot and (uC)Linux from the company’s github account which contains the required patches, but lacks complete documentation, and a default config file for the kernel for example, or purchase a BSP ($33) with 3-month support, and pre-built u-boot and Linux binaries. There’s also publicly available documentation explaining how to flash the bootloader and the kernel among other things, and links to relevant external resources, without the need to spend any money.

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Emcraft Systems Announces Freescale Vybrid VF6 SoM With Cortex A5 CPU and Cortex M4 MCU

August 7th, 2013 No comments

Emcraft Systems has recently announced Vybrid VF6 SoM, a System-on-Module powered by Freescale Vybrid VF6 dual core Cortex A5/Cortex M4 SoC with 128MB DDR3, and 512MB Flash, as well as a starter kit composed of VF6 SoM and a carrier board.


Emcraft VF6 System-on-Module specifications:

  • SoC – Freescale Vybrid VF6 dual-core microprocessor with the ARM Cortex-A5 (up to 500 MHz) and Cortex-M4 cores (up to 167 MHz). Either MVF61NN151CMK50 (No Security), or MVF61NS151CMK50 (with Security).
  • System Memory – 128 MBytes DDR3 SDRAM;
  • Storage – Up to 512 MBytes NAND Flash, 32 MBytes dual QSPI Flash;
  • Connectivity – Two 10/100 Ethernet interfaces with L2 switch;
  • External interfaces using two 80-pin 0.4 mm-pitch connectors:
    • Two USB 2.0 OTG interfaces
    • Serial console interface at the UART CMOS levels;
    • JTAG interface to the Vybrid VF6
    • TFT LCD interface
    • Synchronous audio interface (SAI) supporting I2S, AC97 and CODEC/DSP interfaces
    • Multiple serial digital (UART, SPI, I2C, CAN, SDHC) and analog (12-bit ADC, 12-bit DAC) interfaces of the Vybrid VF6 MCU
  • Misc – Watchdog Timer (WDT), Real-Time Clock (RTC)
  • Dimensions – Compact mezzanine module (30 mm x 57 mm)
  • Power Supply – single +3.3 V
VF6-SOM Functional Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

VF6-SOM Functional Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Emcraft supports Linux as an operating system for the Vybrid Cortex-A5 processor core and MQX as an RTOS for the Cortex-M4 processor core. The company provides a starter kit guide publicly, as well as a software development environment (U-Boot firmware, Linux kernel, busybox and other target components, a Linux-hosted cross-development environment for both Linux and MQX, and a framework for developing multiple projects including sample projects), and pre-built Linux and MQX images for download to their customers in VF6-SOM software page.

VF6 SOM Starter kit is composed of VF6 SOM board, TWR-VF6-SOM-BSB baseboard, and a Mini-USB cable UART/power interface. It can be used in standalone mode, or as part of Freescale Tower system.

VF6-SOM Starter Kit

VF6-SOM Starter Kit

VF6 SOM is available now and pricing starts at $49 per unit in 1k unit quantities for the low-end configuration (128 MB RAM, 128 MB NAND Flash, 1x Ethernet PHY). The starter kit is available for $179. You may find more information on Emcraft VF6-SOM page.

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Freescale i.MX6 Based Server Systems – Cornfed CONSERVER and Ventana Network Processing Boards

July 31st, 2013 17 comments

I usually spend most of my time writing about low cost hardware in this blog, but in this post, I’ll deal with higher-end and more expensive devices based on Freescale i.MX6 with Cornfed CONSERVER Server System and corresponding CONSERVER motherboard, as well as Ventana Network Processing Boards.


Conserver is a low power high-performance ARM processor server system based on Freescale i.MX6 with 4GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and SATA.

Cornfed_CONSERVERThe hardware specifications are as follows:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX6Q Quad Core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz
  • System Memory – 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – ?? GB NAND Flash + 1x SATA2 connector for HDD/SSD
  • Connectivity – 1x Gb Ethernet port
  • USB – 4x USB Host ports
  • Video Output – 1x HDMI port
  • Misc – RS-232 Serial port
  • Power Supply – 35W Internal AC Power Supply
  • Dimensions – Mini-ITX form factor

The system is preloaded with Ubuntu, and can be customized with wireless connectivity, or DC power supply, and mounted via DIN rail or Vesa mounting system.

Cornfed CONSERVER Motherboard (Click to Enlarge)

Cornfed CONSERVER Motherboard (Click to Enlarge)

You may think “This is the system I’ve been waiting for!”, until you actually have to pay the bill, as CONSERVER server system costs $649. If you only need the motherboard, you can get it for $449. There’s also just a 30-day warranty… [Update: The price has been lowered to $579 for a full system with 4 GB DDR3 and a 1 TB 7200 RPM hard drive, the motherboard is now available for $349 with power supply, and warranty has been extended to 60 days]. Further information is available at

Ventana Network Processing Boards

Ventana network processing boards by Gateworks Corp are a bit different as they offer one or more Gigabit Ethernet ports, mini PCie slots, and they are industrial grade boards. All the six SBC computers for network processing are based on Freescale i.MX6 processors, but the low-end model starts with a dual-core processor @ 800MHz with one mini-PCIe slot, and the best performing model features a quad-core processor @ 1GHz board with 6 mini-PCIe slots, and high definition video support.

Ventana GW5410 (Click to Enlarge)

Ventana GW5410 (Click to Enlarge)

The six boards can be differentiated as follows:

  • GW5100 – i.MX6 Dual @ 800MHz, 512MB RAM (default), 1x GbE, 1x Mini-PCIe, 35 x 100mm
  • GW5200 – i.MX6 Dual @ 800MHz, 512MB RAM (default), 1x GbE, 1x mSATA, 2x Mini-PCIe, 70 x 100mm
  • GW5300 – i.MX6 Quad @ 1GHz, 1GB RAM (default), 1x GbE, 1x mSATA, 4x mini-PCIe, 105 x 100mm
  • GW5310 – Same as GW5300 but without video/audio support
  • GW5400 – i.MX6 Quad @ 1GHz, 1GB RAM (default), 1x GbE, 1x mSATA, 6x mini-PCIe, 140 x 100mm
  • GW5410 – Same as GW5410 but without video/audio support

and they share the following specifications:

  • SoC- Freescale i.MX6 Dual @ 800MHz, or i.MX6 Quad @ 1GHz
  • System Memory – 512 MB to 2GB (GW5100 and GW5200) or 4GB (for Others boards)
  • Storage – 256 MB Flash upgradeable to 2GB (all) + mSATA and microSD card slot (except GW5100)
  • Cellular Support – Built-in modem for GW5100, 1x SIM Socket for GW5200, 2x for GW53x0, and 3x for GW54x0
  • Mini-PCIe slots – 1x for GW5100, 2x for  GW5200, 4x for GW53x0, 6x for GW54x0. More with expansion board.
  • Connectivity – 1 to 2 Gb Ethernet ports. More with expansion board.
  • Video/Audio ports – HDMI out, CVBS in (All models), GW5200 adds LVDS out and mic/speaker, GW53x0 boards add HDMI in and CVBS out on top of that, and GW54x0 boards also support component output.
  • I/O ports:
    • Serial – TTL, RS232 and RS485 (exact configuration depends on model)
    • Digital I/O
    • USB – 1x OTG (all) + 1x USB Host on GW5300 and greater
  • Misc – RTC with battery,  voltage & temperature monitor; 3D accelerometer/magnetometer (except for GW5100), optional GPS receiver, PoE support, etc…
  • Power Supply – 8 to 42V for GW5100, 8 to 60V for others.
  • Typical power consumption – 2 to 5 Watts depending on model
  • Operating Temperature – -40 to +85C

The company provides OpenWrt and OpenEmbedded Linux Board Support Packages (BSP) for the boards.

Ventana GW5400 and GW5410 (Without audio/video part) Block Diagram

Ventana GW5400 and GW5410 (Without audio/video part) Block Diagram

If you feel you don’t have enough ports such as mini-PCIe slots or Ethernet ports, the company provides the following expansion modules:

  • GW16081 Mini-PCIe Expansion Module – 7x Mini-PCIe. LinuxGizmos reports 3x boards can be stacked to get 24x extra Mini-PCIe slots
  • GW16082 Mini-PCI Expansion Module – 4x Mini-PCI
  • GW16083 GbE Expansion Module – 4x Gigabit Ethernet
  • GW16084 Fiber SFP Expansion Module – 2x SFP Fiber cage

Ventana GW5400 and GW5410 boards and corresponding development kits are available now, GW5100/GW5200 will be available in Q3, and GW5300/5310 boards in Q4.  GW16081 mini-PCIe, and GW16082 Mini-PCI expansion boards appear to be available now, whereas Gb Ethernet and Fiber expansions modules will be available in Q4. Pricing can be provided upon request. You can checkout Gateworks Ventana products table for further details.

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$55 Phytec Cosmic Boards Feature Freescale Vybrid SoCs

July 25th, 2013 No comments

Freescale Vybrid SoC family has been announced at the beginning of last year, with the low-end VF3xx and mid-end VF4xx featuring a single Cortex A5 CPU, and the higher-end VF6xx and VF7xx providing a multi-core processor with Cortex A5 and Cortex M4 cores, for respectively performance, and real-time/low power tasks. Phytec has just announced the Cosmic board featuring Freescale Vybrid VF6xx single core Cortex A5 processor, and Cosmic+ board with Vybrid VF6xx Cortex A5 + Cortex M4 processor. Both boards are comprised of a baseboard coupled with a Phytec phyCORE-Vybrid system-on-module (SoM), and can be used for Linux and MQX (Freescale RTOS) development.


Cosmic / Cosmic+ boards specifications:

  • Processor
    • VF5xx ARM Cortex-A5 @ 500MHz (Cosmic)
    • VF6xx ARM Cortex-A5 @ 500MHz + ARM Cortex-M4 @ 167 MHz (Cosmic+)
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – 512 MB NAND + micro SD slot
  • USB – HS USB OTG / HS USB Host
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • Video Output – Micro HDMI
  • Misc – 4x User Buttons, 4x User LEDs
  • Debugging- RS-232, OpenSDA Debug Circuit (Cosmic+ only)
  • Expansion – 2x 60-pin Expansion Connectors
  • Power – 5V power adapter or USB


Cosmic board comes with phyCORE-Vybrid/VF5xx SoM, a Carrier Board, a micro SD Card with Linux software demo, a Linux BSP with full source, a free Timesys LinuxLink Pro subscription, and a micro USB cable.

Cosmic+ board comes with phyCORE-Vybrid/VF6xx SoM, a carrier board (with OpenSDA debug board) , a micro SD Card with Linux and MQX software demo, Linux and MQX BSP with full source code, a free Timesys LinuxLink Pro subscription , an ARM Development Suite (DS-5) license for a 1yr with 256k limit, and 2x Micro USB cables.

The company is also working on LCD and WiFi add-on expansion modules. The company will eventually provide a getting started guide (via their Wiki) and the hardware manual publicly for the boards. Support may also be available via their community.

Cosmic board can be pre-ordered for $55, Cosmic+ board for $65, and shipping is expected for September 2013. You can find more information and/or pre-order the boards on Phytec SBC page.

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Freescale SABRE Lite i.MX6 Development Board Unboxing, Wandboard Quad Comparison, and Quick Start Guide

July 15th, 2013 5 comments

Freescale SABRE Lite is a development board powered by i.MX6 Quad processor with 1GB RAM, SATA, GbE Ethernet, and more. You can get SABRE Lite specifications in my first post about the board. I recently participated in Element14′s “brainteaser” competition for the 4th birthday of their community, where the company offered 9 SABRE Lite development kit to randomly selected participants, and I got lucky. The board can be purchased for $179 from Element14 (MCIMX6Q-SL).

I’ll start by showing what in the package, followed by a side-by-side comparison with Wandboard Quad, and show how to getting started by following the Quick Start Guide provided with the board.

SABRE Lite i.MX6 Development Kit Unboxing

I received the board about 5 days after I provided my address in a large staple carton box with a few goodies.


Beside SABRE Lite devkit, the package comes with Element14′s T-Shirt (not my size), double walled tumbler, and  plasters, probably in case I get hurt handling the board… You’d have to assume they don’t send these with all orders… :)

Let’s see what’s we’ve got in the kit.

Sabre Lite i.MX 6 Development Kit Package Content (Click to Enlarge)

Sabre Lite i.MX 6 Development Kit Package Content (Click to Enlarge)

From top left to bottom right:

  • Custom serial cable: 6-pin female to dual DB9 male connectors
  • Sabre Lite DVD with documentation, hardware design files, as well as binaries, tools, and source code for Android and Linux
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Cross Ethernet cable
  • DB9 female to DB9 female serial cable
  • Micro USB to USB cable
  • 5V/4A power supply
  • SABRE Lite i.MX6 Quad board

I’ve taken a screenshot of the DVD directory structure if you are interested, but you may want to download those from instead, to make sure you’ve got the very last version.


Let’s have a closer look at the board itself.

Top of SABRE Lite PCB (Click to Enlarge)

Top of SABRE Lite PCB (Click to Enlarge)

At the top we’ve got Freescale i.MX 6Quad SoC, 2 Hynix RAM chips, HDMI output, 3 USB port, and Gigabit Ethernet port, headphone and microphone jacks, as well as several connectors: J19 and J21 for SATA, J14 and J7 for GPIOs, J23 for PCIe, J17 for UART, a CAN interface, a JTAG connector, as well as LVDS (J6) and RGB (J15) connectors.

The microSD card slot is populated with a 4GB micro SD card (included with kit) pre-loaded with TimeSys Linux. SW1 switch, close the EMBEST white marking, allows you load U-Boot from NOR-SPI or USB OTG. It also allows you to enter serial download mode for the MFG Tool.

Bottom of SABRE Lite PCB (Click to Enlarge)

Bottom of SABRE Lite PCB (Click to Enlarge)

At the bottom of the board, we’ve got 2 more Hynix RAM chips, an SD card slot, as well as MIPI, Camera, and a Boot Configuration (J12) connector. I’m not exactly sure what the latter is for, and I could not find any useful information.


Freescale SABRE Lite vs Wandboard Quad

AFAIK, there are now four low cost Freescale i.MX6 Quad boards available or soon-to-be available:

Nitrogen6X is very similar, and even (mostly) software compatible, to the SABRE Lite board, but the connectors are placed along one edge of the board, which makes it more appropriate for casings and it may be used in production, whereas SABRE Lite is reserved for development only. UDOO Quad with i.MX6 and an Atmel MCU is a very interesting board, but since it’s not available just yet, I’ll focus the comparison between Wandboard Quad and SABRE Lite.

SABRE Lite Wandboard Quad
SoC Freescale I.MX 6Quad Freescale I.MX 6Quad
Internal Storage 2MB SPI NOR Flash N/A
Storage Options SATA
Micro SD slot
SD slot
2x micro SD slot
Ethernet 1Gb Ethernet 1Gb Ethernet
Wi-Fi No (Via USB Dongle) Integrated
Bluetooth No (Via USB Dongle) Integrated
USB 2x USB 2.0 Host
1x micro USB OTG
1x USB 2.0
1x micro USB OTG
Video Out HDMI
Audio Ports Mic In
Headphone Jack
Mic In
Line In
Line Out
Debugging Serial
JTAG (on EDM module, connector not soldered)
Camera Interface CSI-2
RTC Yes Yes
CAN Yes No (might be accessible by locating CAN test pads on the EDM module)
PCIe Yes No (might be accessible by locating PCI-e test pads on EDM module)
Heatsink No Yes
Enclosure Not available Available
Accessories Included 5V/4A Power Supply (WT0504000)
Custom Serial Cable
DB9 Serial Cable
Micro USB to USB cable
Cross Ethernet cable
DVD for doc and software
4GB micro SD
Wi-Fi antenna
Operating Systems Android 4.0.4 and Jelly Bean
Ubuntu 11.10
TimeSys Linux
Yocto BSP
Windows Embedded Compact 7
Android 4.2.2
Ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04
Yocto BSP (soon)
Dimensions 89 x 89 mm 95×95 mm
Price $179 $129

The Wandboard Quad is cheaper, comes with 2GB RAM, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, S/PDIF optical output, an extra Line In interface, and an enclosure is available for purchase. On the other SABRE Lite features a 2MB NOR flash, one extra USB port, connectors for LVDS and RGB video output, a JTAG interface, a parallel interface, a CAN interface and necessary cables and accessories to get started. When you consider all accessories that come with SABRE Lite, the $50 price difference with the Wandboard Quad does not look that much anymore.

On the software side, Element14 SABRE Lite focuses on TimeSys LinuxLink (the board might be sponsored by them, as it costs $199 from other vendors), but it can also support Android 4.0.4 and Ubuntu 11.10. Wanboard Quad also supports  Android and Ubuntu (newer versions, but beta), however since the board is newer, support may not be as good (TBC). SABRE Lite is already supported by Freescale Yocto BSP, and Wandboard Quad not yet, but since Wandboard Dual/Solo are already supported, I’m pretty sure Wandboard Quad will soon be. Boundary Devices has also posted several tutorials for the SABRE Lite and Nitrogen6X boards on their blog.

So if you want an ARM Linux or Android platform for an application where you just need to connect a USB keyboard and mouse, and an HDMI monitor, Wandboard should be better, but if you need to develop software to interface with external hardware such as an LVDS display or a MIPI camera (e.g. e-CAM50IMX6), SABRE Lite is the way to go.

SABRE Lite Quick Start Guide

The first boot with SABRE Lite is very easy. No need to prepare anything, it’s basically plug and plug play, as it comes with a 4GB micro SD card pre-loaded with (TimeSys) Linux. Just connect the custom serial cable to J17, and use the cross serial cable to connect directly to your computer or via a USB to Serial adapter if your computer does not provide a COM port. I bought the one below (Blue) from DealExtreme for $3.77.


Finally connect the power supply, and the board boots in about a minute (See boot log). I wanted to check the desktop environment used, if any, so I connected an HDMI cable, and to my surprise this is what I saw.


I could see 4 slides looping all the time, as it was just a continuous advertisement. After plugging a USB keyboard and mouse (the latter was never recognized), I could actually it was a demo program with access to 3D demos, Qt vector deformation and path stroking demo, and a “movie theater multimedia demo”. As shown in the picture above, you can try to build your own BSP/SDK with TimeSys. But if you prefer using other solutions, you can always build your own distro with Freescale i.MX6 Yocto BSP, or install an Ubuntu or Android image for the board.

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Intrinsyc Announces DragonBoard 8074 Devkit Based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 APQ8074 Processor

July 2nd, 2013 2 comments

Intrinsyc Software has announced the availability of a new DragonBoard Development Kit composed of a Qseven Open-Q 8074 SoM powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 APQ8074 processor for Android and embedded Linux development, and a mini-ITX carrier board. The kit is designed to help with developing applications such as ruggedized tablets, digital signage, applications for government/public safety, health care, robotics, wearable displays and video streaming/conferencing.

Intrinsyc Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Development BoardSpecifications of DragonBoard 8074 Kit:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (APQ8074) quad core Krait 400 CPU @ 2.3 GHz with Adreno 330 GPU and Hexagon v5 QDSP6 @ 600MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 16GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot + 2x SATA
  • Display – qHD LCD capacitive touchscreen
  • Connectivity:
    • Gigabit Ethernet
    • Wi-Fi 802.11n/ac
    • Bluetooth 4.0
    • GNSS (GPS and GLONASS)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB – 2x USB 3.0 + 2x USB 2.0 +  micro-AB USB OTG
    • Video Output – HDMI
    • Audio – 5.1 channel, 3.5mm headset jack and microphone
    • Education connector
  • Camera (optional) – Camera (up to 30MP)
  • Sensors (optional) – Compass, gyro, accelerometer
  • Power – Power supply, optional PMIC with battery backup
DragonBoard 8074 Kit Block Diagram (SoM + Carrier Board)

DragonBoard 8074 Kit Block Diagram (SoM + Carrier Board)

In their press release, Intrinsyc mentions the DragonBoard 8074 kit will support Android 4.2, and Open-Q 8074 Android or Linux. That does not make any sense, as I understand DragonBoard 8074 is based on Open-Q 8074, unless it simply means DragonBoard 8074 kit comes pre-loaded with Android 4.2, or Linux does not fully support the peripherals on the carrier board.

Beside the carrier board and SoM, the kit includes a power supply, a Quick Start Guide / License Agreement, access to documentation and platform BSP, as well as the optional peripheral kits for camera and sensors.

The DragonBoard 8074 is available now for $499 on Intrinsyc Store. Bear in mind this is currently an early adapter release, which according to the company means “Binaries, documentation, BSP source code and support are NOT available”, and general availability will be in mid-July. The QSeven SoM does not appear to be available in their store, but an earlier version with Qualcomm APQ8060A costs $249 per piece (MOQ: 10). Further information is available on DragonBoard 8074 page.

The platform will be demonstrated at the Wearable Tech Conference (New York City, July 24-25) and Qualcomm’s Uplinq 2013 wireless ecosystem conference (San Diego, September 3-5).

Via Linuxgizmos

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F&S armStoneA9 is a Pico-ITX Board Powered by Freescale i.MX 6 with up to 4GB RAM

June 19th, 2013 No comments

F&S Elektronik Systeme GmbH has announced the armstoneA9, a pico-ITX board featuring Freescale i.MX 6 Solo/Dual or Quad Cortex A9 processor with up to 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, and 128 MB flash (1GB+ flash optional) that available in both commercial and industrial temperature range.

armStoneA9Here are the specifications of the board:

  • SoC – Freescale i.MX 6 Cortex-A9 (Quad-/ Dual-/ Single-Core) @ 800 MHz to 1 GHz with Vivante GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB (standard version) to 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – 128MB Flash (1GB+ optional), micro-SD Card Slot, and SATA interface
  • Display:
    • up to SVGA (800 x 600, 65536 colors) via RGB
    • up to WUXGA (1920 x 1200, 18Bit/ 24Bit) via 2x LVDS
    • up to FullHD (1920 x 1080, 24Bit) via HDMI
  • Touch Panel – 4-wire, analogue resistive and PCAP-Touch Interface via I2C
  • Interfaces:
    • 1x 10/100/1000MBit Ethernet
    • 3x Serial (2x RS232, 1x TTL 3.3V Level)
    • 1x USB 2.0 Host, 1x USB 2.0 Device
    • 1x CAN 2.0
    • 1x I2C, 1x SPI
    • 1x Audio-Line IN/OUT/MIC
    • 1x miniPCIe
    • Up to 66 digital I/O
  • Power Supply – 5V or 8-14V DC / ±5%, 4W typical power consumption
  • Temperature Range – 0°C – +70°C (commercial) or -25°C – +85°C (industrial)
  • Dimensions – 100mm x 72mm x 15mm
  • Weight – 40g

The company already supports Linux 3.0.35 for the board (uboot, BSP, interface drivers, Qt, Streamer) and Ubuntu, and Windows Embedded Compact 7 (WEC 7) should be available soon with the bootloader, kernel, SDK, and interface drivers. armStoneA9-SKIT is the starter kit for development which includes the board, cables, a micro SD card, and access to the download area of the site with software and documentation.

The standard versions of the board include 1GB RAM, 128MB flash, but the company can provides customized version, for example with 4GB RAM, for order of 100 units or more. I could not find pricing nor availability information for the board. Further details may be found on F&S armStoneA9 page.

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