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Posts Tagged ‘development kit’

AMD Announces Availability of their $3,000 Opteron A1100-Series 64-bit ARM Development Kit

July 31st, 2014 3 comments

AMD Opteron A1100 Server SoCs, codenamed “Seattle”, come with four to eight ARM Cortex A57 cores, and earlier this year, the company unveiled both the processors and a development kit. You can now apply for “AMD Opteron A1100 Series 64-bit ARM developers kit”, and if you’re selected, you’ll “just” need to pay $2,999 to receive the board and related tools. The kit targets software and hardware developers, as well as early adopters in large datacenters.

AMD_Opteron_A1110_Development_BoardAMD Opteron A1100 Board hardware specifications:

  • SoC – ARM Opeteron A1000 with 4 ARM Cortex-A57 cores
  • System Memory – 2x Registered DIMM with 16 GB of DDR3 DRAM (upgradeable to 128GB)
  • Storage – 8 Serial-ATA connectors
  • Connectivity – Not mentioned, but there seems to be an RJ45 port on the pic, and another SFP cage, both probably 10 Gbit Ethernet since it’s the speed supported by Opteron A1100.
  • Expansion slots – PCI Express connectors configurable as a single x8 or dual x4 ports
  • Dimensions – Micro ATX form factor (244 × 244 mm)
  • Power – Compatibility with standard power supplies

The kit also includes a standard UEFI boot environment, a Linux environment based on “Fedora technology from the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora community”, a standard Linux GNU (cross and native) toolchains, device drivers, apache web server, MySQL database engine, and PHP scripting language for developing robust Web serving applications, and Java 7 & 8.

Thanks to Peter, via AMD.

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Freescale WaRPBoard Reference Platform for Wearables is Now Available for Pre-order

July 25th, 2014 1 comment

Back in January, Freescale announced WaRP (Wearable Reference Platform) comprised of the WaRPboard, a tiny board based on Freescale i.MX 6SoloLite running Android, and a daughter board with KL16 Cortex M0+ MCU and several sensors. The company collaborated with Revolution Robotics for the hardware design, and Kynetics for the software, and the platform is now available for pre-order for $149, and a few more details have surfaced since my first article.

WaRPboard Connected to Daughter (center) and the Other side of WarRPBoard (Right) - Click to Enlarge

WaRPboard Connected to Daughtercard (center) and the Other side of WarRPBoard (Right) – Click to Enlarge

The hardware specifications of WaRP are as follows:

  • WaRPboard:
    • SoC – Freescale i.MX 6SoloLite Cortex A9 processor @ 1GHz with 2D graphics Vivante GC355 and  GC320 GPUs.
    • System Memory – LPDDR2 (Micron Multi-Chip Package)
    • Storage – 4Gbit eMMC  (Same Micron MCP chip as for RAM)
    • Connectivity – WLAN and Bluetooth 4.0 LE via Murata LBEH17YSHC
    • Display I/F:
      • MIPI DSI for LCD display + touchscreen
      • EPCD for E-Ink Display
    • Sensors – Xtrinsic FXOS8700CQ, 6-Axis Sensor with Integrated Linear Accelerometer and Magnetometer.
  • Daughtercard:
    • MCU – Freescale Kinertis KL16 Cortex M0+ MCU
    • Sensors – Xtrinsic MMA955xL Motion-Sensing Pedometer
    • Misc – 2x user buttons
  • Power – Via micro USB, single cell 500 mAh LiPo battery connected to WaRPboard, or Wireless Charging via daughterboard

There are also two optional displays LCD LH154Q01 and E-ink ET017QC1 that will be available for the board.

WaRPboard + Daughterboard Block Diagram

WaRPboard + Daughter Board Block Diagram

The board can be used to develop applications for various type of wearables including activity trackers, sports/heart rate monitors, smartwatches, ECG monitoring, smart glasses, smart clothing, wearable imaging devices, augmented reality headsets, wearable computing and wearable healthcare devices.

Android 4.3 operating system will run on Freescale i.MX 6SoloLite, and a Standard Android SDK will be provided. At this time, there’s still not much other details about software,  firmware, hardware design files, and documentation, except the hardware and software will be full open sourced, development can be done with open source development tools without licensing fees needed, and all will be  managed via WaRPboard.org community.If you want more information or have questions, you may want to head over WaRPboard Google Group.

As mentioned on the introduction, the board can be pre-order for $149 now, and shipping is expected in September. Depending on your destination. shipping costs can be pretty expensive, as it would cost nearly $100 to ship to Thailand via UPS. The only other shipping option being to pick it up in Texas for free… I can’t find the optional displays in Boardzoo.

Thank you Nanik!

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More Details on Mediatek MT2502 Aster SoC and Linkit Platform for Wearables (Video)

July 12th, 2014 1 comment

Last month, Mediatek announced their Mediatek MT2502 SoC for wearables, codenamed Aster, as well as the Linkit development platform targeting the developer’s community. But at the time they did show the actual hardware, and thanks to Charbax we know have more interesting details about Aster and Linkit.

Mediatek Linkit Hardware Platform (Click to Enlarge)

Mediatek Linkit Hardware Platform (Click to Enlarge)

First they compare a design based on Aster to Samsung Galaxy Fit wearable band, and show why it uses less space, will cost less, and they claim  over twice the battery life.

  1. Simple and smaller design (~36% reduction in size)
    • Aster solution – MT2504 (6.2 x 5.4 mm) plus all required resistors, capacitors and inductors require 89.97 mm2
    • Galaxy Fit – MCU. Bluetooth Transceiver,  external memory, a linear charger, and all required resistors, capacitors and inductors require 140.97 mm2
  2. Battery life – Samsung Galaxy Fit is supposed to last between 1 and 1.5 days on a charge, whereas devices based on Aster should last about 4 days on a charge during regular usage. This is achieved partially by switching between Mentor Embedded Nucleus RTOS during active use to something called “Tiny System” in suspend where the processor runs at just 24 MHz.
  3. Lower Cost – The cost will be lower because they integrate all functions, including a modem, into one single chip.

We also learn MT2502 is based on the older ARM7 architecture, and that it can support screens up to QVGA (320×240). So it clearly aims a entry level wearables, similar to the Pebble smartwatch, or Fitness Trackers, and it’s not a candidate to run Android Wear.

LinkIt will be ready in August, and any developers will be able to work on the platform. Mentor Embedded’s Nucleus real-time operating system will stay closed source, but an SDK will be provided, including a plugin for the Arduino IDE,  integration with cloud services (baidu and others), and sensor algorithms (Accelerometer, Gravity, Gyro, Magnetometer, HRM, etc…), to allow developers to design their own smartwatch, smart wristband, or other IoT applications.  Mediatek previously announced the board would be provided by a third party, which turns out to be Seeed Studio, and the board is called Seeduino Kyuubi. Based on MT2502, Kyuubi board features a micro SD slot, a SIM card slot, a micro USB port for programming, an Audio port, as well as Wi-Fi and GPS via respectively MT5931 and MT3332 chips. It looks to feature Arduino compatible headers letting you connect Arduino shields.

Via ARMDevices.net

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Renesas RZ/A1H Starter Kit and Emtrion DIMM-RZ System-on-Module Run Segger embOS RTOS or Linux with 10MB SRAM

July 10th, 2014 1 comment

Announced just about a year ago, Renesas RZ/A1 ARM Cortex A9 processor family can be used for human machine interface applications, and has the particularly to embed large amount of SRAM, especially the RZ/A1H series with 10 MB SRAM which allows the development of some applications without external RAM chip, lowering both board size and BoM cost. I’ve just come across a development kit dubbed “RZ/A1H Starter Kit”, and the just released Emtrion DIMM-RZ system-on-module both powered by Renesas RZ/A1H SoC.

Renesas RZ/A1H Starter Kit+ (RSK)

Renesas_Starter_Kit_for_RZA1HThe development kit includes the mainboard, a 7″ TFT LCD (Optional), a detachable Colour LCD Board Pmod Compatible,a detachable AD Adjustment Shaft, Segger J-LINK Lite debugger, various connection cables, a power supply, a Quick Start Guide, and a DVD-ROM with documentation, ARM DS-5 IDE (with 32K code limit), KPIT GNU compiler for Cortex A9, Segger debugger drivers. and sample code.

The mainboard has the following specifications:

  • SoC – Renesas RZ/A1H ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 400 MHz with 2D GPU and 10MB SRAM
  • System Memory – 64MB to 512 MB SDRAM
  • Storage – 128MB to 1GB QSPI flash, 256MB to 2GB NAND Flash, 64MB to 512MB NOR Flash, 16KB EEPROM, SD/MMC card slot
  • Video I/O – LVDS, RGB888 to LVDS for external display panel, 8- or 16-bit Digital Video Connector (MIL), 2x Channel Composite Video Input
  • Audio I/O – Line IN, Line OUT, S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB host / function, 1x USB function / host
  • Other I/Os – 2x CAN, CMOS camera connector, SIM card (pads only, not fitted)
  • Expansion – 2 Pmod interfaces, SSI interface header, 4x “Application” headers
  • Debugging – JTAG: JLINK 20-pin ULINK2, 20-pin ETM, USB to serial interface
  • Misc – 4x user LEDs, 4x Power LEDs, configuration switches, analog potentiometer
  • Power – +5V by default, +12V can be set with a jumper
  • Dimensions – 180x150mm
RZ/A1H Starter Kit+ Block Diagram

RZ/A1H Starter Kit+ Block Diagram

The board can be programmed without operating systems, but Segger can also provide embOS RTOS for the platform.

Some documentation can be downloaded online via Renesas Starter Kit+ for RZ/AH1 page including schematics (PDF) for the TFT board and mainboard, a user’s manual, a quick start guide, and a tutorial for ARM DS-5. There’s also supposed to be a hardware manual, but I could not find it online. A Windows installer can also be download with ARM DS-5 IDE, compiler, emulator debugger, sample code and documentation (Registration required). The development kit appears to be available now with or without the 7″ TFT LCD module, and it’s listed on Digikey for around $1,100 including the LCD module. But if you’ve working for a company, you may be able to get a free evaluation sample.

Emtrion DIMM-RZ SoM

If you’ve developed your application with a development kit, and would rather have a CPU module for your end product, instead of designing the complete board, Emtrion DIMM-RZ system-on-module could be one option.

Emtrion_DIMM-RZA1HHere are the listed key features for the module:

  • SoC – Renesas RZ/A1H Cortex A9 processor @ 400 MHz with 10MB SRAM
  • System Memory – No external RAM
  • Storage – Up to 64 MB NOR Flash, 1x SD Card Interface (SDIO)
  • Video Output – RGB or LVDS output up to WXGA with a 4-wire resistive touch interface, and capacitive touch in option
  • Audio – SSI interface (Analog), S/PDIF In/Out
  • Camera – 1x CMOS camera I/F up to WXGA or PAL/NTSC codec
  • USB – USB 2.0 Host and Device
  • Connectivity – 100BaseTX Ethernet
  • Other I/O – 2x CAN 2.0 A/B, 1x serial Interface, 3x LVTTL, 10x GPIO, 2x SPI, 2x I²C
  • Misc – RTC support (battery buffered)
  • SoM Connector – 200-pin SO-DIMM
  • Power Consumption – Max. 450mA @ 3.3V
  • Temperature range – Commercial: 0°C to 70°C; Industrial: – 40°C to 85°C (option)
  • Dimensions – 67.6 x 45 x 10 mm
Emtrion_DIMM-RZ_Block_Diagram

Emtrion DiMM-RZ Block Diagram

The company provides Segger embOS real-time operating system with the module by default, but Linux 3.2 can also be used on request. Emtrion can also provide carrier boards, development kits and custom solutions for their SoM. DIMM-Base Cadun is the baseboard that can be used with DIMM-RZ (and other Emtrion DIMM modules). It exposes an Ethernet RJ45 connector, USB ports, HDMI, RGB and LVDS interfaces, serial ports, and various headers for expansion.

DIMM-RZ and Cadun baseboard appear to be available now at unspecified price. You can find more information on Emtrion DIMM-RZ and DIMM-Base Cadun product pages.

I’ll complete this post by embedding an 8-minutes video that explains the advantages of Renesas RZ/A1H compared to traditional MCU and MPU solutions for HMI applications.

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Peek into the Smart Home of the Future with ARM Seamless Computing IoT Demo

July 3rd, 2014 No comments

We’ve seen lots of home automation being launched on crowdfunding platforms in the last year or so, and companies like Samsung, Archos, Google and Apple have launched, announced, or bought smart hone solutions. Recently ARM has hosted a demo for the smart home based on Cortex-M MCU mbed development boards, a single board computer gateway, and sensinode connected home software framework.

Smartphone as Desktop PC on Wireless Charging Desk

Smartphone as Desktop PC on Wireless Charging Desk

Although some parts of the demo are unlikely to really have uses, e.g. you can look at the window to check the weather, I found the demo to be very interesting, especially with regards to the central role of the smartphone, and computing convergence. The list of different demos that can be seen in the video below is as follows:

  • As you walk close to the main door, the system checks the weather, and if it rains, blinks a LED and emits a sound close to your umbrella, and if it’s sunny, does the same for your hat.
  • Place your smartphone on a wireless charging desk, and it switches to desktop / tablet mode, connects to a display via Miracast, and Bluetooth mouse and keyboard automatically. Take it back in your hand and it become a smartphone again. No desktop computer needed.
  • Now sits on your living room’s sofa (a seat is used), it starts your TV and launch a TV remote app automatically on your phone.
  • Turn on your kindle, and PhotonStar Halcyon connected reading light will turn on, turn it off, the connected light will turn off.

You could also envision your smartphone fulfilling all your computing needs seamlessly;smartphone on the the go, desktop PC on your wireless charging desk, media player in your wireless charging coffee table in your living room or bed table in your bedroom, and so on.

Via ARMdevices.net.

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Texas Instruments Announces Sitara AM437x Cortex A9 SoCs and Evaluation Modules

July 2nd, 2014 5 comments

Texas_Instruments_Sitara_AM437xThe first time I heard about Texas Instruments Sitara AM437x was via a TechNexion EDM-CT-AM437x system-on-module back in 2012, but Texas Instruments Sitara Cortex A9 processors development seems to have dragged a little longer than expected. Nevertheless, the company has now formally announced their Sitara AM437x ARM Cortex A9 SoC targeting automation, IoT gateways, and other industrial applications, and featuring four PRUs (Programmable Real-time Units), and support for dual camera for terminals with bar code scanning.

At launch there will be four AM437xprocessors: AM4376, AM4377, AM4378, and AM4379. The processors will all be based on a single Cortex A9 core  @ 800 to 1000 MHz with 64KB SRAM shared with 32KB data cache and 32KB programmable cache, 256 KB L2 and L3 caches, a 32-bit memory interface supporting LPDDR2, DDR3, and DDR3L, a 2-port Gigabit Ethernet switch , two USB 2.0 OTG + PHY and the following other interfaces:

  • Serial Ports – 6x UART, 5x SPI, 3x I2C, 2x McASP, 2x CAN, HDQ, QSPI
  • System – EDMA, Debug, Counter (SyncTimer32K), WDT, RTC, 3x eQEP, 3x eCAP, JTAG, 12x Timers, 6x PWM
  • Parallel – 3x MMC/SD/SDIO, GPIO, 2x Camera, 2×12-bit ADCs, NAND/NOR (16bit ECC)

Some interfaces (HDQ, McASP, eQEP..) seem specific to Texas Instruments, and if you’d like to get a short explanation of these, I’ve updated my technical glossary.

The main differences between the four SoCs are related to the presence of a PowerVR GPU and EtherCat support as shown in the table below.

AM4376 AM4377 AM4378 AM4379
Graphics N/A PowerVR SGX530
PRU-ICSS 4x 32-bit Programmable Real Time Unit (PRU) 4x 32-bit Programmable Real Time Unit (PRU) + EtherCAT slave support 4x 32-bit Programmable Real Time Unit (PRU) 4x 32-bit Programmable Real Time Unit (PRU) + EtherCAT slave support

Total power consumption will be less than one watt in active mode, about 5mW in deep sleep, and less than 0.03mW in RTC-only mode. AM437x processors are available in 17x17mm, 0.65mm VCA packages.
AM437x_Block_Diagram
Texas Instruments already have a software development kit based on Linux 3.x mainline and with a GUI launcher, as well as graphics and other demos. Adeneo Embedded also announced a Windows Embedded Compact 7 (WEC7) BSP for AM437x processors, SYS/BIOS RTOS with support for real-time industrial protocols will be available in Q3 2014, Android 4.3 or greater support will be released by a third-party in the fall of 2014. Other various RTOS solutions by Mentor Graphicsm, QNX, Wind River, Green Hills Software and Ittiam are also planned, but no timeline has been provided.

Texas Instrument AM437x Evaluation and Development Kits

The company has already readied an evaluation module based on AM4378 with a 7″ touch screen.

AM437x Evaluation Module (TMDXEVM437X)

AM437x Evaluation Module (TMDXEVM437X)

TMDXEVM437X Kit has the following key features:

  • Sitara AM4378 ARM Cortex-A9 Processor
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – On board 4GB NAND and 4GB eMMC memory, 1x Micro SD/MMC
  • Vido Output / Display – 7″ capacitive touch screen LCD, HDMI output
  • Audio – Audio in/out
  • Camera – 2 camera modules
  • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 1x USB2.0 OTG, 1x USB 2.0 host
  • Other I/O – 1x UART, 2x CAN, 1x JTAG
  • Misc – Connector for Wilink8 (Wi+Fi + Bluetooth module)
  • Power – TPS65218 Power management IC

The development kit currently supports the Linux SDK, and sells for $599. You can find more information on AM437x evaluation modules page. Two other evaluation modules are schedule for later this year: TMDXIDK437X Industrial Development Kit based on AM4379 with 1 GB RAM, and no display but with industrial protocols support thanks to SYS/BIOS RTOS (Q3 2014 – $329), and TMDXSK437X based on AM4378 with 1GB RAM, a 4.3″ capacitive touchscreen (Q4 2014 for less than $300). Eventually, I suspect there may also be a low cost platform for hobbyists… Beaglebone Green anyone?

You can watch the introduction video below for an overview about TI Sitara AM437x SoCs, evaluation modules, and software solutions.

LinuxGizmos reports Sitara AM437x processors will start sampling later this month, mass production is expected to begin Q4 2014, and pricing will be around $15 per unit for 1k orders. You can find more information on Texas Instruments’ Sitara AM437x page, as well as TI Wiki.

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Toradex Customized Single Board Computers Powered by Freescale Vybrid and i.MX6 Sell for 39 Euros and Up

June 30th, 2014 5 comments

Toradex has launched what they call “Customized SBCs” (Single Board Computers) comprised of the usual carrier board an computer-on-module (CoM) combination, using their Apalis & Colibri families. The company offers various combination of Freescale i.MX6 and Vybrid VF50 single board computers, with price starting at 39 Euros for 1k order, or 49 Euros for samples.

Viola Carrier Board and Colibris VF50 SoM

Viola Carrier Board and Colibri VF50 CoM

I’ve already featured Toradex Colibri VF50 (and VF61) modules in another post, but to summarize Colibri VF50 is a computer modules based on Freescale Vybrid VF50 ARM Cortex A5 CPU with 64 to 128MB DDR3, and 128MB NAND flash that targets industrial applications requiring long term availability (15 years). VF50 sells as low as 19 Euros per unit for 10k orders.

Viola is a new open source hardware carrier board with the following features:

Viola Carrier Board (Click to Enlarge)

Viola Carrier Board (Click to Enlarge)

  • Compatible with all Toradex Colibri CoMs
  • External Storage – microSD interface
  • Video – RGB LCD Interface, 4 wire resistive touch interface
  • Connectivity – 10/100 Mbit Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB Host (High Speed)
  • Other I/Os:
    • 50 pin-header for access to I2C, SPI, UART A/B/C ???, GPIOs, PWM
    • 4x Analog Input
    • 3x (UART) RS232
    • 1x CAN (Colibri VFxx and iMX6 only)
  • Misc – 1x RTC on Board (Not Assembled)
  • Power Supply – 5V
  • On-board Power Supplies – 5V/2A, and 3.3V/2A
  • Dimensions – 74 x 74mm

Toradex will soon provide Altium CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) files meaning schematics, PCB layout, and Gerber files for Viola. The baseboard also has a 10+ year longevity, just like the CoMs, and costs 13 Euros per unit for 1K orders.

Colibri VFxx CoMs support Windows CE 5.0 / 6.0, Linux 3.0.15 with U-boot 2011.12 (Timesys / OpenEmbedded), and Android is available on request. There are more software options for modules based on i.MX6.

Both Freescale i.MX6 and Vyrbid VFxx solutions appear to be available, and you can get more information on Toradex’s Customized Single Board Computers’ page.

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