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Posts Tagged ‘devkit’

MYIR ARM9 Linux Development Boards & Computer-on-Modules Powered by Freescale i.MX28 Processor

August 14th, 2014 No comments

MYIR MYD-IMX28X development boards and MYC-IMX28X CPU modules had been announced in May 2014, but I’ve just found out about them via the company’s newsletter. The CoMs are powered by Freescale i.MX28 ARM9 processors (i.MX283 or i.MX287), feature 128 MB RAM, 256 MB Flash, and connect to a baseboard to make the development boards. Target applications include smart gateways, human-machine interfaces (HMIs), handheld devices, scanners, portable medical, experimental education as well as other industrial applications.

MYC-IMX28X CoMs

MYIR_MYC-iMX28X_ARM9_CoMMYC-IMX28X computer-on-module specifications:

  • Processor – Freescale i.MX283 or i.MX287 ARM926EJ-STM processor up to 454MHz with 128KB SRAM, 128KB ROM, 1280 bits of OCOTP ROM, 16KB/32KB I and D Cache
  • System Memory – 128MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Storage – 256MB NAND flash, 128KB SPI flash
  • Connectivity – On-board Ethernet PHY
  • Connectors – 2x 1.27mm pitch 2 x 40-pin SMT male expansion connectors with access to
    • Ethernet – Up to 2 Ethernet (two for i.MX287, one for i.MX283)
    • USB – 2x USB2.0 High-speed ports
    • Serial – Up to 6x Serial ports (including one Debug port)
    • 1x I2C, 2x SPI
    • Up to 8x ADC (one high-speed ADC, seven low-resolution ADC)
    • Up to 5x PWM
    • 1x SDIO
    • 2x CAN (i.MX287 only)
  • Misc – Power and user LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V
  • Dimensions – 62mm x 38mm
  • Operating Temperature Range – Commercial: -20~70 Celsius; Industrial: -40 to +85 Celsius

The main differences between i.MX283 and i.MX287, are support for only 1 Ethernet port against 2 for i.MX287, and the latter features 2 CAN buses. The company provides an SDK with u-boot, Linux 2.6.35, and relevant drivers for the module.

MYD-IMX28X Boards

Click To Enlarge

MYD-IMX28X Development Board (Click To Enlarge)

The development boards have the following hardware specifications:

  • SoC/Memory/Storage – Based on MYC-IMX283 or MYC-IMX287 modules as described above: Freescale i.MX28 @ 454 MHz, 128 MB DDR2, 256 NAND flash, and 128KB SPI flash
  • External Storage – micro SD card slot
  • Display I/F – 1x LCD interface (16-bit true color, supports optional 4.3-inch and 7-inch TFT LCD), 1x 4-wire resistive touch screen interface
  • Audio – 3.5mm jacks for Audio IN and OUT, and headphone output, digital audio out (RCA), MIC IN interface, Buzzer
  • Serial ports – 1x 3-wire RS232 Debug serial port (DB9), 1x 5-wire RS232 serial port (UART0), 1x RS485
  • USB – 1x USB2.0 Host port, 1x USB2.0 OTG
  • Connectivity – 10/100Mbps Ethernet (two for i.MX287, one for i.MX283)
  • CAN – 2 x CAN interfaces (only for i.MX287)
  • Expansion connector – 2x 20-pin headers with access to 3x ADC (one high-speed ADC, two low-resolution ADC), 1x SPI, 2x I2C, 3x UART, 3x PWM
  • Debugging – 20-pin JTAG interface
  • Misc – 4 x Buttons (1 x Reset button, 3 x User buttons), 2 x User LEDs (Blue)
  • Power Supply – 5V barrel connector
  • Dimensions – 140mm x 90mm

MYD-IMX28X_Block_DiagramPublicly available documentation is limited with only Freescale i.MX28 datasheet, and MYD-IMX28X board and MYC-IMX28X module simplified datasheets with overview of the boards, header pinout, and a list of document and software packages available for the board. U-boot, Linux 2.6.35, and drivers will be provided with source code, as well as some code samples to control various peripherals (SPI. I2C, touchscreen, LCD…) and a Qt demo. MYIR also provides 4.3″ and 7″ resistive or capacitive touchscreen as option for $60 to $99.

The modules and development kits appears to be available now, MYC-IMX28X module starts at $39 for the commercial version, $59 for the industrial version, and the development board, probably excluding the CPU module, sells for $99 and $119, respectively for the commercial and industrial versions. You can find more details on MYIR’s MYC-IMX28X module page.

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Atomwear is a Modularized, Open source, Wearable BLE Development Kit (Crowdfunding)

August 11th, 2014 No comments

Giayee is a company mainly manufacturing Android tablets, thin clients, and mini PCs, but their latest product, called Atomwear, is a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) development kit based on Nordic nRF51822 chipset that comes with various modules such as battery charger, accelerometer, gyroscope, OLED display, heart rate monitor, etc… which connect together via 24-pin connector on a standard rigid baseboard or a flexible printed circuit (FPC).

Atomwer_FPC

Various Atomwear Modules Connected to FPC

All modules are connected via the same 24-pin connector with power, I2C, SPI, UART, ADC, and GPIOs signals. The baseboard and FPC both contain 6 such connectors connected in parallel for up to 6 modules, and two baseboard can be connected together via a bridge circuit to accept more modules. The minimum configuration is with a BLE MCU module, and a power module.

The different boards and modules are listed as follows:

  • Atomwear-BASE – Baseboard – Dimensions: 10x70mm
  • Atomwear-MCU – BLE MCU board – Dimensions: 10x21mm. The brain of the system. It consists of Nordic nRF51822 BLE MCU, a button and two LEDs. The button is designed to switch working mode and two LEDs indicate working status. They can be defined by users.
  • Atomwear-BAT – Battery module.  Dimensions: 10x20mm.  This module provides power supply for Atomwear via a 40 mAh battery, and indicated the battery level to the MCU. If you need more capacity severral Atomwear-BAT modules can be used.
  • Atomwear-CHG – USB battery charge control module -  Dimensions – 10x13mm. Charge Atomwear via a Micro USB receptacle. There are two LEDs on this board (Green and Red) to indicate charging status.
  • Atomwear-BAC – 3-axis digital accelerometer and barometric pressure sensor -  Dimensions – 10x10mm. The two sensors are connected on the same I2C bus with different device addresses, and they provide acceleration, barometric pressure, temperature and altitude data.
  • Atomwear-MAG – Versatile 9DoF sensor module -  Dimensions – 10x10mm. This board contains a 3-axis gyro & 3-axis accelerometer (BMI055) and a 3-axis magnetometer (AK8963).
  • Atomwear-OLED -  OLED display module -  Dimensions: 14x14mm.  Low power OLED module with 64×32 resolution.
  • Atomwear-DBG – Debug port module.  Dimensions: 10X12mm. This module connects the SWD port and UART port from the 24-pin socket to 2.54mm pitch header.

Atomwear_Modules
The project will be fully open source, the first version of the firmware and software, top be used with Keil uVison4, is already available on github, and there should also be an Android (no iOS mentioned) demo app in Java to show how to use their API, but it’s not in github or I missed it. The company also promised to send all their hardware design files (schematic, board design) to their backers by email, and they encourage people to come up with their own modules.

Giayee has launched Atomwear Kickstarter campaign to raise $12,000 CAD or more to launch production. Pledges start at $45 CAD for the basic Atomwear kit with the MCU, debug, battery, MAG module, and baseboard. If you want a kit with the PFC and a rubber wristband, that is something you could actually wear, you’ll need to pledge $75 CAD which also includes the basic kit plus the OLED module. Shipping is free to Canada, and $15 CAD to anywhere else, with delivery scheduled for November 2014.

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Emtrion DIMM-AM335x SoM Supports Mainline Linux Kernel

June 30th, 2014 1 comment

When I cover system-on-modules (SoM), companies will usually provide some BSP (Board Support Packages) for older kernels, and did not submit their changes to mailine kernel, so I was interested in a news from Emtrion entitled “DIMM-AM335x: Linux mainline support ready“, which actually means they’ve done the work to support a recent Linux kernel (3.14) and provides instructions and code (device tree files), but did not submit patches to the linux-arm-kernel mailing list to get their changes added to kernel.org.

Emtrion_DIMM-AM335xLet’s look at the hardware specs first:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex A8 processor @ 720Mhz to 1GHz (AM3354 or AM3359)
  • System Memory – onboard 512 MB SDRAM/optional 256 MB
  • Storage – 512 MB NAND Flash (managed) + 2 SD card interfaces
  • Display – LCDs I/F with resolution up to SVGA, with 4-wire touch interface
  • Audio – Analog Audio with SSI I/F
  • USB – USB 2.0 Host and Device
  • Connectivity – 100BaseTX Ethernet
  • Other I/Os:
    • 2x CAN
    • 4x serial interfaces
    • 4x analog inputs
    • 1x SPI, 1x I²C
    • 10x GPIOs
  • Misc – RTC (Battery buffered)
  • Temperature range – 0°C to 70°C (optional from – 40°C to 85°C)
  • Dimensions – 67,6 x 45 mm

The company provide four different baseboard for development. You can find more details about the hardware on Emtrion DIMM-AM335x page.

The company provides BSP and development kit for Linux 3.2.0 (via Yocto 1.5.1), and QNX 6.5, but you can also get BSPs for Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows 2013, and Android 4.0 on request. To make there SoM “Linux mainline ready” they’ve provided a tarball file with documentation and files namely:

  • DIMM-AM335x-Mainline-Support-v001en.pdf – Documentation for Linux mainline support for DIMM-AM335x
  • am335x-dimm.dts – Device tree file with the SoM
  • am335x_mainline_defconfig – Kernel config
  • uboot_script – Uboot script

And apparently that’s all what’s needed to support a Sitara AM335x SoM in mainline kernel. They have tested it against Linux 3.14.y from kernel.org, but it should also work with the latest version. They also have added this to Yocto in the FTP (see PDF). I’m not sure why they’ve have gone the extra steps and submitted a patch to add their module to mainline.

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ADT-1 Google’s Android TV Developer’s Kit Details

June 30th, 2014 6 comments

Google announced Android TV a few days ago, and distributed ADT-1 hardware development kit to application developers during Google I/O. I could not find much details at the time, except it was powered by Nvidia Tegra processors. I’ve now noticed some developers have posted a few pictures and the device, Phandroid has posted the specifications, and I’ve found some interesting hardware limitations for Android TV decided by Google that kill some potential applications for the TV.

ADT-1_ANdroid_TV_Reference_DesignHere are known hardware specifications for ADT-1 devkit:

  • SoC – Nvidia Tegra 4
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 16GB flash
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Connectivity – Ethernet, 2×2 MIMO dual-channel WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x USB host port, 1x micro (custom?) USB port for power and ADB (via an Y cable provided with the kit)
  • Dimensions – Small :)

Google_Android_TV_Accesories

This Android L Android TV box looks tiny and comes with G1 Gamepad as demonstrated during Google I/O, that is powered by 2x AA rechargeable batteries, and well as a power adapter, and cables.

More pictures and short videos can be found on Zach Pfeffer G+ account, as well as on Reddit where you may want to go through the comments section for specifics. If you were not at Google I/O, and are an application developer, you can still apply for ADT-1 devkit online. There’s also an “ADT-1 FAQ” that’s mostly interesting / useful for people who already own the kit.

As I look for more details, I also went to Android TV developer’s page, especially the hardware features section, where the following features are said to be disabled in Android TV:

Hardware Android feature descriptor
Camera android.hardware.camera
GPS android.hardware.location.gps
Microphone android.hardware.microphone
Near Field Communications (NFC) android.hardware.nfc
Telephony android.hardware.telephony
Touchscreen android.hardware.touchscreen

If you planned to use your Android TV Box and connect a USB webcam to use Skype or Google Hangout, or expected some Android L TV boxes with a built-in camera that can be placed on top of the TV, sorry, this won’t be possible because camera and microphone support are not available. The other features make sense, although for digital signage applications GPS, telephony, touchscreen, and NFC may also be useful, but I understand that’s not what Android TV is all about, and it’s focusing on the consumer market.

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Raspberry Pi Compute Module is a $30 Raspberry Pi Compatible System-on-Module

April 9th, 2014 No comments

Albeit the initial goal of the Raspberry Pi board was to address computer science education, it has become extremely popular with hobbyists, has made its way in many different kinds of hardware, and is now clearly the number 1 low cost ARM Linux development board. The Raspberry Pi foundation has then decided to design and sell a system-on-module called Raspberry Pi Compute that people can use in actual products.

Raspberry Pi Compute (Left) and Raspberry Pi Board (Right)

Raspberry Pi Compute (Left) and Raspberry Pi Board (Right)

Since the module will be mostly software compatible with the original Raspberry Pi board, the specs are similar:

  • SoC – Broadcom BCM2835 ARM 11 processor @ 700 MHz with Videocore IV GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB RAM
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash
  • SoM Connector – DDR2 200-pins SODIMM
  • Dimensions – 67.6x30mm board which fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector

The main difference is they’ve replaced the SD card slot found in the board, by an eMMC module which is more appropriate, and should provide better performance, for products. The foundation has also made a baseboard called “IO Board” for the Compute Module, in order to kickstart development while your custom PCB is being designed. It includes an HDMI output, a full sized USB port, 2 micro USB ports, some flat headers for camera and LCD displays, and two 2×30 pin headers to easily access the signals available via the SODIMM connectors.

Raspberry Pi IO Board and Compute Module

Raspberry Pi IO Board and Compute Module

The module will most probably support all distributions available for the RPi (Raspbian, Fedora, Arch Linux ARM,  etc..) as source code and tools should be identical too. The IO board will be open source. For now the foundation has only released the schematics of the IO Board and Compute module in PDF format, but more documents will be released soon.

A “Raspberry Pi Compute Module Development Kit” comprised of the Compute Module and IO Board should be available from RS and Element14 in June. The price of the devkit has not been disclosed, but the Compute Module will start selling in the summer for $30 per unit in batches of 100. Individual orders will also be possible at an higher price.

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USB2Go ARM Cortex M3 Development Board for Android Smartphones (Crowdfunding)

March 21st, 2014 No comments

Many MCU based development boards such as Arduino or mbed platform connect to a computer via USB for power and programming, at least during the development stage. USB2Go, however, is designed with a micro USB port to connect directly to your Android smartphone, although it can also be used for standalone project, and an Arduino compatible baseboard is also available. This board powered by an STM32 ARM Cortex M3 MCU is however mainly destined to interface hardware such as LED, servos, sensors to your smartphone via micro USB providing both power and a communication channel with your Android device.

USB2Go

USB2Go hardware specifications:

  • MCU – STMicro STM32 ARM Cortex M3 MCU @ 72 MHz with 128 KB Flash, 64 KB SRAM
  • USB – Micro USB for power and programming
  • Headers – 2x 12 pin headers giving access to GPIO, ADC, PWM, UART, I2C, SPI…
  • Debugging I/F – JTAG 20-pin to SWD
  • Misc – Programmable LED, Reset button
  • Power – 5V/500mA (micro USB)
  • Dimensions – About the size of Arduino Mini

USB2Go_Coin

Graphical App Builder

Graphical App Builder

You can program the board just like any Android app via Android Studio or Eclipse and using USB2Go API to control the different I/Os. You can also program the ARM MCU using Keil uVision which can be used for free for up to 32kB program size, but IAR, CooCox and other development tools can also be used. If you are not into programming, but would like to play around with this board anyway, the developers have designed a graphical application building tool where you can just drag and drop controls to generate you own app.

Different boards are available as part of USB2Go:

  • USB2Go Mini – Connects directly to your phone (Pictured above), or can be used as a standard device.
  • USB2Go Female – Connects to the phone with adapter or can be used as a standalone device.
  • USB2Go Adapter – Adapter for USB2Go female.
  • Arduino 2Go – Arduino extension board.
  • Relay 2Go – Relay extension for USB2Go.
  • RGB LED 2Go – Adds RGB flashlight to smartphone.
  • JTAG 2Go – Extension for ARM MCU debugging via JTAG/SWD connector

I understand the full project (software and hardware) will be open sourced.

8Innovations, the company behind the project, has now completed development of the boards, and is looking for funds for mass production via Kickstarter. A $29 pledge (early bird) will get you a USB2Go Mini board, and $99 will get you all the boards mentioned above. Shipping is included to the US, and you’ll need to add $10 for anywhere else. Although development is said to be complete, the boards are expected to ship in October 2014, as they planned a massive 6 months for components procurement, mass production, and shipping.

Beside the Kickstarter campaign, you may also find more details on usb2go.org.

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Texas Instruments Tiva C Series TM4C1294 Connected Launchpad Sells for $20

March 11th, 2014 7 comments

There are now many ultra low cost MCU development kit selling for $15 to $25 such as STMicro Discovery Board, but for this price, they’ll usually just feature the MCU, a micro USB, pin header, maybe and maybe some sensors, and they usually lack any form of connectivity, at least without extra hardware. With Tiva C Series TM4C129 Connect Launchpad, Texas Instruments brings a board that can be used for IoT application out of the box thanks to the addition of an Ethernet port. The board sells for just $19.99, which means you could easily make something like a connected 4-relay control system for about $25.

Tiva C Series TM4C1294 Connected Launchpad (Click to Enlarge)

Tiva C Series TM4C1294 Connected Launchpad (Click to Enlarge)

Connected LaunchPad evaluation kit specifications:

  • MCU – Texas Instruents TM4C1294NCPDT ARM Cortex-M4 @ 120MHz with floating point, 1MB Flash, 256KB SRAM, 6KB EEPROM, Integrated 10/100 Ethernet MAC+PHY, data protection hardware, 8x 32-bit timers, dual 12-bit 2MSPS ADCs, motion control PWMs, USB H/D/O, and many additional serial communication interfaces
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • Expansions
    • Dual stackable BoosterPack XL connection sites
    • Breadboard connection headers – Support for 20-pin and 40-pin BoosterPacker
  • USB – micro USB port for power and programming/debugging (via TM4C123GH6PMI IC)
  • On-board, in-circuit debug interface (ICDI)
  • Misc – 4 user LEDs, 2 user switches, reset switch, wake button, power select jumper
  • Dimensions – 12.45 cm x 5.59 cm x 10.8mm

The Connected LaunchPad Evaluation Kit contains the board itself (EK-TM4C1294XL), a retractable Ethernet cable, and a USB Micro-B plug to USB-A plug cable.

Tiva Connected LaunchPad High-Level Block Diagram

Tiva Connected LaunchPad High-Level Block Diagram

For development, the board is supported by Cloud-based, Exosite QuickStart Application, Code Composer Studio 6 (CCS 6) & TivaWare 2.1 and multiple development tool chain support such as CCS, Keil, IAR, Mentor & GCC.  The user’s guide also mentions it’s possible to use Energia Wiring framework.

Beside the user’s guide, documentation is currently limited, and there are no hardware files for now. Having said that there’s an online workshop for the board using CCS6 & TivaWare 2.1 to show you how to get started.

Texas Instruments Tiva C Series TM4C129 Connected Launchpad is currently available for pre-order for $19.99, and is expected to ship within 6 to 8 weeks. Contrary to most other companies that charge a ridiculous shipping fee for their low cost development kit, sometimes more expensive than the board itself, Texas Instruments does not charge for shipping, so $19.99 is the total price you pay. I know for sure, because I’ve just ordered one :).

For more information and/or to purchase the board, visit Tiva C Series TM4C1294 Connected LaunchPad page.

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