Linaro Development Board “Snowball” by ST Ericsson

ST Ericsson unveiled a development board based on Nova A9500 (dual ARM Cortex A9 processor and MALI 400 GPU) at MWC 2011 called Snowball (or SKY-S9500-ULP-CXX) for the embedded Linux community and professional developers.

This board was designed by CALAO Systems and can be pre-ordered on their website for 200 USD (SKY-S9500-ULP-C11 / Software Development Kit – SDK) or 300 USD (SKY-S9500-ULP-C01 / Production development Kit – PDK). The difference between the SDK and PDK is that the former has no expansion connectors, no battery backup for RTC and only support serial over USB port (for Linux console).

First, some pictures with description of the snowball development board.

SKY-S9500-ULP-CXX Snowball

ST Ericsson Reference Design for Linaro

The full documentations for Snowball development board can be found in Calao Systems File Repository, where you’ll get the bottom and top assembly diagrams for both C01 and C11, the major components datasheet, documentation and some photos.

The specifications of the boards:

– ARM Dual Cortex A9 @ 1GHz, – 1x Serial Port (RS232 / Over USB),
– 4 / 8GByte e-MMC, – 1x JTAG Connector,
– 1GByte LP-DDR2, – 1x MiPi34 Debug Connector,
– 1x Micro-SD, – 1x IEEE 802.11 b/g/n WLAN,
– 1x RTC Battery Backup, – 1 x Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (Ex. Antenna),
– 1x HDMI Full HD, – 1 x GPS (Ex. Antenna),
– 1x Ethernet 10/100Mbits, – 1x 3 Axis Accelerometer,
– 1x CVBS Video OUT, – 1x 3 Axis Magnetometer,
– 1x Audio OUT, – 1x 3 Axis Gyrometer,
– 1x Audio IN, – 1x Pressure sensor,
– 1x USB OTG HS (480Mbits), – 3x Expansion Connectors (FSMC,HSI, Audio, MiPi CSI / Camera, LCD,MiPi DSI, UART, SPI, I2C, GPIO).
– 1x DC IN +5V,
– 1x Li-Ion Battery Charger,

The Snowball board can run Ubuntu, Meego and Android (Those demos are showcased at MWC 2011) and specifically targets Internet Tablet and Set-top box applications.
Linaro plans to support this Cortex A9 based board maybe not in the 11.05 release (in 3 months) , but most probably in 11.11 release (in 6 months).

ST Ericsson has also setup a developer’s website called IglooCommunity specifically for the Snowboard board where Meego and Android releases will be posted, a developer mailing list and Bugzilla will be setup and some technical documentation is already available.

Both the hardware and Meego & Android releases should be available in Q2 2011.

Update: Charbax’s Video about ST Ericsson U9500 ARM Cortex-A9 Development Board
YouTube video player

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