Texas Instruments AM387X Sitara ARM Cortex A8 Microprocessors

Texas Instruments (TI) has introduced three new AM387x ARM Cortex-A8 microprocessors (MPUs): AM3871, AM3872 and AM3874. TI says these MPUs offer integration of the ARM Cortex-A8 core, peripherals for high-bandwidth connectivity (SATA, D-CAN, PCI Express (PCIe), Gigabit Ethernet switch and more), 3D graphics for enhanced GUIs and display subsystems for camera connectivity and viewing. The AM387x ARM Cortex-A8 MPU can connect to and control IP and CAN networks, HD displays, keyboard, mouse, PC, SD card and various general purpose peripherals, all via one highly integrated processor in an industrial automation application controlling a production line and a high-speed, shared data bus allows for reduced communication overhead and quick access to shared data, which results in reduced chip count, discrete memory costs and printed circuit board (PCB) space compared to separate solutions.

Those MPUs are targeted at a variety of fanless applications such as: single board computing, network and communications processing, industrial automation, human machine interface (HMI), mobile medical imaging, interactive point-of-service/information kiosks and portable data terminals.

TI AM3871, AM3872, AM3874 Block Diagram
Texas Instruments AM387X_Block Diagram

Here are AM387X MPU Features and Specifications:

  • CPU: ARM Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz
  • GPU: SGX530 3D graphics engine (AM3874 only)
  • Cache/on-chip memory: L1 64KB ; L2 512KB; on-chip RAM 128KB
  • Memory:
    • 2 x 32-bit DDR2/DDR3 controllers at up to 800MHz
    • 16-bit GPMC
    • ext. memory: DDR2, DDR3, NOR flash, NAND flash, SRAM, pseudo-SRAM, SD
    • 64-Ch EDMA
  • Expansion:  PCI/PCIe interface
  • Display interfaces (AM3872 and AM3874 only):
    • video subsystem with HDVICP2 co-processors
    • 2 x HD outputs (16/24/30-bit and 16/24-bit)
    • 2 x inputs (8/16/25-bit and 8-bit)
    • 2 x SD capture ports
    • HDMI
    • Composite S-Video analog output
  • Camera interface / Image Subsystem (ISS):
    • Parallel 8/16-bit sensor connection (Raw/BT.656/BT.1120)
    • Image sensor interface (ISIF);
    • Resizer
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 4 x I2C
    • 4 x SPI
    • 6 x McASP
    • McBSP
    • 3 x MMC/SD/SDIO
    • SATA
    • 6 x UARTs
    • 8 x timers plus watchdog
    • up to 128 GPIO pins
  • Power: 1.5 V, 1.8 V, 3.3 V I/O power supply,  less than 2 Watt power dissipation
  • Operating systems:  Linux, Android, Windows Embedded Compact 7. QNX and VxWorks BSP will also be available in Q4 2011

Developers can begin evaluation of the AM387x ARM MPUs with TI’s EVM (TMDXEVM8148) for 2,249 USD. TI’s EZ SDK for Linux will be available for free of charge for AM387x targets. Texas Instruments will provide support for Linux, Android and Windows Embedded CE 7. QNX and VxWorks third-party real-time operating systems will be available in Q4 2011.

AM3871, AM3872 and AM3874 Evaluation Module
AM387X Evaluation Module (TMDXEVM8148 )

These devices are sampling today at prices  (in 1,000 unit quantities) starting at 23.85 USD for the AM387x ARM microprocessors. AM3874 samples can be purchased for 35.30 USD per piece (in 1,000 unit quantities).

More information on AM387x MPUs is available on TI AM3871, AM3872 and AM3874  pages.

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