News about Texas Instruments Sitara AM437x processors first surfaced in 2012, before being officially announced last summer. Beside TI’s own development kits, I had not seen any hardware based on the company’s Cortex A9 industrial processor, but Variscite has now unveiled their VAR-SOM-AM43 systems-on-module (SoM) powered by AM4376 , AM4378, or AM4379 SoCs.
- SoC – Texas Instruments AM437x single core ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0GHz:
- AM4376 – No GPU, 4x PRU @ 200 MHz
- AM4378 – PowerVR SGX530 GPU, 4x PRU @ 200 MHz
- AM4379 – PowerVR SGX530 GPU, 4x PRU @ 200 MHz, and EtherCAT slave support
- System Memory – 256MB to 1GB DDR3
- Storage – 0 to 512MB SLC NAND flash, and 4GB to 32GB eMMC flash b module. 3x SD/MMC via edge connector
- Display Interfaces – 24-bit RGB interface up to 1400×1050 resolution; 4/5-wire resistive touch support
- Connectivity – 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet PHY + 10/100/1000 Mbps RGMII, 802.11a/b/g/n with optional MIMO, and Bluetooth 4.0 (TI Wilink 8 WL183xMOD module)
- Other I/Os and interfaces available via the 204-pin SO-DIMM connector:
- Audio – Analog / digital microphone, S/PDIF, and Line In/Out
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 host, 1x USB OTG
- 5x UART up to 3.6 Mbps
- 3x I2C, 4x SPI, 1x One Wire/HDP, 2x CAN bus
- RTC (on carrier board)
- Camera – 1x CPI
- Power Supply – 3.3V DC; Digital I/IO: 3.3V / 1.8V
- Dimensions – 67.8 x 38.6 x 3 mm
- Temperature Range – Commercial 0 to 70°C; Extended: -20 to 70°C, or Industrial: -40 to 85°C
VAR-SOM-AM43 modules support Linux 3.14 and Yocto 1.6 (Daisy) with Qt 5, and Android 4.4 support is coming soon. Software documentation is available on the module’s Wiki, and support on Variscite’s forums. The company also provides mechanical and hardware documentation including a product brief, a datasheet, and mechanical design files (DXF) for the module, as well as schematics and a datasheet for VAR-AM43CustomBoard, the baseboard used for development and/or evaluation. TI AM437x TRM can also be downloaded directly from TI website.
The baseboard has the following key features:
- SODIMM-200 socket to support VAT-SOM-AM43 system-on-module
- External Storage – micro SD socket
- Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet
- Display – 18-bit 3 pair LVDS interface; 4-wire touch panel and capacitive touch panel support
- Audio – 3.5mm jacks for heaphone and line INl; digital microphone on-board
- Camera – Parallel CMOS sensor interface
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports (including on OTG?), 1x micro USB port for debugging
- Serial – 2x RS232 header (UART1 / UART3), micro USB debug port, RS485 header, 2x CAN buses
- Expansion Headers – Several headers with access to 8-channel ADC, SD/MMC interface, SPI, I2C, McASP, and GPIOs
- Misc – RTC + CR1225 battery socket, 4x buttons.
- Power Supply – 5V DC input, 2.5mm DC jack
- Dimensions – 11.1 x 8.6 x 2.4 cm
A complete evaluation kit (VAR-DVK-AM43) is also available with VAR-SOM-AM43 SoM, VAR-AM43CustomBoard baseboard, a 7″ WVGA LCD with resistive/capacitive touch, a power supply, an Ethernet cable, an RS232 debug cable, boot/rescue SD cards, and a DVD with documentation and source code.
Variscite Sitara AM437x modules and development kits are available now, with pricing starting at $42 in 1K order. Further information, including hardware documentation, may be found on Variscite’s VAR-SOM-AM43, VAR-AM43CustomBoard, and VAR-DVK-AM43 product pages.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
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