To support embedded design, there are several options when it comes to choosing an operating system (OS). Some of the traditional approaches to building custom Linux systems is to use built systems such as Yocto/OpenEmbedded or Buildroot. The options available for system integration include building everything manually, binary distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.), and build systems (Buildroot, Yocto, PTXdist, etc.). The major drawback of build systems is that they are not as easy as a binary distribution and also the build time is more. Why was ELBE born? In the early days, the embedded devices had 4MiB flash and 16MiB of RAM. With these specifications, people started to hack a root file system for their devices. But in some cases, they had to start with building a cross-toolchain first. For this, tools like OpenEmbedded, Buildroot are good as long as they are well maintained. For this, a lot of libraries are used for the development of a system. Now, depending […]
SiFive may just have announced a mini-ITX motherboard for RISC-V PCs, but if you’d like a RISC-V Linux platform in a more compact form factor, Sundance PolarBerry may better fit your requirements, albeit the board will target different use cases. Powered by Microchip PolarFire RISC-V SoC FPGA, PolarBerry is both a single board computer with Gigabit Ethernet and 40-pin GPIO header, as well as a system-on-module thanks to three Samtec board-to-board connectors. PolarBerry specifications: SoC – Microsemi PolarFire FPGA MPFS250T-FCVG484 penta-core processor with 1x RV64IMAC monitor core, 4x RV64GC application cores, FPGA fabric with 254K x logic elements (4LUT + DFF), 784 x math blocks (18 x 18 MACC), and 16 x SERDES lanes at 12.5 Gbps; 12 W maximum power consumption System Memory – 4 GB of 32-bit wide DDR4 memory Storage – 4GB eMMC flash, 128 Mbit SPI Serial NOR flash for boot image Networking – Gigabit Ethernet port Serial – 6-pin header with 2x CAN 2.0 PHY […]
We got some more details about PolarFire RISC-V FPGA SoC late last year, and we were promised a Linux capable 64-bit RISC-V & FPGA development board with PolarFire SoC Icicle kit in Q3 of 2020. We are already in July 2020. So where is the board? Oh, look! It’s right here on Crowd Supply where it is offered for $499, and shipping is expected to start in mid-September. PolarFire SoC Icicle specifications: SoC FPGA – PolarFire SoC MPFS250T-FCVG484EES penta–core RISC-V CPU subsystem (1xRV64IMAC, 4xRV64GC) with 254K LE non-volatile fabric, 784 18 × 18 math blocks, secure boot, 4x 12.7 Gbps SERDES, FCVG484 package (19 × 19 mm, 0.8 mm pitch) System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4 x32 Storage – 1 GBit QSPI Flash, 8GB eMMC Flash or SD card slot (multiplexed) Video Output – HDMI 2.0 (removed from final board) Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port, micro USB port for debugging […]
There are plenty of tiny and compact Arm Linux SBC on the market from NanoPi NEO to Raspberry Pi Zero or Rock Pi S. But Daniel Palmer has been able to design an even smaller board – BreadBee – based on MStar MSC313E Cortex-A7 SoC since the processor also embeds 64MB RAM, or enough to run embedded Linux.BreadBee specifications: SoC – MStar MSC313E Arm Cortex-A7 processor @ ~1.0 GHz with NEON, FPU, 64MB DDR2 Storage – 16MB SPI NOR flash Networking – 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45) USB – 1x Micro USB 2.0 port Expansion 24-pin dual-row header (2.54mm pitch) with SPI, I2C, 4x 10-bit ADC, 3x UART, GPIOs 21-pin header (1.27mm pitch) with SD/SDIO, USB 2.0, GPIOs Misc – RTC, Watchdog timer Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port Dimensions – 32 x 30mm Despite MStar MSC313E being a camera processor, the camera interface does not seem exposed in the board, so it looks to be designed to control I/Os […]
In my first job, I wrote code for a MIPS processor for VoIP phones, then I switched to NEC/Renesas MCUs for CD and DVD players, before going back to Linux and my first experience with an Arm processor: Cirrus Logic EP9307 with a single ARM9 (ARM920T) core clocked at 200 MHz. That was in 2005, and according to Wikipedia various ARM9 cores were released between 1998 to 2006, and now such cores are not recommended for new IC designs with most companies now building their chips around Arm Cortex-A/M/R cores. At the end of last year, we wrote about Banana Pi BPI-F2S SBC based on Sunplus SP7021 “Plus1” quad-core Cortex-A7 processor with ARM9 and 8051 co-processor. Odd enough but at least the ARM9 core is not the main processor, however, while looking at the upcoming Linux 5.6 Linux kernel log I read an entry about a new SAM9X60 ARM926-based SoC from Microchip. Microchip SAM9X60 ARM9 Processor Quite surprising to have […]
Last year, FriendlyELEC launched SOM-RK3399 system-on-module (SoM) powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor combined with 2GB DDR3 memory, 16to 64GB flash, and a built-in WiFi 5 module. Contrary to most SoM’s on the market, SOM-RK3399 could work in standalone mode thanks to two USB-C ports, although it could also be integrated into a carrier board to create a complete development board with more ports and interfaces. The company has now introduced an update with SOM-RK3399V2 CPU module with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, as well as a small change in the layout for the LED’s and buttons, but the rest of the features remain the same. The company also appears to have changed the way they handle cooling with SOM-RK3399V2 shipping with a heatsink, while SOM-RK3399 cooling was handled by a heatsink + cooling connected to the carrier board. SOM-RK3399V2 specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 big.LITTLE hexa-core processor with 2x Cortex-A72 cores up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 cores up to 1.5GHz, Mali-T864 […]
PocketCHIP was a Linux handheld computer powered by Allwinner R8/GR8 Cortex-A8 based CHIP board. The battery-powered device came with a small resistive display, 512 MB RAM, 4GB NAND flash, and a keyboard allowing to run Debian with PICO8 GUI so you could play retro games, access the terminal and so on. But since Next Thing Co folded last year the products are not available anymore. Since the designs were open source, Source Parts first tried to resurrect the board via their slightly modified Popcorn Computer but the Kickstarter campaign was unsuccessful. The company is now attempting to bring back PocketCHIP (sort of) with Pocket Popcorn Computer (abbreviated as Pocket P.C.) with a new design, and a much more powerful quad-core Cortex-A53 processor and overall better specs. Pocket Popcorn Computer specifications: SoC – Allwinner A64 quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 CPU with Arm Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3 RAM Storage – 32GB eMMC Memory, Internal microSD card connector Display – 4.95″ […]
Rock Pi S is a tiny single board computer powered by Rockchip RK3308 quad-core Cortex-A35 processor coupled with up to 512MB RAM, up to 1GB SD NAND flash, as well as a USB port, Fast Ethernet & optional WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity which was announced to sell for as low as $9.90 with 256MB RAM, 256MB flash and no wireless module. Seeed Studio has now started to take pre-orders for Rock Pi S with the board selling for $14.90 with 512 MB RAM, 512MB SD NAND flash, WiFi & Bluetooth. Shipping is scheduled to start on October 15th. [Update: Seeed Studio has also listed the 256MB RAM version of the board for $9.90] Rock Pi S specifications as currently sold on Seeed Studio: SoC – Rockchip RK3308 quad-core Arm Cortex-A35 processor @ up to 1.3 GHz with built-in VAD (Voice Activity Detector) System Memory – 512MB RAM Storage – MicroSD card for OS storage media, 4-Gbit onboard SD NAND storage […]
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