Adding Wi-Fi to Emcraft Systems K70 SoM

Emcraft Systems K70 SoM is a system-on-module powered by Freescale K70 Cortex M4 micro-controller with enough RAM (64 MB) to comfortably run uClinux. They used to charge $99 for their uCLinux BSP, but it’s now free of charge, and the company also provides full hardware and software documentation, including a getting started guide, schematics and BoM for the baseboard, application notes and more… Many of their clients want to use Wi-Fi with K70 SoM, and it can easily be done by using Wi-Fi USB dongles based on Ralink RT5370 chipset such as D-Link DWA-140 (H/W rev B3) or Comfast CF-WU815N. Emcraft has provided detailed instructions to do so with K70 SoM, their latest baseboard (SOM-BSB-EXT) and a demo image based on their uClinux BSP. I’ll summarize the instructions to use K70 SoM as a Wi-Fi access point below. Connect the baseboard and K70 SoM with an Ethernet cable, a mini […]

Phytec India Unveils “Open Board-AM335x” Development Kit

PHYTEC has launched the Open Board-AM335x development kit in order to support Linux and Android development on Texas Instruments AM335x Sitara ARM Processors in India. The Open Board-AM335x is comprised of a baseboard and phyCORE-AM335x SoM, and comes with 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM, 512 MB NAND Flash, and optionally, 8 MB SPI Flash. The baseboard is open source hardware as schematics and Gerber/BOM are freely available. Here are the key features of Phytec Open Board-AM335x: SoM – PhyCore-AM335x with ARM Cortex-A8 processors @ 720 MHz (AM3352, AM3354, AM3356, AM3357, AM3358 and AM3359) System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 RAM Storage – 512 MB NAND + SD Card slot + 8 MB SPI NOR Flash (Optional) + 32 KB EEPROM (Optional) Serial – 1x UART (RS232) + 4x UART (TTL) USB – 1x USB Host + 1x USB OTG Connectivity – 1x 10/100/1G Ethernet Audio –  WM8974 Codec Display Interfaces – 24 bpp TTL […]

$299 Microsemi SmartFusion2 Starter Kit (Cortex M3 + FPGA)

Microsemi SmartFusion2 SoC family combines an ARM Cortex-M3 Core @ 166 Mhz and FPGA Fabric with up to 12M Gates, and comes with up to 512 KB eNVM and 64 KB eSRAM, 1 CAN A & B interface, 1 GbE port, 1 USB 2.0 OTG, and diverse serial interface. Last year I received Emcraft SmartFusion Starter Kit using the first generation of the starter kit, and Microsemi (previously known as Actel) and Emcraft Systems have recently announced the second generation with the SmartFusion2 Starter Kit. The main hardware features include: SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA in FG896 package (M2S050T-FG896ES) with 256KB eNVM, 64KB SRAM,  and 48,672 logic modules. JTAG interface for programming of the SmartFusion2 device 10/100 Ethernet interface and RJ-45 connector USB OTG interface and mini-USB connector USB based Wi-Fi Module 64MB LPDDR, 16MB SPI flash User push-button connected to GPIO on the SOM Two user-controlled LEDs connected to GPIO on […]

Posibus Peripheral Emulator Powered by Emcraft SmartFusion (Cortex M3 + FPGA) Solutions

According to Wikipedia, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) PDP-8 was the first successful commercial minicomputer, and was introduced in March 1965. Mike Thompson, working at Rhode Island Computer Museum (RICM), has restored a PDP-8/L system that was sold between 1968 through 1971. The system can be expanded with 4K of core, a paper tape reader (PR8/L), and/or a punch (PP8/L) controller. But the tape reader is not available anymore, so Mike decided to designe a Posibus peripheral (Tape Reader) emulator using a board with an FPGA + micro-controller. The easiest way to perform this task was to get an SoC that comes with an MCU and a FPGA to avoid having to create an FPGA <-> MCU interface. This is why he chose Emcraft Linux SmartFusion Evaluation Kit featuring a Microsemi Smartfusion cSOC with a Cortex M3 core and an embedded FPGA. The whole setup is shown below. Three FlipChip interface boards […]

Crystalfontz CFA-10036 ARM9 Embedded Module Running Linux 3.7

Crystalfontz America, a supplier of LCD and OLED display modules used in embedded systems, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund manufacturing and lower the cost of a system-on-module powered by Freescale i.MX28 featuring a small 128×32 OLED display, and lots of GPIOs. Here are the specs of CFA-10036 SoM: Processor – Freescale i.MX283 @ 454MHz  (Optionally i.MX287) System Memory – 128 MB DDR2 (Optionally 256MB) Storage – microSD socket (Up to 64GB) Interfaces: 2x CAN interfaces 4x synchronous serial ports 10/100-Mbps 802.3 Ethernet MAC USB 2.0 OTG (connected to microUSB AB on CFA-10036. Used for development purpose) USB 2.0 host controller and PHY 5x UART plus one dedicated debug UART 2x I2C (OLED shares one of these) LCD, touch screen, keypad, and rotary encoder support RTC with 32KHz crystal (requires continuous power) 4x 32-bit timers 8x PWM 5x 12-bit 428KS/s ADC channels 1x 12 bit 2MS/s ADC channel 91 GPIO […]

Rhombus Tech EOMA-68 CPU Card Prototype

Do you remember Rhombus Tech AllWinner A10 EOMA-PCMCIA CPU card that targets a BOM cost of $15 US, that was announced at the end of last year? Well, after much wait, the first prototype is now available. This CPU module is based on AllWinner A10 Cortex A8 processor, with 1GB RAM, a NAND Flash, one USB OTG port, microSD slot, HDMI, PMIC, an Ethernet PHY (at the back), an expansion header, and the EOMA-68 connector giving access to peripherals signals (SATA, Ethernet, RGB/TTL, I2C etc…). It can act as a Linux/Android stand-alone computer or be connected to a baseboard. One of the first project will be a laptop for the Chinese market. AllWinner A10 SoC may be a little underpowered to be used in laptop compared to the latest ARM processors, but since EOMA-PCMCIA is a standard, pin-to-pin compatible modules will eventually be designed and manufactured with different/faster (ARM) processors. […]

Open Hardware System on Module Project

“JM” has started working on a system-on-module project with the goal “to create a whole range of SoM boards and motherboards that can handle a large number of embedded projects”.  He has just released schematics and layout files created with Kicad for a dual NXP LPC1764 SO-DIMM module and the baseboard under GPL3 license.  The next goal is to release an AllWinner A10 SoM and corresponding baseboard. Kicad is an open source schematics capture and PCB layout software that can run in Windows, Linux and Mac. If you want to read the schematics or try it out, you can freely download it. In Ubuntu you could just use apt-get:

The hardware files for the module and carrier board are available here. JM explains that the LPC module and baseboard have already been manufactured and tested, so it could just be a matter of adapting the module for AllWinner A10/A20. […]

Direct Insight TRITON-TX6Q System-on-Module Powered by Freescale i.MX6Q

Direct Insight, a British company, has recently announced the TRITON-TX6Q, a SODIMM system-on-module based on Freescale’s iMX6Q quad core Cortex-A9 processor running at 1 GHz with 1 to 2GB RAM and 128 MB flash. This module targets embedded applications including medical devices, digital signage, and industrial multimedia products. Here are the TRITON-TX6Q specifications: SoC – Freescale i.MX6Q 4x ARM Cortex-A9 up to  1GHz + Vivante GC2000, GC355 and GC320 graphics co-processors System Memory – 1GB or 2GB 64-bit DDR3 @ 1066MHz Storage – 128MB NAND Flash, 2 SD card receptacles on baseboard Display Connection – LCD controller 24-bit parallel up to 1080p, dual LVDS (optional). Resistive & capactive touch screen support. Connectivity – Ethernet 10/100 BaseT with PHY on module. USB – USB Host + USB OTG Peripherals and Interfaces: Up to 5x UART (RS232) with pin sharing 2x I2C, 1x 1-wire and 2x SPI interfaces SSP (synchronous serial /digital audio): […]