New series of miniature embedded industrial computers of the credit card size manages HD videos, multimedia presentations and other demanding tasks in a real time.
i.MX53 is after i.MX25 and i.MX51 already the 3-rd member in the family of computers i.MX (SBC – Single Board Computer, COM – Computer On Module) from company Voipac. A big advantage of a common concept, i.e. usage of common operating systems is, that these computers are cross-compatible, thus all experience, programs and drivers, which you have for example from development of applications for i.MX25, are also usable for i.MX53.
OS Linux, Android and soon also Windows Embedded compact 7, USB 2.0 OTG/HOST, LCD 1600×1200 controller, ethernet and many other built-in peripherials make the i.MX53 a top choice for devices with small dimensions. A high-performance 1.2 GHz multimedia processor i.MX535 from Freescale provides a high performance at a low power consumption (passive cooling). i.MX53 is constructed on only 1mm thick 10-layer HDI board with microvias and provides a vast majority of peripherials expected from embedded systems. i.MX53 is able to boot not only from NAND Flash memory, but also from I2C EEPROM, SPI Flash and uSD card (all 3, including a uSD connector are on the board).
i.MX53 is, similarly like recent models of Voipac, available in 3 versions – Basic, Pro and Max. The key factor saying in favor of i.MX53 in comparison to competitors´ products is the price/ performance ratio.
A maximum hardware configuration contains literally all, what so small computer can offer. The module even contains a 3-axis accelerometer and a switch-mode power supply for user applications. For the i.MX53, there´s also available the development board (usable also for i.MX25 and i.MX51) and the multitouch capacitive display. The most simple way for development is to use complete reach-featured development kits. Voipac products are also extraordinary by the fact, that the producer supplies complete schematics and PCB from the Altium environment to every purchased development kit. Voipac provides an extensive support in a form of pre-paid 1 or 3-month support and in files free to download in a binary as well as source code.
Detailed information will provide you the i.MX53 flyer, i.MX53 datasheet as well as attached video. Further files can be found on the producer´s website in the downloads section (http://www.voipac.com/#Downloads).
In case of interest, please contact us at email@example.com.
i.MX53 – a “credit card” with an operating system increased its performance - [Link]
Recently many little boards running Linux appeared across the globe. These boards may prove useful for many projects and for teaching Linux OS to any enthusiast out there. But how we got there? Read about the road to development of these embedded computers. (by Publitek European Editors)
Linux has long been on the edge of breaking into embedded systems, but one barrier has been the lack of affordable development boards with fast enough processors and large enough storage to cope with Linux. In the last few years, the situation has changed and there are a number of low-cost development boards, each with an array of plug-in peripherals and carrying processors with the power and memory to comfortably execute Linux-based applications. This article will look at BeagleBoard/BeagleBone and PandaBoard. It will also look at a manufacturer’s approach to the same problem – The Freescale Tower development system with a special emphasis on the MPC8309 PowerQUICC II Pro processor.
Linux and the Road to Development - [Link]
Building my Own Laptop @ bunnie’s blog – [via]
We are building an open laptop, with some wacky features in it for hackers like me.
This is a lengthy project. Fortunately, ARM CPUs are getting fast enough, and Moore’s Law is slowing down, so that even if it took a year or so to complete, I won’t be left with a woefully useless design. Today’s state of the art ARM CPUs — quad-core with GHz+ performance levels — is good enough for most day-to-day code development, email checking, browsing etc.
We started the design in June, and last week I got my first prototype motherboards, hot off the SMT line. It’s booting linux, and I’m currently grinding through the validation of all the sub-components. I thought I’d share the design progress with my readers.
Of course, a feature of a build-it-yourself laptop is that all the design documentation is open, so others of sufficient skill and resources can also build it. The hardware and its sub-components are picked so as to make this the most practically open hardware laptop I could create using state of the art technology. You can download, without NDA, the datasheets for all the components, and key peripheral options are available so it’s possible to build a complete firmware from source with no opaque blobs.
Bunnie is building an open-source hardware Linux laptop - [Link]
Cubieboard is aLinux computer-on-a-board type device. It features a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU, with 1GB of DDR3 RAM, and the Mali400 OpenGL ES GPU with HDMI output priced at $49
- 1G ARM cortex-A8 processor, NEON, VFPv3, 256KB L2 cache
- Mali400, OpenGL ES GPU
- 512M/1GB DDR3 @480MHz
- HDMI 1080p Output
- 10/100M Ethernet
- 4Gb Nand Flash
- 2 USB Host, 1 micro SD slot, 1 SATA, 1 ir
- 96 extend pin including I2C, SPI, RGB/LVDS, CSI/TS, FM-IN, ADC, CVBS, VGA, SPDIF-OUT, R-TP..
- Running Android, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions
Cubieboard: Another Linux computer on a board - [Link]
Company FTDI released drivers form ARM processors compiled for Linux OS, enabling to Access FTDI USB devices thus expanding I/O ports in various applications with ARM processors.
Existing FTDI drivers for many processors architectures and various operating systems have extended with a new clone and further enlarged possibilities of an easy USB interface implementation with FTDI devices into various devices, including the popular Raspberry Pi. New D2xx drivers for Linux are compatible with all ARM processors supporting the V5 instruction set.
They are free to download at: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/D2XX.htm.
ARM processors providing a high computing power while maintaining a small power consumption, are probably the most often choice for powerful data and multimedia application nowadays. That´s why, if you have an application with ARM processors, or you´re just developing it, you may appreciate also this possibility to add a USB interface into a target device simply.
FTDI USB devices understand even the Raspberry Pi - [Link]
Does this sound familiar to you? After spending many hours on optimizing for speed and memory your super-duper MCU application, you can only conclude that it will not run on an Arduino board. You have built the shield (the Arduino compatible extension board) with your special I/O and you wrote most of the software, but these last functions that should add that finishing touch just don’t fit in the board’s memory. Maybe Rascal can help?
Built around a 400 MHz AT91SAM9G20 ARM9 from Atmel, the Rascal is an open source Linux board compatible with Arduino extension cards or shields. Programming the board is easy thanks to a library written in Python from Pytronics that allows easy access to peripherals and shields. The Rascal’s firmware comes with a web server that can serve as a programming interface; you can write your applications directly in a web browser connected to the Rascal board. [via]
Rascal Combines Linux and Arduino - [Link]
Ettus, manufacturers of the USRP line of SDRs, has announced the availability of a customized bootable USB drive for USRP/GnuRadio development. The LiveUSB SDR Environment is a 16 GB USB 3.0 drive with Ubuntu 11.10 (64-bit), USRP Hardware Driver (UHD), GNU Radio, OpenBTS and associated documentation preinstalled.
Ettus notes that this drive is compatible with USB 2.0 ports, but the system will take longer to boot, load programs, and respond to user interaction.
The US list price is $79.00. Good news: Ettus is making a .tar.gz file with the file system available for free download here. If your hardware is 64-bit/USB 3.0, give it a try!
Ettus LiveUSB SDR environment - [Link]
Every once in a while something comes along that changes the way you look at things. A project posted last week by Dmitry Grinberg was such a thing for me. The project in itself is already pretty strange: porting a 32-bit operating system (OS) to an 8-bit microcontroller lacking most of the features needed to actually run the OS. Why would you want to run Linux on an AVR? “Because you can”, would answer George Obama (or was it Barack Mallory?) and now also Dmitry. Yes, apparently you can (I didn’t try it myself), it only takes two hours to boot Linux on the AVR, with an effective clock speed of a dazzling 6.5 kHz. It is fun as in academic demonstration.
Yet for me this demonstration, working or not, useful or not, shows more. Emulating one platform on another more powerful platform is common practice these days, but I had never thought about doing the opposite. Emulating a 32-bit ARM processor on an 8-bit microcontroller is actually quite a cool idea. Maybe Dmitry is not the first to have done this, I don’t know, but it is an excellent example of thinking the other way around, outside the box. The result may be useless for now, but who knows what one day may come from this? [via]
Run 32-bit Linux on an 8-bit MCU - [Link]
Strategic Test has announced a new low-cost addition to its line of Freescale-based i.MX multimedia processor modules. The TX-28S has a 200-pin SODIMM form factor measuring just 68 x 25 mm and contains a 454 MHz i.MX283 processor (based on the ARM926EJ-S core) along with 64 MB DDR SDRAM and 128 MB NAND flash memory. The module is targeted at embedded fanless applications where low price, small size and low power consumption are critical factors. A long-term availability of seven years is guaranteed.
The DIMM module features include 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, two high-speed USB 2.0 ports, a colour LCD controller, a 4/5-wire touchscreen interface, and UART, SD-Card, I²C, PWM, serial audio and SPI interfaces. It is pin compatible with the manufacturer’s existing modules based on other Freescale i.MX processors, which allows developers to create scaleable systems. All modules can be supplied with the Development Kit-5 hardware reference platform, which supports both Linux and Microsoft Windows Embedded CE 6.0. [via]
Credit card sized MCU module runs Linux & Windows CE - [Link]
The $25 Computer @ WSJ… [via]
“Our dream is that the Raspberry Pi gets to a large number of schoolchildren and that a fraction of them learn how to program. They will become the next generation of innovators who will stimulate the economy,” he said.
Although only the size of a credit card, Raspberry Pi has a 700Mhz Arm processor, up to 256MB of flash memory. It will run a version of the popular Linux operating system, although Mr. Mullins said the final software package has yet to be finalized.
Development on the Raspberry Pi started three years ago, he said, and they hoped to have a product for sale by mid 2012.
There is currently a waiting list of more than 10,000 people.
The $25 Computer - [Link]