Arcom has released a development kit for its 25MHz 386EX based MERLIN single-board computer (SBC) running the eCos embedded operating system.
The kit is meant for developers of inexpensive network-enabled controllers with custom I/O control, according to Arcom. It includes the MERLIN single board computer, power supply, Ethernet and serial cables, Quickstart manual, and a CD of application development tools (GCC compiler and GDB debugger) for both Windows and Linux based host systems.
Arcom describes the MERLIN as a low cost, small footprint SBC featuring the Intel 25MHz 386EX CPU, along with 3 serial ports (2xRS-232, 1×422/485), 10baseT Ethernet, 2Mbytes DRAM, 1Mbyte Flash, 512K battery-backed SRAM, real time clock, and an onboard 8 – 18V DC (or 10 – 16V AC) power supply. The board includes an I/O expansion port for driving custom I/O, an onboard 48bit unique ID device, and a battery.
eCos is an open source, royalty-free, real-time operating system built with a TCP/IP stack and a selection of network applications such as an HTTP server, FTP client, TFTP client/server, and an SNMP agent. Arcom asserts that the highly configurable nature of eCos allows the operating system to be customized to precise application requirements, “delivering the best possible run-time performance with absolutely no associated runtime or development tool costs.”
Arcom says its eCos based applications can use RedBoot to load and run the image from embedded Flash memory. A download mechanism using one of the serial ports (X or Y modem protocol) or the Ethernet channel (using TFTP) is also provided. For unattended or automated startup, boot scripts can be stored in Flash to allow a new eCos image to be remotely loaded from a TFTP server, Arcom says.
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