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Embedded computer module aims Linux at industrial apps

Oct 27, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Taiwanese industrial computing specialist Artila Electronics is shipping a processor module pre-loaded with a Linux 2.6 kernel and filesystem. The M-501 is based on a 180MHz ARM processor, has lots of standard PC I/O available through several high-density connectors, and is available with a baseboard.

Artila positions the M-501 as a springboard for industrial device designers interested in migrating control systems to 32-bit processors. The board includes a complete Linux filesystem and tools, and is available with a development baseboard.

The module also appears to be the basis of Artila's “Matrix-500” industrial computer (pictured at right). The Matrix-500 measures 3.1 x 4.25 x 1 inches (78 x 108 x 25mm), and targets browser-based monitoring and control of industrial devices and systems with serial interfaces, as depicted below.


Matrix-500 typical usage
(Click to enlarge)

The M-501

The M-501 itself measures 3.1 x 2 inches (80 x 50mm), and is based on a 180MHz Atmel AT91RM9200 SoC (system-on-chip). It has 32MB of SDRAM, and 16MB of flash, expandable through an SD card interface, according to Artilla.


Artila M-501, top and bottom

The M-501's flash is pre-loaded with a Linux 2.6 kernel, busybox utility collection, boa web server, and “various device drivers,” Artila says.

The M-501's I/O expansion is available through a pair of 2×25 DIL connectors, and a single 2×14 DIL connector. The 2×25 DILs offer:

  • 1 x 10/100M Ethernet
  • 4 x UART serial ports
  • 2 x USB 2.0 hosts
  • SPI (serial peripheral interface
  • I2C (Inter-IC) bus
  • I2S (Inter-IC Sound) bus
  • 32-bit programmable digital I/O

The third 2×14 DIL connector offers:

  • 8-bit local bus for custom peripheral expansion

The M-501 comes with GNU tools, including a cross compiler environment. It is also available with a carrier board (pictured at right with the smaller M-501) offering:

  • 1 x RS-232/422/485 line driver, RJ45 connector
  • 3 x RS-232 line drivers, RJ45 connector
  • 1 x RJ45 connector for Ethernet
  • 2 x USB host connectors
  • 1 x USB client connector
  • 2 x 20-pin headers for 32x GPIOs
  • Status LEDs for Etherent port and serial port
  • Power input circuitry (9~48VDC)

Availability

The M-501 and baseboard appear to be available now. Pricing was not disclosed.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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