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Tiny Cortex-A8 module gains Linux development support

Sep 29, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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Timesys announced embedded Linux development support for two Logic PD embedded modules incorporating Texas Instruments' 1GHz DM3730 processor. The LinuxLink offering supports Logic PD's Torpedo System on Module (SOM) — which at under one square inch is billed the industry's smallest embedded module — as well as the larger, more feature-rich DM3730 SOM-LV module.

The two Logic PD modules offer the highest performance and lowest power consumption on the market, claims Timesys. We're not sure about that, but certainly they appear to be right up there in both categories. We do know that the Torpedo is the smallest module we've seen, measuring just 1.06 x 0.59 x 0.15 inches (27 x 15 x 3.8mm).


Logic PD DM3730/AM3703 Torpedo SOM

Both the Torpedo and the SOM-LV modules were announced in May, along with versions that instead incorporate the Texas Instruments (TI) AM3703, a close cousin of the DM3730. TI announced the Sitara AM3703 in June of last year, then followed up with its DM3730 SoC in August. The latter is still clocked at 1GHz, but adds an 800MHz TI C64x+ digital signal processor (DSP) core as well as a Imagination Technologies Power SGX 3D graphics accelerator.

The tiny DM3730 version of the Torpedo SOM features low power consumption of less than 5mW in suspend state, Logic PD claimed in May. The module is equipped with 256MB DDR SDRAM and 512MB NAND flash, and supports an MMC/SD slot, says the company. An LCD controller and audio codec are said to be provided, along with TV-out/S-Video.

Torpedo I/O is expressed via dual 100-pin BTB connectors, and includes USB 2.0 OTG, UARTs, McBSP, SPI, I2C, GPIO, and a parallel camera interface. JTAG and ETM debugging are handled via a separate 40-pin debug interface, says Logic PD.


DM3730/AM3703 Torpedo SOM front view

With a footprint of 3.0 x 1.22 inches, Logic PD's DM3730 SOM-LV module is essentially an expanded version of the Torpedo — but it lacks the latter's camera interface or TV-out. The module offers 8MB of NOR flash, a 10/100 Ethernet controller, CompactFlash support, and a touchscreen controller, says Logic PD.

I/O is provided via dual 240-pin BTB connectors, and includes three USB 2.0 host interfaces. The SOM-LV module externalizes the three UARTs, offers GPIO, and supports debugging, says Logic PD. It also adds on-board Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR radios.


Torpedo SOM Zoom kit

Both the Torpedo and SOM-LV modules are offered with an optional Zoom development kit equipped with an integrated 4.3-inch, 430 x 240 resolution LCD touchscreen. The Zoom kit supplies memory-card slots, as well as real-world Ethernet, USB, and audio ports, says Logic PD. The kit offers  HDMI and serial ports, as well as other I/O.

LinuxLink for Torpedo and SOM-LV

Timesys' LinuxLink development platform is offered in both free and paid versions. The free LinuxLink Web Edition allows developers to mix and match kernel, toolchain, packages, and bootloaders to develop embedded projects, says Timesys.

The more comprehensive and flexible LinuxLink Desktop Edition allows developers to integrate their own applications, modify the Linux kernel, and incorporate their own proprietary packages. The Desktop Edition also comes with live online support.

The LinuxLink subscription for the Logic PD Torpedo SOM and DM3730 SOM-LV enables developers to quickly assemble and boot an initial embedded Linux image, says Timesys. Developers can patch, configure, rebuild, and update with Timesys' pre-configured application development environment, as well as debug, profile and tune with common open source development tools, says the company. The tools are said to include all required kernel patches and development libraries/utilities.

Stated Mark Benson, director of software strategy, Logic PD, "We're pleased with how Timesys consistently helps our customers manage the complexity of setting up their Linux software development environment, manage package dependencies, builds and deployment so they can focus on their core domain-specific competency."

Stated Maciej Halalsz, director of product management, Timesys, "Timesys has chosen Logic PD SOMs and development kits as the development kit of choice to teach and train on TI silicon."

Availability

LinuxLink commercial subscriptions start at $5,495 per year with unlimited support. More information about Logic PD's DM 3730 SOM-LV and Torpedo SOMs is available via a free Timesys webinar scheduled for Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. EDT.


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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