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Tiny SBC aims to free Linux device designers from core chores

Jun 28, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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In September, Kontron will release a powerful, fanless RISC-based SBC (single board computer) designed to enable Linux and VxWorks device developers to concentrate on product design and application-specific software, rather than on implementing their own processor cores. The E2Brain EB8540 targets industrial automation, transportation, medical technology, and defense.

(Click for larger view of Kontron E2Brain EB8540 CoM)

The E2Brain EB8540 is based on an 800MHz Freescale MPC8540 PowerQUICC III processor that delivers 1,850 DMIPS (millions of instructions per second, measured with Dhrystone 2.1), while dissipating “much less power” than x86 SBCs offering similar performance, according to Kontron.

Kontron calls the EB8540 a “computer-on-module,” its term for an SBC designed to be integrated as an add-on component into customized embedded systems. The board includes four standard SMD (surface mount device) connectors for I/O connections and expansion devices. Supported I/O connections include 1 x 100BaseT Ethernet, 2 x GB Ethernet, up to 6 serial ports, 2 x Rx/Tx terminal interfaces, 4 x asynchronous 16550-compatible interfaces, a watchdog timer, and a real-time clock. Expansion options include a 32-bit 33/66 PCI bus, and an LPC bus (low pin count bus, formerly known as ISA).

A CAN bus is optionally available for automotive and telematics applications. The board is also optionally available with Freescale's MPC8541 security processor, which supports IPSec, DES, 3DES, and AES encryption.

The EB8540 includes 512MB of DDR SDRAM soldered to the baseboard, up to 32 MB of Flash memory, and 1 MB of battery-buffered SRAM. It also includes an E2Prom for configuration and user data. A CompactFlash slot can be placed on the baseboard. Debugging and onboard programming is done via the implemented JTAG/BDM interface.

The mechanically robust board measures 4.3 x 2.9 inches (110 x 75mm), and requires a single-source 3.3V power supply. It can operate between 0 and 70 degrees Celsuis, with an extended temperature version available that supports temperatures between -40 and 85 degrees Celsius.

In addition to Linux and VxWorks BSPs, the EB8540 will be supplied with an OS-independed boot loader with network support. It is expected to ship in September, 2004.


 
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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