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Gumstix sweetens its tiny ARM Cortex-A8 and -A9 COMs

May 1, 2013  |  Eric Brown
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Gumstix has upgraded its Linux-ready DuoVero and Overo computer-on-modules (COMs). The OMAP4430-based DuoVero Zephyr adds 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth to the DuoVero design, and the Overo TidalSTORM is based on a TI 1GHz OMAP3730 processor, and doubles the RAM to 1GB compared to the previous Overo Tide.

Gumstix has been upgrading and revising its Overo line of tiny, Linux-focused COMs since the first ARM Cortex-A8-based Overo Earth arrived in 2008. It is now doing the same with its newer, Cortex-A9-based DuoVero modules, which similarly use Texas Instruments (TI) DaVinci OMAP system-on-chips (SOCs). As before, both new COMs measure 2.28 x 0.67 inches (58 x 17mm), feature dual 70-pin expansion connectors, and are supported with open-source Linux development kits, including Yocto Project build system support.
 

DuoVero Zephyr

The DuoVero Zephyr COM is based on the 1GHz, dual-core ARM Cortex-A9-based OMAP4430, which offers a POWERVR SGX450 3G graphics accelerator. The DuoVero Zephyr appears to be almost identical to the original DuoVero Crystal except that it adds a Wi2Wi wireless module, which supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0.



DuoVero Zephyr COM, front and back
(click image to enlarge)

Like the DuoVero Crystal, the DuoVero Zephyr is equipped with 1GB of RAM and supports dual 1080p HD cameras. The Zephyr supports 0 to 75° C operating temperature, in contrast to the Crystal’s 0 to 85° C range.

For ease of evaluation and development, Gumstix offers two ready-made open source expansion boards for its DuoVero modules: the Chateau breakout board and the more advanced Parlor, which adds micro-HDMI/DVI-D, 10/100 Ethernet, USB OTG and Host ports, and stereo audio.
 

Overo TidalSTORM

Gumstix now provides 14 versions of the Overo COM series, based on different versions of TI’s OMAP35x family, as well as on enhancements like wireless modules and extended temperature support. Overo models, such as Sand, Fire, Tide, and Water, are also offered in memory- or processor-enhanced versions with the STORM suffix.



Overo TidalSTORM COM, front and back
(click image to enlarge)

Compared to the similar Overo Tide module, the new Overo TidalSTORM doubles the RAM to 1GB. Although Gumstix makes no note of it in the announcement, the enhanced module also appears to have an upgraded processor. Instead of the Overo Tide’s 720MHz OMAP3430 SOC, the TidalSTORM product page indicates a TI DM3730, which offers a 1GHz Cortex-A8 core (800MHz recommended). The DM3730, which was featured on the BeagleBoard-xM, also supplies a 3D graphics accelerator, and a faster 800MHz C64x+ DSP core, which enables 720p video encoding.

Like the Overo Tide, the TidalSTORM offers a 27-pin camera connector. The operating temperature support of 0 to 85° C listed for the Tide is not mentioned on the TidalSTORM page. Both boards are supported by a wide variety of compatible expansion boards focusing on everything from touchscreens (Palo35) to robotics (RoboVero).
 

Further info

The DuoVero Zephyr COM ($199) and the Overo TidalSTORM COM ($169) are available now. More information may be found on the DuoVero Zephyr and Overo TidalSTORM product pages, respectively.

Gumstix also recently announced a Pepper single-board computer (SBC) based on a 720MHz TI Sitara processor selling for $250.
 

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