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HMI dev kits run Linux or Android on 1GHz Cortex-A9 SoC

Apr 4, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 685 views
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VIA’s “Mobile360 HMI” flat panel starter kits run Linux or Android on VIA’s own 1GHz Cortex-A9 based WM8980 SoC, and offer WiFi and touchscreen options.

The VIA Technologies “Mobile360 HMI” flat panel display starter kits appear to have been showcased at Embedded World in late February, but came to our attention in a recent design win announcement from VIA. One of the kit models is being used by the Italian Post Office to deploy intelligent signage systems throughout the country.



VTS-8588 (left) and ENT-610M display controller boards
(click images to enlarge)

The HMI kits come in two variants, based on the two different controller boards shown above:

  • Mobile360 HMI Panel Display Starter Kit — based on VIA’s signage-oriented VTS-8588 controller board
  • Mobile360 HMI Touch Panel Starter Kit — based on VIA’s touch-oriented ENT-610M controller board

In the Italian postal project, signage systems based the VTS-8588 controller board have been installed at each counter as part of a queue management system that allows customers to pre-book an appointment using a mobile app. When customers arrive at the appointments, they can view the display that was pre-assigned by the app to track their place in the line, says VIA.

The Italian Post Office has also deployed “large summary displays,” powered by the Linux- and Android-ready VIA AMOS-820 embedded PC, that greet customers and act as backup displays. VIA’s Mobile360 HMI starter kits support a variety of other digital signage, kiosk, and in-vehicle infotainment applications, says the company.

 
Mobile360 HMI Panel Display Starter Kit

The Mobile360 HMI Panel Display Starter Kit is based on VIA’s rectangular VTS-8588 controller board and is available with an optional 17-inch, 1280 x 1024-pixel LCD. The display is interfaced by means of the board’s 18/24-bit LVDS connector.



Mobile360 HMI Panel Display Starter Kit components
(click image to enlarge)

The kit’s VTS-8588 controller board is based on VIA’s WM8980 SoC, which integrates a 1GHz, dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU plus a dual-processor Mali-400 GPU. The board includes 1GB of DDR3 SDRAM memory, plus with 8GB of eMMC storage. I/O ports include dual-channel LVDS, a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port with 48V PoE, a pair of USB 2.0 ports, a 2-wire serial console port, and a microSD slot. There’s also an onboard 802.11b/g/n WiFi module.


VTS-8588 controller board details and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The VTS-8588 controller is supported with a Linux 3.4.5-based BSP, according to its data sheet. The 140 x 115mm board runs from 12V DC, and operates over a 0 to 45°C temperature range. Targeted applications for this controller board and starter kit include “all-in-one digital signage systems,” says VIA.

 
Mobile360 HMI Touch Panel Starter Kit

The Mobile360 HMI Touch Panel Starter Kit is based on VIA’s L-shaped ENT-610M controller board. It is offered with an optional 10.1-inch, 1024 x 600-pixel LCD, with or without a “projective capacitive” touchscreen. The display is interfaced by means of the board’s single-channel, 18/24-bit LVDS connector.



Mobile360 HMI Touch Panel Starter Kit components
(click image to enlarge)

Like the VTS-8588, the ENT-610M controller has VIA’s WM8980 SoC at its core. In this case, there are 512MB of DDR3 RAM memory and 4GB of eMMC storage, plus the usual microSD slot. The only real-world port is a USB 2.0 port, although a second port is said to be optional. Internal USB-based connectors let you attach optional 10/100 Ethernet and WiFi modules. As on the VTS-8588 there’s also an available 2-wire console port.


ENT-610M controller board details and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The ENT-610M controller is supported with “optimized” Linux and Android 4.2 BSPs that are said to enable “development of customized touch-based applications.” The 175 x 120mm board offers a wide-range 9 to 36V power supply and lockable connectors, and is rated for 0 to 45°C operation. This controller board and kit are aimed at in-vehicle entertainment and user-interactive signage systems, says VIA.

 
Further information

VIA’s Mobile360 HMI Panel Display starter kits are available now, at unstated prices. More information may be found at the company’s Mobile360 HMI Panel Display Starter Kit and Mobile360 HMI Touch Panel Starter Kit product pages. VIA also offers turn-key manufacturing of customized production systems based on these kits.
 

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