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Linux-friendly development board supports TI AM1705 SoC

Jun 26, 2013  |  Rick Lehrbaum
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Modulixtech announced a development board based on a Texas Instruments AM1705 ARM9 system-on-chip, supported by ready-to-run ports of Buildroot embedded Linux and the U-Boot bootloader. The EVB1L board provides Ethernet, serial, USB, and MMC/SD expansion, is implemented on a 158 x 100mm Eurocard form factor, provides PC/104-style expansion, and consumes less than 2 Watts.

Modulixtech is a small Malta-based consultancy offering embedded hardware, software, and Linux kernel driver development services. The EVB1L single-board computer (SBC), which appears to be Modulixtech’s first off-the-shelf product, can be useful either as an application’s embedded platform or as an embedded hardware and software development tool, says the company.



EVB1L TI AM1705 development board

TI targets the ARM9-based AM1705 SoC at cost- and power-constrained embedded applications, such as industrial and home automation devices, test and measurement equipment, portable data terminals, and power protection systems. The chip consumes just 455mW TDP when active and just 62mW in standby mode, and is available in extended temperatures as punishing as -40 to +125° C (for the automotive version). But before you get overly impressed by the SoC’s ultra-low power consumption, bear in mind that its maximum CPU clock frequency is a modest 456MHz.



TI AM1705 SoC block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

 

Board features & specs

Modulixtech lists the following features and specifications for the EVB1L board:

  • Processor — TI AM1705 ARM9 SoC, clocked at 384MHz or 456MHz
  • 32MB or 64MB SDRAM
  • 8 megabit SPI flash
  • MMC/SD microSD expansion socket
  • 100Mbit Ethernet port
  • USB — 1x Host port (Type A) and 1x USB OTG port (MiniUSB)
  • 1x RS232 serial port (DB9)
  • I/O on expansion connector — SPI; 2x serial; I2C; 13x GPIOs
  • 40-pin PC/104-style expansion bus
  • RTC circuit
  • JTAG on 14-pin header (compatible with XDS debuggers(
  • Dimensions — 158 x 100 mm (Eurocard)
  • Supports fanless operation
  • Power requirements — 2W max; 1W typical

Although the board’s operating temperature is not stated, the company says it can be operated reliably “under excessive heat conditions.”
 

Software support

Modulixtech says it supports the EVB1L development board with the following ready-to-use software and tools:

  • Linux 2.6.33 kernel
  • Arago Linux demo
  • Buildroot embedded Linux
  • U-Boot boot loader
  • UBL and SPI flash programming tools
  • FreeRTOS
  • FatsFs support for the microSD card slot.

Additionally, the EVB1L can be used with TI’s CCS V5 Support (pre-ported), the Code Sourcery Linux Cross Compilation toolchain (as supplied by TI and Mentor Graphics), and the TI’s complete AM1705 SDK. Full source code for all ported code is available, says the company.

Future developments around the EVB1L development board will include application-specific modules for plugging into the board’s 40-pin PC/104-style expansion header, as well as software drivers, says Modulixtech.

The EVB1L development board is priced at 319 Euros, which includes a month of development support, and quantity hardware discounts are available. Further information may be found at Modulixtech’s website.
 

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