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Medical Device dev platform runs Linux on DaVinci SoC

Feb 6, 2014  |  Eric Brown

eInfochips announced a development platform for medical imaging device designs, based on two tiny COMs that integrate TI DaVinci DM816x and DM814x SoCs.

About two years ago, eInfochips came out with its first Andromeda Reference Platform (pictured below) for video processing, videoconferencing, and video surveillance applications built around its own computer-on-modules (COMs). The COMs, in turn, were based on the Texas Instruments DaVinci DM816x, DM814x, and C6A816x system-on-chips, which combine ARM Cortex-A8 cores, GPUs, and DSPs.



First-generation Andromeda Reference Platform
(click image to enlarge)

Now, the company offers a new medical-focused Andromeda Reference Platform (pictured farther below) based on two new COMs running the first two SoCs called the DM816x SOM and DM814x SOM. Like the earlier modules, which have been used in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the two new Linux-based COMs are also available separately for volume runs, according to eInfochips Corporate Marketing Manager Dhaval Shah.

The new Andromeda platform is quite similar to the earlier models, said Shah. It combines the COM, a carrier card, an HD video capture and I/O card. There’s also a 7-inch touchscreen (see farther below).

 
DM816x and DM814x SoC-based COMs

The new DM816x SOM and DM814x SOM computer-on-modules (COMs) each measure 75 x 37mm, making them the smallest COMs yet developed that use the underlying DaVinci SoCs, according to eInfochips. Although the two TI processors aren’t pin-compatible, the modules are, says the company.



DM816x SOM top and bottom views
(click image to enlarge)

In addition to acting as the brain of the new Andromeda medical platform, the COMs can be used for a variety of high-end video processing applications, says the company. These include video controllers such as machine vision and medical imaging equipment. Other applications are said to include video processing IP cameras, surveillance recorders, medical video recorders, digital signage, multichannel video servers, and video conferencing systems.

The modules are respectively based on TI’s DaVinci TMS320DM8168, which features HD video acceleration, and the DaVinci TMS320DM8148, which offers SGX530 graphics acceleration. Both of these Cortex-A8/DSP hybrid SoCs received indepth coverage on LinuxDevices when they were announced in 2011. A similar DM8169 SoC appeared last April in Z3 Technology’s FPGA-enabled Z3-DM8169-MCVI-RPS video transcoding subsystem.

The modules ship with 1GB of DDR3 RAM and 512MB NAND flash. A variety of audio/video I/O is provided, including HDMI.

Below, we’ve provided specifications for the HD video capable DM816x SOM. The DM814x SOM offers considerably different I/O, which is detailed in a datasheet linked to at the bottom of the story. For example, it adds two CAN interfaces, but only sports one gigabit Ethernet port instead of two. It also offers only one PCIe expansion interface instead of two.

Specifications for the DM816x SOM include:

  • Processor — TI DaVinci TMS320DM8168 or TMS3208A8168 (Cortex-A8 core @ 1.2GHz plus DSP)
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 SDRAM; 512MB NAND flash; “secure memory”
  • Video I/O:
    • Input 1 — 16/24-bit HD or 2x 8-bit SD
    • Input 2 — 16-bit HD or 2x 8-bit SD
    • Output 1 — HDMI 1.3
    • Output 2 — 16/24/30-bit HD
    • Output 3 — Component or 3x SD analog
  • Audio I/O — 3x McASP; McBSP
  • Storage interfaces — 2x SATA; 1x SD/SDIO
  • Networking — 2x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 2.0 host/device
    • 3x UART
    • SPI
    • 2x I2C
    • 8x GPIO
    • Reset I/O (POR, reset in, reset out/WD out)
    • 2x PCIe 2.0
  • Other features — RTC with battery backup, fan control, temp. monitoring
  • Dimensions — 75 x 37mm (3.0 x 1.5 inches)
  • Operating system — Linux

The modules are available with a Linux stack. eInfochips also offers SOM-based product development, as well as application-specific SOM development services to end-application customers, says the company.

 
Second-generation Andromeda Reference Platform, targeting medical apps

The Andromeda Reference Platform for medical imaging and telemedicine can be used to develop devices including endoscopy, angiography, mammography, arthroscopy, and ultrasound equipment, says eInfochips. The device can also be used as a wireless-ready platform for telemedicine by connecting doctors, patients and families via videoconferencing. Previous Andromeda models have been used in applications ranging from casino gaming systems to professional broadcasting equipment.



Andromeda Reference Platform for medical devices
(click image to enlarge)

Customers can choose to equip the Andromeda Reference Platform with either a DM816x SOM or DM814x SOM module. The device is further configured with a 7-inch, 800 x 480-pixel resistive touchscreen. Although not mentioned in the datasheet, it appears to feature five LEDs under the screen, as well as an antenna for the integrated WiFi and Bluetooth radios.

The Andromeda Reference Platform offers a single gigabit Ethernet port, as well as an optional SATA drive and PCIe slot. The latter can be fitted with an optional Firewire card.

A/V interfaces include HDMI in and out, VGA and CVBS outputs, and audio in and out. There are also dual USB 2.0 host ports, dual serial ports, and trigger I/O.

The new medical imaging and telemedicine platform ships with a Linux BSP. The package also includes middleware, libraries, framework, sample applications, and documentation targeting medical devices.

Specifications listed for the Andromeda Reference Platform (Medical Devices and Telemedicine) include:

  • Processor (via DM816x SOM or DM814x SOM modules) — TI DaVinci TMS320DM8168 or TMS3208A8168
  • Memory (via DM816x SOM or DM814x SOM modules) — 1GB DDR3 SDRAM; 512MB NAND flash
  • Display 7-inch, 800 x 480 resistive TFT touchscreen
  • Storage — optional 2.5-inch SATA HDD
  • Wireless — 802.11b/g/n; Bluetooth
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet
  • A/V I/O:
    • Analog Component HD in
    • HDMI 1.3 in/out
    • VGA out
    • CVBS out
    • Stereo audio in/out
  • Other I/O:
    • USB — 2x USB 2.0 host
    • Serial — 1x RS232; 1x RS485
    • Triggers — 2x inputs; 2x outputs
  • Expansion — optional PCIe slot with optional Firewire card
  • Power — 12VDC @ 5Amp
  • Dimensions — 190 x 140 x 70mm (7.5 x 5.5 x 2.8 inches)
  • Linux BSP and development platform

“Based on our decade-old relationship with eInfochips, we are excited about the enhanced system performance this SOM will give our video customers,” stated Cyril Clocher, business unit manager, video security, TI.

 
Further information

No pricing or availability information on the new DM816x SOM and DM814x SOM modules and Andromeda Reference Platform for medical imaging and telemedicine were provided. More information on the modules may be found in this combined DM816x SOM and DM814x SOM data sheet (PDF), which also includes a datasheet for the Andromeda Reference Platform. More on the generic Andromeda Reference Platform may be found here and here (PDF).

The Andromeda Reference Platform will be showcased at the eInfochips booth #672 at the MedTech MD&M West 2014 conference, Feb. 11-13 in Anaheim, Calif.
 

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