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Tiny COMs run Linux and Android on ARM9 SoCs

Nov 12, 2013  |  Eric Brown

MYIR has released five Linux- and Android-ready computer-on-modules and a common baseboard built around Atmel’s 400MHz, ARM9-based AT91SAM9X5 system-on-chips. The MYC-SAM9X5-V2 series COMs come with five different AT91SAM9X5 SoCs, are offered with optional 7- and 4.3-inch LCD panels, and support -40 to +85°C extended temperature operation.

This is the second generation of MYC-SAM9X5 COMs from Shenzhen-based MYIR. The first-gen modules supported only four of the Atmel AT91SAM9X5 processors, omitting the low-end SAM9G15. They also used a different 67.6 x 35mm, 8-layer design with a single 200-pin connector. The new V2 modules instead are implemented on a 72 x 50mm, 6-layer PCB with dual 2.0mm, 70-pin expansion connectors.



MYC-SAM9X5-V2 COM front and back
(click images to enlarge)

 

Interestingly, for the V2 series, MYIR opted for older Linux and Android builds, which are perhaps more suitable for such low-end hardware. Whereas the first generation provided Linux 3.6.9 and Android 4.0.4, the V2 models ship with Linux 2.6.39 and Android 2.3.5. The development package includes a DVD with drivers, source code, documentation, and MDK-ARM 4.53 sample code.

The different flavors of the SAM9x5 processors can be seen on this Atmel SAM9X5 comparison page. They all run on a 400MHz ARM9 core, but they offer different I/O capabilities, which are detailed in the spec list below.



Atmel SAM9X5 SoC architecture
(click image to enlarge)

 

The MYC-SAM9X25-V2 module family offers up to two 10/100 Ethernet ports, up to two CAN ports, and six or seven serial ports, depending on model (see specs below), and three of the modules offer LCD support. Otherwise, the modules are the same, shipping with a modest 128MB DDR2 of SDRAM and 256MB of NAND flash. They all support expansion interfaces including three USB 2.0 ports, dual MMC/SD slots, and smatterings of SPI, I2C, PWM, ADCs, and GPIOs.

All the modules offer -40 to 85° C industrial temperature support, and although no power consumption figures were supplied for the 3.3V-driven board, a recent EMAC SoM-9X25 module based on the SAM9X25 was claimed to run at under one Watt.

Specifications listed for the MYC-SAM9X5-V2 series COMs include:

  • Processor — Atmel AT91SAM9X5 (1x ARM926EJ-S core @ up to 400MHz); choice of Atmel SAM9G15, SAM9G25, SAM9G35, SAM9X25, or SAM9X35)
  • Memory:
    • 128MB DDR2 SDRAM
    • 256MB NAND flash
    • 4MB DataFlash
    • 64KB EEPROM
  • Networking (10/100Mbps Ethernet PHY):
    • MYC-SAM9X25-V2 — 2x ports
    • MYC-SAM9G25/G35/X35-V2 — 1x ports
    • MYC-SAM9G15-V2 — 0x ports
  • I/O (via 2x 2.0mm, 70-pin connectors):
    • 2x CAN ports (X25/X35 only)
    • LCD interface (G15/G35/X35 only)
    • Serial — 6x (G15/G35/X35); 7x (G25/X25)
    • 3x USB 2.0
    • 2x MMC/SD
    • 2x SPI
    • 2x TWI/D (I2C)
    • 4x PWM
    • 12x ADC
    • 89x GPIO
  • Other features — power and user LEDs; RTC clock
  • Power — 3.3V supply
  • Dimensions — 72 x 50mm; 6-layer PCB
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85° C
  • Operating system — Linux 2.6.39; Android 2.3.5; MDK-ARM sample code

 

MYD-SAM9X5-V2 development board

A single baseboard is available for the MYD-SAM9X5-V2 modules, but depending on the limitations of the selected COM variant, not all ports are enabled. The 177 x 106mm MYD-SAM9X5-V2 baseboard provides dual Ethernet ports, eight serial ports, and three USB ports, as well as CAN, JTAG, audio, and LCD connections. Industrial temperature support is optional, says MYIR.



MYD-SAM9X5-V2 dev board and its block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

 

Further information

The MYC-SAM9X5-V2 COMs appear to be available now, starting at a $68 unit price for each. The MYD-SAM9X5-V2 development board starts at $239, plus $99 or $60 for the 7- and 4.3-inch LCD modules, respectively. More information on the MYC-SAM9X5-V2 COMs may be found at MYIR’s MYD-SAM9X5-V2 COM product page, and more on the baseboard may be found at its MYD-SAM9X5-V2 development board product page.
 

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