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$199 7-inch touchscreen dev kit runs Android and Linux

Jul 11, 2013 — by Eric Brown 8,858 views

[Updated July 16] — Witech Embedded announced a $199 ARM Cortex-A8 development kit with a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen and BSPs for Linux and Android. The OK210-A subsystem is built around a computer-on-module containing a 1GHz Samsung S5PV210 (Hummingbird) processor, 512MB RAM, and 1GB flash, and includes two expansion slots, Ethernet, HDMI, and five USB ports, plus optional WiFi, cellular, and GPS add-ons.

The OK210-A is designed for multimedia terminals, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, and other consumer electronics applications, says China-based Witech. Although company sells its boards at a website called Arm9board, its recent products have used ARM11, and the company is now moving up to Cortex-A8-based SoCs.

OK210-A subsystem with its optional 7-inch touchscreen
(click image to enlarge)


Like Witech’s ARM11-based OK6410, the OK210-A is dubbed “all-ready.” Accordingly, the kit’s $199 price includes a 7-inch, 800 x 640 capacitive touchscreen; a full set of peripherals; cables for serial, USB, and and Ethernet; and BSPs (board support packages) for embedded Linux and Android. The BSPs include source code and binaries, as well as drivers and sample programs for all on-board resources, says the company. The board’s open source firmware components, including U-Boot 1.1.6, Busybox 1.13.3, and a Qtopia 2.2.0 GUI, are listed on the product page.


OK210-A carrier board and COM
(click image to enlarge)


The OK210-A consists of a 190 x 130mm carrier board equipped with a removable 60 x 45mm computer-on-module (COM). The OK210 COM (which is also available separately) integrates a 1GHz Samsung S5PV210 (“Hummingbird”) system-on-chip, the same processor that fueled Samsung’s first Galaxy smartphones, and also provides 512MB DDR RAM and 1GB flash memory.

(click image to enlarge)


The OK210-A carrier board adds both SD and TF (microSD) slots, as well as a 10/100 Ethernet port. The board’s HDMI and composite ports can output 1080p 30fps video to a connected TV, and there’s a CMOS port for use with a 3-megapixel camera option. Additionally, carrier board provides four USB 2.0 host ports, as well as an OTG port, and its edge connectors give access to four serial ports, SPI, JTAG, and other I/O. The SBC includes a temperature sensor, an IR port, and an A/D channel.

Block diagrams: Samsung S5PV210 SoC and OK210 COM
(click images to enlarge)


The OK210-A’s optional GPRS, GPS, 3G, and WiFi modules connect to the board’s I/O interfaces as follows: the GPRS and GPS modules use serial ports UART0 and UART1 (as labeled in above diagram); the 3G module occupies one of the board’s USB ports; and the WiFi module connects to the 20-pin, 2mm connector labeled SDIO WiFi.

Specifications listed for the OK210-A subsystem include:

  • Processor — Samsung S5PV210 “Hummingbird” (1x Cortex-A8 core with PowerVR SGX540 graphics @ 1GHz) on OK210 COM
  • Memory/expansion:
    • 512MB DDR RAM
    • 1GB NAND flash
    • SD slot for up to 32GB
    • TF slot (TransFlash/microSD)
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet
  • Wireless — optional add-on modules for WiFi (SDIO or USB), GPRS, 3G, and GPS
  • Multiedia I/O:
    • 7-inch capacitive touchscreen (54-pin LCD interface)
    • HDMI
    • CVBS (composite TV) out
    • 3.5mm stereo audio I/O sockets (WM9714)
    • CMOS connector for optional OV3640 3-megapixel camera
  • USB ports — 4x USB 2.0 host; 1x USB 2.0 OTG
  • Serial ports — 2x 5-wire RS232; 2x 3-wire TTL
  • Other features — JTAG input; SPI bus; I2C bus; A/D input; Matix keyboard input; 18b20 temperature sensor; 4x LEDs; active buzzer; infrared receiver; reset button; 8x user buttons; RTC with back-up battery
  • Power consumption — 300mW (module only)
  • Operating temp. — -10 to 60° C; -20 to 70° C for module
  • Dimensions: 190 x 130mm (8-layer PCB); 60 x 45mm for module
  • OS BSPs — Linux 2.6.35 and 3.0.8; Android 2.3 and 4.0

Update July 16, 2013: Witech reports that it has just gotten Debian with a xfce4 desktop working on the combination of the OK210-A platform and its 7-inch capacitive touchscreen. Other working software not listed above include Qtopia versions 2.2 and 4.4.3.

The OK210-A is available now for $199, including 7-inch touchscreen, at Witech’s OK210-A product page. The OK210-A’s Samsung S5PV210-based OK210 COM is available separately for $99. Available accessories include a $49 camera, a $55 WiFi module, a $65 GPS module, an $85 GPRS radio module, a $125 3G module, and a $67 J-Link emulator for debugging.

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3 responses to “$199 7-inch touchscreen dev kit runs Android and Linux”

  1. Camilo Merkx says:

    Dear Madame/Sir,

    At your website we have seen an interesting touchscreen for our products.
    Its the OK210-A subsystem with its optional 7-inch touchscreen.

    Is there a possibility to send a sample to us?
    And do you have the contact/company details?

    Beste regards,
    Camilo Merkx

  2. Shayne O says:

    I’d give this one a miss. The device I recieved required some convoluted method to flash the device using the software included (On a burnt DVD) which appeared to include a pirated version of some image burning software (It was pre-registered to some chinese company who I couldn’t determine), and since the software only ran on XP (It complained if you ran it on anything higher) we ended up giving up in frusturation as we where unable to source a computer with low enough specs to run the software , and we where unable to determine if we where breaking the law by running the software.

    Recompiling the software seemed impossible as source code for the custom linux kernel was not included.

    Embedded development is never easy, however without source nor tools, its straight up not possible.

    Disapointingly unprofessional product.

  3. Nikola says:

    I must agree with you Shayne O. I had a chance to look at this device in my friend’s shop and he wasn’t able to recompile the software. Source code is not included and that’s where the problem is. Probably could be done somehow but we didn’t have enough time to mess with it.

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