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Adlink reveals tiny Linux-ready 'SMARC' COM

May 9, 2013 — by Eric Brown 1,010 views

Adlink has released detailed specs on its first tiny computer-on-module (COM) to support the new ARM-focused SMARC standard. The tiny industrial-targeted LEC-3517 module starts with a 600MHz TI Sitara AM3517 processor, adds 256MB RAM and 512MB NAND flash, mixes in a variety of interfaces ranging from camera links to CAN Bus, and tops it off with OS support that includes Linux and Android.

Although Adlink has yet to formally announce the LEC-3517, the company has posted technical details, including a block diagram (see below). Its latest COM looks as if it could be one of the first SMARC modules to reach market aside from a trio of SMARC COMs recently introduced by Kontron, which developed the SMARC standard under its former name ULP-COM.

Adlink’s LEC-3517 SMARC form-factor COM


Recently ratified by SGET, the 314-pin SMARC standard is designed to get the most out of ARM Cortex system-on-chips (SOCs) for developing low-power (2 to 6 Watt) mobile and embedded devices. Just as COM Express is designed to express the I/O typically found on x86 processors, the 82 x 50mm SMARC standard extends ARM configurations with a variety of serial I/O, CAN buses, cameras, and the like.


Like the Kontron SMARC-sA3874i, the LEC-3517 is built around a Texas Instruments (TI) Cortex-A8-based Sitara SOC, but it opts for the more modest 600MHz AM3517 instead of an 800MHz AM3874. There’s not much in the way of video acceleration, but unlike its close sibling, the AM3505, the AM3517 supplies a PowerVR SGX 530 accelerator for 2D/3D graphics.

Block diagrams: LEC-3517 COM and TI AM3517 SOC
(click images to enlarge)


Soldered-on 256MB of DDR2 RAM and 512MB NAND flash are standard. Dual 24-bit LCD displays are supported, but there’s no built-in touchscreen controller. The wide variety of interfaces expressed through the 314-pin MXM connector include dual USB, four serial, and a CAN bus interface. Both SDIO and eMMC media are supported, along with serial and parallel camera interfaces, and SPI, I2C, I2S, and GPIO connections. A Fast Ethernet controller is supplied onboard.

The LEC-3517 is billed as a low-power module, but no details are supplied except to suggest it’s within the under-6 Watt SMARC guidelines. It’s also unclear whether the COM supports the AM3517’s extended or industrial temperature ranges. Presumably, these details will emerge when the module is formally released next month.

Specifications listed for the LEC-3517 include:

  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3517 (600MHz Cortex-A8) with NEON SIMD coprocessor and PowerVR SGX 530 graphics acceleration
  • Memory – 256MB DDR2; 512MB NAND flash
  • Display – up to 2x LCD display with up to 24-bit RGB; parallel digital out; 2x 10-bit DACs
  • Networking – 10/100 Ethernet controller
  • Other I/O (via 314-pin MXM SMARC connector):
    • SDIO (4-bit)
    • eMMC (8-bit)
    • 2x USB (host/client)
    • 4x serial (asynch)
    • CAN bus
    • 2x SPI
    • 3x I2S (audio codec on carrier)
    • 3x I2C
    • Camera (serial) – CSI (2-lane) + CSI (2 or 4-lane)
    • Camera (parallel) 10-, 12-, 16-bit, or dual 8-bit input motion video or stills
    • 10x GPIO
  • Dimensions — 82 x 50mm; SMARC “short module” format
  • Operating systems – Linux (Fedora/Ubuntu), Android, Windows Embedded Compact 7.0 (WEC7), Windows CE 6.0, VxWorks, QNX

No pricing has yet been provided on the LEC-3517, but according to an Adlink spokesperson, the COM is due to arrive in June. More information may be found at Adlink’s LEC-3517 product page.

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2 responses to “Adlink reveals tiny Linux-ready 'SMARC' COM”

  1. Maxim says:

    Guys, you need to post things correctly! In the diagram only 2 gigaBIT of DDR2 maximum available, while you claimed 2 gigaBYTEs. TI AM3517 can’t address 2GB, only 1GB.

    • LinuxGizmos says:

      Thanks for the comment. TI’s specs for the TI AM3517 SOC state: “166 MHz 16/32-bit mDDR/DDR2 Interface with 1 GByte total addressable space.” The block diagram comes from Adlink’s product page, representing the board’s standard configuration of 256MB SDRAM. Fixed!

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