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AM335x module gains carrier board

Mar 3, 2017 — by Eric Brown 731 views

Embest has released an eval kit for its AM335x based “SOM-PH8700” COM with WiFi, 2x GbE, 3x USB, and a variety of display, camera, and serial interfaces.

The Embest EVK-PH8700 Evaluation Kit is available for £79 ($97) from Farnell Element14, which like Shenzhen-based Embest, is owned by Premier Farnell. The eval kit includes both a “BB-EPH1800” baseboard and Embest’s TI Sitara AM335X-based SOM-PH8700 module, which first shipped a year ago along with a similar SOM-PH8800 module. The latter is built around TI’s Sitara AM4378, which offers a Cortex-A9 core instead of the Cortex-A8 on the AM335x.

EVK-PH8700 (BB-EPH18 carrier) at left and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

There’s no mention of OS support, but Sitara SoCs are typically a Linux affair. In addition, Embest manufactures Linux-oriented boards including the Raspberry Pi, Lark, RIoTboard, SAMA5D3 Xplained, and WaRP7, many of which are covered in our recent Linux Hacker Board guide.

The separately available BB-EPH1800 carrier board in the eval kit supports the SOM-PH8800 in addition to the SOM-PH8700. Both COMs use Embest’s 70 x 50mm PH180 form factor, which is designed to work with Texas Instruments carrier boards via dual- 90-pin PH180 connectors. In fact, the SOM-PH8700 is already available as part of TI’s AM335x Evaluation Kit.


SOM-PH8700 module

The SOM-PH8700 module offered with the EVK-PH8700 Evaluation Kit supports all six AM335x flavors. These include the AM3352, AM3354, AM3356, AM3357, AM3358, and the AM3359 part that also drives the BeagleBone Black. The latter integrates a PowerVR SGX 530 3D GPU, 2x PRU-ICSS real-time coprocessors, and EtherCAT slave support. Embest also makes a special Element14 version of the BeagleBone Black for the Chinese market.

SOM-PH8700 (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The SOM-PH8700 module clocks its AM335x chip to 720MHz, and ships with 512MB DDR3 and 4GB eMMC. The 5V COM features a GbE controller, as well as interfaces including i2C, SPI, CAN, UART, MMC, I2S, LCD, GPIO, and more. The module is available in commercial and industrial temperature ranges.

EVK-PH8700 eval kit

The 180 x 120mm BB-EPH1800 carrier in the EVK-PH8700 kit runs on 9-25V power, and offers a temperature range of 0 to 70°C. The board provides dual GbE ports, a WiFi interface, 4x USB 2.0 host ports, and a micro-USB OTG port.

EVK-PH8700 (BB-EPH18) detail view
(click image to enlarge)

Other coastline ports include HDMI and VGA ports, mic and headphone jacks, and a microSD slot. There are also two serial DB9 RS232 ports for communications and debug, but they can’t be used at the same time.

Onboard interfaces include “3-way” RS485 and CAN connectors, a 12-bit digital camera interface, and a 24-bit true-color LCD interface with 4-wire touch support. There are also dual ribbon cable sockets for UART, I2C, and SPI signals.

Other features include an RTC, a 12V power input, and various reset and boot buttons. The kit also includes a power adapter, an 8GB microSD card, cables, and an optional WiFi module. Other options include 4.3- or 7-inch LCD panels.

Further information

Embest’s EVK-PH8700 Evaluation Kit with SOM-PH8700 module is available starting at £79 ($97) from this UK-based Farnell Element14 shopping page. There’s also a Element14 EVK-PH8700 shopping page for North America, but at publication time no price was listed, and sales were not yet active. Both pages link to extensive technical documentation.

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