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ARM-based touch-panels ship with Linux and Android

May 7, 2013 — by Eric Brown 1,366 views

Adlink announced a pair of resistive touchpanels that run Linux, Android, or Windows 7 on a 1GHz TI Sitara AM3715 ARM Cortex-A8 processor. The 7-inch, 1024 x 600-pixel SP-7W61 and the 10.4-inch, 800 x 600 SP-1061 are equipped with WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, serial, and USB connectivity, and consume only 5.9 to 6.1 Watts.

Adlink’s SP-7W61 and SP-1061 are designed for applications including communications, medical, and industrial control, says the company. Compared to its Intel Atom-based panels such as the 8-inch SP-803, Adlink’s first ARM-based “smart panels” consume far less power: 5.9 Watts for the 7-inch SP-7W61 and 6.1 Watts for the 10.4-inch SP-1061, compared to 29.1 Watts for the SP-803. To be fair, the SP-803 offers more I/O, storage, and expansion options.

SP-7W61 and SP-1061 front views
(click images to enlarge)

Unlike the Atom-based product, both the SP-7W61 and SP-1061 support Linux and Android as preloaded options in addition to Windows Compact 7. Adlink promotes this as a major differentiator for the product. Indeed, the signage and touchpanel industry is still dominated by x86-based systems that support Windows. Although many of these also support Linux, Android is only beginning to appear on panels, thanks to the new wave of typically industrial-focused ARM-based products.


SP-7W61 and SP-1061 rear views
(click images to enlarge)

Both products have almost identical functional specs, including the Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara AM3715 system on chip (SOC), which offers a single Cortex-A8 core clocked to 1GHz. Unlike its sibling, the AM3705, the AM3715 also furnishes a PowerVT SGX 3D/2D graphics accelerator, but it has the same middling video accelerator.

Backed up here by a 512MB of RAM, the AM3715 drives the panels’ backlit, resistive touch displays at modest resolutions more fitting for the workplace than for commercial signage. Interestingly, the smaller 8-inch, 16:9 ratio SP-7W61 offers a higher resolution 1024 x 600 display compared to the SP-1061’s 10.4-inch, 4:3 800 x 600-pixel screen.

Embedded CPU block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Both the SP-7W61 and SP-1061 are equipped with 4GB of onboard flash memory, plus a microSD slot. A Fast Ethernet port is available along with WiFi and Bluetooth. Additional I/O includes three USB 2.0 ports (one of them OTG) and both an RS232 port and a DIP-selectable RS-232/422/485 port. Stereo out and a keypad interface are also standard issue.

Dimensions and weight were not supplied for the panels, which are said to offer a “slim, fanless mechanical design.” Customization services include the option of a thinner panel, and also appear to include non-touch models. Both models require an attached Adlink I/O board to draw the required 12V DC +/- 5% power.

Specifications listed for the Adlink SP-7W61 and SP-1061 panels include:

  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3715 (1GHz Cortex-A8 with PowerVT SGX graphics
  • Memory — 512MB LPDDR 400 SDRAM
  • Flash memory — 4GB onboard NAND flash; microSD slot for up to 32GB
  • Display:
    • SP-7W61 — 7-inch, 1024 x 600 18-bit LVDS LCD; 16:9; resistive touch; backlit; 700 contrast typical; 250 Cd/m2 brightness typical (without touch panel)
    • SP-1061 — 10.4-inch, 800 x 600 24-bit TTL LCD; 4:3; resistive touch; backlit; 500 contrast typical; 300 Cd/m2 brightness typical (without touch panel)
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet
  • Wireless — 802.11b/g/n; Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (data mode)
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 2.0
    • USB OTG
    • RS-232 (console)
    • RS-232/422/485 (selectable via dip)
    • Stereo speaker out (1.5W)
    • 4×4 keypad interface
  • Dimensions:
    • SP-7W61 — approx 7.0 x 4.5 inch
    • SP-1061 — approx 9.3 x 7.3 inch
  • Power — 12V DC +/- 5% (power from Adlink I/O board required); consumption 5.9 W (SP-7W61) or 6.1 W (SP-1061) with full backlight
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C
  • Operating system support — Linux 2.6.37; Android 2.3.4; Windows Embedded Compact 7

The 7-inch SP-7W61 and 10.4-inch SP-1061 are both available standalone or in a starter kit bundle that includes the Adlink I/O boards, which are required as power sources. The kits also include keypad boards, stands, cables, and a power adapter. Pricing and availability were not supplied. More information may be found at the Adlink SP-7W61 and SP-1061 product pages.

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