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Linux-driven Sitara SiP module shrinks to 21mm square

Sep 19, 2017 — by Eric Brown 2,209 views

[Update: Sep. 20] — Octavo’s OSD335x-SM is a 40 percent smaller version of its AM335x-based OSD335x SiP that adds a 4KB EEPROM. There’s also a compact, open-spec dev board.

Last year, Octavo Systems added a new twist to BeagleBone development when it released its 27 x 27mm OSD335x System-In-Package (SiP) module. The OSD335x, which went on to form the basis of the BeagleBone Black Wireless and BeagleBone Blue SBCs, packs a Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x SoC and nearly all the functions of a BeagleBone Black SBC into a BGA module. Octavo has now followed up with a 40 percent smaller OSD335x-SM variant that measures 21 x 21mm (441 sq. mm).

OSD335x-SM (left) and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The new module is initially available in a 512MB RAM version called the OSD3358-512M-BSM, which sells for $26.50 for customers who buy at least 1,000 units. The device is billed as the smallest AM335x module available that “still allows complete access to all the AM335x device I/Os including the PRUs,” says Octavo. To put the size difference in perspective, Octavo photographed the original next to a U.S. quarter, whereas the OSD335x-SM is paired with a nickel.

The module is available with an open spec, $199 OSD3358-SM-RED evaluation board that departs a bit from the BeagleBone standard (see farther below). There is no mention of the BeagleBone in either the module or development board product pages except for the mention of BeagleBone Black Cape support on the latter.


The OSD335x-SM module uses a 256 ball wide pitch (1.27mm) BGA form factor, and runs Debian Linux on the TI AM3358, which is same up-to-1GHz, high-end Cortex-A8 part with PowerVR SGX GPU that was used on the OSD335x and the BeagleBone. It’s unclear if other AM335x models are available. (The original module also supported the AM3352.)

Like the OSD335x, the OSD335x-SM combines the AM3358 with up to 1GB of DDR3 RAM, a variety of passive components, and a TPS65217C Power Management IC (PMIC) and TL5209 LDO (low dropout) regulator, both from TI. Unlike the original, it adds a 4KB EEPROM from Microchip.

Simple and detailed OSD335x-SM block diagrams
(click images to enlarge)

I/O support includes an 8-channel 16-bit SAR ADC, 2x USB 2.0 HS OTG + PHY, dual GbE controllers, an LCD controller, and much more (see block diagrams above). Like the original, the module is available in 0 to 85°C and -40 to 85°C models, and offers 1.8V, 3.3V and SYS power output.

SiP designs such as this simplify PCB layout and reduce the number of components required by an SBC, thereby reducing risks and accelerating development. The integrated design also improves reliability, claims Octavo. “What really separates the SM from the original is the new pin mapping which makes all of the I/O much more accessible,” wrote Greg Sheridan, Marketing Manager at Octavo, in an email to LinuxGizmos. “All of the I/O you need for your system can now be routed in a single layer, meaning less expensive PCB manufacturing and much easier layout.” (A layout guide is available here.)


The $199 OSD3358-SM-RED (for Reference, Evaluation, and Development) is an open-spec SBC that combines the AM3358-enabled OSD335x-SM module with 512MB DDR3. The board comes pre-loaded with a Debian Linux distribution with driver libraries for the board’s 9-axis IMU, barometer, and temperature sensors. Schematics and Eagle design files are available.

(click images to enlarge)

The 108 x 55 x 32.16mm board is larger (and taller) than the 86 x 53mm BeagleBone Black, and offers more advanced features. These include the sensors, as well as dual GbE ports instead of a single 10/100 port, 4x USB 2.0 host ports instead of one, and 16GB eMMC instead of 4GB. It also provides a security subsystem with TPM chip and 128MB of secure NOR, although these are not currently supported in software.

OSD3358-SM-RED detail view (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

Like the BB Black, the OSD3358-SM-RED features dual 46-pin expansion headers, and supports BeagleBone Cape add-on boards. Other similar features include a micro-HDMI port, a micro-USB client port, and a micro-SD slot, which features its own boot button. You also get JTAG and UART debug headers, power and reset buttons, and user LEDs.

Further information

The first OSD3358x-SM module — the OSD3358-512M-BSM — is available for $26.50 in 1KU orders, and the OSD3358-SM-RED development board is available for $199 in single units, both from Digi-Key and Mouser. More information may be found on Octavo Systems’s OSD335x-SM and OSD3358-SM-RED product pages. The earlier, larger OSD-335x SiP page is here.

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6 responses to “Linux-driven Sitara SiP module shrinks to 21mm square”

  1. zmlopez says:

    I really don’t understand why, having a SIP, they give it the form of a BGA, still expensive and difficult to route (6 layers PCB minimum). Why don’t they launch a low pin count module with only serial buses exposed and easy to route? (i2c, spi, i2s, usb, lvds, 4 lines ethernet, etc ). And the price is too expensive. There is same cost modules with more features in the market for this price.

    • Geert Uytterhoeven says:

      Quoting “This combined with a new optimized Pin Map allows designers to escape all the BGA signals in a single layer. The wide pitch also simplifies the assemble process and removes common concerns associated with manufacturing BGAs.”

      • Greg Sheridan says:

        We actually created a Layout Guide: to show you how it can be routed easily.

        • zmlopez says:

          That’s very interesting. Although I’ve got some concerns about usb and high speed lines routing in your layout example, it seems possible to do a good economical 4 layer routing with this footprint. I can’t recommend a less than 4 layer routing for this type of designs.

          But it is a pity that you don’t offer also a low pin count version with only serial ports (i2c, spi, i2s, usb, lvds, 4 lines ethernet, etc ), having the technology to do so.
          I was involved years ago in a project for a low pin count SIP for a ti OMAP3530 processor. At the end, it didn’t come to an end, but it would be fantastic to see it done with the AM335x.

        • Vincent Buso says:

          One thing you have to explain to me though: how come the full pocket beagle board costs 25 dollars when the chip only costs $26.50 @1Ku ?

          Your SIP is amazing but honestly I feel cheated, if I want to make a full product it costs me a lot less to buy the pocketbeagle board and rip the components off than buying the chip and the usb, switch, sdcard holder…

          As a customer I would like to see some coherence that’s all: Prototype on the pocketbeagle, then at least be able to buy a solution where all the components of the pocketboard cost the same price or less and make my PCB myself.

    • Michael Dollard says:

      Having done a layout with the OSD, I can say it’s very easy to route.

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