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Multi-wireless module runs Linux, targets IoT gateways

May 15, 2014 — by Rick Lehrbaum 3,119 views

ConnectBlue announced a tiny multi-wireless COM with Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band WiFi, and dual-Ethernet connectivity, and running Linux on a TI Sitara SoC.

ConnectBlue, which has supplied plug-and-play integrated wireless modules for better than a decade, is nearing the release of its first full fledged computer-on-module. The “OMP171” COM includes an “optimized” embedded Linux OS stack preinstalled in NAND flash, and targets “Internet of Things gateway” applications, says the company.

ConnectBlue OMP171
(click image to enlarge)

The OMP171’s computing core is built around the industrial-focused TI Sitara AM3356 SoC, which integrates a single Cortex-A8 CPU core clocked at 800MHz. To that, the COM adds 256MB of DDR3 RAM and 512MB of NAND flash, plus a tiny module containing wireless radios for both Bluetooth v4.0 and dual-band WiFi.

OMP171 used as an IoT gateway
(click image to enlarge)

Reflecting the company’s desire to have the OMP171 be designed into industrial, transportation, and medical systems and devices, the module is rated for operation over an extended temperature range of -40 to 85°C. Additionally, the COM will be qualified or certified for compliance with an extensive list of regulatory standards.

Specifications listed by ConnectBlue for the OMP171 include:


  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3356 SoC with 1x ARM Cortex-A8 CPU core clocked at 800MHz
  • Memory:
    • RAM — 256MB DDR3
    • Flash — 512MB SLC NAND flash
  • Communications:
    • Dual-band WiFi — 2.4GHz (ch1-13) and 5GHz (ch36-165); supports 802.11a/b/g/n
    • Bluetooth v4.0 (includes BT Low Energy and Classic BT support)
    • 2x Ethernet (RMII)
  • Other I/O available via baseboard interface connectors:
    • 2x USB 2.0
    • 4x UARTs (3.6Mbaud)
    • 1x SDIO
    • 4x 12-bit 200kS/s Analog inputs
    • 16x GPIOs
    • 2x I2C
    • 1x JTAG
    • 2x SPI
  • Dimensions — 44 x 50 x 6 mm (excluding connectors)
  • Power — 3.6 to 5.0 VDC input
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C
  • Regulatory compliance/certifications:
    • R&TTE Directive 1999/5/EC — EN 300 328, EN 301 893
    • EMC — EN 301 489-1, EN 301 489-17, EN 61000-6-2
    • Health/safety — IEC 60950-1, EN 60950-1, EN62311 (WLAN), EN62479 (BT, BTLE)
    • Medical — IEC 60601-1-2
    • Type approvals — Europe (ETSI R&TTE); US (FCC/CFR 47 part 15 unlicensed); Japan (MIC); Canada (RSS IC)

On the software side, the OMP171 comes with an “optimized” Linux stack based on the v3.14 mainline kernel, and is supported with Yocto and OpenEmbedded build tools, the UBIFS root file system, the Bluez 5 Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy stack, and a WiFi driver and tools.

Further information

ConnectBlue expects to ship preproduction units of the OMP171 COM during the third quarter of 2014, with production quantities following by the end of the year. Further details are available at ConnectBlue’s OMP171 product page.

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