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SODIMM-style ARM COM is packed with I/O, runs Debian

Jun 18, 2013 — by Eric Brown 1,475 views

Glomation released a SODIMM-style computer-on-module built around an Atmel SAMA5D3 Cortex-A5 ARM processor, and supported with a Debian Linux stack. The GECM-5100 is equipped with gigabit Ethernet and TFT LCD controllers, and it also offers USB, CAN, SDIO/MMC/SD, image sensor, serial, analog, and digital I/O interfaces.

The GECM-5100 is designed for embedded applications such as industrial, smart grid, medical, and handheld terminal devices, says Glomation. With its modest, power-stingy Cortex-A5 processor, diverse assortment of I/O, and pricing from $55 in volume, the 67 x 40mm COM (computer-on-module) targets affordable, low-power, I/O-oriented applications.

Glomation GECM-5100 COM
(click image to enlarge)


The 536MHz Atmel SAMA5D3 system-on-chip (SoC) processor is claimed to offer 850DMIPS performance with 200mW power draw, and provides 1328MB/s transfer rates at 166MHz bus speed. The SAMA5D3’s performance is edged upward with an embedded floating point unit (FPU), and its LCD TFT controller includes a graphics accelerator for overlay, alpha-blending, rotation, scaling, and color space conversion.


The GECM-5100 integrates 256MB of DDR2 RAM and up to 1GB of NAND flash. Its numerous I/O interfaces, all accessed via a uniquely allocated SODIMM connector, include gigabit Ethernet, 12 channels of 12-bit A/D, 4/5 wire resistive touchscreen support, USB ports, dual CANbus, digital I/O, UARTs, an image sensor input, and an SD/eMMC/SDHC card interface.

GECM-5100 COM block diagram
(click image to enlarge)


Specifications listed for the GECM-5100 include:

  • Processor — Atmel SAMA5D3 SoC with 536MHz ARM Cortex A5; VFPv4 FPU; 850DMIPS; 1328MB/s at 166MHz
  • Memory — 256MB DDR2 RAM; 256MB to 1GB NAND flash
  • Display — LCD TFT controller with graphics accelerator
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet controller with IEEE1588 support
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB HS host
    • 1x USB device
    • 3x SD/eMMC/SDHC hosts
    • 3x UART
    • I2C
    • SPI
    • 2x CANbus 2.0 controllers with 8x mailboxes
    • Image sensor interface
    • 160x digital I/O
    • ADC — 12-channel, 12-bit A/D converter with 4/5 wire resistive touchscreen support
  • Other features — RTC; watchdog; 3x 16-bit timer with PWM; 20-bit timer/counter
  • Power — 3.3V DC
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70° C fanless; extended temp. version available
  • Dimensions — 66.6 x 40mm; SODIMM form-factor
  • Operating system — Debian Linux stack included; Android

The GECM-5100 is supported with a Debian Linux stack that includes U-Boot and Android support. A C-language runtime package called Softpack is available for systems without an operating system.

The GECM-5100 was released on June 17, with single-unit pricing at $85 and volume pricing starting at $55. More information may be found at Glomation’s GECM-5100 product page.

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