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Teensy SBC runs Linux or NuttX on SAMA5D

Aug 2, 2021 — by Eric Brown 1,438 views

Starcat is crowdfunding an open spec, Teensy form-factor “Jupiter Nano” SBC that runs Linux or NuttX on a Cortex-A5 based Microchip SAMA5D. The $65-and-up board offers 128MB RAM, a microSD slot, dual micro-USB ports and 41 I/O pins.

Seattle based Starcat, which has previously launched a HackEEG Arduino shield, has returned to Crowd Supply with an Arduino-like SBC. Although the 63.5 x 28.6mm Jupiter Nano has a quasi Teensy 4.1 form factor, it runs Linux, as well as the open source NuttX RTOS, on Microchip’s SAMA5D27C. The power-sipping SoC has appeared on Microchip’s 40 x 38mm SAMA5D27 SOM and Groboards’ 51 x 23mm, Feather form-factor Giant Board.

Jupiter Nano, front and back (left) and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The Jupiter Nano is about 75 percent funded on Crowd Supply, with more than a month to go. The SBC is part of the Microchip Get Launched design program for small development projects that use Microchip components on Crowd Supply and Mouser. The $65 early bird price is still available along with the standard, $79 price, and shipments are due Dec. 10. Applications include motor, lighting, audio, and robotics control.

Like the Microchip and Groboards boards, the Jupiter Nano uses Microchip’s SIP-based (SIP) implementation of the SAMA5D (specifically the ATSAMA5D27C-LD1G). The SIP combines the 498MHz Cortex-A5 SoC with 128MB LPDDR2.


A microSD slot for up to 1TB storage is available with an optional, $13, bootable microSD card pre-installed with Linux or NuttX. The only ports are a micro-USB 2.0 OTG port and a micro-USB debug console port, with the latter using a Microchip MCP2200 USB/UART converter. There is also an optional $19 cable that converts an onboard USB 2.0 High-Speed host header into a standard host port. Like the OTG port, the header uses a High-Speed, 480Mbps connection

Jupiter Nano and pinout diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The Jupiter Nano is further equipped with a mini-JTAG connector and 48 GPIO pins, 41 of which support I/O, including native SPI, TWI, CAN, and I2C interfaces. Multiple Flexcom pins enable 4x Flexcom serial controller interfaces configurable as SPI, TWI, and USART.

An I2S port can drive a digital amp, and you can use PWM to power an analog Class D amp, says Starcat. There are also ADCs that can digitize analog audio signals.

The 5V SBC integrates a Qorvo ACT8945A PMIC with LiPo charging capability. There is also a battery connector, reset and wakeup buttons, and various clock crystals and LEDs.

Starcat promises to post KiCAD board files, schematics, and project files, as well as open source software for building the Linux kernel and a bootable SD Card images. The files will appear on GitHub, using CERN-OHL-S licensing for hardware and MIT licensing for software.

Further information

The Jupiter Nano, which we saw on CNXSoft, is available on Crowd Supply for another 38 days for $65 (early bird) or $79. Shipments to the US are free, with $10 shipping elsewhere, and delivery is expected Dec. 10. More information may be found on Starcat’s Jupiter Nano Crowd Supply page.

(advertise here)

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One response to “Teensy SBC runs Linux or NuttX on SAMA5D”

  1. Shane says:

    That is a little high priced even for the early bird, especially for what it is offering.

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