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Tiny COMs get capacitive multi-touch baseboard

Aug 19, 2014 — by Eric Brown 1,325 views

Gumstix is shipping a capacitive multi-touch ready, customizable baseboard for its Overo COMs that works with a new Overo Storm-P COM with enhanced WiFi.

The “Arbor 43C” is a capacitive touchscreen replacement for the resistive-ready Gumstix Chestnut 43 baseboard, and similarly pairs with the company’s Linux-ready gumstick-sized Overo computer-on-modules. The new baseboard enables the attachment of a 4.3-inch multi-touch touchscreen, including separately available displays made by Newhaven Display International.

Arbor 43C
(click image to enlarge)

Like other Gumstix Arbor baseboards, the 43C offers 10/100 Ethernet, stereo-out, mic-in, a mini-USB OTG host and device port, and a 20-pin header for GPIO and PWM signals. Overo COMs plug into board via the standard pair of 70-pin connectors, for 140 pins total. The baseboard also integrates a Texas Instruments TPS62111 step-down converter. The Arbor 43C is compatible with all Overo-series COMs, including the new Storm-P models (see farther below).

Newhaven 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen

The Arbor 43C is optimally paired with a new Newhaven 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, which uses a 4-wire interface. The display has a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels and features a 6:00 optimum viewing angle.

Arbor 43C with Overo COM and 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen
(click image to enlarge)



Like the Gumstix Alto 35 baseboard, the Arbor 43C was designed using the company’s web-based Geppetto design program. As a result, “custom revisions can be ordered easily from the Gumstix online store,” says Gumstix.

The Linux-supported, open source Overo modules are now available in 17 flavors, based on different versions of the Texas Instruments ARM Cortex-A8, OMAP35x family of system-on-chips. That doesn’t include two dual-core, Cortex-A9 (TI OMAP4430) DuoVero modules. There are also three older, Marvell PXA270-based Verdex Pro modules based on the original Verdex design.

Currently, there are 16 expansion boards available for the Overo COMs, counting the Arbor 43C. Other boards are tailored for cameras, displays, sensors, robotics, and wireless options. Linux support includes Yocto Project, Linaro, Ubuntu, and Robot Operating System (ROS) code.

Overo Storm-P upgrades WiFi

Last month, Gumstix announced a new Overo Storm-P COM that upgrades the WiFi compared to the Overo Storm module, which Gumstix says is its most popular model. The Storm-P uses Wi2Wi’s W2CBW0015 wireless module, a WiFi-Direct capable model with 802.11.b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0 based on Marvell’s 8787 WiFi SoC. The WiFi module adds an access point mode, and offers a single u.fl antenna that requires less space, and helps reduce the cost of the module.

(click image to enlarge)

The Storm-P COMs supersede the still available Overo Storm modules, including the AirStorm. They retain the 58 x 17mm dimensions and TI Cortex-A8 processors clocked at 800MHz to 1GHz. The modules continue to ship with 512MB RAM, 512MB flash, a microSD slot, and a 27-pin camera connector.

The new Overo Storm-P models include:

  • AirStorm-P — TI Sitara AM3703 — $139
  • FireStorm-P — TI DM3730 with DSP — $159
  • IronStorm-P — TI DM3730 with DSP, plus extended temperature operation — $179

Further information

The Arbor 43C is available for $70, and the Newhaven Display 4.3-inch touchscreen is available for $58. A “Multitouch Appliance Kit” combining the Arbor 43C with an AirStorm-P COM and 4.3-inch touchscreen is available for $299. Storm-P module pricing is shown directly above. Volume discounts are available on all the above products. More information may be found at the Arbor-43C product page, as well as the Overo product page and the Gumstix store.

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