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Tiny SBC runs Linux on 2GHz TI OMAP SoC

Oct 15, 2013 — by Eric Brown 8,808 views

ISEE announced a highly compact single board computer powered by a 2GHz dual-core Cortex-A15 based Texas Instruments OMAP5432 system-on-chip. The IGEPv5 SBC ships with a Yocto-built Linux stack, but also supports Android, and is packed with I/O including five USB ports, mSATA, microSD, HDMI, DisplayPort, audio in/out, gigabit Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth wireless, and more.

The IGEPv5 is the latest in a series of TI-based embedded boards from Barcelona-based ISEE, including the Sitara AM335x-based IGEP Aquila COM. The new IGEPv5 OMAP5432-based board targets a wide variety of embedded applications, including vending machines, home and building automation, HMI and industrial control, and test and measurement, says ISEE. It’s quite compact, at 135 x 95mm, and it’s rated for operation over an industrial temperature range of -40 to +85°C.

Three views of ISEE’s IGEPv5 SBC
(click images to enlarge)


Unlike most ARM Cortex-A15 SoCs, such as the Tegra 4, Exynos 5, and Snapdragon 800, the OMAP5432 SoC is focused on the embedded market more than commercial smartphones and tablets. It’s equipped with two Cortex-A15 cores clocked to 2.0GHz, a bit higher than the originally announced cap of 1.7GHz. The dual-core CPU complex is accompanied by a 3D–ready PowerVR SGX544 GPU. There are also several dedicated multimedia accelerators, including a pair of Cortex-M4 microcontrollers that handle image processing.


Block diagrams: TI’s OMAP5432 SoC and ISEE’s IGEPv5 SBC
(click images to enlarge)


The IGEPv5 board ships with 2GB of DDR3L RAM, expandable to 4GB, and custom designs are available with 1GB, as well. The 8GB of eMMC i-NAND flash is onboard, expandable to 32GB. A microSD slot and an mSATA 2.0 interface provide further storage options, and both WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 are supported with an internal antenna.

Coastline ports include a gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 2.0 ports, and a USB 3.0 port. Also available as real-world ports on the edges of the SBC are an RS232 port for debugging, an audio-out port, and a mini-HDMI port.

IGEPv5 SBC connector and interface locations
(click image to enlarge)


Additional display interfaces are onboard, including a DisplayPort header and both parallel and serial display interfaces. There are also several camera interfaces, including CPI, CSI2, and RAW image sensor connections. Much of the I/O is expressed via expansion headers that carry additional interfaces such as UARTs, I2C, SPI, and further audio expansion. A more detailed list of specifications appears below.

ISEE’s IGEPv5 SBC joins a growing list of Linux-ready single-board computers and computer-on-modules based on TI’s OMAP543x processor, including TI’s own $329 OMAP5432 EVM (evaluation module), pictured at the right. Other available Linux-compatible OMAP543x-based boards include the Pico-ITX form factor EPP-Pico-OMAP5430 SBC from Embedded++, and several COMs including Phytec’s PhyCore OMAP5430, Seco’s µQ7-OMAP5, and Variscite’s VAR-SOM-M54.

IGEPv5 SBC specifications

Specifications listed by ISEE for the IGEPv5 include:

  • Processor — TI OMAP5432:
    • 2x ARM Cortex-A15 cores @ 1.7-2.0GHz, 1MB L2 cache
    • PowerVR SGX544 dual-core 3D GPU
    • HD video hardware accelerator
    • Imaging subsystem (ISS) with 2x Cortex-M4 microprocessors
    • TMS320DMC64x+-based 32-bit DSP (500MHz/800 MHz) with 32KB L1 and 128KB L2 cache
  • RAM — 2GB DDR3L 800MHz, expandable to 4GB
  • Flash/storage:
    • 8GB eMMC, expandable to 32GB
    • Micro-SD socket
    • mSATA 2.0 interface
  • Display & imaging:
    • 24-bit parallel RGB
    • Micro-HDMI 1.4a port
    • Serial Display Interface
    • DisplayPort interface
    • RAW Image-sensor interface
    • Camera Parallel Interface (CPI), up to 16-bit
    • Camera Serial Interface (CSI2), multiplexed with CPI
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet port
  • Wireless — 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; antenna
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 OTG Super Speed port (up to 5Gbps)
    • 4 x USB 2.0 host, up to 480Mbps
    • Audio out (TI TWL6040A3 Phoenix IC)
    • RS232 debug port (DB9)
    • JTAG interface (non-populated)
  • Expansion interfaces:
    • 2x UART
    • 4x I2C
    • SPI
    • USB
    • optional line-in, AUX-out, and mic expansion interface
    • Local Bus (GPMC)
    • Keypad matrix interface
    • 3x I2S/McBSP/SSI
    • GPIOs
  • Other features — RTC with battery; 8x dip switches; user button; LEDs; temperature sensor
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C
  • Power:
    • +5V DC supply (based on TI TWL6037 Palmas PMIC)
    • optional battery and power management expansion interface
  • Dimensions — 135 x 95mm (4.92 x 3.74 inches)
  • Operating system — Linux; Android

The IGEPv5 ships with a pre-installed Linux stack, but it also supports Android. The Linux stack includes ISEE’s IGEP Linux kernel, U-Boot, and Yocto with X Window (lite), says the company. Development tools include the Yocto toolchain, an IGEP SDK virtual machine, an IGEP DSP Gstreamer framework, and an IGEP Qemu emulator. Also available are various tutorials, guides, support forums, IRC support, GIT repositories, and schematics.

Further information

ISEE is currently accepting pre-orders for the IGEPv5 SBC, and expects to begin shipping it in January at an unstated price. More details are at the ISEE web site.

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