Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Linux technology platforms

In the previous posting I mentioned 3rd and 4th generation Linux technology platforms, thus I decided to open up the concept a little bit.

Jhumar, 4th generation Linux technology platform.

In custom product development, it does not make sense to make everything from scratch every time. Use of reference design (technology platform) does not only reduce development costs, but essentially minimizes project schedule and technology risks from customer point of view. Verified CPU design with known characteristics combined with the flexibility of full custom electronics design is the way selected by Espotel.

The 3rd generation Linux plaform was called Jive, and is based on Atmel's AT91SAM926x CPU w/ARM926 architecture running at 240 MHz. The platform is not in production use anymore (no new designs), thus no more word about that.

The 4th generation Linux platform is called Jhumar, it has Freescale i.MX287 CPU w/ARM926 core, running at 450 MHz. 256 MB RAM and 1GB Flash expandable with micro-SD card provides sufficient memory reserves. The i.MX28 CPU is included in Freescale's product longevity program with 15 years support, dedicated for medical and automotive applications. The product was released in 2010, thus it has guaranteed availability until year 2025.

The base design supports 4,3" and 7" displays with WVGA resolution (limited by the integrated graphics controller of the CPU). What differentiates Jhumar from COTS tablets is the selection of wired and wireless interfaces: Ethernet, CAN, USB host+device, serial, WiFi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, Zigbee and 868MHz RF. Sub-set of interfaces is always selected upon requirements of the specific application.

The 5th generation Linux platform is based on Cortex-A8 and the 6th generation has Cortex-A9 multi-core CPU.

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