Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports

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I am looking a low power (less than 5watt), small embedded Linux board to be
carried on a model airplane.

Linux box must have
    * Flash Disk (64-128MB)
    * 128-256MB memory
    * at least 3 serial ports (RS232)
    * a parallel printer port (to be used as digital I/O)
    * a wireless LAN (optional)

Can anybody help with this ?






Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports

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Presumably you also have some weight and size requirements?

Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports

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nano-itx should be out one of these days - see www.mini-itx.com


Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports

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to be

Look for example http://www.linuxdevices.com
I think that you can expect to consume far less than 5 W...

Pygmi



Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports
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The TS-7200 is kind of fun.
Though not exactly meeting your criterion, it could be a fun device for
you to get into your project specification. It has 2 serial ports but
can support USB serial ports.
We are currently "playing with this".
Find it at www.embeddedarm.com
T.


Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports

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This is a most excellent link. Thank you.

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Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports

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It is a rather neat board, I caught myself marveling at its capabilites
then I remembered that I used to work at a company that 12 years ago ran
a plant running 100 remote monitoring devices and handled 10 or more
individual users on a wickedly fast (at the time) 386 compaq running at
33Mhz I think. Granted we had a 320 Megabyte hard drive, significantly
larger than the one the 256CF card the development system on this board
uses, but then we only had 3Meg of RAM in this thing , not 32Megabytes.
Of course the serial ports were handled by dedicated serial
concentrators, which significantly offloaded that work for the processor.
Anyways, its a nice platform for development work.
The www.gumstix.com product is interesting too (from another poster),
only it doesn't appear to have a direct I/O capabilities, and it doens't
have an Ethernet port. It is a lot more powerful.
T.


Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports
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[snip]

I fully agree. Does anyone know if any ARM boards with similar capabilities
are sold at this kind of price within the UK ?

Also, does anyone know when the nano-itx boards are actually going to
start becoming available ? (It must be a year now since they were announced)

Thanks for any information,

Simon.

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Simon Clubley, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP      
SCO: Proudly pushing Microsoft down to #2 on the list of most disliked companies

Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports

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Buy a bunch of them, ask for a deal and become an official distributor.
And then keep a few for artistic play for yourself ;)

Tony


Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports
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I work at Technologic Systems and am an engineer on the TS-7200 embedded
ARM SBC.  I'm pretty sure the board will meet the original posters
requirements except maybe RAM.

* Low power

The board has a 10/100 ethernet port, but if you're not using it, its
around 2.5 watts running the CPU at 166 Mhz, with ethernet, its around
3.2 watts  You can slow down the CPU to conserve even more power if you
don't need all 166 Mhz.

* Flash Disk (64-128MB)

I've used up to 1 Gb compact flash cards successfully on the TS-7200.
Linux itself boots from onboard flash to login prompt in about 8-12 seconds.

* 128-256MB memory

We could probably build a custom board with this amount of memory, but
we'd have to use multiple 64 Mb SDRAM chips which in todays market are
still quite expensive.

* at least 3 serial ports (RS232)

TS-7200 comes with 2 onboard serial ports, but you can stack TS-SER1 (+1
port) and TS-SER4 (+4 ports) daughtercards and have up 12 extra serial
ports.

* a parallel printer port (to be used as digital I/O)

TS-7200 has 20 general purpose I/O pins (no printer port though)

* a wireless LAN (optional)

Theoretically, you could attach a Linux supported USB wifi or bluetooth.


Not sure about similar boards to ours in the UK, but we definitely ship
there.  We use UPS and Fedex, which I understand can be pricy for just a
single unit.  I'm pretty sure we can use DHL too which I hear is cheaper
if you specifically ask for it.  Per-unit pricing and shipping gets much
more economical in larger quantity orders.

Nano-ITX (or even mini-ITX) might work too, but I would guess would use
much more than 5 watts and be much more expensive and complicated to
"embed" (you'd need extra periphery for flash disk, serial console, RAM
dimms, CPU, power supply)

//Jesse Off

Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports
I'd like to put in my recommendation for the TS-7200 as well. I
received mine last week and it looks to be very good value for what it
is.

If, like me, you're not up on Linux then it's a little daunting at
first - especially as there was a misprint in the docs relating to
booting into the CF development image. It should be:

Press CTRL+C from the terminal on power up to get to Redboot prompt.
type: fis load vmlinux  (Not zimage as in docs)
type: exec -c "console=ttyAM0,115200 root=/dev/hda1"

Anyway, a very nice board, and the enclosure is also well worth the
money.

All that's missing is a good message board relating to it - possibly a
Yahoo eGroup....

PJE

Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports

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I second that Point
Tony


Re: Low power, small embedded Linux board with multiple serial ports
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[...req's snipped...]

I know nothing about these guys other than what's on their website,
but they seem to be aimed squarely at the lightweight-Linux-box
niche:
   http://www.gumstix.com/products.html

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