Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux

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Hi,

Does anyone have any suggestions for small / cheap embedded microcontroller  
families having an MMU and which are suitable for running the "normal" version  
of Linux ?

Thanks,

Boo

Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
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iMX233

Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
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You might want to first read the MCU errata list however for the i.MX233
before purchasing it (especially if you want to do USB isochronous reads).

Disclaimer: I don't know how (or if) Linux handles the issue raised; I've
only used the i.MX233 outside of Linux and not for isochronous I/O.

Simon.

--  
Simon Clubley, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world

Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
On Tuesday, March 11, 2014 10:04:06 AM UTC-7, Boo wrote:
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Dual core 1.6GHz Atom with 1GB SDRAM for $29

http://www.ebay.com/itm/579999-001-NEW-HP-Mini-311-Laptop-Motherboard-/190709051979?pt=Motherboards&hash=item2c6725324b

How cheap do you need?

Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
On Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:04:06 +0000, Boo wrote:

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This is as much a riff on my prejudices as anything else, but: "small and  
cheap" don't fit will with "Linux", at least by my definitions.

Linux is a big-box operating system.  You can get out the machete and  
whack it down considerably in size, and then you can stuff the result  
into a small (ish) processor.  But when you're all done, you either have  
a huge amount of unnecessary overhead for the sorts of applications that  
fit into a small and cheap processor (by my definition of "small and  
cheap"), or you have an application that needed Linux in the first place  
because it's just plain too big for "small and cheap".

Of course, my "small and cheap" is less than $2.00 in quantity and a  
board footprint that's less than 100mm^2, or maybe 50mm^2.  Your "small  
and cheap" may be considerably bigger.

--  

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
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I assume by "normal" you mean "something that's not uCLinux" rather
than "the current version of Ubuntu or RHEL".  If the former, I don't
think there's anything I'd consider small and cheap.  If the latter,
then there's _really_ nothing small and cheap.

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[...]

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At least he didn't demand "low power" as well (in my book, "low power"
means running off ~1V at a few hundred uA).

--  
Grant Edwards               grant.b.edwards        Yow! My uncle Murray
                                  at               conquered Egypt in 53 B.C.
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Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
On 3/11/2014 1:04 PM, Boo wrote:
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The biggest problem with Linux is that it runs out or RAM.
If your board does not have 4-8Meg of RAM, it won't run at all.

There are NO microcontrollers with that much RAM.

So you will need a PCB with a processor and lots of RAM.

I wish there was a FAQ about this, oh wait........

( Google IT )


Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
hamilton wrote:
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There's this, Linux on an ATMega1284p.  But it's not what he wants.

<http://hackaday.com/2012/03/28/building-the-worst-linux-pc-ever/

    Mel.


Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux

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I guess the closest is the RPi, it has stacked-chip DRAM ("package on
package").

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OP could perhaps look at  

<https://www.olimex.com/Products/OLinuXino/open-source-hardware

--  

John Devereux

Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux

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It maybe stretches the definition a bit, but Renesas' RZ/A1H has 10MB  
of on-chip SRAM. Still needs external flash storage though.

-a

Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
On 3/12/2014 6:05 AM, snipped-for-privacy@kapsi.spam.stop.fi.invalid wrote:
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Interesting:
http://www.renesas.com/products/mpumcu/rz/rza/rza1/index.jsp

Maximum 10 MB on-chip large-capacity RAM enables more compact system size

Maximum 10 MB on-chip RAM enables image data for two screens of WXGA  
size image display to be recorded (used as frame buffer) without  
external SDRAM. Compared to the WVGA size (800 x 480 pixels) display of  
previous Renesas products, the product can be expanded to WXGA size  
without adding external SDRAM, enabling a more compact size to be  
obtained. Since external SDRAM is unnecessary, issues concerning the  
cost of SDRAM, mounting area, power consumption, noise, stable long-term  
supply, and so on can also be solved.


Without looking deeper, can it run code out of video RAM ?



Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
In comp.arch.embedded,
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It has no special purpose 'video RAM', the 10MB version just has 5 blocks
of 2MB RAM, which you can use as you like. There are multiple internal
busses, so in theory it can do video DMA and, for example, ethernet DMA
while the CPU is accessing the RAM, without these 3 operations
interfering with each other (assuming they use 3 separate RAM blocks).

Have no experience with these yet (they are sampling or just in full
production), but they seem to be a very good candidate for one of our
future products. Silica should have a low-cost eval board out by now. Will
order one as soon as that project progreses to hardware selection. The
Renesas boards where already available last year and not too expensive
either.

We would not need the video for that project, but we do require the RAM.

--  
Stef    (remove caps, dashes and .invalid from e-mail address to reply by mail)

Clothes make the man.  Naked people have little or no influence on society.
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Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
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A distributor rep claimed it can, but until the documentation is  
released who knows.

-a

Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
Boo wrote:
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Would a Beaglebone be a start? Cubie board?

They're $100 or less, smallish. How small, how cheap?


The Cubie is a bit proprietary and Allwinner is ... odd
as a company, but they both run full-grown Linuces.

--  
Les Cargill

Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
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Those are very powerful and relatively expensive boards, comparable to
serious PC's or servers from not that long ago.  I think of a
small/cheap Linux board as comparable to the stuff found in cheap home
wifi routers.  Typically they have a $3 ARM6 or MIPS cpu with maybe 4
meg of ram and a comparable amount of flash, plus all the network stuff.
The whole thing retails for $30 or so.  

I think the OP just wants a CPU for use in a larger embedded product,
but here are some complete boards that might be of interest for testing
or whatever:

https://www.olimex.com/Products/OLinuXino/iMX233/

Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
Paul Rubin wrote:
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Is that "inexpensive"? :)

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Indeed.


Me too:
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/83-15259?scode=GS401&CAWELAID53%0004080000049152&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CPq6xP39i70CFSJo7Aod22gAfw

$45. half a gig RAM, 1GHz, 2GB FLASH.

http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/Cubietruck-Kit-Dual-Core-Singleboard-Computer-p-1628.html?gclid=CLfcoMj-i70CFZTm7Aodw3cAOg

$89 for 1GByte RAM,2-4 Gbytre FLASH, 1GHz.

 > Typically they have a $3 ARM6 or MIPS cpu with maybe 4
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Uh, $45? :) This is why I said anything. A threshold has been crossed.

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Nice little boards...

--  
Les Cargill



Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
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"Whole thing" = complete finished appliance with enclosure, buttons,
lights, consumer packaging, power cube, ethernet cable, etc.  Not really
comparable to the Beaglebone which is $45 for just a PC board in a
baggie.  The Beaglebone is a nice board but overkill for many purposes.


Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
On Tue, 11 Mar 2014 17:04:06 +0000, Boo

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Do you want to use some existing program running only on Linux (or
Windows (Embedded)) ?

For a new project, you should consider some light weight OS/kernel.


Re: Small / cheap micro family with MMU for running Linux
2014-03-11 18:04, Boo skrev:
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Atmel     AT91SAM9x5 family
Freescale iMX28 family or

They are based on the ARM9 core.
A more modern chip would be based on a Cortex-A<n> chip.

Some examples with low cost board.

Atmel            SAMA5    Cortex-A5    (SAMA5 Xplained)
Freescale        iMX6            (Wandboard)
Texas Instruments    AM335x    Sitara        (Beagleboard)

If you are happy with just a board, and do not want to build your own then;
Allwinner         Allwinner Ax        (Olimex)


BR
Ulf Samuelsson

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