New Embedded System with Soft-core processor

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Flexible, reliable reconfigurable.

The only limit to its application is only that of your imagination.

How many times has your PC failed to boot because it is blocked by a prosaic

How many times have you had to reset a PC which has frozen at the most
inconvenient moment?

How many difficulties have you had to overcome to adapt your PC with the
operative system, to make it carry out duties for which it was not

Why use personal computer components to realise your Embedded application
when you could reach your objective more easily?

Thanks to "Merlin Board", today you can realise an Embedded System which is
reliable, safe, economic and personalised for your application. You will
finally be able to guarantee your customers a production which is constant
over time and that is not subject to the problems related to the continuous
updating of hardware which is so typical in the PC world.

"Merlin Board" is an extremely innovative product

Its matchless flexibility comes from the fact that it is equipped with a
completely FPGA based architecture. On the "Merlin Board", you will not find
the usual microprocessor, but a soft-core processor synthesised inside the
FPGA, together with a range of other elements which make up the architecture
of the board.

What is today defined as SoPC (system-on-a-programmable-chip).

This solution makes it possible to overcome traditional limits of
architecture, and go as far as implementing on the core of the processor a
set of personalised Assembler instructions, which saves on many clock cycles
compared to the traditional approach.

Avant-garde technology as an answer to all Embedded System problems.

The start-up of software after a black-out.

The FRAM memories have similar characteristics to the SRAM ones, they have
low access times both in writing and reading, with the advantage of
maintaining the data in memory even during power failures.

By using this interesting feature of FRAM, the "Merlin Board" elegantly
resolves the problem of the start-up of programmes which are running on the
board, after a power black-out. It will then be possible to restart the
software from the exact point it was interrupted.

MAIN Features


Single voltage of 12V also not stabilised

Video Section:

Optimised for the viewing of vide-graphic animation.

VGA CRT/LCD output configurable with resolutions up to 1024x768.

Video output RGB 15/25 Khz with resolutions of 320x240 and 420x240.

All supported resolutions handle 65000 colours.

Management of the Alpha Blending function (transparency of the viewed
graphic objects).

In order to lighten the work load of the processor a function has been
installed on the hardware which makes it possible to superimpose two images
and calculate the result point by point according to the "alpha" colour
which determines the transparency.

Web Server:

TCP/IP interface on board, operates as a web server.

Audio Section:

16 bit stereo audio with 10+10W audio amplifier.


16 lines for digital input and 16 lines for output with a power driver.

All the I/O are protected from eventual radio-electrical disturbances.

User Data Memory:

64 MB of Flash Memory (Intel Strata Flash) - Expandable.

Serial BUS:

1 port for 12C Bus to which it is possible to connect up to 255 peripherals

2 RS232 ports - Output for CC_TALK Bus

Clock System

Real Time Clock with backup battery - Watch Dog Timer

Non Volatile Memory

256K FRAM (ferroelectric memory)


Implementation of an architecture which reasonably protects from eventual
violation both of the software and hardware.

Optional Modules available:

Module for GSM-GPRS connections - GPS reception module

USB Interface module - Bluetooth interface module

Touch Screen module


The "Merlin Board" is available in an plastic box equipped with a support
which may be used to attach it to the wall.

For more information on our services

and products, come visit us at

Re: New Embedded System with Soft-core processor

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But does it run an open source GPL Linux kernel ?

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How do you do that ?
If I remember correct the first (address) bit is a Read/Write flag ?
=> theoretical max 127 devices..
Let's assume address 0,127,255 has a special meaning as well..


NSA disclaimer: This message does not contain any of the words BOMB,
WHITEHOUSE, TERRORISM or PRESIDENT so you may stop reading right here.

Re: New Embedded System with Soft-core processor
The new I2C 10-bit addressing allows the use of up to 1024 additional
addresses to prevent problems with the allocation of slave addresses as the
number of I2C devices rapidly expands. It does not change the format for
addresses defined in the I2C-bus specification, using addresses reserved in
the existing specification. 10-bit addressing does not affect the existing
7-bit addressing, allowing devices with 7-bit or 10-bit addresses to be
connected to the same I2C-bus, and both types of devices can be used in
Standard-, Fast- or High-speed mode systems.

Having never tried to connect up to 255 peripheral I2Cs, I prefer to be
prudent and to declare only 255

Sure! Merlino supports Linux kernel


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Re: New Embedded System with Soft-core processor
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Does this mean that you have a kernel patch availabe ?
Against which kernel version ?


Re: New Embedded System with Soft-core processor
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Hmmmmm.....I imagine to use Linux on it, is it possible ?

Re: New Embedded System with Soft-core processor

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One would hope, considering the newsgroup the announcement is posted in.

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