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Embedded Module Spans 300 to 800 MHz Range with ARM Cortex-A8 Processors

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A new embedded processor module is based on the Texas Instruments AM335x. Different members of the AM335x family of ARM Cortex-A8 processors, clocked from 300 to 800 MHz, are used for the module offering a wide variety of features and interfaces. The nanoRISC AM335x module from MSC Embedded can hold up to 512 Mbyte of DDR3 DRAM, up to 512 Mbyte of SLC NAND Flash and optionally up to 64 Gbyte eMMC Flash. A microSD card holder on the module enables the addition of Flash memory cards. The MSC nanoRISC-AM335x module is fully compliant to the nanoRISC specification and provides for popular embedded I/O signals such as Ethernet, USB, CAN, UART, SPI, I2C and I2S audio.

Initially, two processors from TI’s AM335x family will be used for the nanoRISC-AM335x. The AM3352 clocked at 300 MHz with its very low power consumption and basic feature set will mark the economic entry-level module, while the AM3354 at 800 MHz will provide very high computing power as well as hardware 3D graphics acceleration.

Therefore, the new nanoRISC module based on these AM335x processors gives designers of target systems the opportunity to achieve two different performance and price points by alternatively using the entry-level module or the high-performance product, making use of the total hardware and software compatibility between them. Considering the other nanoRISC modules available from MSC and its nanoRISC partners, system designers have a very wide choice of performance, price and features among the versatile nanoRISC family. The nanoRISC standard for processor modules was created by MSC in order to shorten the design and development time for the use of advanced, complex ARM CPUs. 

The new module supports direct LCD drive (16/18/24-bit RGB) at a resolution of up to HD (1366 x 768 pixels). Some members of the module family provide 3D graphics acceleration built into the CPU’s SGX530 graphics subsystem. The 10/100 Base-T Ethernet interface can optionally be used as Gigabit LAN or as two independent 10/100 LAN interfaces.

The 70 x 50 mm nanoRISC module consumes less than 2W of power (1.7W for the 300 MHz version) and can be operated without any cooling. It is interchangeable with the other nanoRISC modules from MSC and its partners if the minimum feature set is used. MSC provides Board Support Packages (BSPs) as well as Boot Loader, drivers and Operating System (OS) implementations for Linux and Windows Embedded Compact 7 (Android on request). OEM quantity pricing with the Quad-Core CPU is $168.

MSC Embedded, San Bruno, CA. (650) 616-4068. [www.mscembedded.com].