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Linux-ready dev board beats BeagleBoard-X15 to the AM5728

Feb 10, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 3,517 views

[Updated: Feb. 11] — Elesar’s “Titanium” is a feature-rich board based on TI’s AM5728 SoC, featuring dual Cortex-A15, dual DSP, and dual Cortex-M4 cores, plus a dual-core GPU.

It’s not too often that a workalike board ships before the original, but that appears to be the case for UK-based Elesar’s Titanium development board. The Titanium is not really a clone, but it’s available now with similar features and the same new Texas Instruments Sitara AM5728 SoC that was supposed to debut in the still delayed BeagleBoard-X15 hacker SBC.



Titanium
(click image to enlarge)

The Titanium is a lot bigger (8.0 x 6.7-inch, “Mini-DTX” form-factor) and more expensive (£498/$728) than the 4.0 x 4.0-inch, $239 BeagleBoard-X15. However, it’s shipping now, and with a lot more real-world ports. Although this does not appear to be an open hardware project, the SBC’s schematic, along with 50 pages of other design detail including the BOM, are available in a purchasable technical reference manual (does not require purchase of the SBC).


BeagleBoard-X15

In many ways, the Titanium is likely to compete more with TI’s upcoming, and as yet unpriced, Sitara AM57x evaluation module. Since the Titanium is already shipping, we imagine it’s only a few weeks before we finally see the TI eval module and BeagleBoard-X15. Then again, we’ve been disappointed before.

The main attraction with all three boards is the insanely complex Sitara AM5728 itself, which is the first of TI’s AM5x family announced in early 2014. In addition to the dual Cortex-A15 cores, there’s a Power VR SGX544 3D GPU, and the usual quad-core programmable real-time unit (PRU) found in the Cortex-A9-based Sitara AM437x. Yet there are also two TI C66x DSPs capable of running OpenCL, as well as dual Cortex-M4 MCUs.



BeagleBoard.org promo for the TI Sitara AM5728
(click image to enlarge)

The Titanium shares the same 2GB of RAM and microSD slot as the latest BeagleBoard-X15 specs, but it lacks its 4GB of eMMC flash and eSATA port. On the other hand, it has four SATA ports, and unlike the BeagleBoard-X15, it lists 8MB of boot flash. A microSD card is loaded with Debian 8 (“Jesse”) with Linux Kernel 4.1. The source code is hosted on GitHub under user “elesar-uk.”


Titanium SBC block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The Titanium has dual DVI-I ports instead of the BeagleBoard-X15’s single HDMI port and LCD expansion interface. The dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and eight USB ports are the same, but it’s USB 2.0 instead of 3.0. On the other hand, there are six coastline ports compared to three on the BeagleBoard-X15.

The Titanium lacks the BeagleBoard-X15’s four 60-pin, dual-row expansion headers. Instead it offers dual coastline RS-232 ports and two onboard PCI-Express interfaces. A JTAG interface is available along with an unstated number of GPIO.

Specifications listed for the Titanium board include

  • Processor:
    • TI Sitara AM5728 (2x Cortex-A15 cores @ 1.5GHz)
    • Imagination Power VR SGX544 3D GPU (2x cores @ 533MHz)
    • 1x Vivante GC3230 2D BTBLT accelerator
    • 2x Cortex-M4 microcontroller cores @ 212MHz
    • 4x PRU cores for 185x PRU pins
    • 2x 750-MHz C66x DSP cores
  • Memory/storage:
    • 2GB DDR3 RAM @ up to 533MHz
    • 2.5MB on-chip SRAM
    • 8MB QSPI serial boot flash
    • MicroSD slot
    • 4x SATA 3Gbps
  • Display — 2x DVI-I, independent heads with each up to 24-bit 1920 x 1080 @ 60fps
  • Audio:
    • 24-bit stereo mic in, headphone out
    • 2x stereo audio line-in
    • Mono audio downmix to 8-ohm speaker
  • Networking — 2x gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 8x USB 2.0 host ports (6x coastline)
    • 2x RS232 ports with handshake
    • JTAG
    • GPIO
  • Expansion — 2x PCIe root complexes, up to 5Gbps
  • Other features — Battery-backed RTC; headers for reset buttons, LEDs; 3x tokens for tech support
  • Power –- requires ATX12V 2.3 or later supply with 20-way Molex Mini Fit Junior mating connector
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 50°C ambient
  • Dimensions — 8.0 x 6.7-inch (244 x 203mm) ; Mini-DTX form-factor
  • Operating systems — Debian 8 with Linux 4.1 and U-boot 2015.07 preloaded; RISC OS optional

 
Further information

The Titanium board is available now, priced at £498 (currently $728) for a single unit. More information may be found at Elesar’s Titanium product page.
 

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PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

2 responses to “Linux-ready dev board beats BeagleBoard-X15 to the AM5728”

  1. Vin Mae says:

    Too Expensive

    • Si Moroney says:

      The price mentioned includes local taxes. It’d be $606 by my maths if outside the EU (plus any import duties). More than the x15, but it exists.

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