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Panel computer runs Linux or Android on AM335x SoC

Mar 23, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 2,170 views

AndersDX unveiled a panel computer based on a Sitara AM3354 SoC, with WiFi and BT, and a 5.7-inch, VGA resistive or 4.3-inch, WVGA capacitive touch display.

We typically cover UK-based AndersDX (Anders Electronics) in its role as a distributor of products such as CompuLab’s mini-PCs and embedded boards, or TinyGreenPC’s Pi Media Player. In the case of its DX series of embedded panel computers, however, the company acts as the self-branded manufacturer. An earlier generation was referred to as the DXE Series.

DX1 panel computer
(click image to enlarge)

There’s still a CompuLab connection here, as the new DX1 runs on a CompuLab SBC-T335 board that incorporates a CM-T335 computer-on-module. The CM-T335 in turn runs on a Texas Instruments Sitara AM3354 SoC clocked here at 600MHz.

CompuLab SBC-T335 SBC (left) and CM-T335 COM
(click images to enlarge)

The power-sipping Sitara SoC helps the device operate at a maximum consumption of 1.5A, claims AndersDX. It also helps to keep the starting price of the DX1 (or DX1a) to under £100 (under $149). A 5.7-inch version with resistive touch and VGA resolution is available now, and a 4.3-inch version with projected capacitive touch and higher WVGA resolution is said to be coming soon. The entry-level DX1 can be used both for prototyping and for final production, says AndersDX.

The DX1 ships with 256MB DDR3-1066 RAM and 512MB NAND flash, and offers a microSD slot for expansion. A gigabit Ethernet port is provided along with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.

Four USB 2.0 host ports are available, although judging from the photo, some of these may be onboard interfaces rather than coastline ports. You also get two serial ports, up to 24 lines of GPIO, audio I/O, a CANBus interface, and four ADC sockets. The system runs on 12V power, claims AndersDX.

The system comes pre-loaded with Debian Linux or Android “Jelly Bean” (4.2), and all required drivers are said to be fully integrated and debugged. A development kit version adds extras like cables and a power supply. For orders of over 100 units, AndersDX can reduce the number of interfaces in order to reduce cost. Display customization is available to volume buyers on a negotiated basis.

Specifications listed for the DX1 include:

  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3354 (1x Cortex-A8 core @ 600MHz) with DSP and PowerVR SGX530 GPU with 3D graphics acceleration, OpenGL-ES, and OpenVG
  • Memory:
    • 256MB DDR3-1066 RAM
    • 512MB NAND flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Display — TFT LCD, 24-bit RGB panel with choice of:
    • 5.7-inch, VGA (640 x 480) resistive
    • 4.3-inch, WVGA (800 x 480) projective capacitive (via I2C)
  • Wireless — 802.11b/g/n; Bluetooth 3.0+HS; antenna connector with optional antenna
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 2.0 ports
    • 2x RS232/422/485 “mini-serial” connectors
    • Up to 24x GPIO
    • Audio in and out jacks
    • CANBus interface
    • Up to 4x ADC input headers
  • Other features — RTC; optional development kit with cables, etc.
  • Power — 12V DC input; max. 1.5A consumption; 12V supply available with dev kit
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C
  • Dimensions — 130 x 93 x 17mm
  • Operating system — Preloaded images for Debian Linux and Android 4.2. Windows Embedded Compact 7 support coming soon

More advanced, Linux-ready AndersDX DX panel computers are also available, based on TI’s 1GHz, Cortex-A8 DM3730 SoC. The DX2 offers resistive panels ranging from 5.7- (VGA) to 7.0 (WVGA) inches. The DX4 features capacitive multitouch displays in 7.0-inch (WVGA) and 4.3-inch (WVGA and VGA) models. Like the DX1, it also offers Android support.

“AndersDX is leveraging process shrinks to deliver a new generation of our entry level Embedded Display platform, offering more performance and more features at a lower cost than ever before,” stated Rhett Evans, Embedded Sales Manager at Anders Electronics Plc.

Further information

The DX1 (DX1a) with 5.7-inch VGA resistive display is available for under £100 ($149), says AndersDX. The 4.3-inch, WVGA capacitive version is coming soon. More information may be found on the DX1 product page.

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