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Rugged industrial gateway runs Linux on TI Sitara

Nov 7, 2014 — by Eric Brown — 1,067 views

Advantech’s rugged, industrial gateway computer runs Linux on a Sitara AM3352, and features dual gigabit Ethernet ports, WiFi, CAN, and five serial ports.

Previous UBC-branded box computers have offered the Freescale i.MX6 system-on-chips, but for the Linux-ready “UBC-FA30,” Advantech has turned to the Texas Instruments Sitara AM3352. This low-end, Cortex-A8 Sitara AM355x SoC lacks the 3D graphics and PRU subsystems of some the other Sitara models, but can still crank it up to 1GHz, the maximum clock rate available on the UBC-FA30.

The AM3352 SoC also helps the UBC-FA30 keep maximum power consumption at under 2.8 Watts, according to Advantech. The computer is designed to act as a gateway device for data acquisition and precision control, including smart grid, industrial, and machinery automation applications.

(click image to enlarge)

The UBC-FA30 ships with 512MB of DDR3 RAM, plus 4GB of eMMC flash with Linux pre-installed. The system includes 4MB SPI NOR flash for storing the boot code, and an SD slot for expansion.

Real-world ports include a pair of gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB 2.0 port that can be configured as either host or OTG. A mini-PCIe based WiFi module with antenna is also available. The UBC-FA30 has an array of headers that enable a CAN port, five serial ports with optional ESD protection, and eight GPIO with optional ESD protection and power isolation.

UBC-FA30 port detail
(click image to enlarge)

The 166 x 117 x 30mm system offers optional -40 to 85°C temperature support. Advantech’s Remote Management API is available. Advantech touts the system for its “gorgeous color, younger and more energetic.” Yet, while other UBC systems shown on the product page offer a turquoise exterior, the UBC-FA30 images are plain old gray and white.

Summary of UBC-FA30 specs

Specifications listed for the UBC-FA30 include:

  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3362 (1x Cortex-A8 core @ 600MHz to 1GHz)
  • Memory:
    • 512MB DDR3 800MHz RAM
    • 4GB eMMC NAND flash with pre-installed Linux
    • 4MB SPI NOR flash for boot code
    • SD slot
  • Wireless – WiFi with antenna (via Mini-PCIe)
  • Networking — 2x gigabit Ethernet ports (Realtek RTL8211)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 2.0 host/OTG port (jumper configurable)
    • 5x serial interfaces (1x RS232/422/485, 4x RS232)
    • CAN bus 2.0 port
    • 8x GPIO with optional ESD (4KV/ Air 8KV) and power isolation (0 ~ 50V DC in, 5 ~ 40V DC out; 10KHz)
    • I2C interface
  • Expansion — Mini-PCIe (USB signal only) for WiFi
  • Other features — Reset button; watchdog
  • Power:
    • +12/19/24V VDC
    • Two poles lockable DC-in
    • 2.8W max. consumption
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C or -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 166 x 117 x 30mm
  • Operating system — Linux 3.2.0

Further information

The UBC-FA30 is expected to ship by the end of this year, priced at around $225, according to an Advantech spokesperson. More information may be found in Advantech’s UBC-FA30 product page.

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