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SODIMM-style COM runs Linux on Atmel SAMA5D4x

Jan 12, 2016 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 890 views

MYIR announced a tiny COM that runs Linux on Atmel’s low power, Cortex-A5 SAMA5 SoCs, and offers display, networking, USB, serial, GPIO, ADC, and more.

MYIR’s 68 x 45mm “MYC-JA5D4X” computer-on-module is available on its own, as part of an “MYD-JA5D4X” development board that adds a ready-to-use carrier board. The COM is based on Atmel’s single-core, 600MHz SAMA5D4 series system-on-chips in October of 2014. MYIR is offering the COM with a choice of either the SAMA5D42 or SAMA5D44 SoC, which differ primarily in the D44 chip’s inclusion of a hardware support for 720p30 video playback of H264, VP8, or MPEG4 formats.

The only other COM we’ve encountered here that uses the SAMA5D4x series SoCs is Ka-Ro’s even tinier TXA5 SODIMM-style module, which is limited to the SAMA5D42 SoC variant along with 256MB of RAM and 128MB NAND flash, but offers the option of up to 4GB on-board eMMC.

MYC-JA5D4X module
(click image to enlarge)

In addition to its Atmel SoC, MYIR’s MYC-JA5D4X COM adds 512MB of DDR2 SDRAM, 512MB of NAND flash storage, 4MB data flash, 64KB EEPROM, and an on-board 10/100Mbps Ethernet PHY. All SoC interface signals that aren’t consumed on the module, plus power, ground, and control signals are routed to the fingers of the module’s 200-finger SODIMM connector.

MYC-JA5D4X module details
(click image to enlarge)

As evidenced by the highly detailed block diagram below, the module’s Atmel SAMA5D4x SoC offers a very high density of functional integration beyond its Cortex-A5 processor, including memory controllers, a TFT LCD controller with overlays for image composition, a CMOS image sensor interface, high speed USB ports, dual 10/100 Ethernet interfaces, ARM TrustZone advanced security features, and much more. As noted earlier, the SAMA5D44 SoC variant is distinguished by its inclusion of hardware decoding for H264/263, VP8, and JPEG video formats, at up to 720p30.

Atmel SAMA5D4x SoC block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

MYIR expects the MYC-JA5D4X COM to be used in applications requiring “high-performance, low-power, and cost-sensitive control or display” capabilities. These might include industrial control, fitness equipment, smart grid infrastructure, communications gateways, and imaging terminals, says the company.

Specifications listed for the MYC-JA5D4X module include:

  • Processor — Atmel SAMA5D42 or SAMA5D44 SoC (1x ARM Cortex-A5 core @ 600MHz)
  • Memory/storage:
    • 512MB DDR2 SDRAM
    • 512MB NAND flash
  • Other features on the COM:
    • 1x Ethernet PHY
    • Power and user LEDs
  • Signals routed to the 200-pin edge connector:
    • 2x Ethernet interfaces
    • 3x USB2.0 Host ports
    • 8x serial ports
    • 4x I2C
    • 3x SPI
    • 5x 12-bit ADC
    • 1x SMD
    • 4x 4-bit SDIO
    • LCD interface
    • 1x ISI
    • 7x GPIOs
  • Dimensions — 67.6 x 45mm
  • Power — 3.3V DC @ 2A
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C (standard), -40 to 85°C (industrial)
  • Operating system — custom Linux 3.18 BSP with U-boot bootloader

MYD-JA5D4X development board

MYIR’s MYD-JA5D4X development board is aimed at simplifying and accelerating the evaluation and prototype development of applications that will incorporate the MYC-JA5D4X COM. The board supplements the COM with power and signal conditioning, plus interface headers and real-world connectors that offer access to most of the interfaces appear on the COM’s 200-pin SODIMM connector, as illustrated below.

MYD-JA5D4X development board details
(click image to enlarge)

Further information

The MYC-JA5D4X and MYD-JA5D4X modules and development boards appear to be shipping now, with single units of the module by itself priced at $95, and the development board (which includes the COM) at $290. Additional details are available at MYIR’s MYC-JA5D4X and MYD-JA5D4X product pages.

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