Inexpensive ARM9 PC/104 Looks Ideal for Robots

Posted 13 Jul 2007 at 15:05 UTC by steve Share This

A LinuxDevices article mentioned a new PC/104 form factor ARM9 microcontroller made by EMAC that might be useful for robot hobbyists. The board, called the iPac-9302 is based on the Cirrus EP9302 SOC, which uses a 200MHz ARM920T CPU with a MaverickCrunch floating point math engine. The board supports up to 64MB of SDRAM, 32MB of flash, 256KB EEPROM, and a PLD which can be reprogrammed to support quadrature decoding, stepper control, or other custom tasks. It supports a lot of I/O including AC97 audio, 10/100 ethernet, 1 RS-232, 1 RS-232/422/485, 2 USB 2.0 port, 16 processor I/O lines, 16 PLD digital inputs (5v), 8 digital outputs (25ma), 8 high-drive digital outputs (500ma), 9 synchronous serial I/O lines (SPI/I2S), 3 PWM I/O lines, 5 channels of 12 bit A/D, and 2 channels of 8 bit D/A. You can also get an optional JTAG adapter and screw terminal board for all that I/O. And, yes, it runs Linux. The best part is that the pricing starts at $150 in single unit quantities. For more details see the iPac 9302 manual (PDF format).

This does look good!, posted 14 Jul 2007 at 00:52 UTC by jeffkoenig » (Master)

I'm happy to see they've made screw-terminal I/O break out boards available. A kudos to them for providing a free IDE, too. But I wonder about the "One-Time Build/Support Fee" page for the Linux modules. Some of those prices are very high.

linux modules, posted 14 Jul 2007 at 03:15 UTC by steve » (Master)

Most of it is under the GPL, so worst case, they have to provide source code upon request and you could compile it yourself.

Yay Open Source!, posted 14 Jul 2007 at 16:47 UTC by jeffkoenig » (Master)

Hooray for that! It looks like a really nicely thought out product in a great form factor.

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