Simtec has released a new Mini-ITX board
based on the Samsung
S3C2410, a 200MHz ARM920T SOC. The board requires 3.3 volts at
600ma (3 watts). It's got some interesting I/O including the usual
PC-type stuff like Ethernet, USB, five serial, parallel, IR, audio,
and video. But it also includes some I/O of the type that's crucial to
robot builders: I2C, 50 GPIO lines, LCD, JTAG, 8x13 keyboard matrix
connector, and even a PC104 expansion connecter. It seems to lack any
A/D inputs however. It runs Linux, of course and includes A Debian GNU
gcc tool chain. Full documentation
and a gallery
of photos can be found on the Simtec website. The only downside is
the price: $425 per unit. The VIA Technologies EPIA M10000 combined with
an external I/O subprocessor like the IsoPod
still wins on price.
Unless you are able to get a GNUC++ compiler to work with it, the C++
compiler costs are going be sky high.
Then you still need some kind of a OS too, that's extra.
Thanks for posting your experiences with the Mini-ITX.
I've read a few items about their next board, the Nano-ITX,
a 4.5"x4.5" board, which should be great for robotics. I'm
currently building a 6"x6" cube robot anticipating this board.
Does anyone have details such as:
- availability date?
- retail sources?
- does the iTuner 12VDC power board work for it?
He then displayed the VIA Nano-ITX mainboard,
at just 12cm x 12cm, the smallest ever standard platform
with full PC functionality, which is ideally suited for
the next generation of smaller, quieter, digitally
intelligent home, office, mobile, industrial and
commercial devices. Declared "the shape of things to come"
by Chen, the Nano-ITX board will be launched later this year.
Pictures of the prototype are on:
Sorry to say the specs haven't been finalized on the Nano-ITX boards yet
for me to update you. Suffice it to say they will be smaller
(obviously) integrate all the chipset features of the Mini-ITX boards,
provide up to 1GHz CPU speeds (and then more)and offer more power
management features to get the power requirements down even further.
I'll post more as I can.
Timothy J. Brown
VIA Robotics Program Manager
VIA Robotics Initiative