Thursday, June 13, 2013

MC2 Post 1618 World’s Smallest Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 Module?

Variscite announced what it calls “the world’s tiniest Cortex-A9 system-on-module,” measuring 52 x 17mm. The Linux- and Android-compatible DART-4460 module is based on a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP4460 SoC, is available with up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 8GB eMMC flash, and can run at 400MHz on only 44mA, says the company.

The DART-4460 is designed for devices ranging from “the lightest tablet” to “the most compact multimedia system,” says Variscite. The record-breaking 52 x 17mm size helps the computer-on-module (COM) consume only 5mA in suspend and 44mA while running from a 3.7 V Li-Po battery at 400 MHz, claims the company. In case you were wondering, the iconic Gumstix COM form-factor is 12 percent larger, at 58 x 17mm.

The module is based on the Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP4460 system-on-chip, which combines its dual 1.5GHz Cortex-A9 cores with a 384MHz PowerVR SGX540 GPU and a programmable DSP that enables 1080p video encoding. The SoC has fueled best-selling products like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Kindle Fire HD, and is now working its way into embedded applications where multimedia is required. Already, the dual-core Cortex-A9 SoC has appeared in the Pandaboard ES, as well as Variscite’s earlier VAR-SOM-OM44 module, which measured 67.8 x 38.6mm.

Specifications listed for the DART-4460 include:

    Processor — TI OMAP4460:
        Dual Cortex-A9 cores @ 1.5GHz
        PowerVR SGX540 GPU
        Programmable DSP
        512MB to 1GB LP-DDR2 RAM
        Up to 8GB eMMC flash
        802.11b/g/n WiFi
        Bluetooth 4.0
    Display interfaces:
        HDMI 1.3 (1920 x 1080)
        RGB (1400 x 1050 24-bit)
        DSI (1400 x 1050 24-bit)
    Other I/O:
        2x SD/MMC
        2x USB 2.0 host
        USB 2.0 OTG
        3x UART (up to 3.6Mbps)
        2x I2C
        2x SPI
        2x CSI (camera)
        CPI (camera)
        S/PDIF audio
        Audio — mic; line-in; line-out with headphone driver
        GPMC local bus interface
    Power — 3.3-4.5V supply; 1.8V I/O; consumes 5mA in suspend, 44mA active with

3.7 V Li-Po battery @ 400MHz
    Operating temperature — commercial (0 to 70° C) and industrial (-40 to 85° C)

    Dimensions — 52 x 17 x 4.7mm (2.04 x 0.67 x 0.19 in.)
    Operating system — Linux (currenty 3.4.0 kernel); Android (currently v4.1.2)



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