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Blue Chip leads in new wave of ARM Cortex A8 embedded computers

24 February 2011

The RE2 board from Blue Chip Technology is being hailed as a significant advance in embedded computing. It leads the new wave of ARM Cortex A8 embedded computers thanks to its OMAP 3 processing core, which also integrates a C64x up to 520 MHz DSP. This architecture gives the RE2 the market edge in performance per Watt, and a compact design optimised for graphics and computationally intensive tasks.

The RE2’s power dissipation is typically only about 2W at 720MHz, yet it has the graphics capability to smoothly deliver 720p resolution video content. This performance is complemented by the board’s versatility and ease of set-up. An innovative 'REsolution' display kit is available, providing all the display-specific cables and interface electronics to handle the signal, backlight and touch screen requirements for an off-the-shelf range of TFT panels ranging from 3.5 to 7in. REsolution also includes a PC utility allowing fine-tuning of display resolution and other parameters to accommodate most available TFTs. The RE2 board itself will accept a wide input voltage range of 7Vdc to 36Vdc, making it suitable for many applications including vehicle installations.

Features include 256MB LPDDR SDRAM and 512 MB NAND Flash, both soldered on board, plus an optional NAND Flash μSD card. Video output is available through a 24bit RGB TTL connector or a DVI port, and a 4-wire touch screen controller and audio codec interface are also provided. Communications capability comprises a 10/100 Ethernet port, quad USB 2.0 host ports, one USB 2.0 device port, dual RS-232 and a single RS-485 port. Bluetooth, WiFi and a Camera Interface are also provided. The board supports Windows CE 6.0, and by special request, Linux, QNX and VxWorks.

The versatile expansion port can accept an optional CM1 module to add GPRS and GPS functionality for telematics and in-vehicle applications. The RE2’s extended temperature option of -40˚C to +85˚C at 600MHz, and soldered memory, enhance its suitability for such harsh environments. Customers can also use the expansion port to add their own application-specific functions, with full technical support from Blue Chip Technology.

The RE2 is backward compatible with the earlier successful RE1, in line with Blue Chip Technology’s development strategy. This ensures that customers can always enjoy the latest available processing performance and functionality without incurring maintenance and upgrade problems during the life of their own equipment.

Target applications for the RE2 include high-definition multimedia, image and voice processing, and data compression/decompression. The board’s small size and very low power demand also equip it for handheld and mobile applications.

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