Embedded Open Modular Architecture/EOMA-68/EngineeringBoard

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Revision as of 12:01, 25 June 2012 by Lkcl (Talk | contribs) (Connectors and Components)

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All-in-one Engineering Board

The purpose of an All-In-One Engineering Board is to create a Reference Platform that can either be used as-is (by end-users with no access to PCB facilities), sold as-is, or cut-down to size by ODMs for a specific OEM's less-demanding purpose. Despite having similar features and purpose, the example Engineering Board is approximately the same size as a Pandaboard. However: unlike the Beagleboard and the Pandaboard, any EOMA/PCMCIA-compliant CPU card can be deployed, providing both a factory-upgrade as well as user-upgrade path that is independent of SoC Vendors (even from upgraded versions of an SoC from the same Fabless Semiconductor Company).

Designs based around this all-in-one Example Engineering Board can therefore be made with the confidence that even if the CPU chosen at the beginning of a product's lifecycle turns out not to be sufficiently powerful, an alternative EOMA/PCMCIA-compliant CPU card can be chosen off-the-shelf without jeapordising the viability of the whole product.

Connectors and Components

The list of connectors and components is much larger than those of the Mini Engineering Board, as this board is more of a "Kitchen Sink" by design. Excluding those already on the EOMA/PCMCIA CPU Card, the connectors include:

  • 3x USB2
  • eSATA-II
  • DVI and/or VGA
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • PCMCIA Connector (signals conforming to EOMA/PCMCIA Standard)
  • Full-sized SD/MMC Slot
  • 5V Power

On the EOMA/PCMCIA CPU Card itself, it is not possible to dictate what connectors will be on the CPU Card (except an EOMA-compliant PCMCIA interface), but a typical example card might have:

  • 1x USB-OTG
  • Micro-HDMI
  • Micro-SD/MMC
  • 3.5mm 3-pin or 5-pin Audio Jack
  • 3.5mm Camera In/Out Jack (S-Video or other)
  • Optional "Expansion Headers" (not end-user accessible)

Components on the Engineering Board might include:

  • TI SN75LVDS83b RGB/TTL-to-LVDS converter
  • Chrontel CH7036 LVDS-to-DVI/VGA converter
  • 2x GL850G 4-port USB Hubs
  • RT3070 USB-based 802.11bgn WIFI "SIP" Module
  • GPS "SIP" Module
  • Bluetooth "SIP" Module
  • GL832 USB-to-SD/MMC Module
  • GL632 USB AC97 Audio IC
  • I2C EEPROM
  • Optional STM32F (see Mini Board)

So overall, the combination of interfaces and capabilities offered by this example EOMA/PCMCIA-compliant "Kitchen Sink" board rivals and in some cases exceeds those of the Pandaboard, the Origen Exynos 4210 and others, yet it is similar in size and form-factor, as well as user-upgradeable and factory-upgradeable.

Pricing for a BOM is however quite hard to judge, although a reasonable guess can be made. The SN75LVDS83b is approx $1.50. GL850Gs are around $1 to $1.20. Using taobao.com to estimate pricing, the RT3070 IC is likely to be around $3.50 in medium volume (and under $2 in large). The Chrontel CH7036 would be around $2 to $3. A decent GPS Module with a built-in Antenna can however be as much as $15 (!), whilst a Bluetooth SIP Module can be even higher (especially one with a CSR Chipset). GL832 and GL632 are both around $1.20. Connectors, discrete components, PCB etc. would be approximately an additional $5 to $6.

Excluding the EOMA/PCMCIA-compliant CPU Card itself, worst-case pricing estimates therefore place this "Kitchen Sink" PCB, which can always be cut-down-to-size, at around $USD 48. However: some efforts can be made to reduce this price, considerably. For example, this Azurewave AW-NH610 product looks ideal, having on-board 802.11abgn WIFI, built-in Bluetooth as well as FM Radio capability. This IC could well be around $5 in mass-volume - the emphasis being on mass-volume (order quantities greater than 50,000 units). Its use would cut that $48 price down to around $35 (an STM32F would be required to interface with it: the STM32F106 has on-board SDIO / SDMMC capabilities).


4in engineering pcmcia board.png