Embedded Insight Archives


Embedded Insight

The Monthly Newsletter for Embedded Systems Professionals

Published by Base2 Software Design, Inc.

April, 2002


  • New Format
  • Base2 Services
  • ARM Gains Further Industry Acceptance
  • GPS To Go

New Format

We've changed the format of our newsletter! By sending our newsletter in HTML format, we can provide better formatting and a clearer presentation. We hope you'll like this format better. To send us feedback, e-mail us at mailto:info@base2software.com.

Base2 Services

Base2 Software Design provides embedded software development services for companies doing product development. Our services include:

  • software design and development
  • hardware support services
    • board bring-up
    • engineering test
    • FCC test support
    • hardware debug
  • manufacturing support
  • formal documentation services (esp. medical devices)

Our services blend especially well with medical device companies, consumer electronics developers, and product development firms. We work closely with your product development team to create products that succeed in the marketplace. For more information on how Base2 can help you with your embedded software development needs, please call 510/745-7773 or send e-mail at mailto:info@base2software.com.

ARM Gains Further Industry Acceptance

Last year, we noted that ARM had a growing following of licensees. This year, that trend continues as new chips based on ARM cores were unveiled at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in San Francisco. Here are a few of the standouts that we saw at the show.

Motorola MC9328MX1

Motorola has jumped in the fray with the introduction of the Dragonball MX1. This powerful was designed for mobile computing applications including PDAs and mobile phones. At ESC, we were quoted a current draw in the 40 mA range at 150 MHz. Here are some of the features of the Dragonball MX1:

  • ARM 920T core
  • SDRAM controller
  • 2 UARTs
  • 2 SPI interface
  • I2C interface
  • I2S interface (digital audio)
  • USB device
  • MMC/SD host controller
  • Memory Stick host controller
  • Smartcard interface
  • Bluetooth accelerator
  • Multimedia accelerator

The MX1 uses an ARM920T core and can operate at 150 MHz. It will support clock frequencies up to 200 MHz in the future. The MX1 is currently in alpha stage with beta samples scheduled to be offered in early summer. Literature is currently being produced and should be available sometime this month (4/2002). Budgetary pricing for this part is around $19 (Qty 10K). For more information about the Dragonball MX1, go to the Motorola website at http://e-www.motorola.com/webapp/sps/site/prod_summary.jsp?code=MC9328MX1&nodeId=01M992364024054.

Sharp BlueStreak

Sharp introduced their ARM7TDMI-based LH75xxx series at last year's ESC. This year, their product line has more than doubled, and the processors have a new name: BlueStreak. This family of processors use not only the ARM7TDMI core, but also the ARM720T and ARM922T cores. These processors have many advanced features and are suitable for PDAs, smart phones, media players, and other portable or multimedia applications. Some of these features include:

  • up to 80 KB SRAM
  • LCD controller (up to 1024 x 768)
  • touch screen controller
  • up to 3 UARTs
  • synchronous serial interface (SPI, Microwire)
  • CAN 2.0B interface
  • MMC interface
  • real-time clock
  • 10-bit ADCs

For more information on the BlueStreak family of processors, check out the Sharp website at http://www.sharpsma.com/sma/products/products.htm.

Samsung S3C2400

Samsung has a processor destined for the cell phone and mobile electronics market. The S3C2400 is based on the ARM920T core and has a wide array of features including:

  • 2 UARTs
  • SDRAM controller
  • LCD controller
  • 8-channel 10-bit ADC
  • I2C interface
  • I2S interface
  • SPI interface
  • MMC interface
  • 2 USB hosts
  • 1 USB device

The S3C2400 should be available in quantity by mid-May 2002. It will be priced around $15-$20 (Qty 10K). For more information about this chip, go to the Samsung Semiconductor website at http://www.samsungusa.com/cgi-bin/nabc/semiconductors/search/datasheet.jsp?family=395.


Trimble Navigation introduced their latest GPS module at ESC. The Lassen SQ microsize GPS module measures an amazingly small 26mm square by 6mm high. The device module simplifies adding positional information to an embedded product. Power consumption is also fairly small at 100mW from a 3.3V source. The device communicates via a TTL level serial port and uses either TSIP (Trimble Standard Interface Protocol) or industry standard NMEA 1083. The Lassen SQ also features some internal flash memory for onboard data storage. Pricing is in the $50 range for small quantities. A starter kit is available which includes:

  • Lassen SQ module on interface board
  • Compact Antenna
  • Power Adapter
  • Serial interface cable
  • CD-ROM with toolkit-software
  • Reference manual

For more information on the Lassen SQ, refer to their website at http://www.trimble.com/lassensq.html.

Base2 Software Design, Inc.
39510 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite 270
Fremont, CA 94538-4741

Phone: 510/745-7773
FAX: 800/883-4495


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Copyright 2002, Base2 Software Design, Inc.
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