The most anticipated AM3352-SOM-EVB boards are now in stock


AM3352-SOM-EVB-1

The development of this board was epic, mostly because of the messed up Linux SDK for Sitara and the absence of any real help neither from TI neither from Beagle Bone community, which do not care for anything but BB🙂 Also the comprehensive and confusing TI documentation.

Finally we have got working clean Linux with cut off vendor locked crap (we don’t say this is done perfectly, probably there are people who can do this better and faster than us), but we wanted to do it the hard way and to learn something meanwhile.

What we have on AM3352-SOM-EVB is:

  • AM3352 Sitara running on 1Ghz
  • 512MB of DDR3 RAM
  • power management without using expensive TI PMU parts
  • VGA output
  • Dual Ethernet 100Mbit
  • 4 USB hosts with power management
  • USB OTG
  • CAN with driver
  • LCD connector where you can connect our LCD-OLinuXino with 4.3″ 7″ and 10″, 15.6″ LCD will not work as it require LVDS which Sitara do not have
  • UART console
  • JTAG
  • 2x UEXT connectors with SPI, I2C and UARTs
  • GPIO connector with Analog Inputs, PWMs, GPIOs etc.

all this for EUR 60

For these who want to build their own Sitara boards the AM3352-SOM modules start from EUR 25.90 for 1000 pcs and cost only EUR 27.75 for 100 pcs.

Industrial version of AM3352-SOM can be build on request, it will cost EUR 5.00 more and the minimum order is 100 pcs.

29 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. SK
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 17:48:02

    Nice. I see RK3188 popping up in the SoM category also – let’s not make it stay there unavalable for a long time🙂

    Reply

  2. SK
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 17:51:00

    P.S. How expensive were these TI PMUs? Was it worth the effort? They were really bad not providing you with a normal non vendor-locked solution. If you have time you can share more details🙂

    Reply

  3. Morgaine
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 18:29:53

    Congratulations on the new board!🙂

    Am I right in thinking that this AM3352-SOM-EVB is the only Olimex board with dual Ethernet? As such it may find a place in routers, firewalls, and other network appliances.

    Unfortunately, in Europe broadband speeds above 100 Mbps have become common (152 Mbps in UK from VirginMedia), so the 100 Mbps of the AM3352-SOM-EVB won’t be adequate to make full use of residential bandwidth even today. Gigabit NICs are already essential in this application, and becoming ever more so.

    I hope we’ll see more dual-NIC products being released, either in the open source hardware OLinuXino range or as SOM plus EVB, and possibly with an integrated Ethernet switch on one NIC. Even better would be a new dedicated networking range of boards omitting unnecessary video hardware to reduce the price. However, the most important spec in this application area is “gigabit”.

    This leads to a question though: which SoCs support dual gigabit NICs today? They must be out there, since virtually all commodity router manufacturers offer gigabit models now, usually with 4 ports on the local side, and a quick look on Amazon shows many gigabit models under £40. What SoCs are those manufacturers using?

    Morgaine.

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Feb 18, 2015 @ 18:40:15

      RT5350F-OLinuxino is another board with 5 Ethernet ports, actually we put on the EVB just two, and this is what I would recommend for people who want to go in to the router direction
      AM3352 is not good for router, as if you read the 6000 pages user manual you will find burried with small print that AM3352 actually have no two MACs but SWITCH inside and it makes virtual LANs (one of the headaches with the Sitara Linux we had to solve)
      Generally RT5350F is *made* for routers and none of the general purpose SOC can touch RT5350F throughput and performance no matter that it’s just 360Mhz MIPS machine, general purpose ARM SOCs have slow internal bus which limit their use, even imx6, a20 running at GHzs cant feed 1Gbit Ethernet more than 600Mbps due to the slow internal buses, so guys forget to make routers with AM3352🙂

      We work on new board with chip with Gigabit + several 100Mbit real MACs but will tell more when we are ready😉

      Reply

  4. guest
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 19:27:36

    The commodity routers all use a switch-chip, either built into the SoC itself or external. They only have a single ethernet controller. You can get the same taking i.e. a LIME2 and connect it to a VLAN-capable switch (i.e. the 35€ Netgear GS108E – note the ‘E’).

    One SoC with up to 4 real gigabit ethernet controllers is Marvell’s Armada XP. From this[1] test: “The second point is that the network connectivity inside it is fantastic. I can achieve with this device packet rates that I cannot achieve with some very respectable 10G NICs.”

    If Olimex ever wants to build a router board, take that SoC😉

    [1] http://1wt.eu/articles/openblocks-http-server/

    Reply

  5. Morgaine
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 19:56:30

    OLIMEX writes:
    > RT5350F-OLinuxino is another board with 5 Ethernet ports,
    > actually we put on the EVB just two, and this is what I would
    > recommend for people who want to go in to the router direction.

    That’s very good news regarding RT5350F-OLinuXino, and I greatly look forward to its release. I was already excited at your update last year — https://olimex.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/rt5350f-olinuxino-design-is-almost-complete/ — where you hinted at amazing pricing. 🙂

    The new board you mention in your final paragraph will have gigabit Ethernet (unlike the RT5350F-OLinuXino), but only one of them?

    Two separate gigabit NICs are required to support through-traffic at rates higher than 100 Mbps, and they have to be separate so that distinct firewall rules can be applied to input and output interfaces.

    The extra 100 Mbps real MACs you mention may be useful if the LAN has some slow secondary segments, but that doesn’t provide a gigabit path between ISP and domestic LAN, which is the essential part. At least two gigabit MACs are required for this.

    Morgaine.

    Reply

    • guest
      Feb 18, 2015 @ 21:19:56

      > Two separate gigabit NICs are required to support through-traffic at rates
      > higher than 100 Mbps, and they have to be separate so that distinct firewall
      > rules can be applied to input and output interfaces.

      That’s not true. Under Linux, each VLAN gets its own eth-interface and you can apply firewall rules and routes as if they were real physical MACs. Sure, you’ll only get 1 gigabit for all traffic combined but that’s still enough for 152 Mbps broadband.

      Reply

  6. Morgaine
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 21:08:03

    I gather from the above that there are going to be two separate products based on RT5350F, the RT5350F-OLinuxino as mentioned, and also a System On Module + EVB, since the EVB was also mentioned above.🙂

    Reply

    • SK
      Feb 18, 2015 @ 21:40:28

      I doubt that. I think RT5350F-OLinuXino is like a SOM itself, so if you want all 5 port you will have to make yourself a board (or if Olimex releases more EVB board models if there is demand for them).

      Reply

  7. Morgaine
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 21:48:11

    guest writes:
    > Under Linux, each VLAN gets its own eth-interface and you can
    > apply firewall rules and routes as if they were real physical MACs.

    How do you prevent the switch from directly connecting the private LAN to the global Internet with no firewall protection before the VLANs are configured? Generally VLAN-capable switches default to having all their ports initially appearing in the same segment. This creates a race condition and a window of opportunity for attacks during powerup and sometimes on reboot too.

    This is why separate MACs are vastly to be preferred on firewalls. It’s not only that a single MAC + VLANs results in bandwidth sharing on through-traffic. That is also important, but it’s not as catastrophic as periodic loss of firewall protection. Even if brief, it’s too long.

    Reply

    • guest
      Feb 18, 2015 @ 23:40:05

      > Generally VLAN-capable switches default to having all their ports initially
      > appearing in the same segment.

      That’s the default configuration, right. But after reconfiguring the ports, the settings are permanent and restored on reboot – no interaction from any host required. If you think about switches that, during reboot, forward packets for a short time before the ports are configured, I would call that a misfeature/bug. I wouldn’t care anyway, because:

      a) I can’t remember the last time I reset my switch – it’s surely the device with the longest uptime. A sub-second race every couple of years is ok.
      b) My modem on the WAN-port discards any non-pppoe packets – it doesn’t forward IP-packets.
      c) I’m not paranoid enough😉 If I were I would be more concerned about race conditions in the vastly more complex firewall/routing setup code.

      So, a bad switch may give problems – no surprise. With a sane one, everything’s OK.

      Reply

  8. Morgaine
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 22:15:40

    SK writes:
    > I think RT5350F-OLinuXino is like a SOM itself

    You might be right, but that would be a new product category. So far, OLinuXinos have been standalone boards and they have always been OSHW. In contrast EVBs have been baseboards for carrying SOMs, and the EVB has been OSHW but the SOM itself has not.

    Perhaps it’s an OLinuXino that can take a daughter board for the extra NIC connectors? Such a daughterboard wouldn’t be a baseboard like all the other EVBs have been so far though. This is why I interpret OLIMEX mentioning OLinuXino and EVB in the same sentence as meaning that there will be two different product lines, an OLinuXino and a SOM+EVB. Just a guess.😛

    Hopefully we’ll know soon enough!🙂

    Morgaine.

    Reply

  9. Morgaine
    Feb 18, 2015 @ 23:41:20

    SK: The board layout that Olimex showed us last year suggests that you’re right: https://olimex.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/rt5350f-olinuxino-design-is-almost-complete/

    That really does look like it needs an EVB! It seems “OLinuXino” is a family with many form factors, including some SOM-type ones.🙂

    Reply

  10. Stupido
    Feb 19, 2015 @ 01:02:31

    Folks,

    This board should be much more interesting for automotive/industrial then for residential networking…
    For example EtherCAT (slave?) device…
    I’m not expert in EtherCAT but as far as I know, it is 100 MB bus that uses standard Ethernet packets and modify them on the fly. For this you will need (min) 2 Ethernet ports: one for input and the other for output.
    So this SoC has CAN, USB, I2C, etc. so it makes nice gateway/monitor/logger device for automotive/industrial usage.
    As bonus you have touch screens, analog inputs, GPIO, PWM…

    this board makes me reviving my hibernated ideas…

    Reply

    • guest
      Feb 20, 2015 @ 05:23:00

      > For example EtherCAT (slave?) device

      Afaik, the AM3352 has no EtherCAT slave support (and no Programmable Realtime Units, PRUs) – you need the AM3357 or AM3359 for that.

      Reply

      • Stupido
        Feb 23, 2015 @ 10:54:42

        Guest, thanks for clarifying…
        I always wondered what are those PRUs… I guess I’ll have to read bit more… 😉

  11. GeeKen
    Feb 19, 2015 @ 09:47:06

    Hi

    Stupido is right in mentioning the industrial usefulness of the AM3352.

    Asking if there is good documentation (possibly written/edited by Olimex) available to allow to drive it properly ? (Especially from the HAL-makers standpoint).

    I saw a comment earlier about a 6000 page manual from TI. Perhaps also there is – or may be – an Olimex “from experience” App Note available ? A few pages would greatly assist – – –

    Thanks

    Reply

  12. Johan Myréen
    Feb 19, 2015 @ 12:25:10

    I’m a bit confused about the 4GB NAND option. The web site only lists one product, presumably without NAND, since it is optional. Also, all pictures of the SOM show a circuit board without the NAND chip. On the other hand, the AM3352-SOM-EVB product page says under Features: “Includes AM3352-SOM-4GB”.

    Reply

  13. xaviermzip
    Feb 26, 2015 @ 17:37:03

    Hi,

    May I know which debian image should I use?

    Reply

  14. lf
    Mar 10, 2015 @ 21:13:22

    What do you mean by “we have got working clean Linux with cut off vendor locked crap”?

    Reply

  15. Bernd
    Mar 11, 2015 @ 09:47:00

    It is a really nice board. Exactly what I needed: form factor, connectors & AM3352 with all its interfaces.

    Can you please publish the Debian image sources?

    Reply

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