Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Open-Source Industrial SBC Powered By ARM Cortex-A5 SoC

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The low-cost off-the-shelf Single Board Computer for IIoT offers rich features and is a proven process for prototyping till mass manufacturing

Implementing System On Module (SoM) over a System On Chip (SoC) ensures rapid time to market and reduced risks related to product development. Available boards in the market have challenges with respect to deployment on a mass scale as they are expensive, non-configurable and non-industrial grade. 

To be inline with the fast-growing semiconductor tech for various IoT applications, the open-source low-cost RuggedBOARD SBC with phyCORE-A5D2x SOM based on ARM Cortex-A5 SoC @500 MHz, provides a good platform for rapid prototyping. It is also suitable for immediate use in Industrial IoT and various other verticals.

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Other applications include:

  • eMobility/Transportation
  • Smart City
  • AgriTech
  • Clean Energy Segments
  • Smart Retail

The SoM has 64MB of DDR RAM and 32MB of NOR flash, Ethernet & PMIC on board. Multiple interfaces for Industrial Field Devices are supported such as Ethernet, RS232, CAN and RS485. The board contains standard MikroBUS header for Add-On Sensors, Actuators and Multiple Wireless Modules such as ZigBee, LoRa, Bluetooth. For Cloud connectivity, 3G, 4G, NB-IoT, WiFi is provided. Expansion header for GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, PWR extends the Hardware functions on Daughterboard.

The board also has variants with WiFi or eMMC


  • Processor: A5D2x CPU @ 500MHz, ARM Cortex-A5 Core, ARMv7-A Arch
  • Memory: 64MB DDR3 RAM, 32MB NOR Flash
  • I/O: Ethernet 10/100 Mbps, RS-485, CAN, Micro SD, SIM, mikroBUS, mPCIe with USB Interface, User Switch, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz (optional), eMMC (optional), 2 x RS-232, 2 x USB 2.0 (1x Muxed mPCIe), 3 x User LED’s, 4x DIN (Opto Isolated), 4x DOUT (Opto Isolated)
  • Expansion Header: 22 x GPIO’s, 4 x ADC, 1x I2C
  • Micro BUS: UART, I2C, SPI, 1 x ADC, 1x PWM, GPIO’s
  • Power Input: 5V, 3A

Industry-standard software stack such as MRAA and UPM supports coding in Python, C, C++ and NodeJS, which enable quick development of almost all applications. The board operates on Yocto-Linux OS.

The SoM is provided by RuggedBoard, an India-based Open Source Hardware & Software initiative. Users can obtain it from the RuggedBOARD website and authorised distributors such as DigiKey, Mouser and element14.   


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