[LAD] Embedded linux board

Joshua D. Boyd jdboyd at jdboyd.net
Mon Aug 20 17:00:43 UTC 2007

On Sun, 2007-08-19 at 22:40 +0200, Florian Schmidt wrote:

> > Just by quick googling I found for example following:
> > http://blackfin.uclinux.org
> > http://docs.blackfin.uclinux.org/doku.php?id=ad1836a
> >
> > So there might be plenty of hardware and even supporting software
> > available which could be suitable for this kind of use...
> Maybe i miss something but it looks this board is for a certain type of DSP 
> boards [which seem to run ucLinux]. This stuff looks rather costly.. But 
> maybe i miss something obvious. I'm totally new to this embedded stuff :)

Well, costly is often how life is for people who aren't building their
own boards or buying dozens to thousands at a time.

In fact, I'm curious how much it would cost to actually buy one of those
ARM9 boards you mention.  They priced from $65 each, but do you have to
buy 100 to get that price? 

I see someone mentioned Efika.  As far as I know, there are two
potential problems with that board, both are surmountable.  First, is
basically a PPC 604, not a G4.  So, no SIMD.   I get the impression that
a lot of linux audio software isn't really written to use SSE or Altivec
anyway, so this may not be much of a loss.  

Second, Efika has no on board video and only one PCI slot.  Some
possible solutions would be to use a serial or USB control panel, and
modify any plugins to be controllable via your control panel system.
Also, I don't know if any USB->VGA dongles would happen to be supported
by linux.  Certainly there are several off the shelf character LCD
control panels that could be used, and they typically have several GPIO
pins that could potentially be attached to a rotary encoder.
Alternatively, AVRs that can go between a few rotary encoders and a
serial port are pretty cheap, so maybe you could use a Crystal Fontz USB
panel in addition to using the serial port for an AVR to rotary encoder

I also see that elsewhere in the thread someone mentioned using EPIA
10000s, or EPIA 5000s, both MiniITX motherboards, for about $300 or $120
respectively. The upside of either is they have onboard video in
addition to a PCI slot, if you want an easy to setup graphics display.

Another option that is perhaps a bit more affordable and powerful than
any mentioned so far is PCChips makes a board called the V21G.
This is a Flex-ATX board instead of a Mini-ITX board.  It is based on
the Via C7 instead of the older/slower C3.  It has two PCI slots and
onboard video.  And it is definately less than $75 in the US (Google
will show you lots of online retailers).  The possible downside to this,
is that PCChips is better known in the US as the Elitegroup Computer
Systems (ECS).  ECS isn't exactly the best quality, but they don't seem
to be the worst either.  Buy from a place that will give you a refund if
you are unhappy, and you are probably OK.

More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list