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The tiny Gumstix IronSTORM COM provides developers a powerful ARM Cortex-A8 board capable of running smart electronics devices in extreme temperatures (via Gumstix)

 

 

The ubiquitous deployment of miniaturized intelligent devices powering most of today’s real-world electronics continues to rapidly spread in commercial availability - developers of all skill range and industries can quite easily get their hands on a dev board and begin creating their own smart electronic devices. Such rapid market growth has gone hand in hand with a reduction in Computer-on-Module (COM) sizes that continually best the performance of larger modules. The Overo IronSTORM COM is one of such devices, providing incredible DSP performance on a gum stick sized chip.

 

Gumstix, a very fitting name, is the San Jose, CA based company behind the Overo series of microprocessors. Founded in October of 2003, Gumstix set out to pioneer the deployment of tiny open-source COMs fitted with standard components, operating on TI or Marvell processors, and running what they claim to be the most useful open software of them all - Linux. This outlook on the flourishing field of small intelligent devices has allowed them to stay afoot with high quality, high reliability and incredibly small microprocessor platforms.

 

The Overo IronStorm COM contains a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 architecture to create a high-performance DM3730 DaVinci Digital Video based device. The CPU takes the form of a Texas Instruments OMAP3730 accompanied by an OpenGL Power SGX Graphics Accelerator. The Package-on-Package (POP) design provides 512MB DDR and 512MB NAND at 200MHz for minimal power consumption and board space maximization. A microSD card slot comes standard for additional programming and data storage memory, as does embedded Wi-Fi (b/g) and Bluetooth modules for wireless communication. To further reduce power consumption, a TI TPS65950BZXN.TPS65950BZXN. management IC is implemented - an expansion board is required for powering the device via dual 70-pin connectors.

 

Overall, the package takes up a whopping 58mm x 17 mm x 4.2 mm board area - truly sticking to its “Gumstix” name. And, on top of its impressive features, the board is rated to handle temps from -40C to 85C (excluding bluetooth/wifi/microSD modules) for an even wider range of possible applications. Module expansion, of course, is available via 27-pin cameral signal connector and 2x70 pin headers. Optional Overo series expansion boards include: HDMI/DVI connectors, LCD touch-screen ready boards, GPS & accelerometer boards, CMOS imagers, and many more.

 

All Gumstix Overo series COMs come pre-flashed with the Angstrom Linux distribution for convenience. The $219.00 package is shipped with the IronSTORM COM board, 4 retaining spacers, and 2 antennas for the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules.

 

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