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Review of AT91SAM9G45-EVK

Scoring

Product Performed to Expectations: 10
Specifications were sufficient to design with: 9
Demo Software was of good quality: 10
Product was easy to use: 10
Support materials were available: 9
The price to performance ratio was good: 9
TotalScore: 57 / 60
  • RoadTest: AT91SAM9G45-EVK
  • Buy Now
  • Evaluation Type: Independent Products
  • Was everything in the box required?: Yes

  • Detailed Review:

    Initial thoughts:

    The Contents are packaged well with plenty of foam protection. Screen comes with screen protector. Components come in static shielding.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The video below shows me turning it on for the first time. One thing I did appreciate was that it came preinstalled with one of the offered operation systems. Even though I plan on using this for android development, it was nice to be able to unpack the board and boot up to something (linux ang) to test before I had to roll up the sleeves and load something on to it.

     

     

    U-boot at least for the linux was not initially set up to be verbose as you can see, which I thought was a tad strange for a development board. I found the boot time to be fast and the applications had no lag. This board certainly has the power to make development refreshing. The only thing I didn't like about this Kit was the TFT Screen, the build quality is good, display is crisp, but I found the responsiveness a tad lacking. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a Dev board and not a consumer ready screen that I would use on a device. It seemed to me that the right side of the screen was worse than the left (esp were the scroll bars are). Build quality: The device is very sturdy, the LCD board is mounted with 4 brass half inch risers with adequate hold. One thing I normally do on any prototyping board, even one I build myself is wiggle all components, this is a personal issue I have, however it does demonstrate build quality. A few things I noticed straight away was the USB connector was very narrow (as they tend to be) and had the possibility of breakage, but as you see from the below video I wiggle each component with minimal movement.

     

     

    Another thing I saw on initial scouting was the power switch; it looks kind of out of place but still retro cool, quickly gets on your nerves.

     

     

    The toggle switch didn't turn on strictly up and down or side to side but   on a diagonal, again not a big deal but unnecessary quirkiness.

    The riser extends below the PCB and creates more than enough clearance to protect the surface mounted components on the underside.

     

     

    While the risers up top are tall enough for the LCD to clear all the top components it does make it harder to connect debug cables. The JTAG and the 2x20pin Extended Interface both clear the LCD board and the DBGU is side mounted allowing easy connection. The Camera sensor and the 4x USART are blocked completely by the LCD board and requires the LCD be taken off to connect and disconnect the cables. The Cables included with this board (discussed below) are of good quality, power adapter is robust, Mini USB cable/Crossover CAT5 etc are well made.

     

     

    JTAG : The connector on the board is a 10-pin, so provided in the kit is a separate 20Pin-10Pin JTAG converter board connected with IDC10 cable (10-10PIN about 4in long)

     

     

    DBGU (Debug Serial): A 10-pin UART debug interface, can be converted to 9-pin - RS-232 interface with the adapter. This DBGU port that can be used for communication and trace purposes. Baud rate (115200), data bits (8 bits), stop bits (1 bit), parity bit (no ), data flow control (no))

    Software/OS/Tools. The Kit includes a CD with All the software you will need to get working with your board. The Documentation is comprehensive. Data sheets are included on the AT91SAM9G45 Chip and All the Peripherals (USB, UART, EEPROM,SDRAM etc) Schematic: Pinouts/wire diagrams for JTAG/LCD/AT Board General User manual for the Dev Board ( Does include some inconsistencies in the picture labeling and typos) Android/Linux/MDK/WinCE User Manual are written well. Easy to use howto's to load different OS images. Tools: The tools provided are adequate, nothing brilliant but certainly helps out. The SAM-BA App makes flashing NAND and U-Boot much easier than doing manually, side note the documentations for flashing the Android/Linux etc does well in explaining/demonstrating the use of these tools (With Pics). SAM-BA - Install Guide, Driver and App MDK401 APP - User Guide is listed under the Documentation folders Activesync - Wow people still use this? Obviously for the WinCe.


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