Altron Arrow’s locally developed Cherry Blossom development board has been put through its paces in various companies that are innovating through technology and user testimonials suggest that it has the potential to be a world-class building block for novel ways to solve problems in the industry and enterprise space. Now the platform has been bolstered with a number of expansion boards.
These new boards include an LCD stacker board; an industrial I/O base board with interfaces for RS-232, RS-485, CAN bus, I2C, serial ports, 5-12 V d.c. input (1,5 A), 5 V output, optical isolated inputs, high-side driver outputs, USB High Speed host ports and 10/100 Mbps Ethernet; an HDMI stacker board; an Ethernet stacker board; and a Wi-Fi stacker board featuring WLAN baseband processor and RF transceiver support of IEEE Std 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n; 20 MHz and 40 MHz SISO and 20 MHz 2x2 MIMO at 2,4 GHz for high throughput, 2,4 GHz MRC support for extended range, full calibration, Wi-Fi direct concurrent operation (multichannel, multirole), Bluetooth and Bluetooth low energy, Bluetooth 4.2, Host Controller Interface (HCI) transport for Bluetooth over UART and audio via TLV320AIC3104 with mic in and HP out.
From a technical perspective, the Cherry Blossom is a low-cost ARM Cortex A8 processor platform capable of running Windows embedded, Linux or Android. It can be integrated into any design with ease and runs at over 3 million Dhrystone operations per second. The board is capable of interfacing to motor drivers, location or pressure sensors, 2D or 3D cameras (running OpenCV, OpenNI and other image collection and analysis software), HDMI, VGA and LCD displays, Ethernet, USB, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It also has a number of I/O, PWM, I2C and SPI pins and more.
Three versions of the board are available, all of which are fully footprint compatible. These include an AM3352 running at 600 MHz, AM3352 running at 800 MHz and AM3358 running at 1 GHz. A new module can be created for a specific project if built upon a solid business case, allowing Altron Arrow to offset the development cost against the opportunity.
The Cherry Blossom can be used as an intelligent sensor, processing video and making decisions, for example, or it can be used to collect data from multiple smaller sensors, using the various communication interfaces that are available. The collected data can then be easily pushed into the cloud.
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