The module is particularly well suited to run device tree based Linux kernels, making customization a breeze thanks to a wide variety of drivers to chose from. Because it incorporates most of the necessary functions of a computer, and with the wide availability of software support from the linux community and other sources, the module makes it especially simple for OEMs to add network connectivity to designs without having to worry about complex PCB design considerations typical of DDR3, BGAs high-speed designs, trace impedances, length matching and emissions.
Additionally, the module hosts an inexpensive 8 bit micro-controller supervisor programmed to offer various bootstrap options popular with network appliance designs and easily enabled via boot-strap resistors. In particular, the supervisor can manage the power controller to make sure it is always on. For network appliances who must never go into complete off mode, the supervisor will force the power on. This feature is most especially useful after power failures, since the default mode of operation is to be operated with a user on/off button. Another bootstrap option is a true external watchdog designed especially to function by monitoring the hearbeat signal typical of linux systems.
An Evaluation board with Powered-over-Ethernet Gigabit connection, two USBs, 4 user switches, six 14-segment LEDs displays, as well as two 46 pin connectors compatible with the BeagleBone capes design. The Eval board also incorporates the popular FDT serial to USB converter to connect the serial console with segregated supply, making it possible to leave the eval board connected to the development host computer even when the board power is turned off. The Evaluation board enables quick prototyping while allowing the OEM to fully customize the final solution since there are no outside world connectors on the module itself.
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