In a market full of the new and innovative, what does it take to attract some serious attention? Ask Toradex, who has a new module that has done just that.
The Toradex Colibri Tegra 2 is raising eyebrows both for what it does and for how little area it takes to do it. The module is based on a Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip , courtesy of Nvidia. The dual-core Tegra 2 joins other complex hardware on a highly touted SO-DIMM sized board. A Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Module (SO-DIMM or SODIMM) is a kind of computer memory module whose sizes can vary, but vary between small and smaller. The Toradex Colibri Tegra 2 is estimated to be about 68 x 37 x 5 mm.
Although the module is miniscule, it comes packed with technology. An LCD display, a USB host, an SD card, audio input and output, and a camera are just some of the amenities included. Flash storage and RAM, at 1 GB and 256 MB respectively, made it into the design. For the techies out there, specifically DDR2 and NAND flash memory.
Displayed at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston, the new Colibri offers up to 1 GHz processor speed, says Toradex. Supported by an Nvidia dual-core Cortex A9 CPU, the speed is no surprise. One surprise, however, is that all of this is estimated to draw under 2W of power, thanks in part to Tegra 2’s GeForce GPU.
The Colibri Tegra 2 is targeting any application which needs high graphic performance and low power consumption. It will certainly not prohibit applications which need to save space. The datasheet specifies Medical Devices, Avionics, and Robotics among other targets. It is easy to see how gaming and entertainment could benefit from the features this module provides, both in the 2D and 3D worlds.
Toradex has made a few wise decisions in the module’s release. It is electrically pin compatible with all previous Colibri module generations. The module comes with a preinstalled license for Windows CE, seamlessly supporting WinCE 6.0 and 7.0. Android and Linux OS support are available separately.
Interfaces include a touch screen, keypad, and audio input/output. In fact the data sheet boasts up to 110 general purpose input/outputs. Beyond general purpose are interfaces such as high speed USB 2.0, I2C, and a data bus.
There is no doubt that it takes something impressive to draw attention in an industry that is ever-changing. Where more powerful and smaller designs usually win, Toradex and Nvidia may have a winner here. The Toradex Colibri Tegra 2 will have plenty of opportunities to prove itself as it makes its way into the market. So far it appears to be delivering on its promises.