1. Making Embedded 386 board for experimenters
I would like to know if anyone on this group would be interested in a single
board computer with the following features. I already have a prototype, and
want to know if this is worth pursuing further.
Base Unit Features:
* Board uses AMD SC310 microcontroller running at 33 MHZ. This is a 386SX
microprocessor with integrated peripherals such as UART, Interrupt Controller,
DMA controller, IDE controller, and real-time clock For more info on this chip
see this site:
* 256KB of FLASH memory with space for 1MB additional
* 512KB of DRAM with space for one 72-pin SIMM additional
* Dual 16550 UARTs with RS-232 interface. (Considering RS-485 too.) This gives
the board a total of 3 UARTS.
* System real-time clock battery backed.
* 8255 Peripheral interface ( 24 lines of programmable digital I/O.)
* One 16-bit ISA slot or one PC-104 slot. This allows an off the shelf ISA
card to plug into the board. This way you can plug in a 3rd party data
acquisition card, network card, serial comms card, etc. If you want more than
one card in your system a simple bus expander card will allow 4 slots. These
run about $10 in stores.
* Now for the good part... Software. The board will come with firmware to boot
in protected mode using the flat model. This allows 4GB of flat address space
( just like on a nice Motorola 32-bit processor :-). The board will come with
a serial download utility resident in FLASH. This means you can compile your
embedded application code using MS Visual C++ 5.0 and then serially download
your code image into FLASH. You won't be able to access DOS functions
obviously or run a GUI, but you can develop a powerful embedded application
without expensive embedded software tools or device programmers.
The board will run the x86 port of the uCOS real-time kernel. The object file
for this port is available for free on the Embedded Systems Programming
website. I am planning on making available all my drivers for the SC310s
serial ports, real-time clock, and FLASH programming.
I may even distribute a FLASH file system API with the package.
* The target price for the base board and the boot loader firmware and drivers
will be between $250 and $300. All you will need is a host PC, Visual
C++, and a serial cable.
You may also need your own power supply if you want to heavily load the ISA bus
with your own cards.
If there is any interest in this board, or any comments or suggestions, please
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