Industrial embedded Linux systems

Levi Pearson levipearson at
Thu Jul 28 15:08:50 MDT 2016

> On Jul 18, 2016, at 1:02 PM, Matt < at> wrote:
> Long story short, I want something that's more flexible and powerful to use
> as a platform for this project.  I'm familiar with PLCs and hobbyist level
> microcontrollers/embedded systems (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc.), but I'm
> looking for the area in between, which I would dub an industrial embedded
> Linux system.  In my research on this, I've found a couple of
> promising-looking platforms, but I wanted to see if anybody had more
> insight into this area before I commit to one.
> Here's the controller I'm leaning toward at this point:

That looks pretty reasonable to me, aside from possibly being a bit overkill in the area of IO.  I like the BeagleBone Black, but it’s not in the same realm of ruggedization or IO-readiness. The Freescale/NXP i.MX SoC at the heart of this board is a pretty nice one; it has got a somewhat older ARM core (of the same generation as the original Raspberry Pi) and not a ton of RAM, but it should be fine for what you’ve described. Freescale was very good about documenting their SoCs and making the documentation available on their site; since being acquired by NXP they don’t seem to have shut any of that down, which is good.

If you do want something with more grunt, I’d do a search for industrial boards like that based on the Sitara part (AM3352) that’s on the BeagleBone Black. It’s an industrial SoC with a similar temperature range as the i.MX286, and TI has been very good about documentation for that part. I’d be cautious of anything with SoCs from Marvell or Broadcom; they’re terrible about documentation unless you’re a big customer and have signed NDAs and such.


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