TRON News Items for September 2005

Personal Media Begins Marketing T-Engine with Hard Disk Connector

Personal Media Corporation announced on September 15 that it has begun marketing a new T-Engine kit that for the first time offers developers a hard disk drive (HDD) connector on a T-Engine open development board. The new development kit, "T-Engine/VR5701 Development Kit," features a development board built around a 64-bit VR5701 microprocessor developed by NEC Electronics Corporation. Priced at 189,000 yen (consumption tax included), Personal Media said that the main selling points of the new development board are low power consumption (2.5 watts at standby; 4 watts when the CPU is in operation), a special connector for connecting to IDE type HDDs, and an analog RGB output terminal that can handle 1,280 x 1024 dot SXGA displays. The company said the new development kit is ideal for developing multimedia applications that use large amounts of data. Options for the development kit are an LCD board (47,250 yen, consumption tax included), a T-Engine development bench (21,000 yen, consumption tax included), a LAN board (63,000 yen, consumption tax included), and PMC T-Shell/VR5701 Development Kit (102,000 yen, consumption tax included). The main specifications for the T-Engine/VR5701 Development Kit are as follows:

Table 1 T-Engine/VR5701 Development Kit Hardware Configuration*
NEC Electronics VR5701 (MIPS IV core, 333 MHz)
Flash memory
16 megabytes
128 megabytes
Input/output interfaces
USB (Host), PCMCIA Card, Serial, eTRON chip interface, headset input/output, expansion interface (PCI compatible), IDE-HDD interface (can connect a 2.5-inch HDD), JTAG interface
Other functions
RTC, analog RGB output (maximum resolution: 1,280 x 1,024 dots)
Power supply
AC Adaptor
External dimensions
120 mm x 75 mm (without protuberances) 
* Planned

Table 2 T-Engine/VR5701 Development Kit Software Configuration*
Target (T-Engine Board) Software
PMC T-Monitor
PMC T-Kernel (MMU compatible version)
T-Kernel Extension
PMC T-Kernel Extension (contains process management, file management, etc.)
Device drivers
Source program attached clock (RTC), console (serial), screen (LCD), system disk (ATA, CF card, USB), KB/PD (keyboard, touch panel, mouse)
Sample software
Source program attached simple disk partition creator (hdpart), disk formatter (format), file contents comparer (cmp), simple editor (ed)
Host (Windows) Development Environment
GNU C/C++ compiler (made compatible with T-Kernel)
GDB (source level debugger)
ANSI C library, T-Kernel-related library, etc.
Attached Documentation
T-Kernel Specification, Library Manual, Development Environment Manual, etc.
* Planned

Personal Media Offering Teaboard and ICE Combination

Personal Media Corporation announced on September 21 that it has begun marketing "TeaPARTNER," which is a development kit combination of the "Teaboard/ARM920-MX1 Development Kit" the company put on the market in August plus Kyoto Microcomputer Co.'s "PARTNER-Jet" Joint Test Action Group (JTAG) type in-circuit emulator (ICE). The main selling points of TeaPARTNER, which will be marketed directly by Personal Media at a price of 157, 500 yen (consumption tax included), are very low cost and compatibility with microprocessor memory management units (not to mention multicore microprocessors). Debugging programs, which is what an ICE is used for, is possible with both T-Engine and Linux. In addition, PARTNER-Jet is also compatible with the open source, world standard Eclipse development environment, and there are plans to make the PARTNER-Jet's T-Engine debugging functions compatible with the Eclipse development environment at a future date. According to Personal Media's press release, Kyoto Microcomputer is one of the leading JTAG ICE developers in Japan, having sold over 10,000 sets of PARTNER series to date.

Latest TRONWARE Issue Filled with Information on Teaboard

Those who can read Japanese might be interested to learn that the latest issue of TRONWARE, Vol. 95 that will go on sale on October 5, is filled with information on the new, low-cost Teaboard training board, which Personal Media Corporation began taking orders for in August. This includes information on how to begin development, plus descriptions of a motor controller, a simple Web server, and an office electric lock control system. There is also information on the T-Engine/VR5701 development board described above.