which processor??

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by roverrevor, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. roverrevor

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 24, 2010
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    0
    Hey all!
    We are confused with the selection of the best processor for our application [need not be limited to a manufacturer].
    Our application will use the processor as the brain of a rover, akin to the mars and moon rovers. We came up with a list of spec’s we require.
    1. Power Management – It would require very good power management capabilities, as it will be charged by a solar panel.
    2. Digital Image Processing Module – we would require an integrated Image Processing Module, as we would navigate using captured Hi-Definition Images. Video support also necessary.
    3. Floating point capability – We would require pretty accurate calculations for trigonometry and triangulation.
    4. O.S. – Should support and run windows.
    5. CPU architecture – A clock speed of above 500-600MHz.
    6. USB 2.0 – This is the only interface we will use to program.
    7. Flash memory and SD RAM – We’re unsure of exactly how much, but we’ll be running a pretty complex algorithm with multiple decision making most of the time.
    8. GPS and GPRS module support, if not integrated already.
    9. Peripheral Interface Ports – I2C/UARTS/SPI either or all, but we need one!
    10. SD card support
    11. Temperature Specifications – Industrial Specification [-40 to 85 degrees centigrade]

    Any help will be appreciated!
    Thanks!
     
  2. rjenkins

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 6, 2005
    1,015
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    Windows is great on desktops, but it seems a bit off to use it on something that is supposed to be self-contained and reliable.. I'd go for Unix/Linux/Solaris or whatever. (Personally, Centos linux).

    You are definitely restricted to a x86 based system if you want Windows, low power and standard interfaces.

    That basically means the Intel Atom CPU for low power, look for an ITX (or smaller) motherboard fitted with an Atom 230 or 330 CPU.

    The 230 is single core 1.6 GHz, 4W Max and the 330 is a dual core 1.6 GHz, 8W max. (and less with power management).
    The rest of the board takes more than the CPU, but complete PCs I've built with these take only about 30W from the AC mains supply, including a hard drive & DVD rom drive.

    These CPUs are also x86-64 compatible so will run 64 bit versions of Windows / Linux, which could improve your image processing ability.

    You can get them with either Intel or NVidia chipsets. They have onboard video, multiple USB, Ethernet etc. and a PCI slot for an expansion card (such as for image processing).

    There are also VIA ITX boards, which use their own CPUs. These can be even lower power consumption, but the CPUs are not as fast as the Atoms.

    Use a SATA SSD drive for lowest power and best performance.

    SD card support would be via a standard USB adapter.

    You can get 12V input PSUs for ITX motherboards, which you would probably need for your solar power setup.

    Also take a look at the 'Open Computer Vision' project for some other stuff that may be of use:
    http://opencv.willowgarage.com/wiki/
     
  3. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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