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Is embedded Linux the right solution?

I am hoping to build a device using the Cypress EZ-HOST chip that 
basically acts as a USB host, extracts data from a USB mass storage 
device and sends it on demand to a codec chip.  It will also have some 
form of diagnostic display, probably an LCD.

At the heart of the EZ-HOST is Cypress' CY16 RISC processor with 4K x 16 
internal ROM, which contains a built-in BIOS, and 8K x 16 internal RAM 
for code and data buffering.  It also has support for external memory.

This device will be a prototype and I need to balance the cost of 
additional hardware carefully with development time.

As a result, I should be grateful if someone could assist with the 
following:

i)   Would implementing embedded Linux, such as uClinux, be feasible 
with this chip?

ii)  Does embedded Linux function just like "regular Linux" in respect 
of  USB mass storage devices?  IE automatically register them as, for 
example, /dev/sda ?

iii) How much memory should I expect embedded Linux to need?

iv)  Can I expect implementing embedded Linux to speed up development 
significantly over implementing my own firmware using the built-in BIOS?

v)   Has anyone got any experience with the Cypress EZ-HOST / CY16?

Sorry for all the questions! :-)

Many thanks,

Ben

0
Ben
2/14/2004 3:08:40 PM
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Ben <benjamin-dREMOVETHIS@ntlworld.NOSPAM.com> writes:

> I am hoping to build a device using the Cypress EZ-HOST chip that
> basically acts as a USB host, extracts data from a USB mass storage
> device and sends it on demand to a codec chip.  It will also have
> some form of diagnostic display, probably an LCD.

> At the heart of the EZ-HOST is Cypress' CY16 RISC processor with 4K
> x 16 internal ROM, which contains a built-in BIOS, and 8K x 16
> internal RAM for code and data buffering.  It also has support for
> external memory.

> i)   Would implementing embedded Linux, such as uClinux, be feasible 
> with this chip?

Probably not.  IIRC this thing uses a 16 bit sparc; Linux is mostly
successful on things with 32 bit cores and ideally an MMU.

Furthermore, your application doesn't seem to fit Linux (or BSD)
strengths.  You don't need any networking, a Unix-like process model
or APIs, etc.  Almost any embedded OS will provide the basic DOS
filesystem support that you do need; Cypress or a partner will
undoubtedly be able to provide the necessary USB stack and toolchain.
Beyond that, your project will mainly involve LCD, codec, and button
drivers.

I suggest asking Cypress what software they ship in their development
kit, and what other software they can provide or suggest.  That path
is vastly less likely to produce a software disaster than attempting
to use Linux in a space-constrained embedded project for no apparent
reason.

> iii) How much memory should I expect embedded Linux to need?

I've never used uclinux as such, but for many applications it appears
to be measured in hundreds of kilobytes and up.  See the mailinglists
at uclinux.org.

Standard Linux takes a few megabytes or up.  *Way* up.

-- 
Grant Taylor - gtaylor<at>picante.com - http://www.picante.com/~gtaylor/
   Linux Printing Website and HOWTO:  http://www.linuxprinting.org/
0
Grant
2/16/2004 7:14:03 PM
Grant Taylor wrote:
> Probably not.  IIRC this thing uses a 16 bit sparc; Linux is mostly
> successful on things with 32 bit cores and ideally an MMU.

Many thanks for confirming my suspicions!  I spent some time researching 
it and concluded that my main reason for considering embedded Linux 
wasn't for any technical reason, but enjoy fiddling with Linux and 
thought it would be good fun if it worked!

I now realise that would be an incredibly big *IF* on that hardware...

> Furthermore, your application doesn't seem to fit Linux (or BSD)
> strengths.  You don't need any networking, a Unix-like process model
> or APIs, etc.

Having spent the weekend trawling websites, I now agree! :-)

Thanks for your time!

Take care,

Ben

0
Ben
2/16/2004 8:42:27 PM

"Ben" <benjamin-dREMOVETHIS@ntlworld.NOSPAM.com> skrev i meddelandet
news:VW9Yb.15642$q%6.6073737@newsfep2-win.server.ntli.net...
> Grant Taylor wrote:
> > Probably not.  IIRC this thing uses a 16 bit sparc; Linux is mostly
> > successful on things with 32 bit cores and ideally an MMU.
>
> Many thanks for confirming my suspicions!  I spent some time researching
> it and concluded that my main reason for considering embedded Linux
> wasn't for any technical reason, but enjoy fiddling with Linux and
> thought it would be good fun if it worked!
>
> I now realise that would be an incredibly big *IF* on that hardware...
>
> > Furthermore, your application doesn't seem to fit Linux (or BSD)
> > strengths.  You don't need any networking, a Unix-like process model
> > or APIs, etc.
>


The AT43USB370 comes complete with USB Mass Storage Drivers.
If you want to play with Embedded Linux and USB Host, then the AT91RM9200
ARM9 controller might be what you are looking for.
Connects very nicely to my USB Flash Drive

-- 
Best Regards,
Ulf Samuelsson   ulf@a-t-m-e-l.com
This is a personal view which may or may not be
share by my Employer Atmel Nordic AB


0
Ulf
2/20/2004 7:22:26 PM
Ulf Samuelsson wrote:
> The AT43USB370 comes complete with USB Mass Storage Drivers.
> If you want to play with Embedded Linux and USB Host, then the AT91RM9200
> ARM9 controller might be what you are looking for.
> Connects very nicely to my USB Flash Drive

Ah-ha! :-)  Excellent stuff... could dramatically cut down my 
development time!  Many many thanks! :-)

Ben


0
Ben
2/21/2004 8:34:04 PM
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