Postage-Stamp Linux

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We’ve come a long way from the early days of big iron, and few things demonstrate that better than Microchip’s new SAMA5D27. What’s a SAMA5D27, you ask? It’s a postage stamp that runs Linux. Well, not literally a postage stamp, but a fully realized microcontroller that measures about 1½ inches (40mm) on a side. It’s not much more expensive than a first-class stamp, either, at about $39 in small quantities.

For that, you get an Arm Cortex-A5 processor running at 500 MHz, a floating-point unit, 128 MB of DRAM, Ethernet with PHY, flash memory, camera and LCD interfaces, USB, CAN, a pile of everyday peripherals – and Linux. Yup, we’ve reduced the hulking mainframes of our parents’ age to the size of a postage stamp. If it were delivered by jetpack, we’d be in the future.

Read more at EE Journal