Helping PC programmers and embedded developers move their embedded devices into the familiar Windows® operating environment without losing critical design time or added costs, BSQUARE Corporation (Nasdaq: BSQR) announced the availability of a Windows Embedded CE 6.0 board support package (BSP) for the Cortex[tm]-A8 processor-based OMAP35x evaluation module (EVM) from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN). Developers of industrial, automotive and consumer applications now have access to a free source code offering for Windows Embedded CE operating system-based designs to get their OMAP35x based products to market faster than those created on embedded open source.
With a production tested BSP that integrates a Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Pro kernel, DirectShow Filters, Visual Tools plug-in, EVM Flash tool and full support for DVI and S-Video, customers can safely develop with familiar and standard Windows Embedded CE application programming interfaces (APIs) and concentrate on achieving video and audio performance beyond general purpose processor capabilities. In addition to working with familiar APIs, the use of an emulator rather than specialized hardware reduces prototyping time and enables parallel development. Design time is also cut since the Windows Embedded CE image is built through component addition rather than footprint reduction, an approach which is typically faster.
“Customers building multimedia intensive, low power devices with TI’s OMAP35x applications processor gain a significant time-to-market advantage with the Windows Embedded CE operating system and BSQUARE’s BSP,” said Larry Stapleton, vice president of sales and marketing, BSQUARE. “Using familiar development tools and leveraging the high-quality software that BSQUARE has developed, development teams can quickly prototype embedded devices with superior video and graphic features and get into production faster.”
Enhanced multimedia capabilities and performance
For enhanced digital signal processor (DSP)-based video and audio capabilities, BSQUARE’s BSP includes DirectShow Filters that leverages the TMS320C64x+[tm] DSP and hardware accelerator performance of the OMAP35x processor via the codec engine inter-processor communication support. This allows developers to support multi-format video since the DirectShow Filters can decode MPEG-2 and also decode and encode D1 video at 30 frames per second at 8 Mbps for MPEG-4 and H.264, which is especially important for multimedia driven applications such as portable navigation, point of services and portable media devices. For a boost in audio performance, the BSP supports WMA9, MP3, AAC and G.711 decode for an enhanced and crisper acoustic performance.
Complementary BSP enhancements for differentiation and faster time to market
It can take up to 1200 days for a developer with no previous Windows Embedded CE experience to define and develop a quality assurance test solution. With BSQUARE’s complementary Device Validation TestSuite (DVT), customers can complete the same tasks in just over 100 days, slashing test development time by up to 90 percent. The DVT is a comprehensive set of quality assurance tests for OMAP35x processor-based designs and centralizes defects faster and cost effectively. Customers also have the flexibility to test hardware features throughout their design cycle since they can modify DVT tests by directly editing the source code. With over 300 test case references, 80 percent more than standard CETK testing, this solution offers comprehensive test coverage of the Windows CE OAL, bootloader, drivers as well as performance and stress testing, all within the Microsoft® automated test tool framework.
Developers can deliver more personalized user interfaces and richer applications on their consumer electronics with an additional Adobe® Flash® Lite[tm] 3 port for the BSP as a standalone player from BSQUARE. The player may also be used to view Flash-enabled video. Adobe Flash content uses vector and raster graphics, native scripting language called ActionScript and bidirectional streaming of video and audio. The Flash authoring tools use vector graphics to minimize file size and create files that save on both bandwidth and loading time.
For added flexibility and performance, an ultra-high performance secure digital input output (SDIO) HX stack from BSQUARE allows customers to incorporate SDIO peripheral, SD memory card and MultiMedia Card memory card support into their consumer designs. This provides developers with approximately 11.5 Mbps peak throughput performance, a significant advantage compared to the 3.1 Mbps for those using a standard Windows CE stack. For multiplexing capability, the SDIO HX also enables multiple card slots with a single host controller.
Pricing, availability and support
The OMAP35x EVM is available from TI for USD $1495. More information: BSQUARE Windows CE BSP. Engineering support and training as well as the DVT, Adobe Flash Lite 3 and SDIO HX pricing are available from BSQUARE.