Development kits for another new controller were announced
today that should interest robot builders. This is the Sharp
BlueStreak SoC (System on Chip) processor. The BlueStreak LH7A404 is a
32bit ARM922T running at 200MHz with LCD and touch
screen controller, Ethernet, Audio Codec, CompactFlash, PCMCIA,
SmartCard, USB, I2C, SPI, SSI, Microwire, IrDA, 3 UARTS, parallel,
realtime clock, 3 timers, 60 GPIO, 4 PWM and a JTAG port. Since the
BlueStreak is ARM-based it will run Linux. The BlueStreak SoC by itself
(a 256-ball PBGA part) costs around $40. Development
boards are available from Logic starting at $349.
Logic also makes BlueStreak-based "card engines"; tiny
3" x 3" boards with all the surface-mount parts (the BlueStreak, 64MB
MB Flash) already in place.
It looks all promising and such, but all the photos show the older dev
kit with the older ARM cpu, which is a TQFP package versus the new one
which is only offered in a BGA package.
It may be vapor ware again.
I called the Sharp sales rep to see what I could find out and was told
the LH7A400 chip (which lacks the PWM) is stocked and available now
from places like Digi-Key and Arrow. The LH7A404 (with PWM) won't
ship for several months. Apparently the same is true on the development
boards from Logic. The ones based on the LH7A400 are available now, the
ones based on the LH7A404 will be available later in the year.
At least you can get the Sharp chips through sources other than a
distributor. Places like Digikey sell them, which I consider a good
This is much better than what you get whwn you try and buy Hitachi
chips, which are only sold via their distributor network. The dealers
then only want to sell to big companies, not the little guy.
If I could have only gotten the ARM version GnuC++ to work on my