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Nail Kit - ARM9 Linux Robot Controller

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Nail Kit - ARM9 Linux Robot Controller


The Nail Kit is a complete ARM (S3C2410A) Linux system in a single piece of hardware. It is portable, self-contained and weighs less than 3 ounces. It plugs into a USB port, which powers the device and also lets it communicate with the system it’s plugged into. It requires no other power cords or data cables. It’s designed to plug into your laptop and travel with you.

The Nail board comes preinstalled with Linux. It may be reflashed via a built-in JTAG device accessed through the USB port. This JTAG is capable of bypassing the installed software and reformatting the Nail board’s Flash with a new bootloader, kernel, and root filesystem, making the Nail board inherently “unbrickable”.

In addition to the built-in serial and JTAG devices, the Nail board also provides a generic “USB Gadget”, allowing the ARM Linux system running on it to process its own USB packets to provide a software-defined USB device to the host system the Nail board is plugged into. The default USB gadget provided is a USB ethernet device (allowing users to SSH into their nail boards), but example code is also provided to use the USB gadget as a USB flash storage device, or as a second serial port.

Nail Board Specifications:

  • All power received from the USB port (no external power supply required)
  • Male (upstream) USB connector
  • Female (downstream) USB connector
  • Complete USB JTAG device on board (via internal FT2232)
  • USB Hub on board
  • USB serial port console (via internal FT2232)
  • USB controlled GPIO’s (for configuration)
  • USB gadget interface (via the Hammer module)
    • Ethernet Gadget Driver (default)
    • Serial Port Gadget Driver
    • Mass Storage Driver
  • USB host interface (via the Hammer module)
    • USB 1.1 Compliant
    • Low Speed Support (2mb)
    • Full Speed Support (12mb)
  • 3 User LED’s available
    • Two on the Nail Board
    • One user LED on the Hammer module
    • USER led on the Hammer Board
  • 2 interrupt driven pushbutton switches
  • User controlled PWM buzzer
  • Reset button
  • Power LED
  • Expansion header (20-pin: 2 x10)
    • +5V available
    • +3.3V available
    • 2 SPI ports
    • 2 wire Serial Port (TX/RX)
    • GPIO’s (3.3v only)
    • External Interrupts
    • Headers can be jumper configured
  • Hammer module breakout header
    • Access to all 40 I/O pins of the Hammer module
    • 0.1 inch headers (2.54mm)
  • Hammer module power requirements
    • +5VDC @ 120 mA (typical)

The Nail board is useful to busy kernel developers as a quick way to test an ARM kernel on real hardware, as a development platform for software-controlled “USB gadget” devices, as a prototyping platform for embedded developers looking to deploy on ARM, and as an evaluation tool for hobbyists to play with and learn from.

The Nail board is based upon the Hammer module from Tincantools, a small self-contained ARM system in a 40-pin DIP package that contains:

  • 200 MHz ARM9 processor - S3C2410A
  • 32 MBytes of SDRAM
  • 16 MBytes of NOR Flash memory
  • Standard JTAG interface capable of re-flashing memory from a “bricked” state

The pre-installed software on the Nail board is a custom Linux distribution built from:

  • Linux-2.6.2X
  • uClibc
  • BusyBox
  • DropBear

The Nail Kit includes all of the following:

  • Hammer Module - 200 MHz ARM9 CPU module - S3C2410A
  • Nail board
  • USB cable assembly


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