BetaTech Base Board

ColdFire 2 board timeline

The processor card has a red outline to show it on the base board.

BetaTech were keen to supply evaluation boards and promote a plug-in processor board. The design was taken from a “wish list” during some discussions after joint software development on their PIT ColdFire board. They were also interested in testing out several functions that were available in their range of video multiplexors. Some were experimental—how far can the Ethernet transformer be from the PHY? The base board was a two sided board with switches for setting up IP addresses, plenty of status LEDs, multiple JTAG ports (can they be commoned?), keypad buttons, RS-232 and the RS-485 which had been so troublesome on other projects. There were decent headers for testing or connecting test cables. The processor card was connected to the base board via two rows of plugs on 0,1” centers.

BetaTech base board

Our interest was in the FPGA, the Linux port and deeply embedded designs using the plug-in processor board. BetaTech had a complete line of “pick and place” machines, reflow ovens and BGA capability. They were based in Johannesburg with very competitive pricing. The industrial terminal that was getting nowhere looked like it was viable. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for BetaTech, they were acquired by Honeywell and were transferred to the UK. The documentation on the first two ColdFire projects can be found here (3,5 Mbytes). The work done here was in parallel to a MIPS Linux port. The board was picked up in October 2002 with most of the underlying code tested by January, 2003. We’ll post the FPGA VHDL and C code a little later.