BetaTech PIT ColdFire Board

PIT timeline
Desktop network

PIT is on the left hand side. Other embedded platforms were the BrightStar ipEngine1 (bottom), the Ampro M2 or M3 (center), IDT 385 on the lower-right (not networked), a Linux PC and a SGI O2 at the back.


The BetaTech PIT ColdFire board used the 5272 processor at 66 MHz. The ColdFire is very similar to the 68000. The level of integration was impressive as seen by the small board—Flash, SDRAM, Ethernet, serial ports, I2C, SPI and several general purpose I/Os. We met BetaTech via the Freescale user group and sales rep. They were busy with the uCLinux port and a boot loader. We helped with the port and several functions, however, we were on a steep learning curve and were given at least a two month start with the board, JTAG connection, toolchain, boot loaders, etc.

The Linux kernel was 2.2. We networked the device with several other embedded Linux boards. The cross-compilers and ecosystem were excellent. Everything we tested worked, except NFS, which worked on the 2.2 kernel, but not on the 2.4 kernel. The BetaTech PIT board was a stand alone experimental board. Their next board was designed to plug onto a base board.

The source code for the MetroWerks low-level hardware tests has been retrieved from old archives and will be posted, but for now, the documentation on the first two ColdFire projects can be found here (3,5 Mbytes). This work was done in parallel to a MIPS Linux port. The board was picked up in April 2002 with most of the underlying code tested by June. The new board was available in September, which was when we returned the PIT and were given the upgrade.

BetaTech PIT ColdFire board