Armadillo-43/T Embedded Computer Display Module

The Armadillo-43(T) is a complete Linux based computer display module with built-in 24bit colour 480×272 resolution TFT LCD display, and features a Resistive Touch display (Armadillo-43T), or non-touch display (Armadillo-43) on special request (please contact our sales department for this).

At the heart of the Armadillo-43(T) is a Broadcom BCM2835 System-On-Chip (SoC), which combines an ARM1176JZF-S CPU Processor with a VideoCore IV GPU in a single package. The Armadillo-43 features 512MB of RAM, which is shared between the CPU and the GPU.

The Armadillo-43(T) requires a microSD card loaded with an appropriate image in order to start up, as it features no on board Flash memory itself, and uses the microSD card for booting and persistent storage.

By default, the Armadillo-43(T) has been developed to utilise the Armadillian Operating System, which is based on Raspbian/Debian and optimised for the BCM2835 SoC.

Armadillian has been built by 4D Systems from source to optimise the features of the Armadillo-43T, yet created to remain compatible with the Raspbian OS.

Raspbian is the operating system primarily used by the Raspberry Pi™ which has a large following and development community. The Armadillo, which uses the same SoC, can utilise a majority of applications written for the Raspberry Pi™.

The Armadillo-43(T) features 13 GPIO, of which 2 can be used for a single I2C Channel, 5 can be used for a single SPI Channel (with 2 Chip Selects), and 2 can be used for a single Serial UART. There are also 2 PWM channels available for the User, one of which is shared with the Mono Audio output via the on board amplifier and mini speaker.

Each of the GPIO’s feature clamping diodes which protect the GPIO from accidental overvoltage, typically if connected to 5V devices.

The Armadillo-43(T) features a single on board USB A Jack for connecting to devices such as Keyboards, USB Storage, USB Hubs, WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet etc.


How to use Boot and Kernel Packs

To convert a standard Raspbian image for the Raspberry Pi so it will function on the Armadillo-43T you first have to replace the main boot file. This file is usually called “start.elf” and is in the FAT (DOS) partition of the image. It is possible this file may be called something else (some images use “start_x.elf”). Replace the file with the “start.elf” file from this archive, renaming it if necessary.

This will only allow the system to boot and operate the display. It will not allow the use of the touch screen. For this a different set of kernel drivers are needed. These are available for kernel version 3.18.11+. You will need to manually replace your current kernel with the version above

The kernel archive contains all the kernel modules which need to be extracted from within a running system since they need to go in the main filesystem of the image (the ext4 partition).

The kernel archive also contains the kernel image (boot/kernel.img) which is to be placed in the same partition as the start.elf above, renaming it to the same as the existing image. This should be done last by manually copying the file as above with the SD card connected direct to your computer.

Once all the files have been installed the system should be able to support the touch screen. The drivers still need to be activated before they will operate, however.

These two commands should be added to /etc/rc.local:

    chmod 777 /sys/class/i2c-adapter/i2c-0/new_device
    echo ar1020_i2c 0x4d > /sys/class/i2c-adapter/i2c-0/new_device

Please refer to the Datasheet for more information