Recently I picked up a FriendARM board from E-Bay for $US110 which wasn’t a bad price for the package that included accessory cables and a parallel port JTAG dongle. Package also included Protel schematics for the board which is based on a Samsung S3C2440 ARM9 CPU and includes ethernet, serial, small EEPROM, LCD touch screen, audio in/out and a few other goodies including convenient access to some TTL general purpose I/O lines. The CDROM also included a few software packages it probably shouldn’t have ;-). Unfortunately a lot of the documentation is written in Chinese however I won’t have much trouble piecing things together from the schematic, kernel sources and example code that are largely in English.
I’d hoped to get some design ideas from the board and use the S3C2440 in an upcoming Linux industrial computer that I’m contemplating putting together. Unfortunately it appears Samsung are one of those companies that treats their datasheets like crown jewels and my request for a datasheet was declined. I probably could have persisted and obtained the datasheets but would like to keep the design open and don’t want end-users of the product to have to jump through hoops to optain the datasheets. At this stage I might tend towards an Atmel device like the AT91SAM9260 which is widely available and has datasheets and code examples that can be readily downloaded as you’d expect. It is also available in a PQFP package to avoid BGA setup costs.