From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The ETRAX CRIS is a series of CPUs for use in embedded systems since 1993.[1] The name is an acronym of the chip's features: Ethernet, Token Ring, AXis - Code Reduced Instruction Set. Token ring support has been taken out from the latest chips as it has become obsolete.

Types of chips[edit]

The TGA (Twinax Gate Array), developed in 1986, was a communications transceiver for the AS/400 architecture.

The First chip with embedded microcontroller was the CGA-1 (Coax Gate Array) which contained booth IBM 3270 (coax) communications, AS/400 communications (Twinax). It also had a small microcontroller and various IO:s, including serial and parallel interfaces. The 1 chip was designed by Martin Gren, the bug-fixed CGA-2 by Martin Gren and Staffan Göransson. [2]


In 1993, by introducing 10 Mbit/s Ethernet and Token Ring controllers, the name ETRAX was born.

The ETRAX-4 had improved performance than previous models, along with a SCSI controller.

The ETRAX 100 features a 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet Controller (hence the name), along with ATA and Wide SCSI support.

ETRAX 100LX[edit]

In 2000, the ETRAX 100LX design added an MMU, as well as USB, synchronous serial and SDRAM support, and boosted the CPU performance up to 100 MIPS. Since it has a MMU, it can run the Linux kernel without modifications.

Main characteristics:

  • A 32-bit RISC CPU core
  • 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet controller
  • 4 asynchronous serial ports
  • 2 synchronous serial ports
  • 2 USB ports
  • 2 Parallel ports
  • 4 ATA (IDE) ports
  • 2 Narrow SCSI ports (or 1 Wide)
  • Support for SDRAM, Flash, EEPROM, SRAM

The device comes in a 256-pin Plastic Ball Grid Array (PBGA) package and uses 350 mW power (typical).

ETRAX 100LX MCM[edit]

This system-on-a-chip is an ETRAX 100LX plus flash memory, SDRAM, and an Ethernet PHYceiver. There were two versions commercialized: the ETRAX 100LX MCM 2+8 (2 MB flash, 8 MB SDRAM), and the ETRAX MCM 4-16 (4 MB flash, 16 MB SDRAM).

ETRAX FS[edit]

Designed in 2005, and with full Linux 2.6 support, this chip features:

  • A 200 MIPS, 32-bit RISC with 5 stage pipeline CRIS CPU core with 16 kB data and 16 kB instruction cache and a MMU.
  • Two 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet controllers
  • Crypto accelerator, supporting AES, DES, Triple DES, SHA-1 and MD5.
  • 128 kB on-chip RAM
  • A microprogrammable I/O processor, supporting PC-Card, CardBus, PCI, USB FS/HS host, USB FS device, SCSI and ATA.

The device comes in a 256-pin Plastic Ball Grid Array package and uses 465 mW power (typical).

Development tools[edit]


A SDK (along with a cross-compiler) is provided by Axis on the development site.


A FOX board LX 4+16. Notice the Ethernet, DC and USB ports.
Elphel Reconfigurable Network Camera. Based on Etrax FS CPU and Xilinx Spartan 3e FPGA

Several hardware manufacturers offer 'developer boards': a circuit board featuring an ETRAX chip and all the necessary I/O ports to develop (or even deploy) applications. These include:[3]

  • AXIS 82 developer board
  • Embedded Linux PC from ipcas
  • ACME Systems' FOX board
  • Elphel Reconfigurable Network Camera based on Etrax FS and Xilinx Spartan 3e FPGA
  • embedded Linux system
  • single board Linux computer
  • DSP&FPGA's industrial control unit
  • remote control systems


External links[edit]