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I just wanted to ask, which platform is the best suitable for a small commercial car system. It will comunicate with our server via 3G/EDGE (upload and download database with points of interest). It should have small camera, GPS module and be connected with a laser jammer. What plarform and components do you recommend? I have experience with Arduino and AVR and I study a Bachelor's degree (HW engineering) and this project could also be my thesis.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Both ARM and AVR are adequate.You'll be able to find more capable ARM processors if you need them, but I'd make such decisions by applying a weighting to all parameters and then seeing which products met them best. AVR are single source and not good at keeping old versions alive. ARM are many sourced BUT variants can be quite dissimilar between manufacturers. Development system availability and languages would be significant. Starting from scratch I'd expect some ARM variant to be the best choice BUT if you have existing AVR facilities that may change the result. \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Jul 2 '12 at 11:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ What will the micro actually do? \$\endgroup\$ – tyblu Jul 2 '12 at 13:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ What is it going to do with the camera? Doing anything useful will probably require a powerful MCU. Look at STM32F4, they have a hardware camera interface (DCIM) and a lot of computational power. \$\endgroup\$ – Thorn Jul 2 '12 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Micro should handle all the stuff like handling incoming signal from laser jammer, download and upload list of POI, check gps location and so on. It should be configurable and contain small tft lcd. A camera is only my last idea. It should record the whole drive to SD card or take a screenshot of points of interest. But first version of this device won't include camera. \$\endgroup\$ – PeterGosh Jul 2 '12 at 17:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you plan to play a lot with imagedata from the camera, maybe you need even more power? How about a embedded linux card like RaspberryPI? \$\endgroup\$ – Johan Jul 2 '12 at 18:30
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Given the potential multitude of I/O and processes this will need to manage, you may find x86 easier to work with for smallish volumes. There are dozens of systems out there specifically designed for thesetypes of applications. Most of them feature multiple PCI express Mini card slots for 3G, Wi-Fi, and GPS modules. They are also designed to withstand wider operating temperatures that are encountered in an automotive environment. And, they have built-in power supplies that can accept wide range inputs, and ignition sensing intelligence. They aren't cheap, but you will likely save enough in the development costs to offset the hardware cost.

http://www.logicsupply.com/categories/automotive_systems

http://www.nexcom.com/Products/mobile-computing-solutions

http://www.advantech.com/products/Industrial-Mobile-Computers/sub_Industrial_Mobile_Computers.aspx

http://www.mp3car.com/

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