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Getting Started Guide for Leopard Board DM355 (Under construction)

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Leopard Board is an Open Source hardware project, a full featured, ultra low cost, small form factor, high performance development system which includes a TMS320DM355 Processor board and a VGA camera board to provide VGA-resolution video capture. The board itself includes the basic capabilities for multimedia applications that doesn't requires a high performance processing such as DSP applications.

The board is manufactured by Leopard Imaging.

Differences between Leopard Board DM355 and Leopard Board DM365

The following table contains the main differences between Leopard Board DM355 and Leopard Board DM365.

Table 1. Differences between Leopard Board DM355 and Leopard Board DM365
Feature Leopard Board DM355 Leopard Board DM365
Processor TMS320DM355 TMS320DM365
Video output Composite TV Output Composite TV/Component HD TV Output
Video codecs MPEG4, JPEG H.264, VC1, MPEG2, MPEG4, JPEG
Audio codecs MP3, AAC, WMA MP3, AAC, WMA and Audio Echo Canceller
Camera sensors Support wide range of video resolutions from VGA, 1.3M, 2M, 3M to 5 Mega-pixel CMOS Sensors Support wide range of video resolutions from VGA, 1.3M, 2M, 3M to 5 Mega-pixel CMOS Sensors


This section shows a brief explanation of the LeopardBoard's hardware, for a little more deep reference you can see the LeopardBoard DM355 hardware Guide

Basically, the LeopardBoard DM355 is an evaluation board that allows the access all the resources of the TI's TMS320DM355 SoC, oriented principally to multimedia applications.


In the following figures is shown the top and bottom view of the LeopardBoard DM355 with its main hardware components indicated with numbers.

Figure 1. LeopardBoard DM355 top view.
Figure 2. LeopardBoard DM355 bottom view.

The following table describes the main hardware components of the LeopardBoard DM355.

Table 2. Basic descriptions of the LeopardBoard DM355 components.
ID Name Description
1 Expansion port Supports SD/MMC, I2C, UART, McBSP, GPIO ans 3.3V power supply.
2 JTAG port Is's a 14 pin JTAG port to allows the software debbuger.
3 Reset Button Resets the system.
4 UART serial output A RS-232 serial port is provided by a 2.5mm stereo audio jack.
5 Audio input A 2.5mm standard stereo audio jack to receive stereo audio input to the TLV320AIC3104 CODEC chip.
6 Network interface A standard RJ-45 connector for 10/100 Mbps Ethernet networks.
7 DC Power input The boards provides a 2.1mm power jack for +5VDC power supply with a power consumption less than 2W (see Hardware Guide for more detail). The power also can be supplied by the USB port.
8 SD card slot It is provided as a mean of expansion and also as a interface for this kind of devices.
9 LCD/DVI interface A 50-pin connector fully compatible with DM355EVM expansion connector and with support for LCD or DVI daughters card.
10 Composite video output The LeopardBoard provides a RCA-type video output connector fully compatible with NTSC or PAL format. It's default at NTSC format but is easily switched by software.
11 Camera module interface This interface supports a wide range of camera modules, from 1.3M to 5 Mega-pixel CMOS sensors.
12 Audio output jack This is a 2.5mm standard stereo jack which provides a stereo audio signal from the CODEC chip.
13 USB OTG port The LeopardBoard DM355 supports both, device and host USB modes, through a mini-B USB port. By default the board is working on USB device mode in which it can receives its power from the USB port.
14 TMS320DM355 Processor The TMS320DM355 processor is an ARM9-based system-on-chip oriented to basic low cost video processing applications like IP cameras or digital photo frames. It combines MPEG4 HD codecs and JPEG codec up to 50M pixels per second. Its core is conformed by and ARM926EJ-S processor. For a deep description of the processor characteristics you can see the TMS320DM355 DataSheet.
15 Flash Memory LeopardBoard DM355 includes a Micron Flash Memory with 256M x 8-bit, 2Gb SLC NAND Flash compatible with 1Gb NAND Flash.
16 DDR2 SDRAM This Micron DDR2 SDRAM have 8M x 16 x 8 banks, 1Gb DDR2 SDRAM.
17 Boot up control switch This dip switch allows the user to select the boot mode, that is from where the LeopardBoard will start the system.
18 Power Management The board includes a powerful 5-Channel power Management IC TPS65053 which servers all powers on the board.

Camera module

There are many camera modules that are compatible with the LeopardBoard DM355. In this section you will find a description table of this camera modules, for more information you can see the LeopardBoard DM355 Hardware User Guide.

Table 3. Camera modules for LeopardBoard DM355.
Name Part Number Description Image
VGA camera board

(Included on the LeopardBoard
DM355 package)

  • Sensor: Micron/Aptina 1/11“ CMOS Sensor MT9V113
  • VGA resolution of 648x488 pixels.
  • Output data format: YUV (YCbCr).
  • Infrared Coating filter at 650nm+/-10nm.
  • Focus distance: 40cm+/-2cm.
  • RoHS Compliance.
  • Where to buy:
VGA camera board.jpeg
1.3 Mega-pixel camera board LI-LBCM1M1
  • Sensor: Aptina 1/4“ CMOS Sensor MT9M112
  • Resolution: 1.3 Mega-pixels (1280x1024 pixels).
  • Output data format: YUV (YCbCr).
  • Infrared Coating filter at 650nm+/-10nm.
  • Focus distance: 120cm+/-2cm.
  • RoHS compliance.
  • Where to buy:
1.3Mpixel camera board.jpeg
2 Mega-pixel camera board LI-LBCM2M1
  • Sensor: Aptina 1/4“ CMOS Sensor MT9D112
  • Resolution: 2 Mega-pixels (1600x1200 pixels).
  • Output data format: YUV (YCbCr).
  • Infrared Coating filter at 650nm+/-10nm.
  • Focus distance: 120cm+/-2cm.
  • RoSH Compliance.
  • Where to buy:
2Mpixel camera board.jpeg
3 Mega-pixel camera board LI-LBCM3M1
  • Sensor: Aptina 1/4“ CMOS Sensor MT9T111
  • Resolution: 3 Mega-pixels (2048x1536 pixels).
  • Output data format: YUV (YCbrCr).
  • Infrared Coating filter at 650nm+/-10nm.
  • Focus distance: 120cm+/-2cm.
  • RoSH Compliance.
  • Where to buy:
3Mpixel camera board.jpeg
5 Mega-pixel camera board LI-LBCM5M1
  • Sensor: Aptina 1/2.5“ CMOS Sensor MT9P011
  • Resolution: 5 Mega-pixels (2592x1944 pixels).
  • Output data format: RGB.
  • Infrared Coating filter at 650nm+/-10nm.
  • Focus distance: 120cm+/-2cm.
  • RoSH Compliance.
  • Where to buy:
5Mpixel camera board.jpeg

Video module

There is also an additional video function module that can be attached to the LeopardBoard DM355 in order to increase its capabilities. The following is a table with a basic description of this module.

Table 4. Additional video function modules for the LeopardBoard DM355.
Name Part Number Description Image
DVI board LI-DVI1 DVI board.jpg


Due to the LeopardBoard is an Open Source project, there is available all the schematics and information about it.

You can get the LeopardBoard DM355 board schematic from the LeopardBoard Home Page in either pdf or specific formats.

Also you can get the camera board schematic.

For more information you can visit the LeopardBoard Home Page.


You can also get a PDF format file of the LeopardBoard DM355's layout and also in Gerber format.


The ARM9 processor included on the TMS320DM355 SoC can works at 135MHz, 216MHz or 270MHz according with the model of the chip. Although these are the processor's full speed it is possible to set its clock to different values by using the internal PLLs.


Where to purchase your Leopard Board DM355?

What to do in case your country is not on the list of shipping countries?

How to select the shipping method?


In this section it will be explained a little about the adapters that you could or must use with the LeopardBoard DM355. For a quite detailed information about the LeopardBoard hardware and its adapters you can refers to the LeopardBoard DM355 Hardware User Guide [[1]].

Serial cable adapter

As it was mentioned at the Hardware section, the LeopardBoard DM355 has a serial interface available through a 2.5mm standard stereo jack. In order to get access to this port through a device with a DB9 serial connector is necessary a serial cable adapter such as the showed in the Figure 4. This adapter converts from 2.5mm stereo plug to female DB9 connector.

Figure 4. Serial cable adapter for the UART interface.

Where to buy:

Power adapter

The power adapter is a +5VDC 2.5A switching power supply with an universal AC input. It works either at 50Hz or at 60Hz frequency. The connector is a conventional 2.1mm AC plug polarized with the positive in the center. In the following figure is shown a power adapter for the LeopardBoard DM355.

Figure 5. Power supply adapter for the LeopardBoard DM355.

Where to buy:

USB adapter

As the LeopardBoard DM365 has a mini-USB port, it is necessary to use a USB cable adapter in order to connect the LeopardBoard to a device with a conventional USB connector. In the Figure 6 is showed this USB adapter used for the LeopardBoard DM355.

Figure 6. USB adapter for the LeopardBoard DM355.

Where to buy:

Composite video cable

There is a composite video cable for the LeopardBoard DM355. The following figure shows this composite video cable.

Figure 7. Composite video cable.


The LeopardBoard DM355 is able to switch between four different boot modes according with the user needs. Those boot modes are selectable by the boot up control switch allocated on the board. In the following table is is shown each boot mode with its corresponding switch combination.

Table 5. LeopardBoard DM355 Boot modes
Switch 1 Swicth 2 Boot mode
0 0 NAND/SPI Boot
0 1 AEMIF Boot
1 0 MMC/SD Boot
1 1 UART Boot

Next it will be explained a little these boot modes, for a more deep explanation you could refer to the TMS320DM355 datasheet.

NAND/SPI Boot Mode

In this mode, the TMS320DM355 processor allocated on the LeopardBoard DM355 tries to load the system images from the SPI memory and if it fails, it tries to load it from the NAND flash memory. In both cases, the system doesn't support a full firmware boot, instead, it loads a second stage of the UBL (User Boot Loader) into the ARM internal RAM (AIM) and then transfers the control to the user software.

AEMIF Boot Mode

This is an uncommon boot mode in the LeopardBoard DM355. It allows to boot from the OneNand using the Asynchronous EMIF interface.

MMC/SD Card Boot Mode

It is possible also to start up the board from an external MCC/SD card. In the same way that in the previous boot modes, a second stage of the UBL is loaded into the AIM and then the control is transfered to the user software.

You can read about it in the following link SD card boot and flashing tool for DM355 and DM365.

UART Boot Mode

The TMS320DM355 SoC allows to load a small program (UBL) directly from the serial port to its internal RAM.




RidgeRun Evaluation SDK for Leopard Board DM355



Board recovery

It is likely that you will want/need to restore or flash the bootloader on your Leopard Board. For detailed instructions on how to do this please see the Restoring/Flashing the bootloader page.

Beginners guide

You just received your Leopard Board, what do you have to do now? Please review the Beginners guide for Leopard Board DM355.


For Leopard Board frequently asked questions (FAQ) see Leopard Board DM355 FAQ


Leopard Board Community