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Tiny, rugged COM runs Linux or Android on Snapdragon 820

Apr 18, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1,594 views

The 50 x 28mm Inforce 6601 Micro SOM runs Ubuntu or Android on a Snapdragon 820 SoC, and offers wireless, 4GB RAM, 64GB UFS, and a Mini-ITX carrier board.

Inforce Computing’s Inforce 6601 Micro SOM is the third computer-on-module we’ve seen that runs Linux or Android on Qualcomm’s latest, powerhouse Snapdragon 820 SoC. At 50 x 28mm, the module is smaller than Intrinsyc’s 82 x 42mm, SODIMM-style Open-Q 820 COM, and just a bit larger than eInfochip’s 53 x 25mm Eragon 820. Like these Snapdragon 820-based COMs, the Inforce 6601 is supported with a carrier board, in this case a Mini-ITX (see farther below)

Inforce 6601 Micro SOM
(click images to enlarge)

The Inforce 6601 Micro SOM maintains pin, connector, electrical, and form-factor compatibility with the company’s Snapdragon 600-based Inforce 6401 and Snapdragon 805-based Inforce 6501 Micro SOM modules, says Inforce. The module runs Linaro Ubuntu Linux or Android 6.0 “Marshmallow,” and supports “path-breaking” embedded applications, including virtual reality, computer vision, video collaboration, robots and drones, and medical imaging, says the company.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 has four 14nm FinFET fabricated “Kyro” cores that roughly mimic the latest, ARMv8 Cortex-A72 design. The Kryo cores — two at 2.2GHz, and two at 1.6GHz — offer up to twice performance and twice the power efficiency of the Cortex-A57 cores on the Snapdragon 810, claims Qualcomm. Qualcomm’s 624MHz Adreno 530 GPU delivers up to 40 percent improvement in graphics over the previous Adreno 430, claims the company. There’s also an upgraded Hexagon 680 DSP and a 14-bit Spectra image signal processor (ISP) for up to 25- or -28 megapixel cameras, depending on various Inforce citations.

Inforce 6601 Micro SOM, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The Inforce 6601 features a fairly broad 0 to 70°C standard operating range. The module offers EMI shielding for improved RF noise protection. The shielding also assists in heat spreading and dissipation, says Inforce.

Inforce 6601 Micro SOM block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The Inforce 6601 Micro SOM ships with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB UFS 2.0 flash. The module uses the same Qualcomm wireless modules as the other two Snapdragon 820 COMs, offering 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1 + BLE, and GPS/GLONASS. Other functions, such as a GbE interface can implemented via the module’s PCI Express expansion interface.

Specifications listed for the Inforce 6601 Micro SOM include:

  • Processor:
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (4x 64-bit, 14nm Kryo cores with 2x at 2.2GHz, 2x @ 1.6GHz)
    • 624MHz Adreno 530 GPU
    • Hexagon 680 DSP
    • 14-bit Spectra ISP
  • Memory:
    • 4GB LPDDR4 (1866MHz) RAM
    • 64GB UFS 2.0 gear 3 (1 lane) flash
  • Wireless (via Inforce 6601 COM):
    • 802.11ac (via Qualcomm QCA6174A)
    • Bluetooth 4.1 + BLE (via Qualcomm QCA6174A)
    • IZat Gen 8C GPS and GLONASS (via Qualcomm WGR7640)
  • Display/camera:
    • 2x HDMI 2.0 out with audio
    • 2x MIPI-DSI 4-lane
    • 3x MIPI-CSI 4-lane (camera)
    • Touchscreen interfaces
    • H.264 (AVC) playback and capture @ 4K60
    • H.265 (HEVC) playback @4K60 and capture @4K30
    • Triple display support “possible”
  • Audio:
    • 4x line-out
    • 2x HPF
    • 3x mic-in
    • Hi-Fi Audio with codec support for MP3, AAC + eAAC, WMA 9/Pro, Dolby AC-3, eAC-3, DTS
  • Other I/O:
    • 1x USB 3.0 host/OTG port
    • 1x USB 2.0 host port
    • 1x PCIe lane
    • 1x SDIO interface
    • 12x BLSPs for UART/I2C/SPI
    • 8× GPIOs
    • Slimbus, SDC
  • Other features — 7-year availability; EMI shielding on COM
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C standard
  • Power — +3.3V/5A input
  • Dimensions — 50 x 28mm
  • Weight — 11gm
  • Operating system — Android 6.0 and Ubuntu Linux (Linaro) BSPs

Inforce 6601 Development Kit

Inforce is offering a 170 x 170mm Mini-ITX form factor Inforce 6601 Development Kit that expands upon the module’s capabilities via a 100-pin board-to-board interface.

Inforce 6601 Development Kit
(click images to enlarge)

The development kit provides mounting and power for the Micro SOM, and adds signal conditioning and connectors for functions including GbE, USB 3.0 host/OTG, USB 2.0 host, GPIO, serial I/O, and display and camera interfaces. It also includes a microSD slot, optional eMMC flash, and antennas for the module’s WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS radios.

Further information

The Inforce 6601 Micro SOM and development kit will be available soon, with the latter selling for $475. More information may be found at Inforce Computing’s Inforce 6601 Micro SOM and Inforce 6601 Development Kit product pages.

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