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Tiny Tegra K1 module offers Linux BSP, open-spec baseboard

Mar 18, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1,650 views

[Updated: Apr. 6] — E-con Systems has launched a 70 x 55mm, Tegra K1 based “eSOMTK1” COM with up to 4GB RAM, up to 64GB eMMC, WiFi/BT, and an open-spec “Propus” baseboard.

Nvidia’s Tegra K1 has seen considerable adoption in Linux-ready computer-on-modules, including Calao’s 82 x 50mm SMC-NTKE1 SMARC COM, Toradex’s SODIMM-style, 82 x 45mm Apalis TK1, GE’s 84 x 55mm mCOM10K1 COM Express Type 10 Mini, and Seco’s 95 x 95mm SECOMExp-TK1 COM Express Type 6 Compact.

Now E-Con Systems has launched the a 70 x 55mm eSOMTK1, which is just slightly larger than the Apalis TK1. Like that Toradex module, it is supported with a development board, in this case a SATA and Mini-PCIe equipped Propus board. Targeted applications include computer vision, robotics, drones, medical diagnostics, and video surveillance and analytics.

eSOMTK1 by itself (left) and on the Propus carrier board
(click images to enlarge)

Nvidia’s Tegra K1 SoC adds a 192-core Kepler GPU to what is essentially a Tegra 4-like quad-core Cortex-A15 design. The four Cortex-A15 cores are clocked to 2.3GHz while a fifth companion -A15 core handles low-power workloads. Backed by Nvidia’s CUDA graphics libraries, the Kepler enables computer vision and deep learning in addition to display rendering.

Tegra K1 architecture (left) and functional block diagrams
(click image to enlarge)

Both the eSOMTK1 module and Propus board are well documented, and in particular, the Propus is available with “complete source code and other design inputs such as schematics, DXF etc.,” says Chennai, India-based E-Con Systems. A Linux BSP is ready now, with U-boot and source code, and an Android BSP is on the way.

eSOMTK1 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Other E-Con eSOM modules include the i.MX6 based eSOMiMX6, which uses a SODIMM edge connector. By contrast, the eSOMTK1 extends its interfaces to the Propus via four 100-pin expansion interfaces on the rear of the module.

The eSOMTK1 stands out from the other Tegra K1 COMs in that it provides onboard WiFi-n and Bluetooth 4.1 BLE in place of a Gigabit Ethernet controller. It also integrates a 6-axis IMU with 3D accelerometer and digital gyroscope, further reinforcing its mobile aptitude.

The eSOMTK1 is available with up to 4GB RAM and up to 64GB eMMC flash. Other features include HDMI, dual MIPI CSI-2, plus SATA, USB 3.0, PCIe, and more.

Specifications listed for the eSOMTK1 include:

  • Processor — Nvidia Tegra K1 (4x Cortex-A15 cores @ up to 2.3GHz); 5th companion Cortex-A15 for low-power; 192-core Mobile Kepler GPU)
  • Memory — 2GB to 4GB DDR3L RAM; 16GB to 64GB eMMC flash
  • Multimedia I/O (via 4x 100-pin expansion interfaces):
    • HDMI 1.4
    • 3x MIPI CSI-2 camera (1x 1-lane, 2x 4-lane)
    • I2S and S/PDIF out audio I/O
  • Wireless — Dual-mode 802.11b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.1 BLE
  • Other I/O (via 4x 100-pin expansion interfaces):
    • SATA
    • 2x USB 3.0 host
    • USB OTG
    • UART
    • SPI
    • I2C
    • SD/MMC
    • PCIe
  • Other features — 6-axis accelerometer/gyroscope IMU; availability through 2026 min.
  • Power — 12V and 5V
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C
  • Dimensions — 70 x 55mm
  • Operating system — Linux BSP with U-boot; Android BSP coming soon

Propus development board

The Propus carrier board extends the eSOMTK1 module in a sandwich-style configuration, adding coastline HDMI, dual USB 3.0 host, and micro-USB OTG ports. Other coastline connections include a microSD slot, a debug port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a 12V DC input. Three MIPI-CSI-2 connectors are on the far end of the board, one for the single-lane, and two for the 4-lane interface.

Propus block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The 105 x 85mm board is further equipped with reset and power switches. On the back is a Mini-PCIe slot and a GPIO header. Also baked in is a PMIC, a real time clock, and SATA, I2C, and SPI interfaces.

Propus detail views, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The development kit ships with a 12V power supply and a USB-to-serial cable. Options include 13- and 4-megapixel MIPI-CSI-2 camera daughtercards from E-Con with AR1820HS and OV4682 sensors, respectively. Each camera card is equipped with an S-Mount lens holder, supports [email protected] streaming, and costs $149.

Further information

The eSOMTK1 module and Propus board are available now. The eSOMTK1 goes for $149 in volume. Through Mar. 31 the Propus development kit, which includes the eSOMTK1 module with its WiFi/BT option, is available at $50 off the retail price at $449. More information may be found at the E-Con Systems eSOMTK1 module and Propus development kit product pages.

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4 responses to “Tiny Tegra K1 module offers Linux BSP, open-spec baseboard”

  1. Joe says:

    way too expensive.

  2. Dharmalingam.K says:

    Watch the demo of deep learning using eSOMTK1 – nVIDIA Tegra K1 SOM :

    Deep Learning can be used in the field of Automobiles for obstruction detection, scene detection in Smart Surveillance, Anomaly detection in medicine, etc.

  3. Dharmalingam.K says:

    eSOMTK1 – nVIDIA® Tegra® K1 System on Module can record 4K video streaming at 30 fps !

    Know More at

  4. Dharmalingam.K says:

    When to choose the Tegra K1 based Propus kit over Jetson?

    As you know, the Propus kit contains the eSOMTK1, the System on module based on NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor. There are customers that use the Jetson TK1 board and you might be wondering if the Propus board is so expensive, why would I go ahead and buy it ? Well, it depends on what you want. Here are some categories of customers which we have seen. You can select where you would be falling in to.

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