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Tiny wireless-rich COM runs Linux on Snapdragon 820

Mar 26, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 3,123 views

eInfochips has opened pre-orders on a tiny, wireless-rich “Eragon 820” COM and development kit that run Linux or Android on a Snapdragon 820 SoC.

The eInfochips Eragon 820 is the second computer-on-module we’ve seen based on Qualcomm’s high-end quad-core 64-bit Snapdragon 820 system-on-chip after Intrinsyc’s 82 x 42mm, SODIMM-style Open-Q 820 COM, which similarly comes with a development kit. The Linux- and Android 5.1.1 ready 53 x 25mm module and 110 x 85mm carrier are aimed at “next generation designs in Ultra HD/4K camera and connectivity solutions,” says the company.

Eragon 820 SOM top and bottom views
(click images to enlarge)

The Snapdragon 820 has four 14nm FinFET fabricated “Kyro” cores that roughly mimic the ARMv8 Cortex-A72 design. The Kryo cores — two at 2.GMHz, 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), which can capture images at up to 32-megapixels, according to eInfochips. (Intrinsyc claimed only 25 megapixels for the Open-Q 820.).

Eragon 820 module block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The Eragon 820 SOM ships with 4GB of LPDDR4 PoP RAM instead of 3GB on the Open-Q 820. It provides the same allotment of 32GB UFS 2.0 flash, and also offers 8GB or 16GB of optional eMMC. The module integrates three built-in wireless functions: 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 BLE, provided by a Qualcomm QCA6174A controller, as well as IZat Gen 8C GPS/GNSS, courtesy of a Qualcomm WGR7640 receiver.

Eragon 820 Development Kit

The Eragon 820 Development Kit extends the above COM features with various ports including a GbE port you won’t find on the Intrinsyc dev kit board. There’s an HDMI port for up to 4096 x 2160-pixel resolution @60fps, dual MIPI-DSI interfaces, and dual MIPI-CSI camera ports. (Optional LCD and camera boards are available.) A variety of audio jacks and interfaces are also onboard. The block diagram indicates the presence of a microSD slot, but we’re not seeing it in the photos (perhaps it’s on the bottom of the carrier board).

Two views of the Eragon 820 Development Kit
(click images to enlarge)

The Eragon 820 Development Kit provides dual USB 2.0 host or one USB 3.0 port. The block diagram mentions a micro-USB port that is not found on the spec list. Both a low-speed expansion connector and Snapdragon sensor interface connector are provided along with dual PCIe interfaces for WiGig and SATA, respectively. Accelerometer, gyrometer, magnetometer, and RTC features round out the spec list.

Eragon 820 Development Kit block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Eragon 820 Development Kit include:
  • Processor (on COM):
    • 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 (on COM):
    • 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • Optional 16GB eMMC
  • Wireless (on COM):
    • 802.11ac (via Qualcomm QCA6174A)
    • Bluetooth 4.1 + BLE (via Qualcomm QCA6174A)
    • IZat Gen 8C GPS and GLONASS (via Qualcomm WGR7640)
  • Display/camera:
    • HDMI out port
    • 2x MIPI-DSI 4-lane
    • Optional LCD display board
    • 2x MIPI-CSI for up to 4x cameras or 2x concurrently streaming cams
    • Optional camera module
  • Audio (WCD935 codec):
    • Headset jack with 1x earpiece
    • 2x stereo speak headers
    • 6x analog mic
    • 3x digital mic
    • 2x I2S
  • Networking –– Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • Micro-USB?
    • 2x USB 2.0 host or 1x USB 3.0
    • JTAG
    • Low-speed expansion connector with 5x GPIO, I2C, SPI, UART, PCM, 2x I2S
    • Snapdragon sensor interface connector — SPI, UART, 2x MI2S
    • 2x PCIe (1x WiGig, 1x SATA)
  • Other features –- Accelerometer; gyrometer; magnetometer; RTC
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 65°C
  • Dimensions:
    • COM– 53 x 25mm
    • Carrier board — 110 x 85mm
  • Weight — 65g (COM is 15g) approx..
  • Operating system — Android 5.1.1; Linux (Linaro 15.09 with 15.11 planned); Windows 10 is planned

eInfochips says it is working with early adopters of the Snapdragon 820 in custom hardware and software development “by providing end-to-end product engineering services.” Other Eragon products include the Eragon 600 showcasing the Snapdragon 600 and the Eragno 410, featuring the Snapdragon 410.

“Snapdragon 820 processor will play a key role in enhancing the graphics and visual capabilities of the embedded applications requiring leading edge computing performance, built-in connectivity, and 4K HD experiences for end users,” stated Tia Cassett, senior director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “eInfochips’ experience in developing embedded systems, cameras and video solutions will bring significant value to device manufacturers.”

Further information

The Eragon 820 COM and Development Kit are available for pre-sale now, with pricing unstated. More information may be found on this eInfochips Eragon launch page.

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