Tag Archives: SOC

The UP AI Core – Mini-PCIe Board For Machine Learning

Popularized as the “first embedded ultra-compact artificial intelligence processing card,” and built around the same Intel Movidius™ Myriad™ 2 2450 VPU as Intel’s own Neural Compute Stick. UP’s AI Core is a mini-PCI Express module that enables Artificial Intelligence on the Edge.

The UP AI Core board
The UP AI Core board

The UP AI Core has 512MB of DDR SDRAM and 4 GB of onboard storage. It is a standard looking PCI-e board measuring 51×30 mm. The onboard Movidius™ chip supports the use of both TensorFlow and Caffe frameworks, both are symbolic math libraries used for machine learning applications such as neural networks.

In order to support the board, the host computer needs to have at least 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of free storage space. Right now, only 64-bit x86 boards running Ubuntu 16.04 are fully supported. None the less that is an only requirement for the Movidius™ VPU rather than something essential in the design of the UP board itself.

However, there’s been a lot of effort since the release of the Movidius™ Neural Compute Stick to get it working on the Raspberry Pi. It’s possible now that it can be used with an Arm-based board with an appropriate PCI-e slot like the Pine H64. But without official support, it is limited to an extent.

The UP AI Core is now available for $69. It is compatible with the UP Core Plus but should work with any single-board computer that has a mini-PCIe interface. Although the user has to be careful about toolchain support for the Movidius™ chip.

Specifications for the AI Core

  • SoC: Intel® Movidius™ Myriad™ 2 VPU 2450
  • Supported Frameworks: TensorFlow, Caffe
  • Form Factor: Mini PCI-Express
  • Dimension: 51 X 30 mm
  • System Requirements:
    • x86_64 computer running Ubuntu 16.04
    • Available mPCI-E slot
    • 1GB RAM
    • 4GB free storage space

More information about the board can be found at UP AI Core’s Order Page.

Sapphire’s New FS-FP5V SBC Incorporates Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC

Sapphire Technology, a Hong Kong-based technology company, has launched a 147.3 x 139.7mm Mini-STX (almost 5×5-inch) form factor SBC that runs Ubuntu 16.04 or Windows. It is powered by AMD’s new Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC. AMD’s Ryzen V1000 is highly competitive on CPU performance with the latest Intel Core chips, and the Radeon Vega graphics with it, are superior enough for enabling four 4K displays to run at once.

Sapphire's FS-FP5V SBC
Sapphire’s FS-FP5V SBC

The only other Ryzen V1000 based SBC, 120 x 120mm is Udoo Bolt, which ships to Kickstarter backers in December. Sapphire’s commercial board FS-FP5V is available for sale now with shipments beginning later this month.

The FS-FP5V base model starts at $325, equipped with the dual-core, quad-thread V1202B version of the Ryzen V1000 with lower-end Vega 3 graphics. The three models with the quad-core, octa-threaded versions of the SoC go for $340, $390, and $450, with increasing clock speeds and graphics ranging from Vega 8 to 11.

Pricing, which does not include RAM or storage, seems to be a bit higher than the Udoo Bolt. The Bolt also adds an Atmega32U4 MCU for Arduino and Grove compatibility but is limited to the two lower-end V1000 SoC models. The FS-FP5V, which has up to 4x DisplayPorts, is more directly aimed at digital signage and other media-centric applications including electronic gaming, medical imaging, thin clients, and POS terminals.

This is Sapphire’s first Mini-STX SBC. Its other AMD-based motherboards include AMD R-Series based Mini-ITX boards and some 4×4-inch eNUC form factor boards such as the G-Series based LX 210. A Sapphire representative says his company can make custom boards based on the Ryzen V1000. They also show a Kubb enclosure for the FS-FP5V from Bleujour, as well as an upcoming 2×2 digital signage display wall from Seneca Data that taps the FS-FP5V to generate 4x 4K displays.

The FS-FP5V is available now starting at $325, with shipments starting later this month. More information may be found on Sapphire’s FS-FP5V product page.

MYIR Introduced Cost-effective MYC-C7Z010/007S CPU Module

Shenzhen, China – March 20, 2018 – MYIR introduced a cost-effective CPU Module MYC-C7Z010/007S powered by Xilinx XC7Z007S (Zynq-7007S) or XC7Z010 ( Zynq-7010) SoC device. It is an industrial-grade System-on-Module which is capable of running Linux and targets industrial application such as Industrial Ethernet, machine vision, PLC/HMI and etc.

The MYC-C7Z010/007S CPU Module integrates 512MB DDR3 SDRAM, 4GB eMMC, 16MB quad SPI Flash, a Gigabit Ethernet PHY and external watchdog on board and provides 1.27mm 180-pin stamp-hole (Castellated-Hole) expansion interface to allow a large number of I/O signals for ARM peripherals and FPGA I/Os to be extended to your base board, which also obtains the high-performance ability in shock resistance meanwhile.

MYIR also offers a development board MYD-Y7Z010/007S which is built around the MYC-Y7Z010/007S CPU Module with a base board to bring a rich set of peripherals and interfaces through headers and connectors including RS232, RS485, USB Host, three Gigabit Ethernet ports, CAN, TF card slot, JTAG as well as one 2.54mm pitch 2 x 25-pin expansion header to let more GPIOs available for further extension. Moreover, MYIR offers an optional expansion board MYD-Y7Z010/007S IO Cape to connect to this expansion header to extend many peripherals and signals like HDMI, LCD, camera and Pmod to help user explore more functions.

Now the board with XC7Z010 version is available now, the MYC-Y7Z010 is pricing at USD85/pc and the MYD-Y7Z010 is USD209/pc. You can get more information about the products at:

http://www.myirtech.com/list.asp?id=583

VIA Snapdragon 820 Based SOM now compatible with Linux

VIA Technologies known for its array of embedded boards and solutions has announced the release of a Linux Board Support Package (BSP) based on the Yocto 2.0.3 for the VIA SOM-9×20 module.

The VIA SOM 9×20 module was custom designed and meant for the Android platform and so migrating to a Linux framework was something that was inevitable and less tedious to achieve as compared to migrating to a different framework.

According to the Richard Brown, the Vice-president of International Marketing at VIA, he says that –

The release of the Linux BSP gives our customers an additional option for the development of Edge AI systems and devices powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820E Embedded Platform

The Linux BSP is expected to provide features like:

  • Supports UFS boot
  • Supports HDMI display
  • Supports AUO MIPI capacitive touch panels through the USB interface
  • AUO 10.1” B101UAN01.7 (1920×1200)
  • Supports COM as debug port
  • Supports two Gigabit Ethernet
  • Supports Mic-in and stereo 2W speaker
  • Supports built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, and GPS
  • Supports MIPI CSI camera OV13850

The VIA SOM 9×20 module is one of those modules you can’t afford to pass you by. At the heart of the module is the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 820E embedded platform, the high performance embedded platform designed to power the next generation of mobile devices and applications with low power consumption, and an array of possible connectivity.

 

The SOM 9×20 module measures at about 82 x 45mm in a SODIMM styled form factor. It features four Cortex-A72-like cores Kryo cores: two at 2.2GHz and two at 1.6GHz. The SoC is boosted with an integrated Adreno 530 GPU at 624MHz, Hexagon 680 DSP, and 14-bit Spectra ISP. The module ships with an inbuilt 64GB eMMC Flash memory, 4GB LPDDR4 in a POP package, rich I/O and display expansion options through its MXM 3.0 314-pin connector.

It supports USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI 2.0, SDIO, PCIe, MIPI CSI, MIPI DSI, and multi-function pins for UART, I2C, SPI, and GPIO through the MXM connector. Other possibilities include interfaces for  MIPI-CSI and LCD touchscreen, dual speakers, and a mini-PCIe slot.

VIA also announced a $569 price for the evaluation kit package, which combines the Snapdragon 820 based module with its SOMDB2 Carrier Board. In order to simplify the design, testing, and deployment of intelligent Edge AI applications, VIA is making the SOM 9X20 module to be available as part of its Edge AI Developer Kit, which features a SOMDB2 Carrier Board and optional 13MP camera module that is optimized for intelligent real-time video capture, processing, and edge analysis.

The kit is available in two configurations from the VIA Embedded online store at:

  • VIA SOM-9X20 SOM Module and SOMDB2 Carrier Board with 13MP CMOS Camera Module (COB 1/3.06” 4224×3136 pixels): US$629 plus shipping
  • VIA SOM-9X20 SOM Module and SOMDB2 Carrier Board: US$569 plus shipping
  • Optional 10.1” MIPI LCD touch panel: US$179 plus shipping.

The Linux BSP for the VIA SOM 9X20 module is available now, and also an upgraded android 8.0 is available as well. More information about the product is available on the product page.

Libre Computer’s New Renegade Elite SBC Features Rockchip RK3399 SoC

Libre Computer announced their new ROC-RK3399 Renegade Elite single board computer that can run Android Oreo or mainstream Linux 4.19+. The SBC features GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) with PoE, HDMI 2.0, 2x USB Type-C with DP, 3x USB 2.0, and dual 60-pin headers. It is accompanied by a 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and eMMC 5.x interface for storage.

ROC-RK3399 Renegade Elite
ROC-RK3399 Renegade Elite

ROC-RK3399 Renegade Elite is built around the high-end Rockchip RK3399 SoC. The SoC features 2x Cortex-A72 cores, which are typically clocked up to 2.0GHz, as well as 4x -A53 cores and a Mali-T860 GPU. This SBC is larger than the Raspberry Pi but is smaller than the more feature-rich Firefly-RK3399. The Renegade Elite is equipped with dual USB 3.0 Type-C ports that support DisplayPort as well as USB functions, and one of them is designed as a power input for the 12V SBC. Three USB 2.0 ports are also available along with an HDMI 2.0 port, an eDP interface, and a mix of MIPI-DSI and CSI interfaces.

Unfortunately, the Renegade Elite lacks discrete audio interfaces unlike many other SBCS, so it’s impossible to utilize the SoC’s exceptional audio features. Though it’s safe to assume that the HDMI 2.0 supports audio. The 60-pin high-speed PCIe and 60-pin low-speed connectors may include audio among many other interfaces.

The key specifications:

  • Processor: Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 cores, 4x Cortex-A53 cores); Mali-T860 GPU
  • Memory:
    • 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • eMMC 5.x interface
    • MicroSD slot
    • 128Mb SPI NOR
  • Display/media:
    • HDMI 2.0 port
    • 2x DisplayPort (via 2x USB 3.0 Type-C)
    • eDP
    • MIPI-DSI
    • MIPI-DSI /CSI
    • MIPI-CSI
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet port with optional PoE
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0 Type-C (1x with power) with DisplayPort support
    • 3x USB 2.0 host ports
    • UART and UART header
  • Expansion: 60-pin PCIe header; 60-pin low-speed header
  • Other features: IR receiver; RTC with battery backup; recovery button
  • Power: DC 12V (power input via Type-C)
  • Operating system: Android 8 Oreo; Rockchip Linux 4.4; Mainline Linux 4.19+

The Renegade Elite will launch on Indiegogo in July and will be available in August. More information may be found on Libre Computer’s preliminary Renegade Elite product page.

DFI’s Apollo Lake Based AL551 SBC Runs Ubuntu And Windows 10

DFI or Diamond Flower Inc., a Taiwan based motherboard manufacturer is preparing to release an Ubuntu friendly 3.5-inch  SBC “AL551” with an Apollo Lake SoC. It’s going to support Ubuntu 16.04, as well as Windows 10. We have already talked about PICO316, another “Apollo Lake” based SBC that runs both Linux and Windows 10.

DFI AL551 Single Board Computer
DFI AL551 Single Board Computer

The AL551 supports all of Intel’s Apollo Lake SoCs. Most notably the Intel Atom® Processor E3900 Series is supported. The 146 x 102mm SBC is equipped with up to 8GB DDR3L and offers a SATA III interface with power, with the option for a second SATA device if the available M.2 slot is populated. There’s also a mini-PCIe slot and an optional “extension I/O” connector. The AL551 also comes with one or two GbE ports.

Triple displays are supported via a VGA port, a 4K-ready DisplayPort++, and dual-channel LVDS with LCD panel and inverter support. The SBC is provided with 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and two more USB 2.0 headers, and if you’re planning to run Ubuntu, you can optionally order a USB Type-C port. There’s also a pair of 2x RS232/422/485 headers, audio I/O, DIO, SMBus, a watchdog, and optional TPM.

Specifications for the AL551:

  • Processor: Intel “Apollo Lake” with Intel Gen9 (18 EU) graphics:
    • Atom x7-E3950 (4x cores @ 1.6/2.0GHz. 12W TDP)
    • Atom x5-E3940 (4x cores @ 1.6/1.8GHz. 9.5W TDP)
    • Atom x5-E3930 (4x cores @ 1.3/1.8GHz. 6.5W TDP)
    • Pentium N4200 (4x cores @ 1.1/2.5GHz, 6W TDP)
    • Celeron N3350 (2x cores @ 1.1/2.4GHz, 6W TDP)
  • Memory: Up to 8GB DDR3L-1866 via 1x SODIMM
  • Storage:  SATA III (6Gbps); SATA power; 2nd SATA III optional via M.2 B-key 2242 slot;
  • Display: DisplayPort++ at up to 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz
    • VGA port at up to 2048 x 1536 @ 50Hz
    • 2x 48-bit dual-channel LVDS at up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz
    • LVDS LCD panel connector and LCD/inverter power
    • Triple display support
  • Networking: 1x or 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports
    • 2x USB 2.0 ports
    • 2x USB 2.0 headers
    • Optional USB Type-C OTG port (available on request for Linux only)
    • 2x RS232/422/485 headers
    • Realtek ALC262 audio I/O headers
    • Optional speaker out (for 2x 3W speakers) on request
    • 8-bit DIO, SMBus
  • Expansion:
    • Full-size mini-PCIe slot (USB/PCIe)
    • M.2 B-key 2242 slot (PCIe/USB 2.0/SATA 3.0)
  • Other features: Watchdog; optional TPM 2.0 on request; heat sink; optional heat spreader; optional cables
  • Power: Right-angle 12V DC 4-pin (DC jack or vert. 4-pin on request); Lithium 3V 210mAh battery
  • Operating temperatures: 0 to 60°C (optional -20 to 70°C or -40 to 85°C for Atom x7-E3950)
  • Dimensions: 146 x 102 x 1.6mm (“3.5-inch form factor”)
  • Operating system: Ubuntu 16.04; Windows 10

No pricing or availability information is provided for the upcoming AL551. More information may be found on DFI’s official AL551 product page.

Linux Powered Apalis iMX8 SoM Built On NXP’s QuadMax

Toradex, a Swiss embedded technology firm announced the world’s first embedded board built on NXP’s i.MX8 QuadMax back in Mar. 2017. Recently, Toradex has opened early access for selected customers to the SODIMM-style Apalis iMX8 module. A sign-up form offers the potential for newcomers to get an early look.

Apalis iMX8 module
Apalis iMX8 module

This new Linux powered, wireless-enabled Apalis iMX8 uses the QuadMax, which is the most powerful i.MX8 Quad model. Like the Quad and QuadPlus, it offers 4x 1.26GHz Cortex-A53 cores, 2x 266MHz Cortex-M4F cores for real-time processing, one or two Vivante GC7000LiteXS/VX GPUs, and a HIFI4 DSP. The QuadPlus adds a 1.6GHz Cortex-A72 core, and the Apalis i.MX8’s QuadMax provides two -A72 cores. The module supports up to 4 GB LPDDR4 RAM.

The Cortex-A cores run a Yocto Project based Linux distribution provided via a BSP (Board Support Package). The M4F MCU cores run FreeRTOS which is also provided by the same BSP. With its dual GPUs, the Apalis iMX8 supports multiple-screen automotive installations. However, the module is designed for a broader range of cutting-edge computer vision systems, as well as signal processing and HMI applications. The module offers onboard, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, and the dual-mode Bluetooth module is said to be Bluetooth 5.0 ready.

The module is equipped with 2x PCIe Gen 3 interfaces, 3x CAN, 4x SPI, 7x UART, and 8x analog inputs. The I2C count has increased to 7x, and the PWM count has advanced to 6x. You also get an IrDA connection, up to 133 GPIOs, and 8- and 4-bit SDIO/SD/MMC interfaces. The Apalis iMX8’s SATA interface has moved from SATA II to III. As before, there’s a GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) controller with a second RGMII. You get a USB 3.0 host interface, and 3x USB 2.0 host ports, one of which is OTG.

The module provides a quad-lane MIPI-DSI interface and offers an HDMI 2.0a interface for up to 4K UHD 2160p. There’s also a single/dual-channel LVDS interface with up to 1920 x 1200 x 24bpp resolution and 4-wire resistive touch. One new feature is a choice of DisplayPort 1.3 or eDP 1.4.  An optional 5MP camera module is supported by dual quad-lane MIPI-CSI interfaces. Analog audio I/O includes a stereo line in, mono mic in, and stereo headphone out interfaces.

Apalis iMX8 carrier boards: Apalis Evaluation Board
Apalis iMX8 carrier boards: Apalis Evaluation Board

The Apalis i.MX8 offers the same two carrier board options provided for the Apalis TK1: a 250 x 250mm Apalis Evaluation Board, as well as a less feature-rich, 125 x 90mm Ixora Carrier Board. The boards have real-time clocks and 7-27V DC input support. The Apalis i.MX8 appears to be ready to ship soon to qualified early access providers. You can sign up to apply for early access on the Apalis i.MX8 product page.

EMB-2610 Pico-ITX SBC Runs Linux and comes with Touch Panel

Ohio based company, Estone Technology (AKA Habey) has updated the product page for the new EMB-2610 Pico-ITX SBC. The EMB-2610 follows earlier Habey Pico-ITX SBCs such as last year’s i.MX6 UL powered EMB-2200 and i.MX6 based EMB-2230. This time Estone has used a 14nm Intel Atom SoC. Rather than going with Apollo Lake, they used the quad-core, 1.92GHz Atom x5-Z8350 from the Cherry Trail family that tried but failed to win market share in Android phones.

Estone EMB-2610 board
Estone EMB-2610 board

The Atom x5-Z8350 is the same SoC used by Aaeon’s UP Core. Like the UP Core, the 100 x 72mm, Pico-ITX form factor EMB-2610 supports Windows 10 and 10 IoT in addition to Android and various Linux distributions. The new EMB-2610 is available with 2GB or 4GB of DDR3L RAM and comes with a microSD slot and up to or 64GB NAND flash. WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity is available, as well as a GbE port with optional Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), enabled via an add-on board.

The EMB-2610 is further enhanced with a micro-HDMI port, as well as LVDS, eDP, or MIPI-DSI, all supported via a touch controller. There’s also an audio header and MIPI-CSI. USB 3.0 and 2.0 host ports are ready along with a micro-USB port, and there’s a smattering of serial, GPIO, and USB headers.

This board uses the same 40-pin expansion header found on the i.MX6-based EMB-2230. The connector, which supports optional Estone modules for 8x GPIO, front panel controls, PCIe, and PoE, is available with header specs and diagrams to make it easy to develop custom expansions. Although, the use of the connector PCIe disables the GbE port.

Specification summary for EMB-2610:

  • Processor : Intel Atom x5-Z8350 (4x Cherry Trail cores @ 1.44GHz / 1.84GHz burst); Intel HD 400 Graphics (200MHz/500MHz)
  • Memory & Storage:
    • 2GB or 4GB DDR3L
    • 32GB or 64GB NAND flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wireless: WiFi/Bluetooth module
  • Networking: GbE port with optional PoE
  • Media I/O:
    • Micro-HDMI port at 1920 x 1080
    • 24-bit LVDS, eDP, or MIPI-DSI at 1920 x 1200
    • An I2C capacitive touch controller
    • MIPI-CSI
    • Audio header with line-out, mic-in, headphone, 10W speaker
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host port
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • USB 2.0 header
    • RS232
    • RS232/485 via terminal block
    • 4x GPIO
    • Micro-USB 2.0 port
    • RS232
    • RS232/485 via terminal block
    •  4x GPIO
    • 2x I2C (for TP and MIPI-CSI)
  • Expansion: 40-pin connector with PCIe x1, GPIO, front panel control, PoE input
  • Power: 12V/19V DC header or optional PoE
  • Operating temperature :  0 to 50°C
  • Dimensions : 100 x 72mm; Pico-ITX form factor
  • OS Support: Linux, Android 5.1, Windows 10 and 10 IoT

No pricing or availability information was provided for the EMB-2610 SBC. More information may be found on Estone Technology’s EMB-2610 product page.

Firefly’s Latest Core-PX3-SEJ COM Runs Ubuntu or Android

Firefly has launched a new SODIMM-style, 67.6 x 40mm Core-PX3-SEJ module that runs Android 5.1 or Ubuntu 15.04 on a Rockchip PX3-SE. It’s a new 1.3GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A7 SoC. The 40 USD module is available in a 1GB RAM/8GB eMMC configuration on a $120, 117 x 85mm Firefly-PX3-SE development board. Other memory configurations may also be available soon.

Firefly Core-PX3-SEJ module
Firefly Core-PX3-SEJ module

The PX3-SE SoC gives the module a sandwich-style dev board and increases the operating temperature to -20 to 80 range. The Core-PX3-SEJ module is praised for its anti-corrosion gold finger expansion connector, and the dev board for its “double stud fixed” design.

Rockchip’s PX3-SE SoC was announced in May 2017. The main target of this SoC is Linux and Android-driven “mobile vehicle interconnect solutions.” The quad-A7 SoC implements a Mali-400 GPU and supports HD video.

The Firefly-PX3-SE board’s 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 are supplied separately from the compact Core-PX3-SEJ COM. Despite the lack of 4K support, there are a numerous media interfaces, including a variety of audio features. There are HDMI, CVBS, MIPI-DSI or LVDS, and a DVP camera interface. Analog, SPDIF, and I2S audio connections are available along with an onboard mic and a “phone” I/O port.

The Firefly-PX3-SE board is further provided with a GbE port, 4x USB 2.0 host ports, a micro-USB OTG port, and an 84-pin expansion header. RTC, debug, and IR are also onboard.

Specifications summary for the Firefly-PX3-SE development board with Core-PX3-SEJ module:

  • Processor : Rockchip PX3-SE (4x Cortex-A7 cores @ 1.3GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory:
    • 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB DDR3 RAM (via Core-PX3-SEJ)
    • 4GB to 64GB eMMC flash (via Core-PX3-SEJ) with 4GB and 8GB default SKUs
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wireless:
    • 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n with antenna
    • Bluetooth 4.0 with BLE
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet port (Realtek RTL8211E)
  • Display & media:
    • HDMI port with audio
    • MIPI-DSI or LVDS LCD interface
    • CVBS with video and audio
    • DVP camera interface for up to 5MP
    • 3.5mm analog audio input jack
    • SPDIF optical output
    • Microphone input
    • I2S audio I/O
    • A phone I/O interface
  • Other I/O:
    • 4x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Micro-USB 2.0 with OTG
    • Serial console debug
    • 84-pin expansion header (MIPI, LVDS, PWM, SPI, UART, ADC, I2C, I2S, GPIO)
  • Other features: RTC with battery; IR receiver; power, reset, recover buttons; acrylic rack kit
  • Power: 5V, 2A (via DC jack); PMU (via Core-PX3-SEJ)
  • Dimensions: 117 x 85mm (with 67.6 x 40mm integrated COM)
  • OS Support: Android 5.1; Ubuntu 15.04; includes Linux Buildroot/Qt

The Core-PX3-SEJ module and Firefly-PX3-SE development board are available for $80 and $140 (including module), respectively, plus shipping. More information may be found at Firefly’s Core-PX3-SEJ and Firefly-PX3-SE shopping pages.

Google Reveals Four New ARM-based production Boards For Android Things 1.0

Earlier this month, Google released Android Things 1.0 and announced many consumer products that will ship in the coming months based on the stripped-down, IoT-oriented Android variant. Google uncovered four ARM-based production boards for Android Things 1.0: Innocomm’s i.MX8M based on WB10-ATIntrinsyc’s Open-Q 212A and Open-Q 624A, based on the Snapdragon 212 and 634, respectively, and the MediaTek MT8516.

The most important news with the first market-ready release of Android Things is that Google is offering free OTA security and patch updates for three years to all targeted devices. However, Google needs a licensing deal to deploy more than 100 commercial systems using the OTA updated long-term version of Android Things, and the OS itself is “managed” and tightly controlled by Google.

The modules share the same small footprints of about a 50 x 50mm. They also focus on audio features that might support integration with the Google Assistant voice agent. The first round of consumer devices using Android Things are smart speakers and automation hubs that integrate Google Assistant.

WB10-AT

InnoComm Google WB10AT COM
InnoComm Google WB10AT COM

InnoComm’s 50 x 50mm WB10-AT COM is almost identical to the WB10 module announced in March. The only difference except for the OS is that the AT version ships with 1GB LPDDR4 instead of 2GB. The WB10-AT includes a 1.5GHzCortex-A53 based NXP i.MX8M Quad SoC with a 266MHz Cortex-M4 core. It extends 8GB eMMC, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and a GbE controller.

The WB10-AT allows HDMI 2.0 with 4K HDR support, as well as extensive audio I/O enabled by the audio-savvy i.MX8M. Audio specs include 4x SAI, DSD512, and S/PDIF.

Open-Q 212A Development Kit

Open-Q 212A board and module
Open-Q 212A board and module

Intrinsyc’s Open-Q 212A is a sandwich-style SBC designed for next-gen smart speaker and voice-controlled home hub products. There is a new 50 x 46.5mm Open-Q 212A Android Things SOM with a quad-core, Cortex-A7 Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 (SDA212) — the lowest-end SoC available for Android Things mounted on a 170 x 115mm carrier board.

The new module provides 1GB LPDDR3, 4GB eMMC, WiFi-ac, and BT 4.2. The 12V carrier board adds 2x USB host ports, a micro-USB client port, and a micro-USB debug port. It also includes a MIPI-CSI and MIPI-DSI interfaces, with the latter capable of up to 720p LCD displays. PCB antennas are also available.

Open-Q 624A Development Kit

Open-Q 624A
Open-Q 624A

This new sandwich-style kit is Google’s high-end Android Things platform. It connects a new Open-Q 624A Android Things SOM and carrier board, each of which is the same size as their Open-Q 212A counterparts.

The module extends 2GB RAM4GB eMMCWiFi-ac, BT 4.2, and a new, undocumented octa-core Snapdragon 624 SoC based on the existing Snapdragon 625. Like the Snapdragon 625, the 624 provides 8x Cortex-A53 cores at up to 1.8GHz along with an Adreno 506 GPU with support for 4K @ 30fps video. Google calls the Snapdragon 624 the SDA624, and in one place Intrinsyc refers to it as the APQ8053, which is also the name of the Snapdragon 825.

The Open-Q 624A carrier board has a feature set that is very similar to that of the similarly sized Open-Q 212A board. However, it adds a USB 3.0 Type-C port, sensor expansion and haptic output, and an optional GPS receiver, which like the module’s WiFi and Bluetooth, is available with an antenna.

MediaTek MT8516

MediaTek MT8516
MediaTek MT8516

Google refers to the MT8516 as a virtual SoM, as opposed to the other physical modules, and suggests that the module’s capabilities are directly integrated into a reference board designed for high volume applications.

Whatever the form factor, the MT8516 provides a quad-core, 1.3GHz Cortex-A35 processor with 4GB eMMC, WiFi, BT, and RF. The platform is intended for voice assistance and other audio applications and provides 4-channel I2S x2, 8-channel TDM, and 2-channel PDM input for voice input control and connected audio.

The Cortex-A35 cores draw about 33 percent less power per core and occupy 25 percent less silicon area than Cortex-A53. The -A35 design lies at the heart of NXP’s i.MX8X SoC, which is also available in two dual-core models. The i.MX8X is found on Phytec’s phyCore-i.MX 8 module.

More information may be found on this Google Android Things Supported Platforms page, as well as at these four product pages: