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COMs run Android on quad- or octa-core Samsung SoCs

Jun 28, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1112 views

Boardcon announced a pair of 70 x 58mm COMs that run Android on Samsung’s quad-core, Cortex-A9 S5P4418 and octa-core, Cortex-A53 S5P6818 SoCs.

The MINI4418 and MINI6818 computer-on-modules are “compatible” with each other, as well as with Boardcon’s earlier MINI3288, which is based on the quad-core, Cortex-A17 Rockchip RK3288. The new COMs instead tap two Samsung SoCs: the quad-core, Cortex-A9 S5P4418 for the MINI4418, and the octa-core, Cortex-A53 S5P6818 for the MINI6818. The MINI6818 supports applications such as “sensitive home automation, security, and industrial applications,” whereas the MINI4418 supports “MID, multimedia advertising, intelligent control terminals, and smart instrumentation,” says Boardcon.

MINI6818, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The MINI4418, MINI6818, and earlier MINI3288 can all be used on the sandwich style EM3288 SBC carrier board. The detail view of the carrier board posted with the MINI4418 is called the EM4418, but appears to be identical except for the COM.

MINI4418 COM front and back
(click images to enlarge)

We have seen the octa-core S5P4418 SoC on FriendlyARM’s NanoPC-T3 SBC and the quad-core S5P4418 on FriendlyARM’s NanoPi-M2. The eight Cortex-A53 cores on the S5P6818 can be clocked dynamically from 400MHz to 1.4GHz. There’s also a Mali-400MP GPU.

Block diagrams of Samsung S5P4418 (left) and S5P6818 SoCs
(click images to enlarge)

The S5P4418 clocks its four Cortex-A9 cores to 1.4GHz, and ships with an unnamed 3D accelerating GPU. This modification of the Exynos 4412 adds a GbE controller, offers higher display resolution, and increases the number of UARTs compared to the Exynos.

The MINI4418 is pre-installed with Android 4.4.2 while the MINI6818 moves up to Android 5.1. They both offer Linux 3.4.39 kernels with UBoot. Like the MINI3288, both COMs measure 70 x 58mm, run on 5V power, and have the same dual 100-pin expansion interfaces.

The MINI4418 and MINI6818 also share the same layout, and appear to be built from the exact same circuit board (compare the bottom views of the two COMs, above), which is different from that of the MINI3288. They ship with 1GB of DDR3 RAM and 4GB eMMC flash, which is half the allotment provided with the MINI3288.

EM4418 SBC with MINI4418; the MINI6818 uses the same basic EM3288 carrier board design
(click image to enlarge)

Aside from the processor, the only difference we see between the MINI4418 and MINI6818 is that the former has Fast Ethernet while the latter features Gigabit Ethernet. Common features are said to include 5x UART, USB 2.0 host, USB HSIC Host, and USB2.0 OTG. The COMs also supply similar LCD (TFT/LVDS/MIPI), HDMI, I2S, CIF, GPIO, ADC, PWM, I2C, audio, SPI, and HSMMC/SD interfaces.

Further information

The MINI4418 and MINI6818 appear to be available now at an unstated price. More information may be found on Boardcon’s MINI4418 and MINI6818 product pages.

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