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Home automation and speaker board switches from Android Things to Linux

May 28, 2019 — by Eric Brown 1,241 views

Intrinsyc has re-released its Snapdragon 212-based Open-Q 212 module and 212A Home Hub Development Kit, switching from Android Things to Linux and adding a Qualcomm QCA4024 based option with BT 5.0, Thread, and ZigBee.

Intrinsyc’s Open-Q 212A module and Development Kit, which were announced a year ago as along with several other Android Things production boards offered by Google, are being re-released as a Linux development platform for next-gen smart speaker and voice-controlled home hub products. The OpenEmbedded/Yocto Project based Linux stack brings improved support for the audio features on the $595 dev kit, which has been rebranded as the Open-Q 212A Home Hub Development Kit. There’s also a new Bluetooth and 802.15.4 wireless add-on on the way.

Open-Q 212A Home Hub Development Kit with Open-Q 212A module
(click image to enlarge)

In February, Google discontinued its Android Things production modules, which also included Intrinsyc’s Open-Q 624A, Innocomm’s NXP i.MX8M based WB10-AT, and a MediaTek MT8516 based module. The move was part of Google’s scale-back of Android Things as a general-purpose IoT platform in favor of targeting the IoT-focused Android variant on OEM-built smart speakers and displays.

The Open-Q 212A module integrates the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 SoC that Intrinsyc used on the earlier, Android-based, Nano-ITX form-factor Open-Q 212 SBC. The Open-Q 212A has the same 50 x 46.5mm dimensions as the Snapdragon 624 based Open-Q 624A module, which has already been recast as part of a Open-Q 624A Development Kit for Android 8.0 with an identical carrier board to the one in the new 212A Home Hub Development Kit.

Open-Q 212A, 2019 edition
(click images to enlarge)

The Open-Q 212A module features the 1.27GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A7 Snapdragon 212 (APQ8009) SoC with Adreno 304. The SoC is delivered as a Qualcomm Home Hub 300 Platform with a Qualcomm Aqstic audio and voice optimization codec supporting multi-mic beamforming, noise cancellation, and Hi-Fi stereo audio playback.


As before, the module provides 1GB LPDDR3, 4GB eMMC, precertified, dual-band WiFi-ac with 2×2 MU-MIMO, and Bluetooth 4.2, which can run concurrently with the WiFi. There’s also a Qualcomm WGR7640 GNSS location module with GPS and GLONASS.

Open-Q 212A Home Hub Development Kit, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The 212A Home Hub Development Kit adds a power supply and an audio-focused carrier board. The 12V, 170 x 115mm carrier provides 2x USB host ports, a micro-USB client port, and a micro-USB debug port. You also get 4-lane MIPI-CSI and MIPI-DSI interfaces, with the DSI limited to 720p LCD displays. PCB antennas are also available.

The dev kit supplies a speaker amp accessory board based on a TI TA5782M class D amplifier, as well as a dual-microphone accessory board. The new Linux stack more fully supports the board’s advanced audio features, says Intrinsyc.

Qualcomm QCA4024 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

There’s also a new option for a Qualcomm QCA4024 SoC add-on board that supports Bluetooth LE 5.0, as well as 802.15.4-based wireless protocols including Zigbee and Thread. The QCA4024 SoC integrates a Cortex M4F MCU for application processing, a Cortex M0 for network stack processing, and a sensor hub.

Other boards based on the Snapdragon 212 include the Android- and Linux-ready SKATE-212 SBC.

Further information

The Open-Q 212A module is available for $65 per sample or as part of a $595 Open-Q 212A Home Hub Development Kit. The QCA4024-based wireless add on will ship in June at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Intrinysc’s announcement, as well as its Open-Q 212A and Open-Q 212A Home Hub Development Kit product pages.

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