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Tiny module snaps quad-core Qualcomm into devices

May 13, 2013 — by Eric Brown 3,853 views

Inforce Computing has spun a Qseven computer-on-module (COM) featuring Qualcomm’s quad-core, 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 system-on-chip (SOC). The $199 Linux- and Android-ready IFC6400 COM comes with 2GB RAM, 8GB flash, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a MIPI-CSI camera input, and is available with an optional Mini-ITX baseboard.

Almost all the functionality on the IFC6400 is also available on Inforce’s IFC6410 Pico-ITX SBC (single-board computer), announced in April, which adds a number of real-world ports but lacks the Qseven COM’s extensive configurability.

IFC6400 Qseven COM
(click image to enlarge)


At $199, the Qseven COM version costs $50 more than the IFC6410 Pico-ITX SBC model, most likely due to the fact that it doubles the preloaded eMMC flash memory to 8GB and includes a GPS chip that does not appear in the IFC6410 specs. Unlike the Pico-ITX board, the module also outputs its PCI Express bus for user-defined expansion purposes.


The IFC6400 appears to be the first COM to offer Qualcomm’s quad-core, 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 SOC, which is one of the fastest ARM processors available. The S4 Pro’s four, 28nm-fabricated 1.7GHz “Krait” cores feature an 11-stage pipeline with out-of-order execution. There’s also 2MB of L2 cache, an integrated Adreno 320 GPU, and a 500MHz “Hexagon” QDSP6V4 DSP. Both the S4 Pro and the IFC6400 are said to offer 24-bit QXGA (2048 x 1536) graphics resolution, along with 1080p/60fps video running simultaneously on two displays. The SOC can also run multiple 1080p videos at 30fps.

IFC6400 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)


As seen in its block diagram, the IFC6400 Qseven COM equips the S4 Pro with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and 8GB of onboard eMMC flash, which can be expanded to up to 64GB. Notable features include WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, the aforementioned GPS chip, and a MIPI-CSI camera interface supporting up to 20-megapixel cameras. Most other features are expressed through the Qseven connector.

Specifications listed for the IFC6400 include:

  • Processor:
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 SOC
    • Quad-core ARM “Krait” clocked at 1.7GHz; 2MB L2 cache
    • Adreno 320 GPU
    • QDSP6V4 DSP
  • RAM — 2GB PCDDR3 RAM (up to 533MHz)
  • Flash — 8GB eMMC, expandable to 64GB; microSD connector
  • Networking:
    • Gigabit Ethernet controller
    • 802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 (2×2 Atheros QCA6234)
  • A/V interfaces:
    • Micro-HDMI
    • LVDS
    • 5.1 audio in/out
    • MIPI-CSI (4-lane, up to 20-megapixel)
  • Other I/O interfaces:
    • 2x USB host; USB OTG
    • Serial console (on 3-pin header)
    • I2C, SPI, PCI Express, UART, SDIO and GPIO
  • Other features – GPS (WGR7640); 20-pin JTAG
  • Power — +5V DC input
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70° C
  • Dimensions — 70 x 70mm (Qseven)
  • Operating system – Linux and Android support packages (SYS6440-00-P1 kit)

Since the IFC6400 is a COM, rather than a standalone SBC, it requires a baseboard for operation. In order to accelerate development projects based on the COM, Inforce offers a ready-to-use development kit consisting of a 170 x 170mm Mini-ITX baseboard with the IFC6400 snapped into it. The SYS6440 (shown below) adds a multi-touch display, battery, real-world I/O connectors, a Micro-SD socket, sensor module, camera, and more. And, like its on-board IFC6400 COM, the SYS6440 supports 0 to 70° C operation.

SYS6440 development kit photo, block diagram
(click images to enlarge)


The IFC6400 Qseven COM and SYS6400 development kit are both expected to begin shipping this month, with the COM priced at $199 and the kit at $599. More details may be found on Inforce Computing’s IFC6400 COM and SYS6440 development kit product pages.

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