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IoT dev kit powers up with MediaTek i350

Feb 21, 2022 — by Eric Brown 721 views

VIA announced a “VIA SOM-9X35 Starter Kit” that runs Linux or Android on an NPU-equipped, 2GHz, quad -A53 MediaTek i350 via a VIA SOM-9X35 module with 2GB LPDDR4 and 16GB eMMC. The kit includes a 7-inch touchscreen and 13MP camera.

VIA Technologies has introduced a VIA SOM-9X35 compute module, which is available with a carrier board in a combo product called the VIA VAB-935 3.5 SBC. There is also a VIA SOM-9X35 Starter Kit that adds a touchscreen, camera, speakers, a microphone, and more.

The VIA SOM-9X35 is built around MediaTek’s 14nm i350 SoC, a higher end version of the similarly quad-core, Cortex-A53 based MediaTek i300 that boosts the clock rate to up to 2.0GHz and adds a HiFi4 DSP and 500MHz MediaTek APU 1.0 AI Processor. MediaTek also swaps out the Imagination PowerVR Series8XE GE8300 GPU for an up to 800MHz Arm Mali-G52 MC1. As before, there is a 13MP-ready ISP and 1080p@60fps video decoding.

VIA SOM-9X35 (left) and VIA SOM-9X35 Starter Kit kit contents, including VIA VAB-935 3.5 carrier
(click images to enlarge)

The earlier, 1.5GHz i300 has appeared on Innocomm’s SB30 SoM and MediaTek’s own Pumpkin i300 EVK SBC, among other products. The i300 and i350 are lower end siblings to the octa-core -A73 and -A53 MediaTek i500, which we have seen on VIA’s VAB-950 SBC. There is also a related MediaTek i700 SoC with 2x 2.2GHz Cortex-A75 cores and 6x 2.0GHz -A55 cores.


The VIA SOM-9X35 products are designed for retail, commercial, and industrial edge AI devices. We saw the products on CNXSoft, which reported on the i350 SoC in 2020.

VIA SOM-9X35 detail view (left) and VIA VAB-935 3.5 SBC
(click images to enlarge)

The VIA SOM-9X35 module and related products ship with a BSP that integrates Yocto 3.1 and Android 10. The 60 x 45 x 6.8mm module defaults to 2GB LPDDR4, with otional 1GB and 4GB configurations. You also get 16GB eMMC.

The VIA SOM-9X35 ships with a MediaTek MT6631 module with dual-band 802/11ac and Bluetooth 5.0. There is a 3.4-4.2VDC input, a serial debug interface, a PMIC, and a dual-sided heatspreader.

The VIA SOM-9X35 connects to the 146 x 102mm (3.5-inch) VIA VAB-935 3.5 SBC via an M.2 slot. The carrier board is equipped with a microSD slot, as well as 10/100 LAN, HDMI 1.4, USB 2.0, micro-USB 2.0 OTG, RS232, and DIO ports. Dual simultaneous displays are supported, and there are also mic-in and line-out audio jacks along with a second mic input and 2x speaker interfaces.

VIA VAB-935 3.5 front and side detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The VIA VAB-935 3.5 SBC provides 4-lane MIPI-DSI and MIPI-CSI interfaces. A touch-panel connector is standard and an LVDS connector and a second 4-lane CSI connector for a rear camera are available “by ODM request.”

Expansion features include 40-pin (2×20) GPIO, which includes 3x I2C, 2x UART, 6x GPIO, 2x PWM, SDIO 3.0, ADC, and SPI. The SBC also supplies an MCU upgrade connector.

A mini-PCIe slot supports an optional 4G with GNSS module and is accompanied by a SIM card slot. An RF I-PEX antenna supports WiFi/BT.

VIA SOM-9X35 Starter Kit block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The VIA VAB-935 3.5 is further equipped with a 12V jack with a 9-15V input range, as well as an optional 2-cell Li-ion battery. You also get a battery gas gauge, power LED, IR receiver, an RTC, and power, reset, and download buttons. The board has a -40 to 85°C operating range with 0- 95% non-condensing relative humidity tolerance.

The VIA SOM-9X35 Starter Kit adds to the SBC with a 7-inch 1024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen or optional 10.1-inch model. The kit supplies a 13-megaixel camera module, dual external 2W speakers, an external microphone, and a USB-to-UART debug board. Other features include a 12V/3A AC adapter, a 240mAh battery for the RTC, an external WiFi/BT antenna, and various cables, bolts, and screws.

Further information

The VIA SOM-9X35, VIA VAB-935 3.5 SBC, and VIA SOM-9X35 Starter Kit appear to be available now, with pricing undisclosed. More information may be found in VIA Technologies’ announcement and product page, which includes extensive documentation.

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