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Security-minded µQseven module taps Allwinner A64

Oct 27, 2016 — by Eric Brown 536 views

Theobroma’s µQseven form factor “A64-µQ7” module runs Linux 4.x on a quad-core -A53 Allwinner A64, and adds a security module.

Austria-based Theobroma has released its second Allwinner-based computer-on-module using the half-size, 70 x 40mm µQseven form-factor. The A64-µQ7 follows the A31 µQ7, based on the quad-core, Cortex-A7 Allwinner A31. This time around the company has opted for the 64-bit, quad-core Cortex-A53 Allwinner A64.

(click image to enlarge)

The A64-µQ7 is the first COM implementation we’ve seen of the Allwinner A64, which has four 1.2GHz Cortex-A53 cores and a dual-core Mali 400 MP2 GPU. The SoC has appeared on SBCs including the Pine A64 and more recent Banana Pi BPI-M64.

Aside from the unusual form factor, the A64-µQ7 is most notable for its Global Platform 2.2.1 compliant, JavaCard based security module. The module features an EAL4-certified smartcard controller that enables digital asset protection, secure key-storage, and remote device authentication. Customers can also order custom runs of the COM without the security module.


The A64-µQ7 supports up to 2GB DDR3 RAM, up to 16MB SPI NOR flash, and up to 64GB eMMC on the module. A Gigabit Ethernet port with “triple-speed GbE PHY” is joined by interfaces including 7x USB 2.0, with one dual-role port.

Display interfaces include HDMI 1.4 at up to 4K @ 30fps and MIPI-DSI at up to 1920 x 1200 @ 60fps. Additional I/O includes UART, I2S, I2C, SMBus, SPI, Fan, and 8x GPIO.

The A64-µQ7 runs at under 5 Watts from a single 5V supply, and features integrated power management. There’s a fairly broad commercial temperature range model at 0 to 85ºC, as well as wider extended temp versions that are available on request.

Linux 4.x and Debian 8 are supported out of the box, and Android 6.0 is provided on request. States Theobroma: “As we build our board-support from scratch, we are independent from semiconductor vendor release cycles to provide up-to-date Linux versions.”

Theobroma has previously released an octa-core Allwinner A80 based A80-Q7 COM using the standard Qseven format. There’s also a server-oriented Helix2-COMExpress module based on an Applied Micro HeliX 2 SoC.

Further information

The unpriced A64-µQ7 is listed as being in “early access” stage. Theobroma’s products are available directly, as well as from European distributors like Direct Insight and Broadband Technology 2000. More information may be found at the A64-µQ7 product page.

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