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SMARC module runs Android or Linux on the Snapdragon 820

Jul 14, 2017 — by Eric Brown 1,401 views

iWave’s SMARC 2.0 “Snapdragon 820 SOM” features 3GB LPDDR4, 32GB eMMC, WiFi, and Bluetooth, plus I/O including GbE, HDMI 2.0, MIPI-CSI, USB 3.0, and PCIe.

Earlier this year, iWave launched a rugged, 56 x 50mm iW-RainboW-G25S SBC with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 (APQ8096) SoC. Now it’s back with a SMARC 2.0 short form factor Snapdragon 820 SOM.

Snapdragon 820 SOM, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The 82 x 50mm computer-on-module Runs Android Marshmallow or higher on the Snapdragon 820, with Linux support to follow. It’s available with an unnamed SMARC carrier board with a 5.5-inch touchscreen. Applications include augmented and virtual reality, 4K digital signage, media streaming, connected home and entertainment, high end wearables, drones, secure POS, and video analytics.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 integrates four 14nm FinFET fabricated “Kyro” cores — two at 2.15GHz, and two at 1.6GHz — that roughly mimic the high-end Cortex-A72. The SoC is further equipped with a 624MHz Adreno 530 GPU, a Hexagon 680 DSP, and a 14-bit Spectra ISP. The Snapdragon 820 SOM supports H.265 4K@60 decode and 4K@30 encode.


This is the first SMARC COM we’ve seen based on the Snapdragon 820. Other COMs include Intrinsyc’s 82 x 42mm Open-Q 820, eInfochips’ 53 x 25mm Eragon 820 SOM, and Inforce Computing’s 50 x 28mm Inforce 6601 Micro SOM and 50 x 25mm Open-Q 820 µSOM. The most recent entry was Mistral’s 51 x 26mm 820 Nano SOM.

Snapdragon 820 SOM block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Some of these rival COMs offer up to 6GB LPDDR4, but like most, the Snapdragon 820 SOM is limited to 3GB. The module is further supported with 32GB eMMC or optional UFS flash and an optional microSD slot.

The module features 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 and a PCIe-based GbE PHY, but none can operate at the module’s maximum -25 to 85°C range. GbE and wireless features are both limited to 0 to 70°C. A Qualcomm IZat Gen8C GPS module is also onboard.

The Snapdragon 820 SOM’s SMARC edge connector provides HDMI 2.0, dual MIPI-DSI ports with 4x lanes each, and 2-lane and 4-lane MIPI-CSI camera interfaces. Other features include 2x USB 3.0 host, 2x USB 2.0 host, a USB 2.0 device port, and 6x UARTs. You get dual PCIe interfaces, but neither can be used if you’re running WiFi/BT or GbE.

Other SMARC I/O includes 2x I2C, 2x SPI, SD, MI2S, GPIOs, and optional JTAG. A separate 100-pin expansion connector provides interfaces including 4-lane MIPI-CSI plus I2C, SLIM bus, and GPIOs. The module runs on 5V power, and offers a PMIC and battery charger, with optional power and battery headers.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the Snapdragon 820 SOM. More information may be found on iWave’s Snapdragon 820 SOM product page.

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