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Kit aims Snapdragon 800 at embedded Android designs

Jun 30, 2013 — by Eric Brown 7,375 views

Intrinsyc announced the availability of a hardware/software development kit for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 system-on-chip. The DragonBoard 8074 Development Kit for the 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 includes a Qseven-compliant computer-on-module (COM) and a Mini-ITX baseboard, and is supported with Android 4.2.

Intrinsyc’s latest DragonBoard is designed less for smartphone and tablets, than for the growing number of embedded devices that are looking to tap high-end mobile SoCs like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 APQ8074. The company suggests that “robotics, wearable computing, digital signage, kiosks, medical devices” could all benefit.

Intrinsyc DragonBoard 8074 Development Kit
(click images to enlarge)


This target audience differs from Bsquare’s Snapdragon 800 development platforms announced a month ago, which are offered in smartphone and tablet versions. Like Bsquare’s platforms, Intrinsyc’s DragonBoard supports USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0, and the new 802.11ac WiFi, but there’s apparently no LTE or other cellular support.


The Snapdragon 800 SoC, which is appearing in high-end Android phablets such as the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, competes with similarly quad-core, 28nm SoCs like Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 4 and Samsung’s Exynos 5. The Snapdragon 800 is Qualcomm’s first High-K Metal gate silicon, and its four Krait 400 cores are similar to the Cortex-A15 cores found in the Tegra 4 and Exynos 5. The SoC also features a high-powered Adreno 330 GPU and a 600MHz Hexagon v5 QDSP6 digital signal processor. Touted functionality includes support for 2560 x 2048-pixel displays, Miracast 1080p video, 4K HDTVs, 55-megapixel cameras, and stereoscopic 3D cameras.

Dev kit diagram
(click to enlarge)

The Snapdragon 800 forms the heart of the Open-Q Q8074 module, which plugs into the DragonBoard 8074 along with a smartphone like qHD capacitive touchscreen of unstated dimensions. It appears that the Open-Q 8074 module will be made available as a separate product, as was Intrinsyc’s earlier Open-Q 8060 COM, based on the Snapdragon S4. At this time, however, no specs or product page is available. A block diagram (shown at right) suggests the Open-Q 8074 module also includes the DragonBoard’s WiFi, Bluetooth, and GNSS (GPS and GLONASS) radios, as well as the kit’s 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 16GB of eMMC.

Whereas the Open-Q 8074 supports a variety of Android and Linux builds, the DragonBoard is loaded and supported with Android 4.2. The 6.7 x 6.7-inch Mini-ITX baseboard also supplies a gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI, dual SATA ports, and five USB ports, which include two USB 3.0 models and a micro-USB OTG port. Audio ports are provided, along with GPIO, UARTs, JTAG, and an undefined “Education connector.” An optional, vaguely described camera/sensor peripheral kit furnishes a camera and several sensors.

Specifications listed for the DragonBoard for Snapdragon 800 include:

  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) SoC:
    • 4x 2.3GHz Krait 400 CPU cores
    • Adreno 330 GPU
    • 600MHz Hexagon v5 QDSP6
  • Memory:
    • 2GB LPDDR3 RAM
    • 16GB eMMC flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Display — smartphone-like qHD LCD capacitive touchscreen
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11n/ac
    • Bluetooth 4.0
    • GNSS (GPS and GLONASS)
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0
    • 2x USB 2.0
    • Micro-AB USB OTG
    • 2x SATA
    • HDMI
    • 3.5mm ANC headset jack and mic; 5.1 surround sound stereo
    • Education connector
  • Camera/sensor peripheral kit (optional) — camera plus sensors including compass, gyro, accelerometer
  • Power — Power supply; optional PMIC with battery backup
  • Operating system — Android 4.2 (DragonBoard 8074 kit); Android or Linux (Open-Q 8074 Qseven module)

The DragonBoard 8074 kit further includes a a quick start guide, license agreement, documentation, and the Android 4.2 platform BSP. Intrinsync can also build customized modules or single board computers (SBCs) for customers.

The DragonBoard 8074 Development Kit is available now in an early adopters release for $499, and will be generally available in July. The early adopters release does not offer general-release features like binaries, documentation, BSP source code, or support. There is no word on the separate availability of the board’s Open-Q 8074 module.

More information and may be found at the DragonBoard 8074 Development Kit early adopters release page, and more extensive details may be found on Intrinsyc’s DragonBoard product page.

Intrinsyc and Qualcomm will demonstrate the product at the Wearable Tech Conference in New York City on July 24-25, as well as at Qualcomm’s Uplinq 2013 wireless ecosystem conference in San Diego on Sept. 3-5.

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