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Tiny Snapdragon 820 module offers Linux, Android 7.0, and 9-axis MEMs

May 17, 2017 — by Eric Brown 4,572 views

Mistral’s 51 x 26mm “820 Nano SOM” features a Snapdragon 820 SoC, up to up to 6GB LPDDR4 and 128GB storage, plus WiFi, BT, GPS, and a 9-axis MEMS.

Bangalore, India-based Mistral Solutions, which has previously released a Nano SOM computer-on-module built around the i.MX6, has now launched an 820 Nano SOM that taps Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820. The tiny module runs Linux or Android 7.0 “Nougat” on the Snapdragon 820, which features four Kryo cores — two at 2.2GHz, and two at 1.6GHz — plus a 624MHz Adreno 530 GPU, a Hexagon 680 DSP, and a 14-bit Spectra ISP. The strikingly small dimensions of the 820 Nano SOM, which are variably listed as 51 x 26mm and 51.5 x 24.5mm, are actually quite consistent with previous Snapdragon 820-based COMs.

820 Nano SOM
(click images to enlarge)

Aside from Intrinsyc’s original, 82 x 42mm Open-Q 820 module, we’ve seen three modules with very similar dimensions. Early last year, eInfochips released a 53 x 25mm Eragon 820 SOM module, followed by Inforce Computing’s 50 x 28mm Inforce 6601 Micro SOM. Early this year, Intinsyc followed up with a 50 x 25mm Open-Q 820 µSOM. Even some of the SBCs have been petite. In April of this year, iWave released a 56 x 50mm iW-RainboW-G25S based on the Snapdragon 820, which has also graced many a high-end smartphone.

820 Nano SOM block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Like all the modules listed above, the 820 Nano SOM offers onboard WiFi and Bluetooth — in this case 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and BT 4.1 — and like all but the Open-Q 820 µSOM, it supplies GPS (Qualcomm IZat). This is the only module in the group, however, to integrate a 9-axis MEMs. Some potential uses for this gyro are suggested by the recommended applications, which include “wearable headset computers, AR/VR Glasses, drones, high-end cameras, media gateways, assistive devices and other smart gadgets.”

The 820 Nano SOM also appears to be the first 820-based module to ship with an option for 6GB of RAM. The standard configuration is 3G or 4GB LPDDR4, but a 6GB option is also mentioned. In all cases, the memory is deployed in a POP format. Standard SKUs offer 32GB or 64GB of onboard UFS 2.0 storage, but the module is said to support up to 120GB UFS. All the competing modules support 32GB UFS, and the Inforce 6601 Micro SOM supports 64GB.


One additional novelty is support for delivering DisplayPort over a USB Type-C reversible plug port. Like the other interfaces, this DP Type-C interface is expressed via dual expansion board mating connectors. The 820 Nano SOM also supports an HDMI 2.0 port for up to 4096 × 2160 pixels at 60fps, and dual MIPI-DSI 4-lane interfaces for up to 2560 × 1600 (single port) or 4096 × 2160 (dual), both at 60fps.

Other tiny Snapdragon 820-based COMs (left to right): eInfochips Aragon 820; Inforce 6601 Micro SOM; Intrinsyc Open-Q 820 µSOM
(click images to enlarge)

The module is further equipped with 3x MIPI-CSI 4-lane, dual ISP interface for up to 28-megapixel cameras. Additional I/O includes USB 3.0 OTG and USB 2.0 host connections, as well as 2x PCIe 2.1 expansion interfaces. The module offers 3x I2S, 3x digital mic, 6x analog in, 6x analog out, and PCM and SDIO interfaces. There are also 8x serial ports configurable as I2C, SPI, UART, or GPIO.

The 820 Nano SOM features a 3.5V to 4.2V power input, and operates at 0 to 70°C, which is about the same as its competitors except for the somewhat more cold-resistant, -10 to 70°C Open-Q 820 µSOM. A “feature-rich” carrier board will be made available, along with optional adapter boards for LCD, camera, sensors, and a battery charger. Mistral also offers a wide array of custom hardware design and software development services.

“The simple yet innovative blend of Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon platforms developed for embedded applications along with Mistral’s comprehensive services for embedded design will result in powerful new Snapdragon-based modules,” stated Jim Cathey, SVP & President, Qualcomm Asia Pacific & India.

Further information

No pricing or availability details were provided for the 820 Nano SOM. More information may be found at Mistral’s 820 Nano SOM product page.

(advertise here)

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One response to “Tiny Snapdragon 820 module offers Linux, Android 7.0, and 9-axis MEMs”

  1. cort burris says:

    Oof, $250 preorder.

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