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Snapdragon based modules and dev kits range from smart audio to 5G

Mar 9, 2020 — by Eric Brown 1,893 views

Thundercomm has launched several new “TurboX” compute modules and dev kits for smart speakers, 5G, and LTE-IoT. The modules run Linux on Qualcomm CPUs including the Snapdragon 865, X55, and C404/C405.

San Diego-based embedded manufacturer and Qualcomm partner Thundercomm, which we know from their Snapdragon 625 IP Camera and Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform, has added several new Qualcomm-based models to its line of TurboX modules. Several of these Linux, Android, or RTOS-powered modules are accompanied by development kits.

TurboX C404/C405 SOM, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Here’s a quick brief of the products announced by Thundercomm at Embedded World:

  • TurboX C404/C405 SOM — $99 pre-order; smart speakers and soundbars; quad -A53 Snapdragon C404 or C405 (with GPU); Linux
  • TurboX C404/C405 Development Kit — $399; includes C404/C405 SOM; Linux
  • TurboX C865 SOM — $499 pre-order; 5G; octa-core A76/-A55 Snapdragon 865 with X55 modem; Android
  • TurboX T55 5G SOM — under development; 5G; Cortex-A7 Snapdragon X55 modem; Linux
  • TurboX T95 SOM — $49 pre-order (sold out); LTE M1 IoT; Cortex-A7 Qualcomm 9205 LTE Modem; ThreadX or AliOS
  • TurboX T95 Development Kit — $399; includes T95 SOM; ThreadX or AliOS

Thundercomm is also prepping TurboX CM2150 and CM450 SOMs for smart retail devices, point-of-sale (POS), vending machines, signage, and handhelds. No more details were available, but the names suggest the potential integration of the Snapdragon 2150, which is available as part of a automotive V2X C-V2X Platform, as well as the octa-core -A53 Snapdragon 450.


TurboX C404/C405 SOM and Dev Kit

The TurboX C404/C405 SOM is designed for smart speakers, smart home assistants, and soundbars. The 33.8 x 33.8 x 2.5mm, castellated edge module offers firmware for far-field voice and noise cancellation, multi-room audio streaming, third-party voice services, Qualcomm DDFA, and Dolby Digital.

The module runs Linux on the Qualcomm Smart Audio QCS400 SoC, which is referred to as the Snapdragon C404/C405 by the CNXSoft post that alerted us to the Thundercomm announcement. This 1.4GHz quad-core, Cortex-A53 SoC features dual Hexagon QDSP6 v66 DSPs optimized for low-power audio processing, including AI capabilities.

The TurboX C405 SOM uses Qualcomm’s QCS405 variant, which has a 600MHz Adreno 306 GPU. Unlike the headless TurboX C405 SOM with its QCS404 variant, the C405 module provides a 4-lane MIPI-DSI interface for up to 720P or up to 1080P@30 when it drives an HDMI port. Aside from the C405 having 6x I2S interfaces instead of 5x for the C404, the modules appear to be identical.

The TurboX C404/C405 SOM is equipped with 1GB or 2GB LPDDR3, 4GB or 8GB eMMC, and a Qualcomm WCN3999 wireless SoC with 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and FM. The module supports USB 3.0, USB 2.0, SD, PCIe, RGMII, 6x BLSP, and GPIOs.

Audio features include SLIMBus, Soundwire, 2x/3x SPDIF, 8x DMIC, and 5x or 6x I2S. The module has a -20 to 70℃ operating range.

Qualcomm QCS400 variants and specs (left) and TurboX C404/C405 SOM Dev Kit
(click images to enlarge)

The TurboX C404/C405 SOM Dev Kit is available with TurboX C404/C405 SOM modules with either 1GB RAM/4GB eMMC or 2GB RAM/8GB eMMC. The 120 x 120mm carrier board provides USB 3.0 Type-C, micro-USB 2.0, micro-USB debug, HDMI, and Ethernet ports (presumably 10/100).
The Dev Kit includes SPI display interfaces and a host of audio interfaces, including headphone, line-in, line-out, speaker out, 2x SPDIF, 5x I2S, 2x optical audio, and 4x PDM for the mic array. There’ also a microSD slot, a 6-axis sensor, JTAG, and 4x RF coaxial connectors for WiFi, BT, and FM. The module supports a -20 to 70℃ operating range.

TurboX C865 SOM and TurboX T55 5G SOM

Thundercomm plans to deliver two 5G modules later this year. The TurboX C865 SOM runs Android 10 on Qualcomm’s latest, greatest Snapdragon 865 SoC along with the (controversially) separate 5G/4G Snapdragon X55 baseband chipset. The TurboX T55 5G SOM lacks the Snapdragon 865, but runs Linux on the X55 baseband itself, which has its own up to 1.5GHz Cortex-A7 core.

TurboX C865 SOM, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The TurboX C865 SOM’s 7nm, octa-core fabricated Snapdragon 865 SoC has 4x up to 2.84GHz Cortex-A77 based Kryo 585 cores along with 4x Cortex-A55-like Kyro cores clocked to 1.8GHz. There’s also an Adreno 650 GPU, a Hexagon 698 DSP with a 15-TOPS Hexagon Tensor Accelerator NPU, a 14-bit Spectra 480 ISP, and much more, as detailed in our recent coverage of Intrinsyc’s Snapdragon 865 Mobile HDK.

The 56 x 45 x 9mm TurboX C865 SOM ships with 6GB LPDDR5 and 128GB UFS storage. There’s also a QCA6381 module with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax and Bluetooth 5.1 plus RF connectors.

The -20 to 70℃ tolerant, 3.8-4.2V module enables 2x 4-lane MIPI-DSI for up to 5040 x 2160 @ 60fps and 6x MIPI-CSI interfaces for up to 64-megapixel cameras. Other I/O includes 2x USB 3.1, 2x SSC I/F, 2x PCIe, 6x DMICs, and 2x speakers plus Soundwire, UART, SDC, and GPIOs.

TurboX T55 5G SOM, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The baseband-only TurboX T55 5G SOM supports a wide variety of 5G, LTE, CDMA/WCDMA, and GNSS connections, with up to 7Gbps 5G download speeds. The 42.5 x 42.2 x 2.6mm, LGA packaged module may also be made available in an M.2 form factor.

The TurboX T55 5G SOM ships with 1GB DDR4 and 1GB NAND. I/O includes USB 3.1, 2x PCIe Gen 3, 2x UIM, 4x BLSP, and 2 x I2S/PCM. The module supports -20 to 70℃ temperatures and inputs 3.8-4.2V DC power.

TurboX T95 SOM and Development Kit

The TurboX T95 SOM is designed for IoT devices with multimode LTE category M1, NB1/NB2 (NB-IoT), E-GPRS, and GNSS capabilities, including asset trackers, health monitors, security systems, smart city sensors, smart meters, and wearable trackers. The 20 x 16 x 2.5mm, LGA form-factor module runs on Qualcomm’s 800MHz, Cortex-A7 based MDM9205 LTE modem SoC. Compared to Qualcomm’s earlier MDM9206, the MDM9205 reduces power consumption by about 70 percent, BOM cost by about 50 percent, and total chipset size by about 50 percent, claims Thundercomm.

Despite the Linux-friendly Cortex-A7 core, there’s no indication the TurboX T95 SOM runs Linux. There’s mention of an undefined LTE IoT SDK plus support for ThreadX and Alibaba’s RTOS-based AliOS Things.

TurboX T95 SOM (left) and TurboX T95 Development Kit
(click images to enlarge)

The -40 to 85°C tolerant module runs on 3.8-4.2V. There’s 32MB DRAM, 64MB flash, and support for USB 2.0 device, plus I2S, GPIO, PWM, and BLSP interfaces.

The TurboX T95 Development Kit adds 128MB NOR flash, micro-USB device and debug ports, a battery connector and expansion connectors. The 120 x 120mm carrier board also provides audio I/O, multiple antennas and multiple sensors including 6-axis. Options include WiFi/BT/ZigBee (via a W40 SOM), and an optional 2.9-inch E-paper display.

Further information

Thundercomm’s latest TurboX modules and dev kits are either shipping, on pre-order, or under development, as detailed farther above. More information may be found in Thundercomm’s announcement and the following product/shopping pages:


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