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SODIMM-style module runs Linux on VIA’s 1GHz Cortex-A9 SoC

Feb 24, 2017 — by Rick Lehrbaum 1,115 views

VIA unveiled a SODIMM-style COM based on its Cortex-A9 WM8850 SoC, with 512MB RAM and 8GB eMMC, plus Ethernet, CSI, graphics, USB, and serial ports.

The 68.6 x 43mm “SOM-6X50” computer-on-module appears to be VIA’s second-ever ARM COM. Back in Sept. 2015, the company released a 70 x 70mm Qseven form factor QSM-8Q60 COM, based on a 1GHz NXP DualLite SoC.

SOM-6X50 front (left) and back views
(click images to enlarge)

The core of the SOM-6X50 module is VIA’s 5-year-old Wondermedia WM8x50 SoC, which is also offered in a 1.5GHz-clocked model, according to the Wondermedia Wikipedia page.

Function diagrams: SOM-6X50 module and WM8850 SoC
(click images to enlarge)

In addition to its single ARM Cortex-A9 core, the WM8850 SoC integrates a Mali-400 3D GPU with a 1080p video decoding engine capable of H.264 video encoding. The integrated graphics engine supports OpenGL ES 2.0 hardware acceleration, plus MPEG-2 and H.264 video decoding up to 1080p, says VIA.

Specifications listed for the SOM-6X50 module include:


  • Processor — VIA Wm8850 SoC
    • 1x 1.0GHz Cortex-A9 core
    • Mali-400 SP GPU with 2x independent 3D/2D GPUs
  • Memory/storage — 512MB DDR3 SDRAM; 8GB eMMC flash
  • Networking — 10/100Mbps (Realtek RTL8201)
  • Video — 1x HDMI, 1x 18/24-bit single-channel LVDS or DVO, DVI, CSI
  • Audio — line in, line out, mic in; Wolfsen WM8960 Codec
  • Other I/O — 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 2.0 device port; 6x UART ports (5-wire); 11x GPIO; 3x I2C; 1x SDIO; 2x SPI; 4x PWM
  • Dimensions — 68.6 x 43mm (apparently 204-pin stretched SODIMM format)
  • Power — (not specified)
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60°C
  • Operating system support — Linux, Android, and bootloader BSPs are available

VIA also offers a SOMDB1 “reference carrier board” for the SOM-6X50, for evaluation and development purposes (shown below). The board includes a WiFi/BT subsystem.

Two views of the SOMDB1 carrier board
(click images to enlarge)

The SOM-6X50 is expected to be used in “a wide range of IoT automation and HMI applications such as transportation, retail and medical,” says the company.

SOMDB1 carrier board details
(click image to enlarge)

Further information

The VIA SOM-6X50 module and SOMDB1 development carrier board appear to be available now, at unstated prices. Additional details regarding both boards may be found at the company’s SOM-6X50 product pages.

(advertise here)

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2 responses to “SODIMM-style module runs Linux on VIA’s 1GHz Cortex-A9 SoC”

  1. Benjamin HENRION says:

    Wondermedia kernel support has always been a nightmare. I have a VIA Rock board, with an outdated 3.0 kernel from Android, a real disaster.

  2. Jayro Jones says:

    I dig the modularly-upgradable design, very cool.

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