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Tiny module and dev kit run Android or Linux on Snapdragon 845

Oct 10, 2019 — by Eric Brown 2,564 views

Intrinsyc announced a tiny “Open-Q 845 uSOM” and development kit that runs Android 9 or Yocto Linux on the octa-core Snapdragon 845. The module offers up to 6GB LPDDR4 and 64GB flash plus a WiFi/BT module.

In Feb. 2018 in conjunction with the launch of Qualcomm’s high-end, AI-enabled Snapdragon 845 (SDA845) SoC, Intrinsyc announced an Open-Q 845 HDK for the SoC aimed primarily at mobile phone developers. The Open-Q 845 comprised a Mini-ITX board with the Snapdragon 845 delivered via a compute module, but we never saw a separate SOM offering until now. The new Open-Q 845 uSOM is a 50 x 25mm mini-module like Intrinsyc’s Snapdragon 820-based Open-Q 820 µSOM. It’s supported by a Mini-ITX form-factor Open-Q 845 μSOM Development Kit, which is similar due to ship by the end of the year.

Open-Q 845 μSOM and Open-Q 845 μSOM Development Kit
(click images to enlarge)

The Open-Q 845 uSOM is designed for “advanced robotics, drones, cameras, and embedded IoT devices requiring the latest on-device AI powers,” says Intrinsyc. It runs Android 9 Pie, with a promise to upgrade to the latest Android 10 by 2Q 2020. The module is also supported by a Yocto-based Linux image that is similarly based on Linux kernel 4.9.

The 10nm-fabricated Snapdragon 845 was the most powerful Snapdragon around until the similarly octa-core, but 7nm fabricated, Snapdragon 855 arrived this year. Aside from the Open-Q 845 HDK, the SoC has appeared on the Robotics RB3 Platform from Qualcomm and Thundercomm, which is built around a DragonBoard 845c SBC that has yet to be released separately.


The Snapdragon 845 is also showcased on the 50 x 28mm Inforce 6701 module from Inforce Computing. (Shortly after the Inforce 6701 announcement, Smart Global Holdings announced it was acquiring Inforce for $12 million and was acquiring Artesyn Embedded Computing for $80 million.)

The Snapdragon 845’s eight Kryo 835 cores are evenly split between cores that approximate Arm’s Cortex-A75 and lower-end Cortex-A55 architectures. The 845’s cores clock to 2.8GHz and 1.8GHz, respectively, and are boosted by a 3MB system cache. There’s also a powerful Adreno 630 GPU with “eXtended Reality” (XR) technology that can generate dual 2400 x 2400 @ 120Hz displays on VR headsets. The SoC’s Hexagon 685 DSP has a third-gen Neural Processing Engine (NPE) for AI applications, and there’s a dual-core Spectra 280 ISP that boosts 4K video capture to 60fps.

Open-Q 845 uSOM

The Open-Q 845 uSOM module ships with 4GB or 6GB dual-channel LPDDR4x SDRAM at 1866MHz, as well as 32GB or 64GB UFS flash. There’s also a 2.4/5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wotj 2×2 MU-MIMO (Qualcomm WCN3990) with a 5GHz external PA and U.FL antenna connector. A Bluetooth 5.x radio is also included.

Media interfaces include DisplayPort v1.4 with USB Type-C support for up to 4K60, and 2x 4-lane MIPI-DSI D-PHY 1.2 at up to 3840 x 2400 10-bit 60fps. Camera interfaces include 3x 4-lane MIPI-CSI and a separate 2-lane MIPI-CSI link.

The Snapdragon 845’s ISP supports external Qualcomm WCD9340 audio codec and WSA8810/WSA8815 speaker amps via a SLIMBus interface. There’s also a 4-lane MI2S link with 2x 2-lane MI2S for digital audio.

The Open-Q 845 uSOM can enable a USB 3.1 host port (Gen type undisclosed) and the USB 3.1 Type-C with DP and USB support. Other features include a PCIe Gen3 interface plus 4-bit SD 3.0, UART, I2C, SPI, configurable GPIOs, and a sensor core interface. The module draws 3.5V to 4.7V DC power regulated by an onboard PMIC and can operate at -25 to 70°C.

Open-Q 845 μSOM Development Kit

The evaluation kit for the Open-Q 845 μSOM is built around a 170 x 170mm carrier board. There’s also an optional smartphone sized touchscreen and 13-megapixel camera.

The Open-Q 845 μSOM Development Kit carrier runs on 12V/3A power via an included adapter and can also operate on a user-supplied Li-Ion battery. The board provides a USB 3.1 Type-C port with DP and USB support, and there are connectors for all the MIPI-DSI and -CSI interfaces mentioned above. Audio features include the WCD9340 codec, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, and analog and digital audio I/O headers.

The carrier has a microSD slot, a USB 3.1 host port, and a PCIe Gen3 interface. There are also headers for UART, I2C, SPI, and configurable GPIOs. Dual PCB antennas are also available.

Further information

The Open-Q 845 μSOM and Open-Q 845 μSOM Development Kit will be available in the fourth quarter at an undisclosed price. More information and notification registration may be found in Intrinsyc’s announcement, and well as the module and dev kit product pages.


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