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Tiny wireless-rich COM runs Android on 2.7GHz Snapdragon

Apr 6, 2015 — by Eric Brown 2,298 views

Inforce unveiled a tiny “6501 Micro SoM” that runs Android on a quad-core 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 SoC, and offers A/V, camera, USB, serial, and wireless I/O.

Inforce Computing’s 6501 Micro SoM taps the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SoC used by its Inforce 6540 Pico-ITX SBC, but in computer-on-module form. The 50 x 28mm module, which is supported with an Inforce 6501 Development Kit, is claimed to be the “world’s smallest Snapdragon module for embedded applications.” Last September, Intrinsyc announced an 82 x 35mm, SODIMM-style COM based on the Snapdragon 805 called the Open-Q 8084 SOM, which is similarly supported with a carrier board.

Inforce 6501 Micro SoM, top (left) and bottom views
(click images to enlarge)

The Inforce 6501 is aimed at videoconferencing, drones/robotics, industrial HMDs, hands-free computing, and medical imaging, says the company. The module ships with an Android 4.4 (“KitKat”) BSP, but we imagine you could easily run Linux on it as well.

Inforce 6501 Micro SoM with its optional shield
(click image to enlarge)

The powerhouse Snapdragon 805 SoC combines four 2.7GHz Krait 450 cores — similar to Cortex-A15 — with an Adreno 420 GPU and Hexagon DSP for image processing. The SoC brings advanced multimedia features to the Inforce 6501 Micro SoM, including full 4K HD video capture and playback, decoding with H.265 and encoding with H.264. The Micro SoM supports OpenGL ES 2.0/3.0 and OpenCL, and can control up to three cameras at up to 55-megapixels.

Inforce 6501 Development Kit showing location of Inforce 6501 Micro SoM
(click image to enlarge)

The module’s default configuration is 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 4GB of eMMC flash, but a special-order version with 3GB RAM and 16GB eMMC is also offered. No built-in Ethernet support is provided, although the Inforce 6501 Development Kit does include a gigabit Ethernet port on the carrier board. The module ships with 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, and GPS, complete with antenna connectors.

Inforce 6501 Micro SoM block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The Inforce 6501’s numerous interfaces are supported via dual 100-pin connectors located on the bottom of the module. Multimedia I/O includes HDMI, MIPI-DSI (display), MIPI-CSI (camera), and HD audio connections. Other interfaces include USB, serial, PCIe, and SDIO.

Key features and specs of the Inforce 6501 Micro SoM include:


  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 805:
    • 4x Krait 450 cores @ 2.7GHz; 2MB L2 cache
    • Adreno 420 GPU @ 500MHz
    • Hexagon QDSP6 V5A (600MHz)
    • 2x ISPs for up to 55-megapixel stereoscopic 3D
  • RAM — 2GB LPDDR3 @ 800MHz (standard); 3GB option (special order)
  • Storage:
    • 4GB eMMC 4.5/5.0 flash (standard); supports up to 16GB (special order)
    • SDIO 3.0 interface
  • Wireless — 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1; GPS (QCA 1530); antenna connectors
  • A/V interfaces:
    • HDMI 1.4
    • 2x MIPI-DSI (4-lane) with touch support
    • HD audio (headphone-out, 4x line-out, 3x mic-in)
    • 3x MIPI-CSI (4-lane) camera interface
    • Support for 3x concurrent displays
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 3.0 host
    • USB 3.0 OTG
    • USB 2.0 host
    • RS-232
    • JTAG
    • 2x I2C
    • UART
    • 8x GPIO
    • Slim Bus
    • PCIe
  • Power — 3.3V/6A input
  • Operating temp. — 0 to 70° C
  • Dimensions — 50 x 28mm
  • Operating system — Android 4.4 BSP

Inforce 6501 Development Kit

The Inforce 6501 Development Kit is built around the Inforce 6501 module and a 170 x 170mm Mini-ITX board. The board features gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, Embedded DisplayPort, audio I/O, a micro-USB 3.0 OTG port, and dual USB 2.0 ports.

Inforce 6501 Development Kit
(click images to enlarge)

Other features include a mini-PCIe slot, a DSI connector, dual CSI camera connectors, and various serial interfaces. The board runs on a 12V power supply, and supports 0 to 70° C temperature operation.

Further information

The Inforce 6501 Micro SoM equipped with 2GB of RAM and 4GB eMMC of flash is available now, priced at $225 in single units. Pricing for the full Inforce 6501 Development Kit — which includes the carrier board and the Micro SoM with 2GB RAM and 4GB eMMC flash, plus a sensor module, power supply, microUSB cable, and bottom acrylic — is listed at $449 (single units). However, for a limited time (and while supplies last), Inforce is offering a free carrier board to those who pre-order the Micro SoM and register to receive a coupon code here. More details may be found at Inforce’s Inforce 6501 Development Kit product page.

(advertise here)

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