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Two new Howchip dev kits feature Nexell Cortex-A7 and -A9 SoCs

Jun 27, 2019 — by Eric Brown 608 views

Howchip has launched two COM-and-carrier dev kits for IoT applications based on Nexell SoCs. The Scorpion3 runs Linux on a dual Cortex-A7 NXP3220 and the Scorpion5 runs Android on a quad -A9 NXP4330Q.

Howchip, which last year launched a Nano-ITX form factor ExSOM-8895 DVK featuring Samsung’s octa-core Exynos 8895, has now unveiled a pair of similarly sandwich-style development kits based on compute modules running on 28nm Nexell processors. The NXP3220-based Scorpion3 DVK runs Linux 4.14 and the NXP4330Q-based Scorpion5 SDK runs Android 7.1. Both boards offer optional 8- and 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreens, and the Scorpion3 also has a 10.4-inch resistive touchscreen option.

Scorpion3 DVK


The Scorpion3 DVK, which comprises a 68 x 50mm computer-on-module and a 165 x 125mm baseboard, appears to be aimed at IoT applications including voice-controlled devices. The Linux 4.14 stack includes Qt 5.6.3 with voice decoding extensions.

Scorpion3 DVK and Nexell NXP3220 block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The Scorpion3 compute module integrates a Nexell NXP3220 with dual 1GHz Cortex-A7 cores and a 24-bit RGB/LVDS controller with a 2D accelerator. You also get 512MB DDR3, 8GB eMMC, and a PMIC.

Scorpion3 module and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The baseboard adds a microSD slot, GbE port, and a WiFi/Bluetooth module, as well as USB 2.0 host and OTG ports. Media features include a 4-lane LVDS interface, a CCIR 656/601 digital camera interface, a combo audio jack, an aux-in connector, and a CVBS input.

Scorpion3 DVK detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The Scorpion3 is further equipped with I/O including GPIO, I2C, SPI, UART, CAN, RS485, “and more.” (The NXP3220 spec list includes SPDIF and I2S audio interfaces, among others.) Both JTAG and micro-USB serial debug interfaces are available.

The module runs on 5V DC power while the carrier takes 12V. An industrial model is optional, but Howchip listed no operating range details.

Scorpion5 DVK

The Scorpion5 DVK combines a 69.6 x 52mm module and a 115 x 105mm baseboard. The Scorpion5 module runs Android Nougat on Nexell’s quad-core, Cortex-A9 based NXP4330Q. The SoC is clocked to 1.4GHz and is accompanied by a 3D accelerated GPU with HD video support. The module also has 2GB DDR3, 8GB eMMC, and a PMIC.

Scorpion5 DVK and module detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The Scorpion5 carrier has a microSD slot, as well as single GbE, USB 2.0 host, and USB 2.0 OTG ports. A wireless module provides dual-band 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2.

Nexell NXP4330Q block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Display I/O include an HDMI port plus 4-lane MIPI-DSI and LVDS interfaces and a 24-bit parallel connection (BT601/656). There are also MIPI-CSI and CCIR 656/601 camera inputs, an analog audio jack, and line-in, speaker, and mic interfaces.

Scorpion5 DVK detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The Scorpion5 is further equipped with a mini-PCIe slot with uSIM slot, as well as GPIO, I2C, UART, CAN, RS485 “and more.” Both JTAG and micro-USB serial debug interfaces are available. The module and carrier run on 5V power.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the Scorpion3 DVK and Scorpion5 DVK. More information may be found in Howchip’s Scorpion3 and Scorpion5 product pages.


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