The Single Board Computer(SBC) is a ready to use reference embedded platform that has all the necessary peripheral interfaces required to rapidly prototype your product. This usually comes in standard Pico ITX or Credit Card Size form factors. Inforce currently has the IFC6640, IFC6560 and the IFC6309 which uses the Snapdragon 820, Snapdragon 660 and the Snapdragon 410 respectively. SBC’s usually exposes all interfaces available to the SOC like GPIO’s/BLSP’s, USB, GPS. WiFi/BT, RJ45(Ethernet), Audio in/out, HDMI, MiPi DSI and CSI. Continue reading Why Use Inforce SBC(Single Board Computer)?→
For those developers currently figuring out the best way to add 4K video technology input into their devices, tune in now. Inforce recently announced Inforce ACC-1S80, an accessory card used with Inforce Snapdragon™ 820 platforms to bring 4K video input in through dual MIPI-CSI.
Traffic congestion increases the time required to commute. We all know this too well here in the bay area, like any urban citizens across the world. It inflicts increased operational costs on the urban transport system. Many forecasts suggest that this will only get worse in the years to come.
Security management in sensitive areas is quite a challenge for years. Advanced technologies help us curb crimes and untoward incidents though it is still premature to call all public places safe. In an organization, employee’s peace of mind is dependent on a secure environment. To promote safety, we have to detect and rectify the anomalies that lead to unexpected incidents. A robust video surveillance system helps us increase the safety by pinpointing the security irregularities.Continue reading How Improved Video Quality can Help Automate Surveillance→
Designing a next generation free-flying autonomous robot [see Figure 1], scheduled to be deployed on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2017, is no trivial task. The NASA Astrobee will serve as a robotic assistant to offload routine, repetitive, but long-duration and CPU-intensive tasks  and replace a legacy and older free-flying robot.
Challenges in building the Astrobee avionics
The Astrobee has subsystems for structure, propulsion, power, guidance, navigation and control (GN&C), command and data handling (C&DH), thermal control, communications, docking mechanism, and a perching arm . As seen in the block diagram in Figure-2 , the avionics provides computation and communication resources for the Astrobee. The three compute platforms are the low- [LLP], mid- [MLP], and high-level-processor [HLP], which are configured to perform specific functions.
We’re excited to share some great news with you. Inforce Computing’s much anticipated, highest performing, and cross-compatible Micro SOM based on the latest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 embedded processor (APQ8096 SoC) is here! Coming close on the heels of Snapdragon 820 processor-based high-end smartphone announcements at the recent 2016 Mobile World Congress, designers can now leverage the same underlying cutting edge mobile technologies for implementing next-gen embedded systems. The Inforce 6601™ Micro SOM delivers a superior compute platform to enable advanced AR/VR based wearable, computer vision, 4K HEVC video encode/decode, medical imaging, video analytics, and high-end IoT applications, to name a few. Designers can also seamlessly upgrade from legacy Inforce 6401™ and Inforce 6501™ Micro SOM based designs. You can download a datasheet of the Inforce 6601 Micro SOM here and read an informative FAQ here >>>.
TableConnect®, powered by the Inforce 6540™ SBC, is the latest multi-touch connected “table device” that provides access to millions of applications available on Android based phones and tablets, but now on a much bigger screen. So, what’s unique about the sleek plug and play device you may ask, and what are some of the use cases? For starters, the product has a super robust touch surface made out of 4mm safety glass, a projective capacitive touch sensor underneath, and an industrial HD display. Secondly, there is no specialized software to be developed or the need to learn anything new for end-users—just utilize the Android apps already available in the Google Play store. The TableConnect interactive display simply resembles your Android smartphone screen; only that it’s about 100 X larger, making it easier for a target audience to find the right information with a few taps and swipes from their fingertips. Just think of the many different places businesses could use the stylish system—it could be an interactive customer-facing information kiosk at corporate headquarters (portrait, landscape, and table-top modes) or a retail outlet, a collaboration platform in conference rooms, at events and trade shows, or perhaps as an exotic at-home coffee table with an interactive screen that brings together people to hang out and play games.
The developer community worldwide for Android apps is legion. Now, those same apps can be optimized to take advantage of a much larger screen to reach out to new customers. The TableConnect device unlocks a huge potential for newer digital signage and interactive display use cases both in the home and at businesses. When the core technology can be integrated into any kind of structure in the future, the possibilities become endless.
So, what’s really under the hood?
It was fascinating to hear from Johann Rath, TableConnect’s CEO that his smart engineers were able to quickly put together an ingenious system, thanks to the high-end processing capability and versatile connectivity of the Inforce 6540™ Single Board Computer (SBC). His team initially tried to prototype the product with a previous generation Cortex-A9 based SBC that didn’t quite have the chops or deliver the flexibility with customizing the Android OS. Once the TableConnect’s engineers gave the Inforce 6540 SBC a try, there was no turning back. The Inforce 6540 SBC is driven by Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 805, one of the most powerful mobile processors that can be found in several high-end smartphones. TableConnect engineers were able to easily add new functions and adapt a few things to the open-source Android kernel provided along with the board support package (BSP) from Inforce.
Full flexibility in customizing Android OS and applications that run on the Inforce 6540 SBC
TableConnect added several new functions to the Android platform running on the Inforce 6540: Google Play Store and the ability to install 1 million apps; an HID-based interface to communicate with external smart buttons for functions such as Home, Back or orientation change; an internal and external watchdog; an interface to control external displays and active cooling systems, and the ability to change the screen orientation for HDMI devices.
The Inforce 6540 SBC drives multiple peripherals on the TableConnect, including 55- and 32-inch full HD displays, projective capacitive touch sensors with a fast response time of 5ms, 100 multi-touch points (though Android limits it to 10), and integrated stereo speakers. The Inforce 6540 SBC also provides excellent connectivity via BT4.1, dual-channel/dual-stream WiFi, and GbE. Location based apps can also be enabled by the onboard GPS/GNSS capability. The 6-DoF motion sensors (Accel, Gyro) on the SBC add to developing unique applications. TableConnect engineers are quite impressed with the performance of the Inforce 6450 SBC, which is available with the Android Lollipop (5.0.2) release and support for a 13MP Sony camera adapter card (ACC-1H30). With its native ability to capture and display 4K Ultra HD video (H.265 hardware-assisted decodes), future possibilities with the TableConnect are enormous. Here’re a couple of videos that demo the product:
Last week’s panel discussion at the Churchill Club titled “Civilian Drones: The Opportunity Takes Flight” touched varied topics from open source autopilot designs (such as the Pixhawk PX4) that have democratized access to technologies, to auto-navigation and collision avoidance, increasing battery life and payload weight, FAA regulations, and everything in between. The past year has indeed seen frenzied activity in the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) or drone space. Several use cases have taken shape, but how many of them are going to be commercially viable and sustainable in the long run? Businesses and large corporations are actively looking to use drones to monitor their assets, infrastructure, and operations. Start-ups in this space are trying to carve a niche by differentiating with unique underlying technologies such as collision avoidance and auto-navigation, which seek to unlock the potential for new use-cases. New services that offer businesses and corporate entities instant access to professional “drone pilots” with their fleet of UAVs for hire, provide imagery and data collection for a fee. Here are a few quick takeaways from the discussions. Continue reading Commercial Drones: Where’re the Viable Use-cases and Core Technologies to Differentiate in a Crowded Marketplace?→
Have you wondered what would it take to implement a modern embedded system design with a system-on-module (SOM) as opposed to building your entire system from scratch? What are some of the clear advantages to designing with a SOM? Are you perennially stuck in the build-vs-buy argument on whether or not to design the most time-consuming and complex compute portions of an embedded system in-house? What’s a carrier board and how to design a custom one that can be re-used by new SOMs that come down the line? Is your design going to be obsoleted because of a lack of a microprocessor roadmap from your semiconductor vendor and upward/cross-compatibility of your custom carrier boards? Are you missing your market windows and are looking for a solution that addresses time-to-market issues and cost escalations? Have you hit the limits of your current system’s compute power? Would you like to obtain access to high-performance and low-power state-of-the-art Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors without the need to license them?
Software Update for the Inforce 6540™ Single Board Computer and the Inforce 6501™ Micro SOM (powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 805/APQ8084 processor)
A full-featured Android Board Support Package (BSP) running Lollipop 5.0.2 on the Inforce 6540 SBC and the Inforce 6501 Micro SOM is available for download from Inforce Computing’s TechWeb for registered users. This is a significant enhancement in software support for Qualcomm Snapdragon processor-based embedded designs from Inforce Computing.
Software Platform Version The following software platforms are supported in this release: