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?
Inforce Computing offers a clear path to designing embedded systems with micro-SOMs
To find out answers to the above questions and kick-start your embedded design with the latest Inforce 6501 Micro SOM, please download a whitepaper on the subject here. Should you have further questions after reading it, please reach out to us.
©2015, Inforce Computing, Inc. All rights reserved.
We formally launched the much anticipated and brand new Inforce 6501™ Micro System-on-module (SOM) this week. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this is a watershed moment for all of us at Inforce. We strongly believe that the Inforce 6501 Micro SOM will enable the design of sophisticated embedded products with capabilities and tiny form factors unheard of before. Early adopters of the Inforce 6501 Micro SOM are working on some of the most coolest embedded products yet to come. The Inforce 6501 Micro SOM is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 805 processor (APQ8084 SoC), the latest shipping mobile platform technology available for embedded designs. So, to share my excitement about the new micro SOM, I’d like to list a few stand-out features:
- The Inforce 6501 Micro SOM is the world’s tiniest module based on the Snapdragon 805 processor. With a form factor of just 28mm X 50mm (and a low profile of only 6mm with the connectors), and a weight of under 0.3 oz. (8 g), this is as miniature in size as it gets. Now think of the end-use applications that are space constrained, yet scream for bleeding edge compute horsepower and are battery powered.
- Inforce has solved the complexity of designing and manufacturing a Micro SOM of this tiny proportion. The state-of-the-art design comes standard with 2GB POP LPDDR3 RAM and 4GB eMMC memory. It is also ROHS and WEE compliant.
- Imagine what you can do with the quad-core ARM®v7 compliant 2.7GHz Krait™ CPU, the Adreno™ 420 GPU (4.8 GP/s processing and support for OpenGL ES3.1, OpenCL 1.2 full profile, etc.), Hexagon™ DSP v50 @600MHz, and dual image signal processors @1.2GP/s throughput.
- Connect multiple hi-rez cameras (via MIPI-CSI up to 3 / 55MP) and concurrent displays (up to 2x MIPI-DSI + 1x HDMI)
- Decode (H.265) and encode (H.264) 4K Ultra HD video
- On-board dual-band WiFi + BT + GPS for all the connectivity you want (GbE is enabled on the carrier card)
- With the most difficult part of an embedded design (the compute module) taken out of the equation, designers now can focus on their core-competencies, rapidly prototype, and get their product to market faster.
- Two 100-pin connectors enable designers access a comprehensive set of I/Os from the Snapdragon 805 processor. To jumpstart your design, you may purchase the Inforce 6501 Development Kit, which includes the Micro-SOM, a sensor board, a carrier card, and a starter kit.
- Full featured Android KitKat 4.4 BSP and device driver support. Linaro Ubuntu Linux BSP is in the works and will be available in May this year.
If you are designing the next great head-mounted display for an industrial hands-free computing application that requires support for multiple cameras, displays, and excellent image signal processors, the Inforce 6501 Micro SOM could be a great fit.
Thanks to robust PCIe support, one is able to do more with the Inforce 6501 Micro SOM. With its 4K HD video capabilities, next-generation videoconferencing products with multiple HDMI inputs and outputs will be well differentiated and more competitive in the marketplace.
Similarly, advances in Ultrasound, Arthroscopic, and Endoscopic medical imaging are possible, thanks to the high-end video and graphics capabilities of the Inforce 6501 Micro SOM. The miniaturization of the compute module will help designers integrate the latest mobile applications processors into connected portable medical imaging instruments, improving image resolution significantly and enabling faster time to results.
This is an ideal form factor many embedded designers have been looking for—you may fit the Inforce 6501 Micro SOM into your system and not worry about the CPU/GPU/DSP intensive algorithms that can run on it. It’s not a trade-off between compute power and size—with the Inforce 6501 Micro SOM, you get the best of the both worlds. In addition, with excellent access to I/Os from the Snapdragon 805 processor, there’s great flexibility in custom designing carrier boards to suit specific peripheral device needs. If you are designing the next industrial drone/UAV with autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance, check out the Inforce 6501 Micro SOM.
Typically designing the compute module is the most complex and time consuming part of building an embedded system—leave that to the readily available Inforce 6501 Micro SOM. The Inforce 6501 Micro SOM will save several months of design time, accelerate your time-to-market, and reduce overall design costs.
The Inforce Computing Team
© 2015 Inforce Computing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Want to find out more about the free-and-open-source-software (FOSS) Freedreno Linux graphics drivers or embedded Android for Snapdragon basedInforce 6410 and Inforce 6540 SBCs? If youplan to be at the Linux Foundation’s Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) and the co-located Android Builders Summit, March 23-25 in San Jose, CA this week, check out these really interesting presentations/ tutorials where Inforce Computing’s products (such as the Inforce 6410 and Inforce 6540 SBCs) will be shown in demos. The ELC is being held at the Marriott in downtown San Jose, CA.
Karim Yaghmour’s presentations:
|Memory Management Internals||Monday, March 23, 2015, 5:20PM-6:10PM||San Jose Marriott|
|Embedded Android one-day workshop||Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 9:00AM-3:30PM||San Jose Marriott|
Rob Clark (the main guy behind the FOSS Freedreno Linux graphics drivers for the Adreno 3XX and 4XX series of GPUs in the Snapdragon family of processors) will talk about the progress he and other fellow contributors have made to an upstream gallium and kernel drm/kms driver. This has resulted in software that now also works on Inforce’s Snapdragon based products (composited DE’s like gnome-shell, Wayland, games, WebGL, etc., which one has come to take for granted on x86 based desktops!) If you need to get a sneak preview of his talk, check out what was shown at the recent Linaro Connect in Hong Kong:
Also, stop by the Technical Showcase at the ELC (see details below) to see the Freedreno demos running on the Inforce 6410 and Inforce 6540 SBCs. I’ll be there supporting Rob and would be glad to answer any questions you may have about Inforce’s products.
Rob Clark’s presentation and the Technical Showcase:
|Freedreno Status Report: Upstream and FOSS Graphics on ARM/SoC Devices||Tuesday, March 24,
|San Jose Marriott|
|Embedded Linux Technical Showcase||Tuesday, March 24, at 6:20 pm||San Jose Marriott|
Inforce Computing Team
© 2015 Inforce Computing, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Google open-source Chrome OS team tells us that it has started working on support for theInforce® 6410 single board computer (SBC), which is based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600 processor. In a Google+ post just a few days ago, this was shared by François Beaufort, Google’s open-source evangelist in the Chrome OS team.
Rob Clark, the main force behind the open-source freedreno graphics drivers for the Adreno 3XX and 4XX GPUs in Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs, commented on the same post that this was a community effort along with Sean Paul of the Chrome OS team. With an upstream kernel running on the Inforce 6410 SBC, and an open source Gallium3D driver available, it was natural to work towards a Snapdragon based (ARMv7 compliant) free-and-open-source-software (FOSS) Chromium OS build. The Inforce 6410 SBC was thus an easy choice to port Chrome OS to the Snapdragon 600 processor (APQ8064 SoC). So stay tuned for further progress on this effort and the availability of Chrome OS builds for the Inforce 6410 SBC.
Coming close on the heels of Robot Operating System (ROS) support for Inforce 6410 SBC and the availability of board support packages (BSP) for Linaro (Ubuntu Linux 14.10) and Android (KitKat 4.4), the versatile Inforce 6410 platform provides multiple OS support for jumpstarting embedded designs. The icing on the cake is the availability for freedreno graphics drivers for Fedora, Linaro, and now Chrome OS (under development), making the Inforce 6410 SBC a popular choice for a variety of embedded applications.