Category Archives: Blog

Happy Summer! Inforce 6309 available for $89 for limited time

While it may seem like the temperature will never drop, our prices are!  For a limited time, Inforce 6309 Snapdragon 410E powered micro SBC is $89 with discount code “summer”.  Start the summer off right and leverage Snapdragon technology for your product for under $100.  Summer is the perfect time to try new things and start planning your next generation devices in IoT, medical, and industrial.

Inforce 6309 is a micro SBC powered by Snapdragon 410E SoC with 1GB LPDDR3 and 8GB eMMC.  The Snapdragon 410E is packaged with Adreno 306 GPU, Hexagon QDSP6 @700MHz, and integrated ISP. This micro SBC is versatile with many features brought out including dual MIPI-CSI cameras up to 13MP, 1080P HDMI, HD 5.1 Audio, and rich connectivity including Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, BT 4.1 LE and GPS.  Inforce has decorated this board to be complete with heatsinks, EMI shielding, and RTC to support extended temperature, way beyond our California heat wave, -30⁰ to 85⁰C.

This summer promotion is limited one per customer and can only be redeemed once.  This discount is available starting June 21st through July 12th or while supply lasts, and can only be used for Inforce 6309.

Head to Inforce 6309 Product Page to place your order.  For more information or volume pricing you can reach out to sales@inforcecomputing.com or (510) 683-9999.

Miracast Support is now available on the Snapdragon™ 820 based Inforce 6601 and Inforce 6640

Miracast

We are excited to announce that Miracast is now supported on the Snapdragon™ 820 based platforms, Inforce 6601 development kit and Inforce 6640 SBC. The Android release version 2.1 BSP is based on Android Nougat 7.1.1. and is accessible on the Inforce Techweb.

A Glance at Android Nougat 7.1.1

Android Nougat 7.1.1 is the incremental version from Android Nougat 7.0. Aside from faster performance and better security, Android 7 continues to push developers towards applications centered on 3D graphics and virtual reality by opening support for Vulkan API and Daydream VR.  Android 7 Nougat also supports JIT compilation which means faster boot time for devices as apps require less RAM which is always good news in our world.

Why we are excited about Miracast Support

With Miracast support for both devices and displays, a user can effortlessly and wirelessly display what is on their device to displays like monitors, projectors and TVs. What you see on your device is the exact same thing you will see on your display.

You don’t need to bother with the cumbersome task of connecting a cable for connection.

The base of this technology rests on the Wi-Fi Direct standard which allows for point to point connection between devices, without the need for a router. So you can directly stream content from your device to the display, without an internet service. Both devices will need to support Miracast.

Android Release BSP V2.1

The software release, Android Version 2.1, has been upgraded from Android Nougat 7 to Android Nougat 7.1.1 This release supports the same features in Android Nougat 7.0 with the same Linux Kernel version 3.18.31.

Miracast support with fullHD resolution has been validated in this release for the Inforce 6601 development kit and Inforce 6640 Single Board Computer.

The software release package has pre-fabricated binaries and instructions to fetch baseline source code and build the software.

For any more information, please log on to Inforce Forums or  contact sales@inforcecomputing.com

 

Inforce extends Snapdragon technology to support FullHD and 4K HDMI input

For embedded devices using Snapdragon, the MIPI-CSI interface to receive video input is a vital cog to mirror the mobility, connectivity, and advanced camera features familiar on a mobile phone.  This interface is part of what makes Snapdragon great for high performance, low power embedded devices.

Embedded computing opens more possibilities and allows users to share content from other devices. What if you wanted capture 4K video from an HDMI source or share digital media through HDMI from your laptop, tablet, or set-up box?  Most Snapdragon platforms do not allow for HDMI inputs because they cater to the common mobile trend of taking video input through the multiple MIPI camera interfaces available on the board.  However, HDMI being more ubiquitous is a preferred choice by users  and can cut down time-to-market by taking away driver work.

Inforce has developed a solution, using a converter chip from Toshiba, which takes the video input through HDMI and converts it to CSI which then naturally feeds into the Snapdragon processor.  The Snapdragon SoC then recognizes the stream as CSI video input for the embedded devices as it would with a mobile phone.  The stream can then be recorded or previewed by the Inforce board.  This has been made available for devices running Android and is capable of both FullHD and 4K video input.

This solution allows you to stream and capture high definition video content in real time through HDMI.  In healthcare, medical devices that take high resolution imaging such as videos of surgery or ultrasound images can now be digitized and become accessible anywhere.  Any hand-held device that requires digitizing or real-time encoding would benefit from this application software from Inforce.

We have seen HDMI to CSI as a necessity in applications with video capture.  For example, if you had a drone or surveillance camera using an HDMI camera to take images or video, you could have the Inforce board encoding the DRM-free live video stream and be able to send it over the internet to a desired location.

This technology has been used and proven in production, specifically in video conferencing or collaboration devices.  The HDMI to CSI solution would allow the user to mirror what is being displayed on your laptop and feed it into the Inforce powered device where it can be previewed or recorded.  This allows a dual display concept where on one display you can see content from a laptop such as a presentation and on the other display you see the video feed from the conference call.

Developers can order Inforce 6420, a production ready single board computer based on Snapdragon 600, which has this technology integrated into the board and supports both Android and Linux.  This custom board supports 2 x HDMI out and 1 x HDMI input, Wi-Fi/BT, 2 x USB connectors, 1 USB OTG, and MIPI-DSI and is available for production today.  For more information on pricing and lead times, please contact sales@inforcecomputing.com.

ACC-1S80 is an HDMI input adapter card for developers looking to test 4K video input through HDMI for their application.  The adapter board uses the same Toshiba HDMI to CSI conversion chip we have used in production devices.  It receives HDMI input and feeds CSI data into Inforce platforms through two 41-pin CSI connectors and comes with the necessary cables and doesn’t require additional power supply. This accessory is currently in development.

We are eager to see more embedded scenarios taking advantage of this technology.  For more information, read our case study on HDMI to CSI conversion or contact us at sales@inforcecomputing.com.

Android Nougat 7 Support announced for Inforce Products

Snapdragon™ 820 based Inforce 6640 SBC & 6601 Development Kit now support Android Nougat 7

Android Nougat 7 is now available for Snapdragon ™ 820 based Inforce products. The Android release version 2.0 BSP is accessible on the Inforce Techweb for the Inforce 6601 development kit and the Inforce 6640 SBC.

The software release has been upgraded from Marshmallow 6.0.1 to Nougat 7. This release includes support for the same features in the Marshmallow 6.0.1 and has been upgraded to the Linux Kernel version 3.18.31.

The software release package includes pre-fabricated binaries and instructions to fetch baseline source code and build the software.

Supported Peripheral Devices and I/Os for the Inforce 6640 SBC and 6601 Development Kit

  • Qualcomm Quad-core ARM®v8 64-bit CPUs organized as two dual clusters viz., Gold@2.2GHz and Silver@1.6GHz each
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 530 GPU
  • Access to Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP SDK
  • 4 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS
  • HDMI output resolutions up to 4K@30
  • MIPI DSI display interface using ACC-1B30, MIPI display adaptor card kit
  • MIPI CSI camera interface using ACC-1H70, 21MP camera module for H.264 recording of 4K@24fps resolution
  • 1080p USB Camera
  • USB 3.0 and USB mass storage
  • Gigabit Ethernet

Features Specific to Inforce 6640 SBC

  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • Accelerometer and Gyroscope Sensors
  • RTC (Real Time Clock)

To know more, you can download the release notes for the Inforce 6640 SBC and the Inforce 6601 development kit from Inforce Techweb.

Inforce 6640 ranks #12 out of all the top mobile phones in the market today

This week, Inforce ran internal benchmarks on the Inforce 6640, Snapdragon™ 820 powered SBC, to see how it ranked against the top phones and other single board computers on the market today.  In this industry, devices keep becoming increasingly competitive.  We were thrilled to see how Inforce 6640 scored specifically on the Antutu and 3DMark benchmarks.

Antutu is the most widely used benchmark to test the top Android phones on the market.  It gives an overall score to test multiple parts of your device like CPU, RAM, GPU, I/Os etc.  When Snapdragon 820 first was announced, it crushed the competition with its graphic competency and landed itself number at the #1 spot against the top chipsets, as you can see below.  (Source: GSM Arena)

A year later, Inforce 6640 is bringing Snapdragon 820 to advanced embedded devices and still displaying a very competitive score to beat out even some of the top mobile devices available today. With the proper cooling, Inforce 6640 scored a 146097, and proves to be faster than the Google Pixel XL, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and the iPhone 6s Plus.  Inforce 6640 also beat out the Nvidia Shield Tablet based on the Nvidia Tegra X1 processor which scored an overall of 134000 Antutu score (Source: Fudzilla).

  

Source: http://www.antutu.com/en/ranking/rank1.htm

Mostly popular in gaming devices, 3D Mark’s benchmark, Ice Storm Unlimited can also be used to show off the graphic capabilities in embedded systems.  Inforce 6640 scored an overall score of 27785 and a graphics score of 31947 which outranks the HTC Nexus 9 powered by Tegra K1-64.  With a graphics score of 31947, it beats out the Exynos 8 Octa powered Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.  The Adreno 530 GPU has an 40% improvement to graphics performance, compute capabilities, and power usage when compared to its predecessor Adreno 430.

The Inforce 6640 is the first production-ready single board computer powered by Snapdragon 820.  It delivers 4K UHD video, multimedia and connectivity options including H.265 HEVC playback and capture, dual MIPI-CSI ports, dual DSI displays for touch screens, and Wi-Fi/BT4.2 LE/GPS.  Inforce 6640 SBC ships with Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 and supports Android Nougat 7.0.0 BSP on the Inforce TechWeb.  It is available on the Inforce web store for $289.  Volume pricing is available, please contact sales@inforcecomputing.com for more information.

Android 6 Marshmallow now available for Snapdragon 410 based Inforce platforms

Software Update for Inforce 6301 Micro SOM and Inforce 6309 Micro Single Board Computer (powered by the Snapdragon™ 410 SoC)

The Android release version 2.0 BSP has been uploaded onto the Inforce TechWeb for Inforce 6301 micro SOM development kit and Inforce 6309 micro SBC.  This software release has upgraded Android from Lollipop to Marshmallow 6.0.1.  It supports all the same features that were supported for Android Lollipop including 1080p30 HDMI, USB, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, SD, GPS, Bluetooth and features a linux kernel 3.10.49.

The software release package contains pre-fabricated binaries that can be flashed with the Snapdragon 410 based Inforce platforms along with instructions to fetch the baseline source code and build the software.  You can refer to the link https://source.android.com/source/requirements for directions on setting up your build environment.

This fully featured release supports the following peripheral devices and I/Os:

  • Qualcomm® Quad-core ARM® Cortex®-A53 CPU running at 1.2GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 306 GPU running at 400Mhz
  • HDMI display at 1080p, 30fps full-screen resolutions along with audio
  • USB 2.0 and USB mass storage
  • 2.4GHz Wifi, BLE, and GPS
  • Micro SD card interface
  • 1080p USB camera
  • Serial UART and low-speed peripherals
  • Access to Qualcomm Hexagon™ SDK
  • Inforce 6309 only: LVDS, Ethernet, Audio Jack, 1080p image capture and 1080p@30fps video capture with ACC-1H10 5MP camera, and RTC

The software release packages are now available on the Inforce TechWeb.  For more information, download the release notes for Inforce 6301 and Inforce 6309.

ACC-1H10: Inforce’s next generation MIPI-CSI 5MP camera with both 41-pin and 51-pin connectors

Inforce Computing introduces ACC-1H10, a 5 Mega Pixel camera sensor module board for Snapdragon™ 410E and 600E based Inforce platforms.  ACC-1H10 is the next generation MIPI-CSI camera adapter board that has replaced the popular ACC-1H60.  The camera module board comes with the same OmniVision (OVS5640) 5MP camera sensor as ACC-1H60 but has added a 41-pin connector to increase compatibility with more Inforce platforms.

This camera peripheral, with its low power consumption and small form factor, is the ideal plug-n-play accessory for Snapdragon 410E and 600E micro SOMs and SBCs.  It features anti-shake technology, AF Control, and integrated JPEG compression engine, and supports 5 MP still image capture along with 720p@60 fps and 1080p@30 fps video streaming capability.

ACC-1H10 supports additional features including:

  • Automatic image control functions
  • Color CMOS 5 Megapixel image sensor
  • Dual lane MIPI CSI interface to APQ8064 device
  • Supports video and snapshot modes
  • Max video rates: 5 MP (2592×1944): 15 fps; 1080P: 30fps; 720P: 60 fps
  • Anti-shake, Auto Focus, and Black Sun Cancellation
  • Programmable I/O Drive Capability, I/O tri-state configurability
  • Embedded Microcontroller

Inforce ACC-1H10 is available online for $125 and comes with both the 41-pin and 51-pin cables for an easy start to your development.  For more information or to buy, head to https://www.inforcecomputing.com/products/accessories/5mp-omnivision-ovs5640-camera-module-board-with-cable-for-snapdragon-sbc-som-acc-1h10.

ACC-1H10 will also have support for both Snapdragon 805 and 820 powered Inforce platforms soon.  Please contact sales@inforcecomputing.com for more information.

An Introduction to Embedded Systems and IoT

Embedded systems have become an important part of every modern electronic component such as – microwave oven, washing machine, remote control, RFID tags, routers, modems, PDAs, mobile phones etc. Embedded system is a part of large device that perform specific task of the device. For instance – they are used as home automation embedded systems to control lights, sensors, sense climate change, AV systems etc.

Today, IoT is one of the hottest topics of the industry and has taken its place in conventional business Jargon.  However, it brought host of challenges for developers — as they need to develop devices that allow seamless connectivity. To help embedded developers meet the challenges posed by IoT, an RTOS must be designed that delivers scalability, connectivity, modularity, safety and a cutting-edge feature set to comply with the demands of highly connected remotely managed IoT solutions.

What does IoT mean for an embedded developer?

As IoT solutions present all industries with business opportunities, it gives tremendous opportunities for embedded system developers too. For an embedded developer, it is all about connecting multiple devices to the internet. However, there is a lot more than just being connected to the internet. IoT for embedded systems is more about collecting and analyzing large amount of data from different perspectives and summarizing it into useful information to improve the way services and devices are used today.

Major players in embedded hardware and software development are aiming to bring these transformations into their products to take advantage of growing IT market. Smart embedded systems need architecture and design elements to suit real time operations. With billions of devices expected to join in the coming years, analysts expect that IoT will have significant impact on device design. Working with these devices is a different domain for most of the application developers. The key difference between a general OS and RTOS lies within the high degree of reliability and consistency on timing between the task acceptance and completion.

Future of IoT embedded systems

With growth and advancements in the field of electronics and wireless communications, devices around us are able to communicate in a better way than one can imagine. The future of embedded systems and IoT lies in the advancement of technologies that enable faster communication with high interwoven connections between different devices. IoT is gradually sneaking into our lives and is expected to become more persuasive in future. It is going to become a lot more than just a concept, and the interaction between embedded devices will revolutionize the way data and devices are interconnected.

No doubt, the future of IoT embedded devices is going to be bright with the easy access of internet in every corner of the world. Internet of things will play a significant role in manufacturing of devices, as a result of which people will have complete access to products at home — even if they are away from home. The Internet of Things (IoT) holds a promising future, especially in North American embedded industry where companies come up with innovative products.

Choosing an Operating system for Embedded systems

An embedded system is a special purpose computer designed to perform dedicated tasks, rather than multiple tasks. There is an increase in popularity of embedded systems as they take care of everything such as – display, computing, communication etc. Whether it is entertainment, education, science or communication, they span across different aspects of modern life. Being a combination of both hardware and software, embedded systems perform a specific task or set of tasks within a large system.

With more performance, graphic capabilities, GUI enabled touch screen devices and wider range of applications —– embedded systems with Android/Linux operating systems have become a great alternative.   The embedded operating systems are targeted for CPU architecture and hence, an improper OS can have a negative impact on different aspects of project development such as – durability, licensing cost, product development etc.

In this post, we’ll take a look at different parameters to consider while choosing the right OS for embedded systems.

Connectivity and UI

Linux and Android are two powerful operating systems used in most of the embedded systems today. Selection between the two will depend completely on the usage and requirement. For instance – If you want better wireless connectivity and graphics interface, you might consider Android OS over Linux. Linux OS can do everything that Android OS can do. However, Linux comes with a complex flow and it might be difficult for a beginner to understand it. But, it can produce better results — once understood.

Power management

This is another important metric that measure the performance of embedded system. The operating system you choose should provide support for power management and supply different power management techniques. Both Android and Linux supports effective power management compared to real time operating systems.

Responsiveness

Real time performance is one of the key requirements of mission critical applications. Operating system vendors use terms such as – soft and hard to describe the responsiveness of operating systems. Real time performance does not mean that the OS is fast, but is predictable. Linux is less responsive compared to Android and there are many issues in Linux OS that affect performance of embedded device.

Cost

The cost of android and Linux operating tends to remain same, as both are open source platforms. A proprietary OS such as windows would increase the cost of each product as it require royalty to be paid for every product.

The bottom line is – At first, android seems to be an odd choice, but becomes an appropriate choice — as it is already an embedded OS.  Choosing the right OS could reduce the development and testing time significantly. Additionally, it helps in developing a quality product and launching it in the market on time.

About Inforce Computing

Inforce computing has been providing diverse range of services for real time embedded systems since 2010. Our products support embedded application development with high quality RTOS, protocol stacks and embedded databases across Android and Linux platforms. We offer state-of-art embedded solutions for various industry segments such as – video conferencing, medical imaging, robotics, drones, etc. We rely on cutting edge technologies that are based on Qualcomm Snapdragon processors to provide reliable embedded hardware and software solutions.

Meet the newest member of the Inforce family: Inforce 6640

The first single board computer based on Snapdragon™ 820 for the most advanced, high-end embedded devices

Inforce Computing today announced the much anticipated Inforce 6640, a Pico-ITX single board computer powered by Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 system on chip. Inforce 6640 delivers the ultimate experience in connectivity, performance, power, and graphic capabilities as an off-the-shelf, production-ready solution for virtual/augmented reality, healthcare, gaming, 4K video collaboration, cameras, and Internet of Everything.

We have seen Snapdragon 820 at the heart of the top performing mobile devices, and now embedded developers have an off-the-shelf solution ready to take their product to market. Inforce 6640 is the first commercial single board computer available designed with the Snapdragon 820. Have you qualified Snapdragon 820 for your device on our Inforce 6601 development kit but do not have time to develop a custom carrier? Beat out your competitors to market by saving time and resources with Inforce 6640 application-ready SBC.

The Snapdragon 820 delivers 4 cores running up to 2.2GHz and is packaged with Qualcomm Adreno 530 GPU, Hexagon 680 DSP, and dedicated Spectra™14-bit dual-ISP with 25MP@30fps. Snapdragon 820 offers 2x the performance and efficiency and 40% improvement when it comes to graphics performance, compute, and power compared to past processors.

Inforce 6640 brings out crucial features, I/O interfaces, and software to enable a diverse set of superior embedded devices including,
• Memory options: 4GB LPDDR4, 64GB UFS 2.0, and 1 µSD card interface (other memory configurations available)
• Multimedia features: Dual MIPI-DSI, HDMI 4K Ultra HD HEVC video capture and playback
• Camera capabilities: MIPI-CSI up to 25MP camera
• Improved Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2 LE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GigE and on-board GPS
• Pre-loaded operating system: Android Marshmallow (Android 7 support available)

With the launch of Inforce 6640, a variety of accessories are available to complement the platform including ACC-1H70, a 21MP camera card, and ACC-1S70, a Power over Ethernet accessory card. ACC-1H70 is a complete camera solution using Sony’s IMX230 sensor and is capable of capturing 4K video and 21MP photographs. For noisy environments, developers can use ACC-1S70 PoE add-on card which allows both power and Ethernet connection through one single cable.

In addition to supporting the standard Inforce 6640 platform, accessories, and software, Inforce computing offers support for hardware customization, custom drivers, custom OS, and custom I/O development allowing specialized requirements to be met like extended temperature. Inforce provides lifecycle assurance for all platforms for OEMs.

You can purchase Inforce 6640 online for $295. Volume pricing is available. For more information, call Inforce Sales at (510) 683-9999 or at sales@inforcecomputing.com.

 

 

 

Author: Erin Hartje, Marketing Manager for Inforce Computing

Qualcomm, Snapdragon, DragonBoard, Adreno, Krait and Hexagon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Other product and brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners, and used with permission. © 2017 Inforce Computing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Editorial Contact:

Inforce Computing, Inc.

+1 (510) 683-9999 marketing@inforcecomputing.com