Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) are a key part of parallel computing on systems where the workloads are shared between the CPU, GPU and other processors. GPUs break complex problems into millions of separate tasks and work them out at once. That makes them ideal for graphics, where textures, lighting and the rendering of shapes have to be done at once to keep images flying across the screen.
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?
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.