Coming soon from Inforce is a Single Board Computer based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon 660™ core. The Inforce 6560™ SBC will be made available in the standard pico-iTX form factor without compromising on direct access to an extensive set of I/Os including USB-C with UltraHD display capability. This platform can be a replacement for Inforce 6540 SBC and an upgrade from the Inforce 6410P SBC which have reached end-of-life. Continue reading Coming soon – Snapdragon 660 Based Inforce 6560 SBC
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.
The bake-off to pick the right compute platform Continue reading Inforce 6501 Micro SOM Beats Five Other Vendor Products in a Bake-off
Welcome to Inforce Computing’s June 2016 Newsletter! In this issue of Inforce Insights, we’d like to share a couple of useful technical application notes and two exciting customer case studies (scroll down). What does enabling 3D printing, computer vision, video analytics, and space-bound free-flying robots have in common? All of these are powered by advanced Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor-based Inforce Computing platforms [SOMs and SBCs]. Moreover, Inforce’s value added software and hardware design assistance services have complemented and accelerated product development in these cases.
Software and Product Updates
We’re close to having an upstream kernel Linux BSP release (Linaro 15.10 version) available for the Inforce 6410Plus SBC. Stay tuned for download instructions and release notes for the latest BSP. Once available, please log on to Inforce’s TechWeb and look for the product specific menu under the software tab.
For those that have been eagerly waiting for the Inforce 6601™ Micro SOM, we will be taking pre-orders soon. We thank you for your interest in the latest Inforce 6601 Micro SOM and your patience is much appreciated as we ramp up our manufacturing. In the next few weeks you’ll also be able to read about and download more technical details of the affordable and new Inforce 6301 Micro SOM powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor.
We’d love to hear your feedback about Inforce’s newsletters as well as your stories on building exciting embedded products based on Inforce’s compute platforms. We’re more than glad to share your success story in these columns, so don’t hesitate to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the editorial desk at Inforce Computing.
NASA Astrobee Robotic Free Flyer: International Space Station, Here We Come!
NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group picks the Inforce 6501™ Micro SOM for both the middle-level processor (MLP) and the high-level processor (HLP) platforms due to its strict SWaP and high-performance requirements. Continue reading NASA Astrobee Robotic Free Flyer Powered by Dual Inforce 6501 Micro System-On-Modules (SOM)
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.