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Tiny Snapdragon 820E Module Boasts Long Lifecycle Support

By Eric Brown

Intrinsyc’s $259 “Open-Q 820Pro μSOM” module runs Android 9 or Debian Linux on a quad-core, up to 2.34GHz Snapdragon 820E and offers long lifecycles, 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB flash, WiFi-ac, and an optional $499 dev kit.

The Open-Q 820Pro μSOM is a pin-compatible drop-in replacement for the two-year old Open-Q 820 µSOM and offers a similar layout and 50 x 25mm footprint. The biggest difference is an upgrade from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 to the faster, second-gen Snapdragon 820E, an embedded-focused version with long lifecycle support. As a result, the Open-Q 820Pro μSOM has a 9 percent faster CPU and 5 percent faster GPU at the same power consumption, claims Intrinsyc.

Open-Q 820Pro μSOM (left) and Open-Q 820Pro µSOM Development Kit 
(click images to enlarge)
The Snapdragon 820E clocks two of its Cortex-A72-like Qualcomm Kryo cores to 2.342GHz, up from 2.0GHz, and the other two at the same 1.593GHz rate. The SoC’s Adreno 530 GPU has bumped up to 652.8MHz and the Hexagon 680 DSP is clocked at 825MHz.

The Open-Q 820Pro μSOM, which supports Debian Linux and Android 9, further improves performance by advancing from 3GB to 4GB LPDDR4 RAM. As before, there’s 32GB UFS 2.0 flash, as well as 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac via a Qualcomm QCA6174A chipset. You also get Bluetooth 4.2 BLE, up from 4.1, and the same Qualcomm IZat Gen 8C GNSS location module.

Otherwise, the 820Pro module is pretty much the same as the 820. For displays, you get an HDMI port and dual MIPI-DSI ports for triple display support at up to 4K @ 60fps video. Three MIPI-CSI connectors can drive cameras at up to 28 megapixels.

Open-Q 820Pro μSOM, front and back
(click images to enlarge)
The Open-Q 820 µSOM is further equipped with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 client and host ports, dual PCIe 2.1 expansion interfaces, an SDIO interface, and an 8x BLSP 4-pin port configurable as I2C, SPI, UART, or GPIO.

For audio, the module provides Slimbus and 2x or 3x I2S digital audio connections. There’s no longer any mention of the 3x digital mic connections or the 6x analog in and 6x analog out interfaces. However, the dev kit does offer analog audio I/O. Intrinsyc also lists a sensor interface defined as “SPI, UART, I2C to sensor DSP core.”

The module runs on 3.6V to 4.2V power, and supports extended temperatures of -10 to 70°C. No details were listed for the long lifecycle claims, but the Snapdragon 820E was announced with 10-year support. Software updates are required to achieve the long-term and performance improvements.

Open-Q 820Pro µSOM Development Kit

The Mini-ITX form-factor, open-frame dev kit for the module appears to be similar to the earlier model. The 170 x 170mm Open-Q 820Pro µSOM Development Kit is equipped with an HDMI port and there’s an optional $150 4K touch panel with a smartphone form factor.

Open-Q 820Pro µSOM Development Kit, front and back
(click images to enlarge)
The triple MIPI-CSI interfaces are supported with an optional, 13-megapixel camera for $159. Audio features include a 3.5mm headset jack, a 20-pin header with 3x analog in and 3x digital in, and a 20-in audio output with 5x analog out and 1x digital in.

The Open-Q 820Pro µSOM Development Kit offers 2x USB 2.0 host ports and 2x USB 3.0 via an expansion header. There’s also a micro-USB 2.0 client port and a micro-USB based UART debug port. Other features include a microSD slot, 8-bit DIO, and mini-PCIe 1.2 and PCIe x1 2.1 expansion slots.

The dev kit supplies a 12V/3A input but can run on a single-cell Li-ion battery. There’s also a haptic output and LEDs.

Further information

The $259 Open-Q 820Pro μSOM and $499 Open-Q 820Pro µSOM Development Kit are available for order with shipments due in July. More information may be found in Intrinsyc’s announcement, as well as the Open-Q 820Pro μSOM and dev kit product pages, which link to shopping pages.

This article originally appeared on on June 12.

Intrinsyc |

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Tiny Snapdragon 820E Module Boasts Long Lifecycle Support

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 3 min