SBCs & COMs tech

Robotics kit runs Linux on new DragonBoard 845c 96Boards SBC

Robotics kit runs Linux on new DragonBoard 845c 96Boards SBC

Qualcomm and Thundercomm have launched a “Robotics RB3 Platform” that runs Linux and ROS on an octa-core Snapdragon 845 by way of a brand new “DragonBoard 845c” 96Boards SBC. The $449 package consists of 4K and monitoring cameras.

Qualcomm subsidiary Qualcomm Applied sciences, which in December launched a Qualcomm Flight Professional for drones, has returned with one other Snapdragon based mostly robotics package that includes Linux, this time concentrating on terrestrial robotics. The brand new Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform runs Linux with Robotic Working System (ROS) on an octa-core Qualcomm SDA/SDM845, which you will know higher because the Snapdragon 845.

Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform in Primary (left) and Full configurations
(click on pictures to enlarge)

The Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform is constructed round a brand new 96Boards CE type issue DragonBoard 845c developed in collaboration with Thundercomm. The RB3 package, which is obtainable now for $449, additionally features a Qualcomm Robotics navigation mezzanine board that helps time-of-flight, monitoring, lively stereo, and 4K-ready foremost cameras.

The platform is designed for creating “sensible, power-efficient and cost-effective robots, starting from giant industrial and enterprise robots to small battery-operated ones with difficult energy and thermal dissipation necessities,” says Qualcomm. The package was developed as a collaboration with Thundercomm, which beforehand labored with Qualcomm on the Snapdragon 625 IP Digital camera. The DragonBoard 845c, which follows Arrow’s Qualcomm-backed, Snapdragon 820-based DragonBoard 820c 96Boards SBC, is claimed to be “objective constructed” for robotics, so it’s unclear when or if will probably be out there by itself with out the mezzanine and different package elements.

Though Qualcomm’s posted info doesn’t say the package is relevant to drone designs, throughout our pre-briefing with the corporate we requested about that. Qualcomm clarified this level saying the package can be utilized to construct any autonomous system, together with drones.

The RB3 helps the Qualcomm Neural Processing SDK “for superior on-device AI,” in addition to the Qualcomm Pc Imaginative and prescient Suite, the Qualcomm Hexagon DSP SDK, and Amazon AWS Robomaker. Ubuntu help is deliberate “within the close to future.”

Each Qualcomm and Thundercomm point out that the Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform can also be obtainable in a computer-on-module model along with the DragonBoard 845c SBC. This may recommend that the DragonBoard 845c is perhaps a sandwich-style COM-and-carrier providing. Thundercomm sells a 60 x 37mm, Snapdragon 845-based TurboX D845 SOM with core specs that seem to match these of the DragonBoard 845c.

TurboX D845 SOM (left) and TurboX D845 Improvement Package
(click on pictures to enlarge)

The TurboX D845 SOM additionally drives the sandwich-style TurboX D845 Improvement Package, which has a a lot bigger footprint than the 85 x 54mm DragonBoard 845c. This Android Eight.1 supported board additionally has extra in depth options, together with 2x HDMI, DP, 3x MIPI-CSI, 2x Ethernet, mini-PCIe, CAN, and extra.

Thundercomm AI Package (left) and element view
(click on pictures to enlarge)

Thundercomm additionally presents a Thundercomm AI Package embedded pc that runs Android Oreo on the Snapdragon 845. The 12V “edge system” is provided with 8GB RAM, 64GB UFS, microSD, micro-HDMI, and an Eight-megapixel digital camera. It additionally supplies GbE, micro-USB, and 4x USB ports. An IMU and audio I/O are additionally obtainable.

Contained in the Snapdragon 845

Just like the Snapdragon 835, the Snapdragon 845 options “Kryo” cores fabricated with a 10nm FinFET course of. Nevertheless, it’s a extra environment friendly 10LPP (vs. 10LPE) course of that’s stated to allow improved efficiency together with lowered energy consumption.

The Snapdragon 845’s eight Kryo 835 cores are evenly cut up between cores that approximate Arm’s newest Cortex-A75 and lower-end Cortex-A55 architectures. The 845’s cores clock to 2.8GHz and 1.8GHz, respectively, and are boosted by a bigger 3MB system cache.

The built-in Adreno 630 GPU is claimed to supply 30 % quicker graphics and 30 % much less energy than the Snapdragon 835’s Adreno 540, whereas providing 2.5 occasions greater throughput. It has additionally been enhanced with “eXtended Actuality” (XR) know-how that may generate twin 2400 x 2400 @ 120Hz shows on VR headsets. The Adreno 630 subsystem provides help for room-scale 6DoF with SLAM and Adreno Foveation know-how.

There’s’s additionally a Hexagon 685 DSP with a third-gen Neural Processing Engine (NPE) for AI purposes, in addition to a dual-core Spectra 280 ISP that reinforces 4K video seize to 60fps. The RB3 package additionally consists of the Qualcomm Safe Processing Unit. (For extra particulars on the Snapdragon 845 see the spec record under and our earlier protection of Intrinsyc’s Open-Q 845 improvement package.

DragonBoard 845c and RB3 package

The Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform’s DragonBoard 845c service board is referred to easily as a 96Boards SBC. Its 85 x 54mm dimensions match the 96Boards CE normal spec, nevertheless it provides enlargement capabilities past even the bigger CE Prolonged boards. As an alternative of the standard 60-pin high- and 40-pin low-speed connectors, you get two of every, in addition to a 20-pin low-speed interface.

The SBC supplies 4GB LPDDR4x, 64GB UFS, and a microSD slot. You additionally get 2x USB host ports, a USB Sort-C OTG, and a micro-USB debug port.

A GbE port is out there together with wi-fi options like dual-band WiFi-ac, Bluetooth, and GNSS. The CB3 package provides an non-compulsory, $249 Qualcomm Robotics mobile mezzanine add-on that connects to one of many high-speed connectors. The mezzanine helps 4G/LTE, together with CBRS-band-48 help for personal LTE networks. 5G is claimed to be coming in late 2019.

The DragonBoard 845c is additional outfitted with an HDMI 1.Four port and 2x MIPI-DSI interfaces. The CB3 package provides the Qualcomm Robotics Navigation Mezzanine board, which presumably consists of a number of MIPI-CSI digital camera connections.

The $449 CBR “Primary” package worth is claimed to incorporate a foremost OV8856 digital camera with [email protected] seize, in addition to a monitoring digital camera, which Qualcomm says offers path planning and impediment avoidance by way of visible simultaneous localization and mapping (vSLAM) algorithms. The unpriced “Full” package provides the $65 Time-of-Flight (ToF) digital camera for “for individuals, gesture and object detection even in low mild circumstances,” in accordance with Qualcomm. This VGA-resolution depth digital camera options Panasonic’s ToF sensor and gives a 90 x 70-degree FOV. The Full package additionally seems to incorporate the elective, $35 stereo SLM digital camera with a “KaraA2” Altek 3D sensing module.

ToF digital camera (left) and Stereo SLM digital camera
(click on photographs to enlarge)

The platform consists of help for sensors, nevertheless it’s not clear what’s commonplace or elective. Thundercomm lists a 6-axis IMU and proximity sensor as a part of the DragonBoard 845c. Qualcomm additionally mentions a capacitive barometric strain sensor and multi-mode digital microphones, each of which look like elective. As well as, Qualcomm notes “further ports for supplementary sensors from TDK-InvenSense,” in addition to “help for a number of sensors and third get together algorithms by way of Sensor Software program Framework.

Specs listed for the DragonBoard 845c and Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform embrace:

  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (SDA/SDM845):
    • 8x 10nm Kryo 835 cores (4x @ 2.8GHz, 4x @ 1.8GHz)
    • Adreno 630 GPU with VPU (Open GL ES Three.2 and Open CL
    • Hexagon 685 DSP DSP with Hexagon Vector Extensions (HVX)
    • 2x 14-bit Spectra 280 ISPs
    • Qualcomm AI Engine (CPU, GPU, DSP) for as much as Three-TOPS
    • Qualcomm Safe Processing Unit (SPU) with safe boot, crypto accelerators, Qualcomm Trusted Execution Surroundings (QTEE), and digital camera safety
  • Reminiscence/storage:
    • 4GB LPDDR4x SDRAM @ 1866MHz
    • 64GB UFS 2.1 flash
    • MicroSD slot
  • Wi-fi:
    • 802.11ac 2×2 with MU-MIMO Tri-band WiFi (2.4GHz/5GHz with Twin Band Simultaneous).
    • Bluetooth (Qualcomm TrueWireless)
    • GNSS (GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, SBAS)
    • Non-compulsory Qualcomm Robotics mobile mezzanine for 4G/LTE together with CBRS-band-48 help
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 1.Four port for as much as 4K HDR @ 60fps
    • 2x Four-lane MIPI-DSI
    • Audio I/O with MP3, aacPlus, eAAC, WMA 9/Professional (in all probability by way of enlargement connectors)
    • Multi-mic interface (RB3 package, probably elective)
    • At the very least 2x MIPI-CSI for 16MP HFR @ 60fps, 2x 16MP ZSL @ 30fps, or 32MP ZSL @ 30fps
    • RB3 cameras: foremost and monitoring (Primary package); ToF and stereo SLM (Full package)
  • Different I/O:
    • USB Sort-C OTG port
    • 2x USB host ports
    • Micro-USB debug port
  • Enlargement I/O (96Boards suitable):
    • 2x 60-pin high-speed
    • 2x 40-pin low-speed
    • 20-pin low-speed
  • Different options — accelerometer/gyro IMU (RB3); proximity sensor (RB3); 7x LEDs; buttons for energy, quantity up/down, drive USB boot, DIP change
  • Energy — [email protected] DC enter; adapter in Primary RB3 package
  • Dimensions — 85 x 54mm (96Boards)
  • Working system — Linux with ROS

Naver Labs
Ambidex at CES 2019

The Qualcomm press launch consists of testimonial quotes from AWS Robotics. Mind Corp.,, TDK-InvenSense, and OrionStar. Based on Qualcomm, Naver Labs and LG will “consider the Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform in 2019, and LG plans showcase choose exemplary robotics merchandise based mostly on the platform at CES 2020. Qualcomm additionally despatched us a hyperlink to a YouTube video displaying a CES 2019 demo of Naver Labs industrial robotic referred to as Ambidex that seems to be constructed across the CB3. Further early customers are anticipated to incorporate Sony, Misty Robotics, and Anki.

Additional info

The Qualcomm Robotics RB3 Platform is obtainable for order beginning at $449 (see farther above for pricing.) Business merchandise based mostly on the RB3 are anticipated to be obtainable later this yr. Extra info could also be present in Qualcomm’s RB3 product web page and Thundercomm’s rather more complete RB3 and DragonBoard 845c product web page. As famous, it’s unclear if the DragonBoard 845c might be individually out there.


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