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Qualcomm Expands Developer Board Lineup With DragonBoard 410c

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Calvin Huang

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With so many similar products at a fraction of the price I don't see this doing very well.
Considering that there are so many successful System-on-Modules out there that cost $800+, and considering that the more expensive Dragonboard 800 and 810 are already sold out with Intrinsyc unable to fill new orders until December for the $475 Dragonboard 800, I don't think lack of orders will be a problem for the 410c.

There's a demand for a wide range of performance from SOM kits, not just 700 MHz single-core processors with 1GB of RAM and a low-end GPU.
 

Dobbymon

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Thanks, but I'd stick with my Open Source $35 Raspberry Pi2 which also has a Quad Core processor, 1 GB RAM and above all, a great community.
 

Calvin Huang

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That's nice. No one is asking you to switch. People who are happy with a RP2 will keep using them. Those who need something with more power will use the Dragonboards or the XU3. Why do so many people assume that they alone represent the entire market for technology products?
 

Dobbymon

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How do you compare the Dragonboards to the Minnow Board v2? And, how do you justify such a high price difference between the RPI2 and the new Dragonboard 410c ?

 

Calvin Huang

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Dragonboard 810/Snapdragon 810 vs MinnowBoard MAX/E3825:
- Snapdragon has an octacore processor versus the E3825's dual core processor.
- Adreno 420 has far better performance than the Intel HD Bay Trail on most tests. So, assuming the Adreno 430 is superior to the 420, then Snapdragon beats out the Atom on graphics.
- Adreno 430 supports OpenGL ES up to 3.1 and OpenCL 1.2. The Intel HD in the E3825 only supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenCL 1.1.
- Snapdragons have Hexagon multithreaded DSP, which offloads signal processing for 4G LTE, video/audio encoding/decoding, handling sensor input, etc. while reducing power consumption.
- Snapdragons come with a modem and RF transceiver that supports LTE, VoLTE, CDMA, WCDMA, Edge, etc.
- Snapdragons have bluetooth and NFC support.
- Snapdragons have 4k capture and playback support with AVC and HEVC formats AND can power 2 concurrent 4k displays.
- Snapdragons have dual image signal processors supporting up to 55MP.
- Snapdragon 810s have the iZat Gen8C GPS with WiFi augmented positioning.
- Snapdragon 810s have Quick Charge 2.0 and parallel charging.
- Snapdragon 810s use LPDDR4 (Low Power DDR4) at 1600MHz vs. the E3825's DDR3L (DDR3 Low Voltage) at 1066MHz. LDDR4 is about twice as fast and uses 22% less energy. And the Dragonboard 810 comes with 4GB versus the Minnow MAX's 2GB.
- The Minnow MAX supports eMMC4.5 while the Dragonboard 810 supports eMMC5.0. So the Dragonboard 810 can have twice the SD card performance.
- Snapdragon 810 uses a 20nm process versus the E3825's 32nm.
- Snapdragon has 802.11n/ac support while the Minnow MAX has no wireless connectivity.

Essentially, these two SoCs are for completely different applications. The E3825 SoC is a very low power computer CPU. It's a cheaper, older design used for lots of low power industrial embedded applications. The Dragonboards are using a top-of-the-line mobile SoC that is essentially a mobile platform for DIYers. It's much more space and energy efficient (probably around half of what the E3825 consumes, based on estimates I've seen), especially considering everything that it's packing.

The RPI2 is even less comparable to the Dragonboards in terms of performance. It uses quadcore ARM processors, but the 64-bit A57s and A53s that the Snapdragon 810 uses are far outside of the performance envelop of the low power A7. The A7 is the second-least powerful and second-most power efficient Cortex processor cores that ARM produces. The A57 is the top of the line. They're not remotely comparable even before you double the number of cores.

The VideoCore IV beats out older generation Adreno 300 GPUs, but I doubt it can keep pace with the Adreno 430. 1GB of DDR2 won't come close to 4GB of LPDDR3. And though a few of the other features like WiFi, Bluetooth, LTE and GPS support can be added, it's going to be bulkier than the SoC solution. The RPI2's advantage over the Dragonboards is its price, development community/platform and lower power consumption.
 

Dobbymon

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Wow. Thank you so much for a detailed answer. I am sure this would help out many people :)
 
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