Solderable SOM: A Tiny Monster for Power-Hungry IoT Devices

The hardware market has been flooded with the big companies that have been around for decades. And there is a valid reason why. Lean…

The hardware market has been flooded with the big companies that have been around for decades. And there is a valid reason why. Lean startups are usually focused on software applications, SaaS digital products, or mobile apps. The “hardware game” is tough and expensive.

Sudo Systems was forced to come up with a solution for their client. The customer wanted a powerful media player capable of running 4K videos without interruptions while still being in a small frame. Disappointed by current offerings, the Sudo engineering team devised a way to put the most sought-after features in a tiny package: a 65 x 40 x 4.3mm module.

SudoProc is a solderable system-on-module with a quad-core Rockchip RK3288-W with 4GB LPDDR3, up to 512GB eMMC, a GbE controller, HDMI 2.0, and -25 to 85°C support.

The module is equipped with Rockchip’s 1.8GHz, quad-core, Cortex-A17 SoC RK3288 SoC with 600MHz Mali-T764 GPU. The high-end feature set includes 4GB of dual-channel, 1066MHz LPDDR3 RAM, an embedded security engine, a Gigabit Ethernet controller, and support for eDP and HDMI 2.0 with up to 4K@60FPS 10-bit H.265 video decoding.

OpenGL ES3.0, OpenCL 1.2 and DirectX 11 are all supported.

SudoProc’s software runs Android 5.0 to 7.0, as well as Debian, Ubuntu, and an in-house developed SudoOS Linux distribution. The SudoOS intends to start and remain an open source environment, and is perfect for single app solutions.

The biggest difference, aside from a lot of RAM, is the large amount of onboard eMMC 4.5 storage. The device offers 32GB by default, however it can go all the way up to 512GB. There’s also support for 2x SDIO 3.0.

In addition to HDMI 2.0 and eDP, the video supports 4-lane MIPI-DSI. The 10-lane single- and dual-channel LVDS is available on demand. The SudoProc gets you 4-lane MIPI-CSI, configurable 4-lane MIPI-I/O, and 8-bit CIF input. Audio support includes I2S/PCM and there’s SPDIF on demand.

LinuxGizmos recently described SudoProc:

The 218-pin SudoProc is further equipped with interfaces including USB 2.0 host and OTG, as well as 5x UART, 5x I2C, 3x SPI, 4x PWM with interrupt, and up to 100 GPIOs, which are programmable as interrupt inputs. Other listed I/O includes 3-channel, 10-bit SAR-ADC, 8-bit TS stream shared with CIF, a “Host” interface shared with GMAC, and a GPS interface. Optional, on-demand I/O includes HSIC 2.0, PS/2, and Smart Card.
The 5V/3A module supports 1.8V to 3.3V output, and allows remote control of the PMIC. Sudo was particularly proud of its thermal dissipation design. There’s an integrated heatsink and maximum thermal dissipation of 10W, as well as estimated -25 to 85°C.
A Serious Competitor

In a market led by massive technology giants, SudoProc is a serious contender. The performance, size, and even the aluminum plate makes it different than classic boards.

Of course the aluminum plate is there for practical reasons — it serves as a heatsink and replaces the need for the external fan. Everything on the SOM has been curated for running powerful next-generation IoT devices.

SudoProc’s small form factor goes a long way as well — the SOM can fit into tiny gadgets which require good performance yet aren’t tolerable with massive boards.

More Information

The SudoProc is now available. Visit Sudo Systems for additional details on the SoM hardware.

Dejan Gajsek
Manager of SudoProc - tiny quadcore 4GB system-on-module
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