Design

SMARC Module for AI-based point-of-sale applications

9th November 2020
Alex Lynn

Kontron has launched the new fA3399 SMARC module, which uses the Rockchip RK3399K Arm processor. The new module has high performance versus price value, with six processor cores, which are derived from an energy-saving dual-core Arm Cortex-A72 and quad-core Cortex-A53.

The robust module complies with the new SMARC 2.1 module standard with dimensions of 82x80mm and is designed for the extended temperature range of -20 to +85oC. The module includes 2, 4 or 8GB Low-Power Double Data Rate (LPDDR4) SDRAM Memory down; displays can be connected via LVDS, DP and HDMI and an Arm Mali-T860MP4 GPU ensures high performance for 2D and 3D graphic displays. Other connections include two Gbit Ethernet ports, three PCIe interfaces, six USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 interface.

The Rockchip-CPU offers a perfect platform for non-critical applications around POS/POI like digital signage, retail or kiosk. Here, price pressure and speed are important drivers, because time-to-market is crucial to quickly place new contents/contexts close to the end customer.

Experiments are often based on the agile concept of the minimum viable product (MVP) and in this environment of customer communication, new possibilities of Artificial Intelligence are also used, which requires high computing power. This applies, for example, to advertising or information terminals that use AI image recognition algorithms to display adaptive content - depending on the gender and age of the recipients. Another example is supermarket scales that automatically recognise which fruit or vegetables are to be weighed.

All common Linux operating systems are supported, and a large community is continuously developing the open source applications further on.

Sample quantities are available from Q1/2021. Kontron is also planning a 3.5" board with this CPU.

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