Hardware Development Kit for Qualcomm QCS610-based SoM

SKU: SYS6403


The Penguin Edge™ SYS6403 Hardware Development Kit (SYS6403) from Penguin Solutions™ couples the IFC6403 Nano SoM with a complete carrier board to bring out all native interfaces and compute power of the Qualcomm QCS610 processor together with some value-add like an HDMI 2.0 interface. The system includes a pre-certified LTE Cat 4 module (optional) for the North America and Canada regions. The easy-to-use platform enables a quick time to market of embedded and Internet of Things (IoT) products that are based on the Qualcomm QCS610 processor, with full support for Linux and Android OS at a great price point. Penguin Solutions™ custom camera modules with up to 4K encode capability are plug-n-play accessories for this platform.

What’s included in the kit?

The SYS6403 Hardware Development Kit (SYS6403) comes with (a) the IFC6403 Micro SoM, (b) a carrier board and (c) a starter kit that includes a 12V power adapter and USB-C cable.
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Qualcomm® QCS610 Nano (LGA) SoM based Reference Design

The Penguin Edge IFC6403 LGA SoM based reference design brings out all native interfaces of the QCS610 processor to help developers create and optimize their products quickly, cost-effectively and with lower risk. The platform includes an integrated HDMI 2.0 display output and optional LTE connectivity achieved through a LTE Cat 4 module pre-certified for North America and Canada regions.

The QCS610 platform offers an improved user experience with 4K UHD HEVC video, multimedia, and connectivity options!

  • Customized 64-bit Octo-core ARM® V-8 compliant Kyro 460 CPU: Delivers high-value features with optimized power, manufactured in advanced 10nm FinFET LPP process
  • Adreno™ 612 GPU: Support for latest APIs and better graphic performance
  • Hexagon™ 685 DSP: Provides power-efficient enhancements to audio, video, and computer vision use cases with advanced Qualcomm® Neural Processing Engine SDK support

Block Diagram

6403 reference-design block diagram


Based on Qualcomm QCS610 processor manufactured in 11nm FinFET LPP process

  • 64-bit CPUs arranged as dual high-performance cores at 2.2 GHz and six low-power cores at 1.8 GHz
  • Adreno™ 612 GPU with 64 bit addressing supports developers with support for the latest graphics APIs and realistic 3D imagery
  • Hexagon™ 685 DSP for ultra-low power audio and computer vision processing
  • 14-bit dual Image Signal Processors (ISPs) to derive multiple cameras or HDMI Inputs at 4K30 fps

Processing Power, Memory and Storage

  • Qualcomm® QCS610 SoC processor
  • 2GB on-board LPDDR4x
  • 64GB eMMC
  • SD Card slot
  • Intelligent scalable power management for superior energy efficiencies

Audio, Video, Interface and Connectivity

  • UltraHD (4K) display on USB-C
  • HDMI 2.0 4K capable display Output
  • H.264 (AVC)/H.265 (HEVC)VP9 playback @4K30 8-bit
  • 3x Camera encode/capture of HEVC @4K30 8-bit
  • Audio Combo Jack – Hi-Fi Audio with the audio codec integrated in PMIC
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 1×1 WiFi; BT 5.0
  • Ethernet RGMII
  • Haptics
  • Multiple BLSPs for UART/I2C/SPI/GPIOs
  • Optional LTE CAT4 (North America and Canada regions pre-certified)

Power, Mechanical and Environmental

  • Power Input: +12V/3A
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 150mm
  • Operating Temp: 0° to 50° C (Commercial)
  • Relative Humidity: 5 to 95% non-condensing
  • RoHS and WEEE compliant

Penguin Solutions offers SKU variants of the Penguin Edge IFC6403 reference design to suit varied end-use applications.

Part Number Description
IFC6403-10-P1 Description QCS610 based LGA SoM, Linux OS, 2GB LPDDR4x, 64GB eMMC. Commercial Temperature (0-70) support
SYS6403-10-P1 IFC6403-10-P1 based reference design without LTE feature.
SYS6403-11-P1 IFC6403-10-P1 based reference design with LTE feature pre-certified for North America and Canada regions.



  • Early access to leading edge APIs and next generation features.
  • Long-term commitment of supply assurance from product introduction
  • A product roadmap that keeps developers on the latest technology curve from Qualcomm


QCS610 and QCS410 for IoT – Product Brief Download
The BSP explained Download
The IFC6403 Datasheet Download

Qualcomm® QCS610 – A high-performance IoT SoC for the mid-tier segment

The Qualcomm® QCS610 IoT SoC is packed with premium features and enables on-device camera processing and machine learning with the ability to run the SNPE SDK. The SoC is designed specifically for camera applications that utilize intensive processing features with low power.

Here are a few features of the Qualcomm QCS610 SoC

  • Custom CPU – The custom built ARM® V-8 compatible Kryo octo-core CPU has up to 25% higher performance than the prior generation.
  • Hexagon DSP – The Hexagon 685 DSP with dual Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX), operates at 1.1Ghz for running DNN models and enables advanced imaging and computer vision tasks.
  • Adreno GPU – With improved performance, the Adreno 612 GPU supports more efficient rendering of advanced 3D graphics. Developers gain access to the latest graphics APIs like OpenGL 3.1, EGL 1.4 and OpenCL 2.0 full profile.
  • ISP – The 14-bit Qualcomm ISP is engineered to support capture of up to 21 megapixels on a single camera and up to 13 megapixels on dual cameras with zero shutter lag for improved image quality.
  • AI Engine – The Qualcomm AI Engine enables running machine learning models on IoT devices such as smart cameras.

Qualcomm QCS610 based Penguin Edge platforms combine the heterogeneous compute capabilities of this SoC with integrated connectivity, a full featured USB-3.1 interface, multiple encodes and decodes, haptics, an on-board RTC and ample internal memory.

The product is thus a great fit for applications such as:

  • Smart cameras incuding dash cams, body cams and enterprise security
  • Industrial IoT
  • Smart displays and video conferencing

Linux BSP release

  • A Qualcomm Linux BSP with in-depth documentation along with a host of royalty-free software.
  • Contact Sales team at PenguinEdgeSales@penguinsolutions.com for software solutions and customizations

Android 10 BSP release

  • Periodic Android based BSP releases include in-depth documentation along with a host of royalty-free multimedia codecs
  • Contact Sales team at PenguinEdgeSales@penguinsolutions.com for software solutions and customizations

The full-featured releases have support for the following peripheral devices and I/Os:

  • Qualcomm QCS610 processor 64-bit octo-core CPUs running full frequency
  • USB-3.1
  • WiFi 802.11n/ac; Bluetooth 5.0
  • SD card access and eMMC memory, USB, I2S and low speed peripherals(I2C/I3C/UART/SPI) through BLSP programming
  • Persistent MAC address programming for WiFi/BT and Ethernet
  • HDMI display with 4K support
  • Audio
  • Haptics
  • Qualcomm SDKs’ support
  • Control of user provisioned LEDs
  • LTE Connectivity
  • Google Firebase integration with a sample app to upload or stream videos in real time (Android BSP only)

Specialized solutions through SDKs from Qualcomm that are enabled from the Android BSP

  • Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK, for artificial intelligence (AI) is designed to run one or more neural network models trained in Caffe/Caffe2, ONNX, or TensorFlow on Snapdragon platforms, whether that is the CPU, GPU or DSP and provides customers a powerful, energy efficient platform for delivering intuitive and engaging deep learning-driven experiences on their product.
  • The Hexagon™ SDK that is designed to enable device manufacturers and independent software providers to optimize the features and performance of multimedia software. These optimizations help allow audio, imaging, embedded vision, and heterogeneous computing acceleration on the Hexagon DSP embedded in Snapdragon processors.


1. What is IFC6403 Nano SoM?

The Penguin Edge IFC6403 Nano SoM is a high performance tiny System on Module (SoM) in a LGA package for embedded systems designers. It is based on Qualcomm’s custom Octa-core 64-bit Kryo (460) CPU (QCS610) processor for embedded applications. The IFC6403 Nano SoM comes in an ultra-small form factor of 43mm x 32.5mm and has 324 pins with a pitch of 0.65mm. The carrier board to which this SoM mates has to provision an opening to accommodate the bottom components and this reduces the vertical profile of the product. IFC6403 Qualcomm QCS610 based Nano SoM form factor.

2. Does Penguin Solutions offer a reference carrier board for its SoM based on the Qualcomm QCS610?

Yes. Penguin Solutions offers a reference carrier board for this SoM. Please refer to https://www.penguinsolutions.com/edge/products/reference-designs/qualcomm-qcs610-inforce-6403-reference-design for more details on this development kit. The reference design has the LGA SoM soldered and supports all native interfaces apart from some interfaces achieved through signal conversions like HDMI output. The carrier also includes support for LTE CAT4 through a pre-certified module from Telit. We would be glad to help customers developing their own carriers with custom flip-top sockets during their development phase.

3. Does Penguin Solutions provide any custom design solutions since some designs wouldn’t be able to use the standard SoM’s form factor and or features?

Yes, while we offer standard products off-the-shelf (OTS) on our website and through our multiple distributors, we also have a strong background in customized hardware and software solutions. We offer pre-validated build-to-order (BTO) configurations, as well as configure-to-order (CTO) options for existing products. For customers wanting to design their own unique form-factor carrier board to interface with the OTS IFC6403 Nano SOM, we offer design assistance support packages that include dedicated engineer, reference schematics and design reviews—contact our sales team for more details. In addition, we also offer full custom hardware design and associated software/device driver development, for those projects where a unique hardware design is required to meet sophisticated technical challenges.

4. Where can I find more information about the IFC6403 Nano SOM? What do I get when I buy an IFC6403 Nano SOM? Is the device available internationally?

The Penguin Edge portion of the Penguin Solutions website has a lot of useful information about our SOMs at https://www.penguinsolutions.com/edge/products/system-on-modules.Please check on the exact product SKU for the pre-loaded software, available memory and supported temperature ranges. The IFC6403 Nano SoM requires a carrier board (like all SoMs do) to power up and connect to peripheral devices and gain access to the extensive set of I/Os that are available on the Nano SoM. Please contact our sales team to procure the comprehensive SYS6403 development kit, which includes the Nano SoM soldered on to a reference carrier, LTE CAT4 feature (optional) achieved through a pre-certified module for the North American region from Telit and a starter kit.

Once you register the product with us, you would get dedicated support.

The board ships to most places worldwide and relevant shipping and local tax/customs duty charges may apply. Please contact PenguinEdgeSales@penguinsolutions.com for pricing details or any additional questions that you may have before buying an SYS6403.

5. Does Penguin Solutions have a blog?

Yes!  You can find our periodic blogs at https://www.penguinsolutions.com/edge/resources/blog. Here you can keep up with all of the latest information about Penguin Solutions products, conference appearances, and innovative customer case-studies and applications.


6. What are the accessories available?

Our website https://www.penguinsolutions.com/edge/products/accessories lists all the available accessories. Do have a look at the applicable accessories for each of our products. Please note that User Guides and product datasheets are available for all accessories.

7. Does the board support a cellular or GSM connection?

The IFC6403 does not include LTE support natively. The reference design for this SoM includes support for the LTE CAT4 functionality with pre-certification for North America and Canada regions.Please check on the exact product SKU that includes this feature.Third party cellular modem dongles can also be connected to the IFC6403 based reference design via USB ports and may require special drivers from the respective manufacturers.

8. Does the SoM support extended temperatures?

Yes, we can help customers support extended temperatures on their product based on our Nano SoM. We provide a detailed app note on determining a suitable solution for heat transfer from the SoM. We will be glad to propose a cooling solution for the thermal dissipation of heat for the full system too after we have details of your chassis.

9. What is the storage capacity of the IFC6403 Nano SoM? Is it expandable?

The on board storage (eMMC) capacity is 64GB. Storage can be expanded by connecting a Micro-SD card on the SYS6403 development kit. Please check on the exact product SKU for details on pre-loaded software and available memory.

10. What are the performance details of the IFC6403? What is the speed of the RAM?

The IFC6403 Nano SoM is based on the Qualcomm QCS610 processor, which includes custom Qualcomm® 460 Kryo™ Quad-core 64-bit ARM V-8 compliant CPUs organized as two clusters viz., Gold@2.2GHz each with 1MB of L2 I-Cache and Silver@1.843GHz each with 1MB of L2 cache. The Qualcomm® Adreno™ 612 is capable of 330 GFLOPS of general purpose compute and provides support for OpenGL ES 3.2 and OpenCL 2.0. Note that these libraries are provided as binaries only.The on-board LPDDR4x RAM is of size 2GB.All our Android releases are benchmarked with Antutu and validated with the Qualcomm Trepn™ Profiler to ensure that all cores are capable of operating at their maximum frequency. Our Linux releases are checked through the lscpu command.

11. What is the height of the Nano SoM?

The total height of the SoM mounted on the carrier is around 3.6mm. The height of the IFC6403 Nano SoM is 3.2mm. The heights of the PCB, top and bottom components are shown below. IFC6403 Qualcomm QCS610 based Nano SoM form factor
Please check with our sales team on product SKU details for the presence of EMI shields.

12. What types of displays are supported and at what resolutions?

The SYS6403 Reference Design has a HDMI Output connector capable of 4K30 resolution (achieved through a MIPI-DSI to HDMI conversion bridge) and a Display Port connector capable of 4K30 resolution. Both displays can render 4K content concurrently. Note that the displays are not provided as peripherals with the SYS6403 development kit.

13. What are the capabilities of the video Decoder/Encoder on the IFC6403 Nano SoM?

Please refer to https://developer.android.com/guide/appendix/media-formats.html for supported codecs from Android. Hardware accelerated capabilities of the QCS610 SoC are:

Supported Codec Profile(s) Resolution/Bitrate/Framereate
Video Decode H.265 (HEVC) Main profile(8-bit) up to level 5.1 1080P/100mbps/120fps 3840×2160/100mbps/30fps 4096×2160/100Mbps/24fps
H.264 (AVC) (Constrained) Baseline, main, (Constrained) high profiles; up to level 5.1 1080P/60mbps/120fps 3840×2160/100Mbps/30fps 4096×2160/100Mbps/24fps
H.263 Profile 0; up to Level 70 720×576/16mbps/30fps 864×480/16mbps/30fps
MPEG-4 Simple, Advanced simple profiles; up to levels 8 and 5, respectively 1080P/40mbps/30fps 1080P/60mbps/60fps
MPEG-2 Main profile 1080P/40mbps/30fps
VP8 Profile 0 (Main), version 0, version 1, version 2, and version 3 1080P/20mbps/60fps 3840×2160/100Mbps/30fps
DivX DivX 3.11/4/5/6 DivX 3.11  720×480/2mbps/30fps DivX 4.x/5.x/6.x  1080P/10mbps/30fps
VP9 Profile 0; Level 5.1 1080P/100mbps/120fps 3840×2160/100mbps/30fps 4096×2160/100mbps/24fps
Video Encode H.265 (HEVC) Main profile 8-bit up to level 5.1 1080P/100mbps/120fps 3840×2160/100mbps/30fps 4096×2160/100Mbps/24fps
H.264 (AVC) Baseline, main, high profiles; up to level 5.1 1080P/100mbps/120fps 3840×2160/100Mbps/30fps 4096×2160/100Mbps/24fps
H.263 Profile 0; up to Level 70 864×480/2mbps/30fps
MPEG-4 Simple, Advanced simple profiles; up to levels 8 and 5, respectively 1080P/40mbps/30fps
VP8 Profile 0 (Main), version 0, version 1, version 2, and version 3 1080P/100mbps/30fps 3840×2160/100Mbps/30fps

14. What are the camera capabilities of the IFC6403 Nano SoM?

The IFC6403 Nano SoM brings out three MIPI-CSI camera interfaces that support 4 lanes from CSI0, CSI1 and CSI2 each. 2×14-bit ISP that are 16MP+16MP capable Dual simultaneous camera capability is possible on a system built on this SoM.Penguin Solutions platforms are typically validated with a Sony IMX230 sensor (21MP) based camera module for 4K@30fps capture and record. Note that the camera is not provided as part of the SYS6403 development kit. It can be purchased as an accessory from https://www.penguinsolutions.com/edge/products/accessories.

15. How much power does the SoM draw? Is it possible to measure the power?

The IFC6403 SoM takes 3.8V to 4.1V DC power or Battery. The Reference Design is powered by a 12V/3A adaptor. Our products typically offer support for 7V-16V power input range. The total power consumed by the SYS6403 Reference Design ranges between 6W to 17W when different use cases are executed. There are no test points made available to measure run-time power on the board. But the input current through the DC jack can be measured during different use-cases. Please note that we run the Qualcomm Trepn™ profiler as part of our validation process on all of our stock Android releases.

16. What are the audio capabilities?

Audio is brought out as line-outs, HPH and mic-in from the integrated PMIC audio codec on the SoM. Audio is also available from the USB lines. The SYS6403 Reference Design comes with a microphone for recording and a combo jack for microphone and speaker out.

17. What are the sensor capabilities?

Qualcomm QCS610 processor’s Hexagon DSP cluster has a dedicated sensor core to support always-on sensor-aware apps.

18. Does the SoM support a Haptics Interface?

Yes, it does. The SoM has a dedicated H-bridge driver output for driving linear resonant actuator (LRA) or eccentric rotating mass (ERM) motors. The driver output voltage is programmable from 1.2 V to 3.6 V to cover wide range of ERM/LRA.

19. What documents are provided?

Are board design files also provided?We provide datasheets, user guide and a Hardware Reference Manual. Schematics are not provided for the IFC6403 Nano SoM. Schematics of the reference carrier board can be made available and please contact our sales team for access to this. Board design files are proprietary and are the intellectual property of Penguin Edge, and hence not provided.All software releases are accompanied with release notes, user guides and application notes that describe the installation procedure.

20. What is the support model after products are purchased?

Penguin Edge offers a range of standard products off-the-shelf (OTS) on its website and through our distributors (Arrow/Mouser). Apart from these, it offers pre-validated build-to-order (BTO) configurations, as well as configure-to-order (CTO) options for existing products. In addition, we also offer full custom hardware design and associated software/device driver development, for those projects where a unique design is required to meet sophisticated technical challenges. All purchases of our products get unlimited access to the online TechWeb support portal, which provides a host of technical documentation and software downloads. Purchasers are also provided free technical support for two support tickets. For a sustained technical support, Penguin Solutions offers Design Assistance Support Contracts for shorter periods of time and Annual Support Contracts for its customers who would like unlimited prioritized technical support. Please contact PenguinEdgeSales@penguinsolutions.com to obtain more details of the support contracts.

Networking, IO and Wireless

21. Does the device support networking and wireless communication?

Supported connectivity includes 802.11ac 2X2 MU-MIMO 2.4GHz/5GHz + Bluetooth 5.xLE (available via WCN3990) and GPS (supported via Qualcomm SDR660G). LTE connectivity (North America and Canada regions) is available as an optional feature on the reference design.

22. How can I change the MAC address for WiFi/BT/Ethernet on my board?

MAC addresses are fixed at the factory. Changing them should not be necessary since the correct addresses are programmed before the board is shipped. If it is still required, please refer to the Release Notes and App notes available on Penguin Solutions TechWeb support portal.

23. What are the IO interfaces available?

Standard I/O interfaces including I2C, SPI, UART, UIM and GPIOs are available. The Qualcomm QCS610 processor supports 1x USB 3.1 gen1 and 1 x USB 2.0. Please refer to the product specifications in the Hardware Reference Manual or the datasheet for more information.


24. What operating systems are supported and what is the OS roadmap for the IFC6403 Nano SoM?

Board Support Packages (BSPs) for Android 10 and Linux are available today as officially supported packages on the Penguin Solutions TechWeb. Periodic releases shall be provided with feature improvements and bug fixes on both these package. We also upgrade the BSPs to newer Android releases and newer Linux kernels to support feature improvements on its platforms. Please stay tuned for announcements on our website for update releases.

25. Is root access possible on Penguin Solutions boards?

Could you please explain how to get root privileges in Android?Yes. As Android derives from the Linux kernel, rooting an Android device gives similar access administrative permissions as on Linux. Please give below commands in adb shell to get root privileges #adb root #adb remount

26. Is fastboot supported? How to enter fastboot?

Yes. To go to fastboot mode, keep the Vol- button pressed before powering on the board and release it after the board has powered on.

27. I’ve modified the boot partitions on my board and the board is no longer booting. What should I do?

If the eMMC (flash memory) partitions have been erased or the partition table has been corrupted, you can recover through a procedure that uses the USB port. Please logon to our Techweb repository to access the necessary document.

28. Is the Hexagon DSP available on the IFC6403 platform?

Yes. Qualcomm’s Hexagon DSP architecture is designed to deliver performance with low power over a variety of heterogeneous computing applications. It has features such as hardware assisted multithreading, privilege levels, VLIW, SIMD and instructions geared toward efficient signal processing. The IFC6403 micro SoM comes with the Hexagon™ 685 DSP with dual-Hexagon vector processor (HVX-512) designed for ultra-low-power audio and computer vision processing.Qualcomm also opens up a comprehensive Hexagon SDK for all its processors that provides for a complete environment to generate dynamic Hexagon DSP code modules. Please check https://developer.qualcomm.com/software/hexagon-dsp-sdk for downloading the SDK.

29. Why isn’t Google Play (previously Android Market) available on my board?

Google Play is part of Google Mobile Services (GMS) and is licensed separately by Google. This is usually available on commercial Android devices. Though our hardware is capable of meeting requirements of the Google Test Suite that would lead to GMS certification, we have not added this to our product. Please contact our sales team if this is a requirement for your product. Nevertheless, it is possible to side-load any Android application using the following commands:
#adb devices
#adb mount
#adb remount
#adb install apk
Should you have further questions not answered by the above FAQ and would like to have them included here, please contact PenguinEdgeSales@penguinsolutions.com.

Video of IFC6403 Nano SoM

Video on possible solutions with the IFC6403