You might know Qualcomm as the company that makes the Snapdragon processors to run your mobile devices, but it also has its own products in the board enthusiast market. It already has two products in the market – the DragonBoard 810 and DragonBoard 800 – and it's adding a smaller, third board to the lineup called the DragonBoard 410c.
As its name suggests, the 410c is based on the Snapdragon 410 processor. According to Qualcomm, the board itself is about the size of a credit card, which allows it to be placed in small, discrete locations. It's powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 with speeds up to 1.2 GHz per core.
For memory, it has LPDDR2/3 533 MHz single-channel 32-bit (4.2 GBps) non-POP. The board will use flash storage in the form of eMMC 4.51 SD 3.0 (UHS-I). In terms of graphics, the board houses an Adreno 306 (400 MHz). It also supports a 13 MP camera, and for connectivity, it includes integrated 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, FM and GPS for location. It also offers HDMI, mini-USB and two USB 2.0 ports. In terms of an operating system, the board allows either Android or Linux platforms.
Even with all of these features, Qualcomm left enough space for expansion. There is one 40-pin low speed connector as well as a 60-pin high speed connector. An analog connector allows an input for headsets, speakers or an FM antenna. It's compatible with Arduino through the mezzanine board.
Obviously, this board is ideal for the do-it-yourself, maker crowd who can use it for a variety of purposes such as creating smart devices throughout the home, powering robots, or just using it as a camera.
Qualcomm said the board will be available this summer and offered no details about the price, but we can take a guess. Considering that the DragonBoard 810 and DragonBoard 800 cost $499 and $475, respectively, we can expect the 410c to certainly be less expensive than its bigger siblings, but it still won't be cheap.
Qualcomm is betting that with a smaller (and hopefully cheaper) board, more people will buy it. Qualcomm already powers your phone, but the company also wants to be a driving force behind any enthusiast's latest DIY invention.
UPDATE, 3/18/2015, 7 am PST: With the Windows Hardware Engineering Community (WinHEC) event underway in Shezhen, China, Qualcomm announced that the 10c will support the upcoming Windows 10 operating system, and WinHEC attendees can see the first demos of the 410c at the event. In addition, the company also announced that the Snapdragon 210 reference design will be the first model to support Windows 10. This means that manufacturers using the processor can make their next lineup of mobile and tablet devices with the new operating system at launch.