I'm designing an ultraminiature monocopter drone that will transmit 720p, 30 FPS, MJPEG aerial video over 802.11n (UDP) and a high-gain antenna, to a laptop.

I've found camera modules that can already output each frame as a JPEG, doing the image compression on the sensor die.

And there are several wifi modules that are small enough (<= 18 mm x 12 mm) to fit that size constraint.

Placing components on both sides of the PCB, I am left about 7mm x 7mm for an ARM SoC to run the wifi stack.

I plan to install an embedded linux distro, and use it only for its network stack. Lots of module drivers can then be found at http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers

Sadly, I'm new to the embedded ARM world, so I am wondering if anyone with more ARM experience can please suggest an ARM SoC as close as possible to these criteria:

  • fast enough to run Linux wifi stack w/ payload throughput of 20 - 40 Mbps
  • <= 7mm x 7mm
  • stacked RAM die
  • MMU
  • two 4-bit SDIOs, including SPI support
  • USB host
  • GPIOs

If not all constraints can be met, then design advice on which constraints can be sacrificed would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why not have the CPU run the camera as well? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2012 at 7:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Generally shopping questions are off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2012 at 20:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ ..and you've ruled out the Broadcom BCM2835 (of RaspberryPi fame) on both size and licencing issues I presume? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jim
    Dec 6, 2012 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


I don't see any SoC with enough built-in memory to run Linux. If you just want to receive JPEG from a camera and transmit it with WiFi — take a look at Electric Imp. It's bigger than 7x7mm but still has small form-factor of SD card.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The reference is to stacked RAM, not RAM on the same chip. The Raspberry Pi was a well publicized example, but it's a technique used in phones and tablets too. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18, 2016 at 22:03

Why do you want to send an analog signal with wifi? Its simpler, cheaper then better to do an analog transmission, unless you want to crypt the data. Also, to my knowledge there is no SoC with MMU that satifies your spec. Also for "stacked RAM die", search for POP devices


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