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Friday, 02 August 2013 09:57

Intel’s answer to Raspberry ships

Written by Nick Farrell

MinnowBoard costs $199

Intel is now shipping its MinnowBoard barebones PC. The MinnowBoard is similar to the Raspberry only it costs shedloads more - $199 USD.

It will go on sale at Digi-Key, Farnell, Mouser Electronics and Newark. The spec is interesting, if not particularly inspiring. It is basically an Atom E640 SoC clocked at 1 GHz, integrated GMA 600 graphics, 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, and 4 MB of SPI flash for system firmware memory. The I/O portion has a microSD card slot, SATA 2 (3 Gb/s) port, two USB host ports, one microUSB-B port, a serial (UART 0) port for debug serial to USB conversion, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and HDMI output.

The board boots using open-source UEFI firmware with Fast Boot capability. It runs the Angström Linux distribution, which is compatible with Yocto Project.

What is interesting is that the board is only 4.2 x 4.2 inches, and can be expanded using daughter cards called "Lures." These cards can be custom developed to "expose features and interfaces as required for developer applications." The MinnowBoard is Intel's first real "open source," bare-bones PC aimed at software developers.

Nick Farrell

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