Tag Archives: RIoTboard

Raspberry Pi Alternatives

f you have been using single board computers such as the RBPi or Raspberry Pi and Arduino, you would have certainly found them great as do-it-yourself boards for hacking and for setting up your own design. However, using these boards can bring up a natural curiosity to look at other alternate hacker boards similar in size and functionality to the RBPi.

Listed here are some boards comparable in prices to that of the RBPi, and with community support. They are good for transitioning to low-cost commercial volume manufacturing, while being compatible and easy-to-use.

According to the director of ecosystem and marketing program of Freescale, Steve Nelson, one should look for five important features while selecting an SBC: Simplicity in installation and during operation; Staying power or popularity with users; Stability against regular rebooting or updating; Security of design; and Standards of compatibility irrespective of the manufacturer.

Udoo: Although more expensive compared to RBPi, Udoo offers a unique experience of Linux and Arduino SBC. It runs on an ARM i .MX6 processor from Freescale, has 1GB DDR3 RAM and offers 76 fully available GPIO. Apart from this, it has a Wi-Fi module, one Ethernet RJ45, 3D GPUs for graphics, HDMI and LVDS. Other features include a pair of mini USB and mini OTG, one analog audio and microphone socket and a camera connection. Udoo works on 12V from an external power supply and the board has an external battery connector.

Wandboard: With 0.5GB to 2GB DDR3 RAM, Wandboard is more expensive compared to RBPi and is a unique Arduino and Linux SBC. It sports an HDMI interface, a camera interface, a micro-SD slot, an expansion header, serial port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 802.11n, SATA and Gigabit LAN. This board is used in small autonomous Sumo-robots and a cluster with a custom PCI-Express carrier board adapter.

WaRP: Targeted at wearable designs, this not-yet-released Freescale supported board runs on an i.MX 6SoloLite processor based on the Cortex-A9 architecture and Android 4.3 OS. With an E-ink display and wireless charging option, this tiny board has MCU for sensor aggregation, orientation and pedometric functions. Communication interfaces include a Bluetooth wireless module, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and sports multi-chip packaging with LP-DDR2 and eMMC memories.

RIoTboard: This board also runs on the Freescale I.MX 6Solo processor based on the ARM Cortex A9 architecture. It offers very high performance video processing with HD- and SD-level video decoders and SD-level encoders. The 2D and 3D graphics accelerator are based on OpenGL ES 2.0 with shader. The Freescale Kinetics MCU is an integrated power management chip with 1GByte of 32-bit wide DDR3 running at 800MHz. The board uses 4GB of EMMC Flash and offers support for GNU/Linux and Android along with enhanced expansion capabilities.

Freedom: With ARM Cortex Core and a full tool suite, the Freedom board has up to 256KB of Flash, USB, an LCD Controller, a capacitive touch sensor, a magnetometer, a 3-axis accelerometer, a visible light sensor and a 4-digit 4×8 segment LCD.

Teensy 3.1: This is an extremely tiny board of 1.4×0.7 inches, weighing 3 grams. The ARM Cortex M4 MCU runs at 72 MHz with 256K Flash memory and 64K RAM. It is cheaper than the RBPi.