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Here Comes Intel’s Open Source Single-Board Computer, ‘Minnowboard Max’

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Adding to the current awesome crop of fully open source devices, Intel has now gone ahead and released its much anticipated $99 Minnowboard Max. The Minnowboard is a tiny single-board computer that runs Linux and Android. The open source computer is powered by a 1.91GHz Atom E3845 processor and the tantalising price tag is clearly expected to be a major crowd puller.

The Minnowboard Max doesn’t directly compete with the Raspberry Pi and doesn’t aspire to do that. The new device will help DIYers/hackers to mess around in x86 architected systems at an affordable price, that is. The Minnowboard Max comes with break-out boards called ‘Lures’ to expand functionality. Also, the graphics chipset comes with open source drivers. Intel aims to resurrect its low-power Atom processor by readily ‘giving it’ to hackers (owing to the meager price), making it relevant once again.

Raspberry Pi on the other hand runs a Broadcomm system-on-chip with a 700Mhz ARM processor. Directed more towards education, Raspberry is perhaps one of the most popular SBCs available.

Specifications:

-Processor — Atom E3800 (Bay Trail-I) with Intel HD 4000 Graphics:

Single-core E3815 @ 1.46GHz (5W TDP)

Dual-core E3825 @ 1.33GHz (6W TDP)

Dual-core E3826 @ 1.46GHz (7W TDP)

Dual-core E3827 @ 1.75GHz (8W TDP)

Quad-core E3845 @ 1.91GHz (10W TDP)

-RAM — supports 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB DDR3 RAM

-Flash — 8MB SPI flash (for UEFI/Coreboot/etc.)

-Coastline I/O:

MicroSD slot

Micro-HDMI port

Gigabit Ethernet port (RJ45)

Dual USB ports — 1x USB 3.0 host; 1x USB 2.0 host

1x SATA 3Gb/sec port

-Expansion connectors:

Low-speed connector (26-pin) — SPI, I2C, I2S audio, 2x UARTs (TTL-level), 8x GPIO (2x supporting PWM), +5V, GND

High-speed connector (60-pin) — 1x PCIe Gen 2.0 lane, 1x SATA 3Gb/sec, 1x USB 2.0 host, I2C, GPIO, JTAG, +5V, GND

-Other features — serial debug port (header); firmware flash port (header); heatsink; ACPI 5.0 support

-Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C

-Power — 5VDC

-Operating system — Debian GNU/Linux; Yocto Project Linux; Android 4.4

source: Saurabh Singh/EFYTIMES News Network

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