Intel's Raspberry Pi Competitor, Atom-Based Minnow Board Now Shipping

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News Posted: Wed, Jul 31 2013 11:04 AM

Intel’s Open Source Technology Center, in conjunction with CircuitCo, is developing a low-cost, embedded-type motherboard based on the Intel Atom processor called the MinnowBoard. The whole affair is very charming (complete with a cartoon minnow logo), and it’s being marketed as a sort of fun, hobbyist-friendly board. (Sound like the Raspberry Pi?)

Although it uses Intel architecture, the hardware is open, and it runs the open source Angstrom Linux distro. Specs include an Intel Atom E640 (dual-core, 1GHz) with an Intel integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator GMA 600, 1GB DDR2 RAM, and UEFI firmware with 4MB SPI flash.


There’s plenty of I/O, too, including DVI via HDMI, micro SD, 2 USB hosts, PCIe, a micro USB-B port, a micro USB-B debug port, SATA 3Gbps, and a LAN port. The group has added experimental features that includes 8 buffered GPIO pins, 2 GPIO-controlled LEDs, and four GPIO switches.

The MinnowBoard site has a community page where you can get involved, and you can buy a board for yourself from several manufacturers linked to from the site. It’s worth noting that the MInnowBoard is quite a bit pricier than the Raspberry Pi—it looks like the board will run you $199 USD.

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samwelaye replied on Wed, Jul 31 2013 1:05 PM

Why would anybody EVER buy this when you can get intel's own Celeron NUC for less than 200?? Its better in every way, and is cheaper to boot. And you can go ahead and install your own linux distro anyways

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JDiaz replied on Wed, Jul 31 2013 2:22 PM

This is a development board, not a bare bones PC!

Thus the comparison to the Raspberry Pi, though it's more a direct competitor of the Beagle Board IMO... Development boards tend to cost more because they're not as mass produced and are meant to allow far more customizations... Thus the reference to Open hardware... Developers and Makers community can add sensors, hook it into robots, among many other potential projects... thus the hobbyist reference... the main point isn't how much performance the computer side can provide but how many different things you can do with it!

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realneil replied on Wed, Jul 31 2013 8:11 PM

It's easier to justify the cost of the Raspberry Pi than it is for this. (just saying)

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Clixxer replied on Thu, Aug 1 2013 1:27 AM

I still haven't found a use for the Pi at $40 bucks muchless these. Guess I need to be a bigger Linux buff to get these going to the max and justifiable.

My rig - I7-4770K, ASUS Z87-A Mobo, 16 GB Corsair Ram, AMD 7990 GPU, CoolIT AiO Cooler, NZXT H630

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How many GPIO pins does a NUC have?

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Elsa123 replied on Thu, Dec 5 2013 4:01 AM

How Much is it?= =

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