Intel beefs up open source Raspberry Pi challenger and slashes price

default-logo.pngIntel has beefed up its open source single-board computer and cut its price in half.

The Minnowboard Max features an open hardware design and is targeted at software application development pros and enthusiasts who want to code for the “deeply embedded” market.

Intel has slashed the Minnowboard price from US$199 to $99 (£60) — although distributor prices vary and not all have reflected the price reduction at the time of writing.

MinnowBoard_MAX-Top-Angled_1280x960.jpg

System-on-Chip (SOC)

Along with the price cut comes a more powerful Atom processor (64-bit Intel Atom E38xx Series SOC), integrated Intel HD graphics and a smaller overall footprint for the machine itself.

Minnowboard Max runs Debian GNU/Linux or Android 4.4 system — it is also Yocto project compatible.

NOTE: The Yocto Project is an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture.

Occasionally touted as a “Raspberry Pi challenger”, Intel’s Minnowboard Max is arguably better suited to the professional and hobbyist engineering space and is unlikely at this stage to make inroads into Raspberry Pi’s popularity inside the education sector — although that success in itself has been questioned.

The Intel graphics chipset included here comes with open-source drivers so software developer/hackers can really play with a wide range of possible use cases for this machine.

MinnowBoard Max has two USB ports (one of them is now USB 3.0) and a microSD slot as well as 10/100/1000 Ethernet.

If the Raspberry Pi and its Broadcomm SOC with 700Mhz ARM processor had won over many of the hackers in this zone recently, then many would argue that Intel has placed Atom right back in the interest zone with these updates.

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even at that cut rate price this thing needs to do more than the pi. for not much more, ($109) the pi beginning kit gives wires for display a memory card even a connectable USB (in addition to on board one) a lot of parts for projects and a protoboard at $35, the plain board is a bargain compaired to this too little, too late wanna be but again, what did we expect from Bill's Micro$crap anyway?
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The Raspberry Pi is hard to beat, but it depends on what you are going to use the board for. For basic stuff, the Raspberry Pi is more than capable. Keep in mind that the Linux distros that run on the Pi are scaled back so that they only use a fraction of its resources. A running Pi typically uses about 100 MB of RAM (without X11). I have a few small servers that run on a Pi and they work great. But, as always it's good to have options.
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