Intel's $199 MinnowBoard 'open-source PC'

Working with the open source community Intel has helped produce a sub-$200 PC (GBP £130) aimed at software application developers.

The MinnowBoard is an Intel Atom processor-based raw materials (i.e. motherboard only) unit aimed at the low cost, hobbyist and embedded computing markets.


The MinnowBoard motherboard is of full open source lineage and its designs and schematics can be replicated under a Creative Commons license.

NOTE: Intel’s open source track record also sees the company having shared server design intellectual property through Facebook’s Open Compute Project.

Speaking exclusively to Computer Weekly, Scott Garman explained his position as MinnowBoard technical evangelist, Intel Corporation.

“The Open Source project teams (Yocto Project and UEFI) within Intel worked to identify and help design a compelling Intel-based solution that met key requirements for embedded developers, including openness, cost, size and fanless cooling,” said Garman.

“MinnowBoard is the first Intel-based open hardware board that can be used for everything from maker experimentation and education to high performance embedded applications. It can be used with or without modification for product use, or simply as a software development vehicle for embedded products. The board was designed by CircuitCo in conjunction with Intel’s Open Source Technology Center (OTC),” added Garman.

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The device ships with:

• Intel Atom E640 (1GHz, 32 bit) processor

• 1 GB of DDR2 RAM

• 4 MB of SPI Flash

• 1 USB Device (micro USB-B port)

• DVI via HDMI for video

The MinnowBoard is 4 inches by 4 inches and can now be purchased online from four distributors (at the time of writing) including Farnell UK.