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BOARDS & DEVELOPMENT KITS WandBoard’s WBQUAD may not look like much but it packs a Freescale i.MX6 quad-core processor. (Source: WandBoard.org) fashion as other popular boards. If that wasn’t enough, there is also optical S/PDIF, a camera interface as well as an expansion header and Gigabyte LAN. Users also have the option of running their favorite Linux-based flavors, including Android, Ubuntu and Fedora. For $129, what’s not to like? Odroid-XU3 The last three entries on this list haven’t been suggested but deserve to be in it anyway, with the first being the Odroid-XU3, which is based on Samsung’s Exynos5422. Odroid’s Odroid- XU3 is based on Samsung’s Exynos5422, which packs four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 CPUs. (Source: Hardkernal. The interesting thing about the SoC is that it features four Cortex-A15 cores along with four Cortex-A7 cores. Only one quad-core set is engaged depending on the app requirements and thereby helps to reduce energy requirements. The board goes all out with the visual technology as well thanks to the onboard Mali-T628 MP6 GPU, which astonishingly enough is capable of pumping out 4K UHD (Ultra-High Definition) resolutions! The XU3 also sports a USB 3.0 and 4 USB 2.0 ports along with HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.1 ports. Obviously, this is one of the more expensive SBCs (@ $179) but you do get what you pay for. Raspberry Pi 2 What list would be complete without the Raspberry Pi? The RPi Foundation recently released the Raspberry Pi 2, which is superior to the original in just about every way but costs the The Raspberry Pi 2. (Source: Raspberry Pi) same ($35). The upgraded SBC features an ARM Cortex-A7 quad-core CPU (clocked @ 900MHz), which provides about 6-times more performance over the original as well as the B+. It also has twice the amount of RAM as the original, with 1 GB of LPDDR2 RAM. What’s truly different from the other boards is that it can run the typical Linux flavored OSes such as Ubuntu but it can also run a modified version of Windows 10! However, the best part is that Microsoft’s newest operating system will be free to Raspberry Pi makers! Intel’s Edison The final entry on this list comes from Intel with their second revision of the Edison. The SoC for the Edison contains two Intel’s Edison may be small but it packs hardware that’s nothing to sneeze at, including two Atom Silvermont cores and one Quark core. (Source: Intel) Atom Silvermont cores (clocked @ 500MHz) along with a single Quark core (clocked @ 100MHz), which is basically used to run the Linux-based Viper OS. The SBC also features 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of eMMC flash for storage along with a 70-pin dense connector for USB, GPIO and UARTs. Intel designed the board for use with wearable devices but what makes this board interesting is that it’s compatible with the Arduino Breakout Kit, which means it can take advantage of the company’s many shields. Not bad for a board that costs a mere $50. GizmoSphere’s Gizmo 2 As an extra-added bonus for the list of sub $200 SBCs, take a look at GizmoSphere’s Gizmo 2, which features enough power to run high-end applications, including mainstream videogames. GizmoSphere’s Gizmo 2 has enough horsepower to run high-end applications and even graphic-intensive videogames. {Source: GizmoSphere.org) By all intents and purposes, this board is a development kit- meaning it has a wide range of interfaces for connecting add-on devices, including GPIO, ADC/DAC and SPI connections. It’s clear that the inclusion of a heatsink with a fan means it’s packing some power, which it is as the Gizmo 2 is powered by an AMD GX-21OHA dual-core SoC (clocked @ 1GHz), which also sports AMD’s Radeon HD 8210E GPU and 1Gb of DDR3 RAM. The 4-inch X 4-inch board is also equipped with two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, mSATA, microSD slot and HDMI port. The $199 price tag for the Gizmo 2 is justifiable given the amount of technology that’s packed on the SBC. 28 Electronic Engineering Times Europe February 2015 www.electronics-eetimes.com


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