Mighty little MinnowBoard, the first Intel® Architecture-based board for the small-form-factor, low-cost embedded market, made a big splash this month being named a Top Embedded Innovation of 2013 in the Silicon category by the editors of Embedded Computing Design. The board was also featured on the cover of the August edition of the magazine announcing all award winners.
Aimed at the maker and traditional embedded developer communities, MinnowBoard offers a high-performance, flexible, open hardware/software, and standards-based platform on which developers can innovate. At just over four inches square, MinnowBoard features an Intel® Atom™ 1GHz 32-bit processor.
MinnowBoard was developed as a collaboration between Intel's Open Source Technology Center (OTC) and CircuitCo, which also manufactures the board. It runs an open source Yocto Project-compatible Linux OS called Angstrom and uses the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) industry firmware standard that allows developers to quickly boot to the UEFI Shell, Linux, and other operating systems. The Yocto Project was also nominated for a Top Embedded Innovation of 2013 award in the Software category.
The board supports Intel's Software and Services Group's (SSG) strategic imperatives to fuel growth in adjacent markets and to build premier developer tools and programs. Furthermore, it establishes presence for Intel Architecture in the increasingly valuable low-end embedded market. That's significant considering the amount of innovation happening in the DIY space. The Open Source project teams helped design a compelling Intel-based solution that meets key requirements for embedded developers, including cost, size, and fanless cooling. Additionally, MinnowBoard adds higher I/O and CPU performance compared to ARM variants.
"This award is a great opportunity to create visibility in the ARM-based embedded market where Intel has been absent, but more significantly, an opportunity to expand and combine Intel's industry-leading open source software development with community development and excitement that open hardware presents," said Dave Stewart, Yocto Project engineering manager.
Open Hardware means that the hardware design and BOM are publicly available and may be freely replicated or modified, and that the original BOM is designed to use components that are readily available from distributors now, and are expected to be so for the next five years.
Visit http://www.minnowboard.org for full technical details, a data sheet, and a list of distributor sites where you can buy MinnowBoard.