Tiny OpenWRT Linux computer

Linux based development boards are all around. Raspberry Pi is probably the leader among cheap and powerful solutions, but there are more options to choose like CHIP, OrangePi, BeagleBone or other more expensive options. Raspberry Pi Zero seems to be small but it lacks some built in functionality like Ethernet. If you look for smaller Linux based computer you could give a try to VoCore. It is practically built around Ethernet plug, but features most required parts like WiFi, USB, 20+ GPIOs. VoCore is able to run OpenWRT Linux which is capable to perform most of Linux tasks. It is suitable for home automation projects, WiFi routing, or to be placed as node in other embedded system. VoCore features Ralink/Mediatek 360MHz RT5350 MIPS processor, 32MB SDRAM and 8MB SPI flash. So it’s lightweight board (25.4mmx25.4mm) with packed functionality and price bellow $40. Continue reading

BeagleBoard black – will it beat Raspberry Pi?

beagleboard black

It seems that Raspberry Pi continuously is loosing the “cheapest Linux” board positions. After BeagleBoard black has been announced, you may thing twice before purchasing your next or first Linux based development board. Firs of all its price has been cut to $45 which makes it very attractive choice. It becomes even more attractive when looking at technical specs. First of all it comes with AM335x 1GHz processor. We all now that clock cycle doesn’t determine the system performance. We will definitely see the comparison results soon. It also comes with 512MB of RAM. Then there is 2GB of onboard flash memory where angstrom Linux distribution is preloaded. Also you can always boot from uSD you own image. Among all other features you can find onboard JTAG, USB, serial port, Ethernet, HDMI, 65 GPIO that can be split in to several special function IOS like LCD, analog and so on. If you were keen to buy white BeagleBoard, then why not grabbing the black one. Continue reading

Powerful but cheap Linux ARM board

ARM Linux boards are popular today. They give great open source software base, are small and powerful. Cubieboard is one of these small boards that offer high performance. It is powered by 1GHz ARN Cortex-A8 processor. Greaphics is handles using Mali400 OpenGL ES GPU. It comes with 512MB/1GB DDR3 RAM. Other features include 10/100M Ethernet, 4Gb NAND Flash memory, 2 USB hosts, 1 microSD slot, 1 SATA connector and 1 IR. It has 96 pins accessible that can be configured to run I2C, SPI, ADC, VGA and other protocols. Board is compatible to run most of Linux distributions including Android, Ubuntu, etc. Continue reading