A new community sponsored development board has hit the shelves at Future Electronics today. The distributor is stocking the Wandboard (www.wandboard.org), a community-sponsored embedded development board offering a rich set of multimedia features.

The Wandboard, which is based on Freescale Semiconductor’s powerful i.MX 6 series multimedia processor, is available in single-core (Wandboard Solo) and dual-core (Wandboard Dual) versions.

The Wandboard is the product of a not-for-profit initiative that, like the Raspberry Pi, is aimed at providing a low-cost embedded development platform for students and hobbyists, as well as professional users.

The advantage of the Wandboard claim its developers is that it has adopted a system-on-module architecture, using the open EDM standard to connect the module to a simple carrier interface board that provides common system functions such as power and communications interfaces.

This means that developers who need different hardware resources from those available in an off-the-shelf Wandboard module can easily and cheaply modify it, and create a new carrier board to fit their specific application. In doing so, they can draw on the wide choice of open-source community software already available, and so reduce the risk normally associated with customisation and development engineering.

The Wandboard provides a high-performance hardware platform, capable of running complex applications and demanding functions such as rendering high-definition graphics. The Freescale i.MX 6 series processor, which features ARM Cortex-A9 technology, supports Ubuntu and Android™, and the Wandboard itself supports mainline u-boot and Linux®.

The board offers up to 1GB of DRAM, an SPDIF interface and analog audio outputs, an HDMI graphics connector, camera interface, two SD card slots, USB capability, Gigabit Ethernet and (on the Wandboard Dual only) on-board 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth. The boards also offer a wide range of expansion pin headers.

Colin Weaving, Technology Director of Future Electronics, said: ‘The Wandboard shares the same open and community-sponsored philosophy as Raspberry Pi, but offers a more powerful hardware platform for very little extra cost. For the professional developer or home users, it is a complete bargain.’

John Dixon, Mass Market Business Development Manager for Freescale’s microcontroller business, said: ‘The Wandboard provides an excellent way of experimenting with the capabilities of the high-end i.MX 6 processor family, and offers a great platform for many kinds of commercial product development as well.’

As well as selling the Wandboard boards, Future Electronics also sells an enclosure kit and an antenna kit.


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