Android development board has two ARM cores

Element14 has launched a single-board development system for Android-based handheld devices.

RIoTboard from Element 14 and Freescale

Called RioTboard, it is based around a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 core in a Freescale i.MX 6Solo microcontroller.

With its collection of peripherals and physical appearance, it looks very much like a Raspberry Pi, but Element 14 – which also sells Raspberry Pi – insists is is a different beast, aimed at Android product development rather than education and Linux.

“RIoTboard has been designed to run Android operating systems efficiently and features a processor with a broad range of peripherals and display capabilities, making it suited as a hub for the Internet of Things (IoT),” said the firm, also saying that it will run Linux, and low-power consumption was a key factor in the design.

Alongside the main application processor is an ARM Cortex-M4-based microcontroller (Freescale Kinetis K20 chip). Cortex-M4 is a DSP-enabled M3.

Memory is 1GByte of 32bit wide 800MHz DDR3, plus 4Gbyte of embedded MMC flash.

Interfaces include ports for: 10M/100M/Gbit Ethernet, USB 2.0 OTG, 4x USB 2.0 hosts, LVDS, HDMI and parallel RGB interfaces, micro SD card, analogue headphone, analogue microphone, camera, serial, JTAG, and boot configuration.

Also on-board is a Freescale MMPF0100 power management chip.

Element 14 describes the board as “open source”, and is setting up facilities for a community around it.

Applications are expected in industrial tablets, educational tablets, smart home appliances, patient monitoring, tele-health, factory automation, digital signage, point of sale equipment.

Largely Freescale-based, RIoTboard looks very similar to Texas Instrument’s ARM Cortex-A8-based BeagleBone Black which was released in April last year.

Although the Beagle range from TI is older then Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi foundation introduced the idea of small boards with both a powerful processor and powerful HDMI-connected graphics processing.

Price is £46.

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