Intel Unveils Upgraded MinnowBoard - Analyst Blog


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Intel Corporation ( INTC ) recently launched an improved version of MinnowBoard, a small single-board computer (SBC) and slashed its price from $199 to $99. The device is expected be available for sale in June.

MinnowBoard Max, as they call it, is manufactured by CircuitCo Electronics, a company that specializes in open-source motherboards. Max is a more compact, faster, second-generation open-source MinnowBoard SBC powered by Bay Trail 22nm Atom E3800 system-on-chip (SoC). It is supported by Android 4.4 Kitkat as well as the Linux oper ating system (OS).

MinnowBoard Max has two versions, a single core 1.46GHz Atom E3815 version with 1GB of DDR3 RAM and a dual core 1.33GHz Atom E3825 version with 2 GB of RAM. While the single core version is priced at $99, the dual core costs $129.

Both the versions have 2 USB ports, one of which has been upgraded from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0. Moreover, it has enhanced I/O and Gigabit Ethernet, which make it a fit for file servers and network devices. It offers two connectors unlike its predecessor, a 3Gb/sec SATA connector and a digital video and audio microHDMI connector.

Last year in April, Intel launched the original open-source, Linux-supported MinnowBoard with co-developer CircuitCo Electronics, which cost $199. It is currently priced at $189. The device, which is a motherboard with no casing around it, had issues because it had an older Intel processor, Intel Atom E640, and cost much higher than the better-performing and lower-priced ARM processors development boards.

The chipmaker believes that the MinnowBoard Max is an affordable, more powerful and energy efficient device than its predecessor. Moreover, it is designed to appeal to both professionals and manufacturers. Its open-source design enables developers to cost-effectively modify and integrate the open-source device. It is also expected to draw hackers to identify and make good deficiencies in the developed programs to make them more efficient. This directly contests with similarly priced quad core ARM Cortex A9 development board such as HardKernel ODROID, Wandboard, and others.

Intel wants to strengthen its foothold in the SBC space and reach a larger audience than the popular SBC Raspberry Pi, which uses a Broadcomm SoC with a 700Mhz ARM processor.

Intel currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the sector include Adobe Systems Inc. ( ADBE ), Ametek Inc. ( AME ) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. ( AMD ). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

ADOBE SYSTEMS (ADBE): Free Stock Analysis Report

ADV MICRO DEV (AMD): Free Stock Analysis Report

AMETEK INC (AME): Free Stock Analysis Report

INTEL CORP (INTC): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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