) 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.
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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
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.
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).