Today, while browsing through my favorite tech-blogs I stumbled across a post about a new Kickstarter campaign (Kickstarter) for a new ARM based development board.
This one is going to be a little different though. It will combine a very powerful ARM SoC (capable of running Android or Linux) with an Arduino compatible microcontroller (capable of performing fast IO operations).
The Arduino compatible part is basically an Arduino Due on board. It is the same Atmel microcontroller as the Due and the breakout headers are pin compatible with the Arduino Due as well. So there’s a powerfull 32Bit ARM-Cortex M3 microncontroller for the kind of IO operations that require precise timing (like PWM, or interfacing with uncommon types of serial/parallel buses that aren’t implemented in your typical ARM SoC and/or need a real time software implementation).
Of course you could argue that you can get a Raspberry Pi or similar embedded Linux computer and an additional Cortex M3 microcontroller board for less than what seems to be the target price for the UDOO (judging from the Kickstarter pledge bonuses that’ll be somewhere around $120), but the UDOO has a lot more horsepower than a Raspberry Pi.
The UDOO will be available with two ARM SoC’s, both Cortex A9 variants from Freescale with either two or four cores clocked @1GHz.
So here is their list of features:
- Freescale i.MX 6 ARM Cortex-A9 CPU Dua/Quad core 1GHz
- Integrated graphics, each processor provides 3 separated accelerators for 2D, OpenGL® ES2.0 3D and OpenVG™
- Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 CPU (same as Arduino Due)
- RAM DDR3 1GB
- 54 Digital I/O + Analog Input (Arduino-compatible R3 1.0 pinout)
- HDMI and LVDS + Touch (I2C signals)
- Ethernet RJ45 (10/100/1000 MBit)
- WiFi Module
- Mini USB and Mini USB OTG
- USB type A (x2) and USB connector (requires a specific wire)
- Analog Audio and Mic
- SATA (Only Quad-Core version)
- Camera connection
- Micro SD (boot device)
So with that list of features for the ARM SoC and the additional low level microcontroller $120 seem like a great deal.