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Catalog of 150 open-spec, community-backed Linux SBCs under $200

Jan 7, 2021 — by Eric Brown — 4168 views

Our 2021 catalog of 150 open-spec, maker-oriented SBCs that run Linux or Android provides updated prices and descriptions plus a comparison spreadsheet of major features.

The following summaries of 150 community-backed and predominantly open-spec Linux/Android hacker boards under $200 are listed in alpha order. They list specs and lowest available pricing recorded in the last two weeks of December 2020 with products either shipping or available for pre-order with expected ship date by 2Q 2021.

Please also check out our introduction article covering the latest community-backed SBC trends (see link below).

 

January 2021 Hacker-Friendly SBC Catalog Links

 

Alphabetical index:

A20-OlinuXino-Lime2

  • Low-power Arm hacker board classic keeps it fresh with add-ons
  • Company/project — Olimex
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner A20 (2x Cortex-A7 @ 1GHz); Mali-400 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; opt. 8GB eMMC, 8GB NAND, and 16GB eMMC
  • Price — $49 (40 Euros); 48 to 60 Euros ($73) for ext. flash versions

Bulgaria-based Olimex’s OlinuXino project was among the first wave of open-spec community SBC projects along with BeagleBoard.org, Wandboard.org, and the Raspberry Pi community. The A20-OlinuXino-Lime2 builds on an Allwinner A20 with a Gigabit Ethernet (GbE, or 10/100/1000Mbps) port, microSD slot, HDMI port, LCD interface, and 3x USB ports. You also get battery support and 160 GPIOs. The 84 x 60mm SBC is available with Armbian and Debian Buster with mainline images up to Linux 4.19.5. Although the A20-OlinuXino-Lime2 is one of the oldest boards in our catalog, Olimex continues to enhance it with new options. These include a Lime2-SHIELD add-on for the SBC that costs 7 Euros ($8.50) and offers 40-pin GPIO, CAN, audio I/O, microSD. The shield also includes Olimex’s homegrown UEXT connector, which supplies serial, I2C, and SPI. Other LIME-2 options include a plastic enclosure with battery and a BAY-HDD external storage box that starts at 9 Euros ($11) with empty slots. There are also enclosed versions of the LIME2: The $75 ($92) LIME2-Server with a metal case, an external SATA drive, and UPS backup, and the 69-Euro ($84) Pioneer Edition FreedomBox Home Server, which combines the LIME2 with a metal case, backup battery, power adapter, LAN cable, and a 32GB microSD card with FreedomBox software. Finally, Olimex is prepping an STMP1-OlinuXino-Lime2 variant that swaps out the aging A20 chip for a newer dual -A7, Cortex-M4-equipped ST STM32MP1 and features -40 to 125°C support.

A20-OlinuXino-Micro

  • Optional industrial temp support and I/O expansion modules
  • Company/project — Olimex
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner A20 (2x Cortex-A7 @ 1GHz); Mali-400 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; optional 4GB to 16GB eMMC or 8GB NAND
  • Price — $50 (41 Euros); 42 to 62 Euros ($76) with ext. flash

The A20-OlinuXino-Micro has all the I/O of the first-gen Lime models, and adds audio I/O, VGA, and a touch-enabled LCD interface. This larger, 142 x 83mm board offers expansion connectors with optional I/O modules. You get a choice of various flash options, and like all the OlinuXino boards, optional -45 to 85°C support. Over a year ago, Olimex teased specs for an upcoming, PoE-capable S3-OLinuXino SBC based on a single-core -A7 Allwinner S3 amd designed for IP camera applications, but it has yet to appear.

A33-OlinuXino

  • Smaller and less feature-rich than other Limes but with faster Allwinner A33
  • Company/project — Olimex
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner A33 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-400 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; optional 8GB flash
  • Price — $37 (30 Euros) or $49 (40 Euros) for 8GB version

The 71 x 66mm A33-OlinuXino has a faster quad-core Allwinner A33 compared to earlier OlinuXino boards, but with a reduced feature set. The only real-world ports are a mini-USB OTG port, audio jacks, and a 5V jack. Two unassembled 40-pin connectors support GPIO, as well as 1280 x 800-pixel LCD and dual MIPI-CSI camera interfaces. You can download images for Android 4.4 and Armbian.

A64-OLinuXino

  • First 64-bit OLinuXino
  • Company/project — Olimex
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner A64 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM (2GB on 2G16G-IND ext. temp model); optional 4GB or 16GB eMMC (16GB eMMC on 2G16G-IND)
  • Price — $44 (36 Euros); $46 (38 Euros) with 16MB SPI; $61 (50 Euros) for 4GB eMMC; $67 (55 Euros) for 16GB eMMC; $86 (70 Euros) for 2G16G-IND

Like Olimex’s open source (Teres-A64) laptop, the 90.0 x 62.5mm A64-OLinuXino runs Ubuntu on a quad Cortex-A53 Allwinner A64. The SBC is available in models including a 1G version with 1GB RAM and no flash, a 1Gs16M that adds 16MB SPI flash, a 1Ge4GW with 1GB RAM and 4GB eMMC, a 1Ge16GW with 1GB RAM and 16GB eMMC, and a 2G16G-IND with 2GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, and -45 to 85°C support. Only the 1Ge4GW and 1Ge16GW ship with WiFi and Bluetooth. They all offer GbE, microSD, USB 2.0 host, micro-USB OTG, HDMI, MIPI-DSI, 40-pin GPIO, and an RTC with battery connector. Olimex is working on a more powerful Tukhla board built around NXP’s i.MX8 QuadMax.

Arduino Yun Rev 2

  • Reboot of the first OpenWrt Linux-driven Arduino board may be the last
  • Company/project — Arduino
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Qualcomm Atheros AR9331 (1x MIPS 24kc @ 400MHz); Atmel ATmega32u4 MCU @ 16MHz
  • Memory — 64MB RAM; 16MB flash; 32KB flash for MCU
  • Price — $56.40

Arduino returned in 2018 with a reboot of its original, MIPS-based Arduino Yun. It similarly combines a WiFi-enabled, 400MHz AR9331 SoC running OpenWrt Linux with an ATmega32U MCU that runs Arduino code. The board is again equipped with a microSD slot and USB host, micro-USB, and 10/100 Ethernet ports. Improvements were made to the LAN and USB components, and you get SSL support for improved security.

Banana Pi BPI-F2P

  • Variant of the BPI-F2S that adds PoE and serial I/O
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — SunPlus SP7021/Plus1 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1GHz); Microchip SAM9X60 and 80512 MCUs
  • Memory — 128MB or 512MB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $63

This larger version of the BPI-F2S costs only $5 more. The 130 x 85mm BPI-F2P offers more features but lacks the BPI-F2S’ dual 50-pin connectors to drive an optional FPGA add-on. Like the BPI-F2S, this is a collaboration with Tibbo Technology, which supplies an unusual, quad -A7 SunPlus SP7021. The SoC lacks a 3D GPU but has an 8051 MCU and an Arm9-based SAM9X60 SoC, which is used as a real-time core. There is no indication whether the $63 price is for 128MB or 512MB DDR3. Like the BPI-F2S, the Banana Pi BPI-F2P is equipped with a 720p HDMI port, MIPI-CSI, 2x 10/100 Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, micro-USB, TPM, debug I/O, and -40 to 85°C support. For expansion, there is a HAT-compatible 40-pin GPIO link. Compared to the BPI-F2S, the BPI-F2P adds RS-232 and RS-485 ports, an RTC, a Lithium battery, and 2x USB 2.0 headers. There is also a new Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) interface, but we saw no shopping option for it on AliExpress.

Banana Pi BPI-F2S

  • Industrial SBC debuts SunPlus Plus1 SoC and features optional Artix-7 FPGA board
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — SunPlus SP7021/Plus1 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1GHz); Microchip SAM9X60 and 80512 MCUs; opt. Artix-7 FPGA via Trenz add-on
  • Memory — 128MB or 512MB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $58

Announced in Nov. 2019, this collaboration with SunPlus is available for $58 on AliExpress plus $10.13 shipping to the US and 390 Yuan on Taobao ($56). Like the new and more feature-rich BPI-F2P model described above, the similarly industrial-focused BPI-FS2 is built around the SunPlus SP7021 (Plus1) SoC. As with the BPI-F2P, there is no indication whether the price is for the 128MB or 512MB DDR3 options, and the AliExpress page confuses things further by noting a “2GB memory capacity.” The 110 x 75mm BPI-F2S is equipped with a 720p HDMI port, MIPI-CSI, 2x 10/100 Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, micro-USB, TPM, and debug I/O. For expansion, there is a HAT-compatible 40-pin GPIO link and dual 50-pin connectors that support a Trenz Electronic TE0725LP-01-100-2D module equipped with an Artix-7 FPGA and 95 I/Os. Images are available for Debian Buster, Fedora 31 Mate, Ubuntu 18.04, Kail Linux, Mozilla IoT Gateway, and CentOS, all with Linux 4.19.37. Source is found on GitHub, and SinoVoip has posted schematics and other open hardware resources.

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Berry

  • Raspberry Pi sized variant of BPI-M2 Ultra with native SATA and camera support
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner V40 (4x Cortex-A7); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $36

The Banana Pi BPI-M2 Berry, which sells for $36 on AliExpress plus $7 for US shipment, is based on an earlier BPI-Ultra design, and similarly offers native SATA. The Berry has a smaller, Pi-like 85 x 56mm footprint and a different quad -A7 Allwinner SoC: the camera enabled Allwinner V40 instead of the almost identical R40. The BPI-Berry offers 4x USB 2.0 host ports plus a micro-USB OTG port. Other features include microSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, GbE, HDMI, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, audio I/O, and an RPi-like 40-pin connector.

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Ultra

  • BPI-M2 upgrade adds native SATA and 2GB of RAM
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner R40 (4x Cortex-A7); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB to 64GB eMMC
  • Price — $53

The Banana Pi BPI-M2 Ultra (BPI-M2U) can be found for $53 on AliExpress. The SBC superseded the similarly 92 x 60mm — and now defunct — BPI-M2 with a faster Allwinner R40 SoC that enables the Ultra’s native SATA connector. You get a generous 2GB of RAM, which is unusual for a Cortex-A7 SoC. The M2 Ultra is further equipped with GbE, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3x USB host, and single HDMI and micro-USB OTG ports. Other features include a 40-pin RPi connector, MIPI-DSI, an audio jack, and a mic interface.

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Zero

  • Raspberry Pi Zero W lookalike
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H2+ (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $22.90

Selling for $22.90 on AliExpress with free shipping to the US, the 60 x 30mm Banana Pi BPI-M2 Zero mimics the Raspberry Pi Zero W, but has a faster Allwinner H2+. The H2+ is like an Allwinner H3, but with HD instead of 4K support. The feature set is almost identical to the RPi Zero W, with WiFi, BT, MIPI-CSI, 40-pin expansion, mini-HDMI, and power-only micro-USB OTG ports. There are two M2 Zero spinoffs: the BPI-P2 Zero, which adds 8GB eMMC and 10/100 Ethernet with PoE and the BPI-P2 Maker without the eMMC or WiFi (see below) They all run Ubuntu 16.04, Raspbian and Android 4.4.

Banana Pi BPI-M3

  • Feature-rich, 32-bit octa-core SBC with SATA
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner A83T (8x Cortex-A7 @ 1.8GHz); PowerVR SGX544MP1 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB LPDDR3 RAM; 8GB to 64GB eMMC
  • Price — $68

Selling for a low of $68 on Aliexpress, the BPI-M3 runs on an octa-core Allwinner A83T SoC. The SBC has about the same size (92 x 60mm), layout, and features as the M2 Ultra, and similarly integrates 40-pin GPIO. Like the M2 Ultra, the M3 supplies GbE, WiFi, SATA, 3x USB, and multiple display and camera options. Software support includes Android 5.1, Debian 8, Ubuntu 16.04 Mate, Raspbian Jesse Mate, Arch Linux, and more.

Banana Pi BPI-M4

  • Banana Pi’s Raspberry Pi 3 competitor keeps it Realtek
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Realtek RTD1395 (4x Cortex-A53); Mali-470 MP4 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB or 2GB DDR4 RAM; 8GB eMMC (expandable to 64GB)
  • Price — $38 (1GB) or $43 (2GB)

SinoVoip announced the Banana Pi BPI-M4 back in Feb. 2018 but did not launch it until June 2019. Selling for $38 or $43 on AliExpress plus $8.54 shipping to the US, the BPI-M4 is the only board in our catalog with a Realtek RTD1395. Although at 92 x 60mm, the M4 is larger than the Raspberry Pi, it has an RPi 3-style layout, 40-pin GPIO, and similar feature set. It lacks the GbE port of the RPi 3B+ or RPi 4, but similarly offers optional PoE. Like the similarly sized BPI-M64, the SBC supplies a WiFi-ac/BT 4.2 module and an M.2 E-key slot for cellular. However, the M4’s HDMI port lacks 4K support and there are no MIPI interfaces. Other features include 2x USB 2.0 host, 2x USB OTG, a single Type-C port, and an audio jack. The novelty of the RTD1395 initially slowed OS support, but there are now images for Android 8.1, Debian Buster, AArch, Raspbian, Ubuntu Mate 18.04, and Ubuntu Server 16.04, all with Linux 4.9.119. The big Banana Pi announcement of 2020 was for the Banana Pi BPI-M5, another Pi-like board, but with a powerful Amlogic S905X3 equipped with 4x, up to 2GHz Cortex-A55 cores and a Mali-G31 GPU. Other specs for the yet-to-be-price board include 4GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, 4x USB 3.0, GbE and HDMI, and 40-pin GPIO.

Banana Pi BPI-M64

  • Mid-range Arm board with 2GB RAM and 4K video
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner A64 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB to 64GB eMMC
  • Price — $68

Unlike most Banana Pi models, the M64 is not a Raspberry Pi lookalike, although it has a RPi-style 40-pin connector. The 92 x 60mm SBC provides 4K-ready HDMI, MIPI-DSI, and -CSI, as well as wireless and GbE connections. The BPI-M64 is further equipped with 3x USB host ports and a micro-USB OTG port. The board is selling for $68 at AliExpress plus $6.95 shipping.

Banana Pi BPI-P2 Zero / BPI-P2 Maker

  • Spinoffs of RPi Zero W like BPI-M2-Zero with PoE-ready Ethernet
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H2+ (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC (only on Zero)
  • Price — $28 for Zero ($34 with PoE); $13 for Maker ($19 with PoE

The BPI-P2 Zero is a larger variant of the BPI-M2 Zero that adds eMMC and 10/100 LAN. The SBC sells for $28 on AliExpress plus $6 for the PoE option. There is also a stripped-down BPI-P2 Maker variant that sells for $13 on AliExpress or $19 with PoE. Aside from lacking WiFi/BT and eMMC, it has the same features as the Zero, including MIPI-CSI, mini-HDMI, USB 2.0, power-only micro-USB OTG, and 40-pin GPIO. Both models share the same Linux and Android support.

Banana Pi BPI-R2

  • Router board with 4x GbE ports, up to 2x SATA, and mini-PCIe 2.0
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — MediaTek MT7623N (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.3GHz); Mali-450 MP4 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $84

The BPI-R2 follow-on to the BPI-R1 router board is selling for $84 at AliExpress plus $10.13 shipping. Features include 4x GbE, WAN, HDMI 1.4, MIPI-DSI, and up to 2x SATA III interfaces. You also get WiFi/BT, mini-PCIe, 40-pin GPIO, 2x USB 3.0, and micro-USB 2.0 OTG.

Banana Pi BPI-R64

  • Router board is headless variant of BPI-R2 with 4x GbE ports, SATA, and mini-PCIe 2.0
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — MediaTek MT7622 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.35GHz)
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC (up to 64GB opt.)
  • Price — $79.34

The BPI-R64 is a variant of the BPI-R2 with a faster. more network savvy, but only dual-core Cortex-A53 based MT7622 SoC. The headless SoC has a built-in “4x4n” 802.11n and Bluetooth 5.0 chip. There is an option for a MTK7615 chip with 802.11ac, as well as a PoE card, but neither is available as an option on the AliExpress page, which offers the lowest price at $79.34. The BPI-R64 has the same 148 x 100.5mm dimensions as the BPI-R2, and most of the same features, but is limited to only 1GB of RAM and single USB and SATA connections. The headless board offers no media features. Common features include 4x switched GbE ports, a WAN port, microSD, IR, 40-pin GPIO, and mini-PCIe slot with SIM slot. Linux support is the same, with a focus on OpenWrt. In 2020, SinoVoip also launched a Banana Pi GrassRouter router board that is way beyond our price limit at $750. The MediaTek MT7622E based GrassRouter offers 4x GbE, 5x mini-PCIe, M.2, and 7x SIM slots.

Banana Pi BPI-W2

  • Router board with dual GbE, dual SATA III, and triple M.2
  • Company/project — SinoVoip
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Realtek RTD1296 (4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5GHz); Mali-T820 MP3 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB DDR4 RAM; 8GB to 64GB eMMC
  • Price — $88

The BPI-W2 router and NAS board, which sells for a low of $88 on AliExpress, is a spinoff of the BPI-R1 and R2 boards. The 148 x 100.5mm SBC provides dual SATA III, dual GbE, and a WAN port. You also get 4x USB ports, including Type-C and 3.0 ports. For expansion there are 3x M.2 slots with PCIe support and a SIM slot, as well as 40-pin GPIO. Unlike most networking boards, the BPI-W2 can also bring it when it comes to media: You get HDMI in and out, mini-DP, and an audio jack. The BPI-W2 runs Android 6.0, CentOS, Debian 9, Raspbian, Ubuntu 15.04, or OpenWrt on Realtek’s RTD1296, a NAS-oriented variant of the RTD1295 with a powerhouse Mali-T820 MP3 GPU.

BeagleBone AI

  • First major new BeagleBone design in five years rocks AI-infused TI AM5729
  • Company/project — BeagleBoard.org
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — TI Sitara AM5729 (2x Cortex-A15 @ 1.5GHz) with PRU MCU chips; PowerVR SGX544 GPU; Vivante GC320 2D GPU; 2x TI C66x DSPs; 4x EVE AI cores; 2x Cortex-M4
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3L RAM; 16GB eMMC
  • Price — $107.60

The BeagleBone AI (or BBone-AI) is the first BeagleBone to break with the BeagleBone Black’s single-core -A8 TI Sitara AM3359 design. The TI AM5729 is still a 32-bit SoC and only bumps up to dual cores, but they are faster Cortex-A15 cores clocked at 1.5GHz. The SBC is loaded with co-processors, adding to the previous PRU cores and PowerVR GPU with dual DSPs, dual Cortex-M4, and 4x EVE cores for vision processing and AI acceleration. The SBC sells for a low of $107.60 at Okdo and $117.60 at Newark, with other distributors charging over $120. The BeagleBone AI retains the familiar BB Black footprint and Cape add-on connectors. The SBC offers WiFi-ac/BT, as well as single GbE, HD-ready micro-HDMI, USB 3.0 Type-C OTG, and USB 2.0 host ports. You also get a PMIC, LCD with touch, and I/O including UART, I2C, SPI, and JTAG. Debian 10.3 is available.

BeagleBone Black, Rev C

  • Open source legend focuses on industrial I/O and community
  • Company/project — BeagleBoard.org
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3358 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz) with PRU MCU chips; PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3 RAM; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $62

The industrial-oriented, Debian-ready BeagleBone Black Rev C stands out with its numerous expansion interfaces and programmable “PRU” MCUs, as well as its robust BeagleBoard.org community and add-on ecosystem. This legendary hacker board sells for a low of $62 at Arrow, with other vendors close behind. The BB Black has been followed by more feature rich and/or lower cost clones, as well as the pricier, but more powerful BeagleBone AI. Farther below, check out three BeagleBone Green models from Seeed, as well as BeagleBoard.org’s own BeagleBone Black Wireless, BeagleBone Blue, and PocketBeagle. We did not include a separate listing for Element14’s BeagleBone Black Industrial 4G, which is identical to the BB Black except for its conformal coating and -20 to 85°C support, and is selling for $78.95 at AliExpress. However, we did add a separate listing for Sancloud’s more distinctive BeagleBone Enhanced.

BeagleBone Black Wireless

  • SiP-based BeagleBone variant with wireless and HDMI, but no Ethernet
  • Company/project — BeagleBoard.org; Octavo Systems
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Octavo Systems OSD3358 SiP with TI Sitara AM3358 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz) with PRU MCUs; PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB RAM; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $71.11

BeagleBoard.org’s alternative to Seeed’s BeagleBone Green Wireless sells for a low of $71.11 on Arrow. Like the BB Green Wireless, the SBC adds 2.4GHz 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 BLE to the BeagleBone Black design. Unlike Seeed’s two BB Green models, the BeagleBone Black Wireless retains the BB Black’s micro-HDMI port, but removes the Ethernet port. It is otherwise identical to the BB Black with one big exception: It incorporates the OSD3358 SiP (system-in-package) module from Octavo Systems, which built the SBC as well. Octavo sells a more advanced OSD3358-SM-RED BeagleBone compatible with the same SiP package, which slipped over our price limit to $212.50.

BeagleBone Blue

  • Robotics and STEM focused BeagleBone with servos, sensors, and wide-range power
  • Company/project — BeagleBoard.org
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Octavo Systems OSD3358 SiP with TI Sitara AM3358 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz) with PRU MCU chips and PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB RAM; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $86.56

This robotics-oriented, education-focused BeagleBoard.org collaboration with the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab is a BeagleBone clone that adds motion control and battery friendly power. The Blue has increased in price to a low of $86.56 at Arrow. Like the BeagleBone Black Wireless, the BeagleBone Blue integrates a TI WiLink 8 with WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE, as well as an Octavo Systems OSD3358 SiP module that encapsulates the Sitara AM3358 SoC, RAM, and flash along with a PMIC and other features. There is no Ethernet or display I/O, but you get micro-USB 2.0 host and client ports, 8x servo outputs, 4x DC motor outputs, and 4x quad encoder inputs. Other features include an IMU, barometer, JTAG, GPS, and a DSM2 radio. You also get a 9-18V DC input, a LiPo battery connector, extra user buttons and LEDs, plus the usual extensive list of BB Black interfaces. Distro support includes the BeagleBone’s default, real-time enhanced Debian stack, as well as Ubuntu Core. There is also compatibility with ArduPilot, MATLAB, Simulink, LabVIEW, and ROS.

BeagleBone Enhanced

  • Feature rich BeagleBone clone with optional WiFi/BT and GbE plus 4G and CAN Cape add-ons
  • Company/project — Sancloud
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3358 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz) with PRU MCU chips; PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB (WiFi 512) or 1GB (WiFi 1G and Industrial) DDR3 RAM; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $59.50 or $62.50 (WiFi 512); $76 or $80 (WiFi 1G); $81 to $277.86 (Industrial)

We have added a “New” tag despite the BeagleBone Enhanced being announced back in 2016. Although we covered it then, it fell off our radar, and SanCloud has recently enhanced the board with various add-ons, including a 4G/GPS/CAN-enabled model that is used as an Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) reference design. Aside from the BeagleBone AI, which has a faster processor, this is the most advanced of the BBone clones. The SBC adds 1GB RAM support, 1MB SPI boot flash, and Gigabit Ethernet. The two WiFi models offer 2.4GHz WiFi with BT 4.0 with external antennas. The WiFi 1G adds an internal antenna and like the non-WiFi Industrial model, it adds a micro-HDMI port as an alternative to the LCD interface. Both SKUs add an audio output, 6-axis MEMS accelerometer/gyro, barometer, temperature sensor, and a DC jack in addition to the mini-USB input. The Industrial also offers -40 to 85°C support. They all provide optional RTC and battery backup, as well as three homegrown Cape variants: 3G 4G CAN-Bus Cape, CAN-Bus Cape, and the previously mentioned GNSS/GPS 3G 4G CAN-Bus Cape. The Industrial model is available in SKUs that bundle each of these, as reflected in the price range above.

BeagleBone Green

  • IoT-focused BeagleBone clone with Grove sensor support
  • Company/project — Seeed; BeagleBoard.org
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3358 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz) with PRU MCU chips; PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB RAM; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $44

Seeed’s BeagleBoard.org-sanctioned, IoT-focused re-spin of the BeagleBone Black lacks the BB Black’s micro-HDMI port and 5V barrel jack, but it costs less, and adds expansion connectors for Seeed’s Grove sensors. It also replaces the mini-USB port with a micro-USB. See also the wireless versions below.

BeagleBone Green Gateway

  • A mashup of BB Green and BB Green Wireless features with single LAN and WiFi/BT
  • Company/project — Seeed; BeagleBoard.org
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3358 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz) with PRU MCU chips; PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB RAM; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $78.90

The BeagleBone Green Gateway provides the 10/100 Ethernet port of Seeed’s BeagleBone Green along with the BB Green Wireless’ TI Wilink8 module with 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. The open spec board is equipped with 2x USB 2.0 ports instead of one port on the BB Green and 4x ports on the Wireless. You may want to wait and see if the price reverts to the original $59.90.

BeagleBone Green Wireless

  • Wireless version of BeagleBone Green with 4x USB host ports
  • Company/project — SeeedStudio; BeagleBoard.org
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3358 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz) with PRU MCU chips; PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB RAM; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $52.90

The BeagleBone Green Wireless has the same base feature set as the BeagleBone Green, with identical additions and subtractions from the BB Black, including the addition of a Grove interface. The Wireless model adds WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as three more USB host ports for a total of four, making it the USB leader among all the BB Black clones. A TI WiLink8 module is now standard, boosting wireless capabilities to Bluetooth 4.1 LE and 2.4GHz 802.11a/b/g/n with 2×2 MIMO.

C-SKY Linux Development Board

The C-SKY Linux Development Board taps into a Nationalchip GX6605S SoC running a novel C-SKY ISA launched in China by Hangzhou C-SKY. Prices include 39 Yuan ($5.60) on Taobao, $15.90 on Tindie (from Maker go), and $26 on AliExpress. The C-SKY dev board is supported with a Linux 4.16 based stack with Buildroot and uClibc-NG, and ships with schematics. The SBC is a bit smaller than a Raspberry Pi and offers an HD-ready HDMI port and dual USB 2.0 ports. One of the two micro-USB ports supports JTAG debugging and the other offers 5V/1A power with UART console. A 5-pin header supplies power and 3x GPIO, and you get a reset button and several user buttons and LEDs.

Chameleon96

  • Security-enhanced 96Boards CE board with Cyclone V SE FPGA SoC and dual-stream video
  • Company/project — Novtech, Arrow, RocketBoards.org
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Cyclone V SE SoC (2x Cortex-A9); Cyclone V FPGA with 110K LEs
  • Memory — 512MB or 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $184.71

Novtech’s 96Boards CE compatible Chameleon96 SBC is the first FPGA-based 96Boards entry, running Debian on a Cyclone V SE ARM/FPGA SoC. The Chameleon96 features SecureRF’s quantum-resistant security, as well as its Intel Video Suite for FPGA technology. The FPGA can stream 60fps 1080p video via the HDMI port and can encode similar video via a two-lane MIPI-CSI interface. Other features include a microSD slot, a micro-USB OTG port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, an audio interface, a USB Blaster, and a UART. Like most 96Boards SBCs, this 12V SBC offers WiFi and Bluetooth, but lacks Ethernet. It offers the usual 96Boards low- and high-speed I/O connectors. The SBC has jumped up to $184.71 at Arrow.

Coral Dev Board

  • Google adds 4GB RAM option to Pi-like SBC with an i.MX8M and an Edge TPU AI chip
  • Company/project — Google
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz) with Vivante GC7000Lite/GC7000VLX GPU and 266MHz Cortex-M4 MCU; Edge TPU chip
  • Memory — 1GB or 4GB LPDDR4 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $130 (1GB) or $170 (4GB — currently unavailable)

Google’s sandwich-style Coral Dev Board has dropped in price by $20 over the last year and sells for a low of $130 at Seeed and Amazon. Google’s first SBC runs a Debian based Mendel Linux distro on a 48 x 40mm Coral SOM module equipped with NXP’s i.MX8M. The module showcases Google’s Edge TPU chip, a stripped-down, but up to 4 TOPS version of Google’s TPU Unit for accelerating TensorFlow Lite AI models. The Edge TPU, which also appears on a Coral-branded USB stick, PCIe card, and pre-soldered Coral Accelerator Module, is backed up by a Cloud Edge IoT stack. The Coral SOM offers 8GB eMMC and 1GB RAM, as well as a crypto chip and dual-band 802.11b/g/n/ac with BT 4.1 BLE. There is a new 4GB RAM version of the Coral Dev Board listed at Google and Seeed for $170, but it is currently out of stock. The 0 to 50°C tolerant Coral Dev Board has a somewhat Pi like size, layout, and 40-pin GPIO. Ports include GbE, USB 3.0, USB Type-C OTG, Type-C 5V power, and micro-USB console. Media I/O includes a [email protected] HDMI 2.0a port, 4-lane MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and audio I/O. Google recently shipped a smaller, cheaper Coral Dev Board Mini SBC with a MediaTek 8167s and an Edge TPU (see next item) and Asus has launched a Tinker Edge T SBC based on the Coral SOM (see farther below).

Coral Dev Board Mini

  • Smaller, slower sibling to Coral Dev Board with a MediaTek 8167s and Edge TPU AI chip
  • Company/project — Google
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — MediaTek 8167s (4x Cortex-A35); PowerVR GE8300 GPU; Edge TPU via Coral Accelerator Module
  • Memory — 2GB LPDDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $100

Google shipped the stripped-down Coral Dev Board Mini variant of the Coral Dev Board in October, selling it directly and at Seeed for $100. Although it offers twice the base-level RAM than the Coral Dev Board with 2GB, it runs Mendel Linux on a slower (typically 1.3GHz), but more efficient Cortex-A35 SoC MediaTek 8167s. In place of the Coral SOM, the SBC solders down Google’s new Edge TPU-equipped Coral Accelerator Module. Instead of 4K support you get 1280 x 800-pixel displays via micro-HDMI 1.4. Features include 802.11ac/BT 5.0, dual USB 2.0 Type-C, 40-pin GPIO, 4-lane MIPI-DSI and -CSI2, 3.5mm jack, digital mic, and speaker headers. The Mini goes head-to-head with Nvidia’s $99 Jetson Nano Developer Kit, which is not included here due to insufficient open hardware support.

CubieBoard6 / CubieBoard7

  • The last of the CubieBoards run on Actions S500 and S700
  • Company/project — CubieBoard.org, CubieTech Limited
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — CubieBoard6: CubieTech Actions S500 (4x Cortex-A9 @ 1.2GHz, PowerVR SGX544 GPU); CubieBoard7: CubieTech Actions S700 (4x Cortex-A53, Mali-450 MP4 GPU)
  • Memory — 2GB LPDDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $89 (CubieBoard6); $99 (CubieBoard7)

The CubieBoard.org community has shut down and CubieTech is selling off stock, so we have condensed our coverage from four entries to the latest two SBCs: The CubieBoard6 and CubieBoard7. The boards, which are identical except for their processors, are the fully integrated SBC cousins to the sandwich-style CubieAIO-S500 and $139 and up CubieAIO-S700, respectively. (The CubieAIO-S500 is available only on a $249 mini-PC model sold by a reseller.) The 100 x 60mm CubieBoard6 and 7 offer USB 3.0-based SATA along with 10/100 Ethernet, WiFi/BT, 2x USB 2, mini-USB, HD-ready HDMI, audio jacks, RTC, IR, UART, and dual 48-pin GPIO headers. Images include Actions-optimized Android 5.1.1 and Debian builds. The CubieBoard6 sells for $89 and the CubieBoard7 for $99 at AliExpress. Other CubieBoards include the CubieBoard4, which sells for $117 on AliExpress or $120 at Amazon. The SBC is equipped with an octa-core -A15 Allwinner A80, WiFi/BT, GbE, VGA, HDMI, USB 3.0, and 4x USB 2.0. We could only find the CubieBoard5 (CubieTruck-Plus) as a $129 reseller deal at Amazon plus $21.90 shipping. The CubieBoard5 runs on an octa-core -A7 Allwinner H8 and offers SATA, WiFi/BT, GbE, HDMI, DP, 2x USB, IR, and SPDIF.

DE0-Nano-SoC Development Kit

  • Dev board with Cyclone V SE FPGA SoC and Arduino shield support
  • Company/project — Terasic; RocketBoards.org
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Cyclone V SE (Cyclone V FPGA + 2x Cortex-A9 @ 952MHz)
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $99 ($90 academic price)

The DE0-Nano-SoC Development Kit looks like a commercial development board, but it offers open specifications and is supported on the RocketBoards.org community site. The DE0-Nano-SoC uses the lower-end SE variety of Intel’s Cyclone V SoC, which is roughly equivalent to a Xilinx Zynq-7020. The SoC similarly combines FPGA circuitry with dual Cortex-A9 cores running Angstrom v2014.12/Yocto 1.7 with a Linux 4.0 kernel. The board has GbE, USB OTG, and micro-USB ports, as well as a microSD slot with a 4GB card. There is also an accelerometer, an Arm-linked expansion header, and a variety of FPGA-linked interfaces, including a 40-pin header and an Arduino shield connector.

Developer Board 4IoT

  • Company/project — Geniatech
  • Snapdragon 410E board with WiFi, GPS, and MIPI-CSI adopts tiny 96Boards IoT form factor
  • Product page
  • Processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 410E (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz); Adreno 306 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB or 2GB LPDDR3 RAM; 8GB or 16GB eMMC
  • Price — $60.65

Geniatech’s Developer Board 4IoT, which is listed simply as the 4IoT on Linaro’s 96Boards site, is the only 96Boards IoT Edition (IE) SBC that runs Linux except for the Orange Pi IoT (see farther below). Using the same Snapdragon 410 SoC as the 96Boards CE DragonBoard 410C (see following item), the 4IoT uses the smaller IE spec. Like the Orange Pi IoT, the 60 x 35mm SBC implements the “Standard Micro” IE format’s 40-pin low-speed expansion connector, which is required on the “Extended” format, rather than the 30-pin subset used on MCU-based IE boards such as Seeed’s Carbon. Arrow is selling the 4IoT for $60.65. Since 96Boards lists the price as $92.72, we will presume that the Arrow version uses the base 1GB/8GB model instead of the 2GB/16GB config promoted on the Geniatech and 96Boards sites. The 4IoT is equipped with a microSD slot and WiFi/BT and GPS with antennas. There is a micro-USB port for power, 6x LEDs, 2-lane MIPI-CSI, and -25 to 85°C support. OSes include Debian-based Linux, Android 5.1, and Win 10 IoT Core. Open hardware files have still yet to be posted.

DragonBoard 410c

  • Company/project — Arrow; Qualcomm
  • Original 96Boards CE board offers built-in GPS
  • LinuxGizmos coverage
  • Product page
  • Processor — Snapdragon 410 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz); Adreno 306 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB LPDDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $67.50

The Qualcomm-backed DragonBoard 410c and the now defunct HiKey were the first 96Boards Consumer Edition (CE) SBCs and the first 64-bit ARM hacker SBCs. The 85 x 54mm, Snapdragon 410 driven SBC has dropped in price a bit to $67.50 at Arrow. The SBC lacks an Ethernet port, but you get WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, HDMI, microSD, 3x USB ports, and the 96Boards 40-pin low-speed and 60-pin high-speed connectors. The SBC supports Android 5.1, Debian 8.0, and Windows 10 IoT Core. Arrow’s newer DragonBoard 820c CE Extended SBC based on the high-end Snapdragon 820E sells for $442.53 — far beyond our $200 limit. In 2018, Arrow announced three other 96Boards CE Extended SBCs. The $130, STM32MP1-based Avenger96 appears to be discontinued. The AI-ML Board and Thor96 run Linux on NXP’s i.MX8X and i.MX8M SoCs, respectively. The AI-ML Board was not available a year ago but can now be purchased for $504.22 and the Thor96 sells for $559.58.

Firefly-RK3128

  • Feature-rich, sandwich-style boards with low-power Cortex-A7 Rockchip SoCs
  • Company/project – T-Firefly
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3128 (Firefly-RK3128) or Rockchip PX3-SE (Firefly-PX3-SE) with 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.3GHz; Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB RAM with 8GB NAND (Firefly-RK3128); 256MB to 2GB DDR3 with 4GB to 8GB eMMC (Firefly-PX3-SE)
  • Price — $60

Rockchip partner T-Firefly led the way for the Rockchip revolution in the hacker board space. One of the earliest models was the Firefly-RK3128, which sells for $60 . The SBC dual boots Android 5.1 and Ubuntu 15.04 on a quad-core -A7 Rockchip that is clocked slower than the RK3288 and offers half the RAM and flash of the Firefly-RK3288. The sandwich-style, COM/baseboard device includes GbE, WiFi, BT, HDMI, MIPI-DSI, MIPI-CSI, SPDIF, analog audio, LVDS, IR, and CVBS. The 117 x 85mm SBC is further equipped with 4x USB host ports, a micro-USB OTG port, and dual 42-pin expansion connectors. The similar, but extended temp Firefly-PX3-SE is out of stock.

Firefly-RK3288

  • Quad -A17 board with wireless and 4K-ready HDMI 2.0 gets steep price cut
  • Company/project – T-Firefly
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3288 (4x Cortex-A17 @ 1.8GHz); Mali-T760 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB or 4GB DDR3 RAM; 16GB or 32GB eMMC
  • Price — $80 (2GB/16GB); $100 (4GB/32GB)

Over the last year, the Firefly-RK3288 SBC has dropped in price by $40 (2GB/16GB) and $89 (4GB/32GB). The 118 x 85mm SBC dual boots Ubuntu 18.04 and Android 5.1 with mainline Linux support on a 1.8GHz, quad -A17 RK3288 with Mali-T760 GPU. A 4K-ready HDMI 2.0 port is joined by 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GbE, and 3x USB ports. The SBC is further equipped with VGA, LVDS, eDP, MIPI-DSI, MIPI-CSI, SPDIF, serial debug, and IR connections. More I/O is available via dual 42-pin connectors. Options include 4G and GPS modules.

Firefly-RK3399

  • Powerhouse RK3399-based hacker board with M.2, mini-PCIe, and dual 4K display ports
  • Company/project – T-Firefly
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 at up to 1.42GHz); Mali-T860 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3 RAM; 16GB eMMC
  • Price — $149 (2GB)

The original Rockchip RK3399 hacker board sells for $149 with 2GB RAM. The 4GB version, which sold last year for $209, is currently unavailable. The SBC features an M.2 slot with SSD support plus a GbE port, WiFi-ac, Bluetooth 4.1 BLE, and a mini-PCIe slot that can load an optional LTE module with the help of a SIM card slot. DP and HDMI ports drive up to 4K @ 60Hz video, and you get MIPI-DSI, eDP, DVP, IR, and 2x MIPI-CSI. The Firefly-RK3399 offers 2x USB 3.0 ports (including a Type-C), 2x USB 2.0 ports, a 42-pin expansion header, and numerous audio options. The board dual-boots Android 7.1 or 8.1 and Ubuntu 18.04. T-Firefly also sells an RK3399 Coreboard COM version of the Firefly-RK3399. The CoreBoard is available in a sandwich-style AIO-3399J board, which sells for $165. Earlier this year, TFirefly launched a $120 Station P1 Geek Mini PC gaming system that runs Ubuntu, Android, or an Android-based Station OS on the RK3399. Selling for $120 with 4GB LPDDR4 and 32GB eMMC, the mini-PC supplies GbE, WiFi/BT, 2x USB host, audio, IR, HDMI, and DP via a USB Type-C port. In April, T-Firefly announced a $59 Core-1808-JD4 AI Core Board and $149 AIO-1808-JD4 devkit, but they are currently out of stock. Also note that three more Firefly boards are sold under the ROC branding and are covered farther below.

Giant Board

  • Cortex-A5 SBC with an Adafruit Feather form factor and FeatherWing compatibility
  • Company/project — Groboards
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Microchip SAMA5D27 (1x Cortex-A5 @ up to 500MHz)
  • Memory — 128MB DDR2 RAM
  • Price — $55; $75 with WiFi

Having fulfilled its Crowd Supply backers, Groboards continues to sell the Adafruit Feather-like Giant Board at that venue, with current orders due at the end of February. The 51 x 23mm SBC runs Debian with mainline Linux kernel 5.0 on a Microchip SAMA5D27. The SoC is delivered via Microchip’s ATSAMA5D27C-D1 System-In-Package (SiP), which packs in 128MB RAM. By dint of its micro-USB port, microSD slot, and optional WiFi, the Giant Board barely qualifies as an SBC. Yet, it can load stackable FeatherWing modules from a list of 60+, including Ethernet and LCD add-ons. I/O includes 6x ADC, 4x PWM, I2C, SPI, UART, and I2S. The SBC also provides 3.7V LiPo battery support.

Habanero DVK

  • Dev kit expands upon Wave2 WiFi enabled module with 5x GbE ports
  • Company/project — 8devices
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Qualcomm IPQ4019 (4x Cortex-A7 @ up to 717MHz)
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3L RAM; opt. 1GB NAND; eMMC socket
  • Price — $119

The Habanero DVK showcases a 49 x 45mm Habanero module that runs OpenWrt on a quad -A7 Qualcomm IPQ4019. The SoC lacks a 3D GPU but has NEON support and Wave2 WiFi dual-band MU-MIMO 802.11ac for simultaneous connections to multiple devices. The DVK is equipped with 5x Gigabit Ethernet ports, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, and a 12-24V power socket. For storage, you get a microSD slot, an eMMC socket, and up to 1GB NAND flash. A wide range of I/O includes PCIe 2.0 and 46 GPIOs. See also 8devices’ similar Jalapeno board farther below. In October, 8devices launched a sandwich-style Mango-DVK, but at $219, it is over our limit. The Mango-DVK offers a choice of two Mango modules that run OpenWrt Linux on an up to 1.8GHz, quad -A53 Qualcomm IPQ6000 or IPQ6010 SoC, both with 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6). The DVK features 2.5GbE with PoE, SFP, and 2x GbE.

HummingBoard CBi

  • An industrial spin of HummingBoard Edge that adds CAN and serial ports
  • Company/project — SolidRun
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX6 Dual or Quad (2x or 4x Cortex-A9 @ up to 1.2GHz); Vivante 2D/3D GPU
  • Memory — Dual (1GB) or Quad (2GB) DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $189 (Dual); $255 (Quad)

Arriving at the end of 2018, the HummingBoard CBi (CAN bus interface) is an even more industrial variant of the HummingBoard Edge (see below) that swaps the HDMI port and GPIO for CAN and RS485 ports. It also comes standard with Edge options including an enclosure, heatsink, WiFi/BT, and -40 to 85°C support. It has the same footprint as the Edge and similarly runs Linux on a choice of dual- or quad-core i.MX6 based MicroSOM modules. Debian, Yocto, Buildroot, and OpenWrt stacks are available with Linux 4.4x. Except for an extra user button and LEDs, the board is identical to the Edge. The 1GB Dual version may be found in the LG link above, and the 2GB Quad version is here.

HummingBoard Edge

  • Industrial-minded, sandwich-style i.MX6 board with wide-range power and optional -40 to 85°C
  • Company/project — SolidRun
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX6 Solo, Dual, or Quad (1x, 2x, 2x, or 4x Cortex-A9 @ up to 1.2GHz); Vivante 2D/3D GPU
  • Memory — Solo (512MB), Dual or Dual-lite (1GB), and Quad (2GB) DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $128 (Solo with WiFi/BT); $136 (DualLite); $149 (Dual); $177 (Quad) for basic configs; up to $235 for Quad with WiFi/BT, -40 to 85°C, and heatsink

The HummingBoard Edge incorporates i.MX6 based MicroSOM modules and duplicates all the features of the smaller, recently discontinued HummingBoard Pro. The 102 x 69mm Edge doubles the USB 2.0 count to four and adds M.2, SIM, and MIPI-DSI. The SBC also provides a larger 36-pin GPIO connector and boosts the power supply to a wide-range 7-36V. As with the Pro, there are options including wireless modules, heatsink, enclosure, and -40 to 85°C support.

HummingBoard Gate

  • Stripped down version of HummingBoard Edge that adds MikroBus socket for Click modules
  • Company/project — SolidRun
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX6 Solo, Dual, or Quad (1x, 2x, or 4x Cortex-A9 @ up to 1.2GHz); Vivante 2D/3D GPU
  • Memory — Solo (512MB), DualLite and Dual (1GB), and Quad (2GB or 4GB) DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $97 (Solo); $121 (DualLite); $134 (Dual); $162 (Quad) for basic configs; up to $240 for maxed out Quad

As the name suggests, the HummingBoard Gate is designed primarily for IoT gateway duty. The SBC is almost identical to the HummingBoard Edge, with the same 102 x 69mm footprint, 7-36V power supply, mini-PCIe slot, and optional wireless modules and metal enclosure. It lacks Edge features like LVDS, analog audio, or M.2, but adds a MikroBus socket that accepts MikroElektronika’s 200-plus Click add-on I/O and sensor modules. Multiple temperature ranges are available.

HummingBoard Mate

  • Cheaper variant of HummingBoard Pulse with AI-enabled i.MX8M Plus and mini-PCIe slot
  • Company/project — SolidRun
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M Plus Quad — 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.8GHz; Cortex-M7 MCU; Vivante GC7000UL 3D and GC520L 2D GPU; HiFi4 DSP, 2x ISPs
  • Memory — 1GB LPDDR4-3200; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $135 ($150 with WiFi/BT)

The new HummingBoard Mate is based on the new HummingBoard Ripple. In fact, the image shown for the Mate, which is on pre-order, appears to be the same as the Ripple. Like the Ripple, the Mate is a scaled-back version of the HummingBoard Pulse with the same Pico-ITX form factor. Unlike either board, it offers the i.MX8M Plus via a new iMX8M Plus CoM module, which is like an i.MX8M Mini but with a 2.3-TOPs NPU, a DSP, dual ISPs, and a faster Cortex-M7 MCU. Although the iMX8M Plus CoM module is available in both dual- and quad-core models with up to 4GB RAM, the Mate is currently offered only with a Quad with 1GB. Like the Ripple, the Mate subtracts the Pulse’s M.2, MIPI-DSI, digital audio, PoE option, and one each of the dual GbE and MIPI-CSI links. Features include 2x USB 3.0, micro-USB, HDMI, mini-PCIe with SIM, MikroBus, a 7-36V input, and an RTC

HummingBoard Pulse / Pulse Mini

  • Sandwich-style i.MX8M SBC with mini-PCIe, M.2, 2x GbE, and optional Mini version with AI chip
  • Company/project — SolidRun
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M Dual or Quad or i.MX8M Mini Quad — 2x or 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz or 1.8GHz (Mini); Cortex-M4 MCU; Vivante GPU
  • Memory — 1GB LPDDR4-3200 (Dual), 3GB (Quad); 2GB LPDDR4-3200 for Mini; 8GB eMMC for all
  • Price — $182 (Dual), $230 (Quad), $212 (Quad Mini) for base configs; up to $276 for max Quad

The Pulse was the first of a family of Pico-ITX form-factor HummingBoard-M boards that also include the new i.MX8M Plus based HummingBoard Mate (above) and new, stripped-down HummingBoard Ripple (below). The Pulse is available with an i.MX8M-based i.MX8 SOM or newer i.MX8M Mini based i.MX8M Mini SOM. On its own, the Mini-based module is available in Solo, Dual, or Quad versions, but the Pulse Mini board ships only with the Quad with 2GB RAM and 8GB eMMC. The Mini SOM is limited by to HD video but enjoys the Mini SoC’s faster clock rate. The module was announced with an optional GTI Lightspeeur 2803S AI chip, but this is not offered on the HummingBoards. The Mini-based SKU is over our $200 price limit, along with all the i.MX8M SOM based Pulse SKUs except the $182 i.MX8M Dual model with 1GB RAM, no wireless, and commercial temp support. The HummingBoard Pulse replaces the GPIO found on i.MX6-based HummingBoards in favor of single mini-PCIe, M.2, SIM, and Mikrobus connectors. The Pulse features 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, USB Type-C, MIPI-CSI, HDMI 2.0, and MIPI-DSI. You also get an RTC, IR, 7-36V input, a heatsink, and options including an enclosure and -40 to 85°C support. The originally announced 4GB RAM option is not currently listed.

HummingBoard Ripple

  • Reduced feature variant of Pulse with i.MX8M Mini
  • Company/project — SolidRun
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M Mini Quad — 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.8GHz; Cortex-M4 MCU; Vivante GPU
  • Memory — 2GB LPDDR4-3200; 8GB eMMC for all
  • Price — $170 ($186 with WiFi/BT)

The stripped-down HummingBoard Ripple variant of the HummingBoard Pulse is $60 cheaper than a similarly configured, quad-core Pulse, although with only 2GB instead of 3GB RAM. The new SBC offers only the i.MX8M Mini SOM with an i.MX8M Mini SoC that is faster but limited to HD video. The Ripple subtracts the M.2, MIPI-DSI, digital audio, PoE option, and one each of the dual GbE and MIPI-CSI links. It also switches the HDMI port to micro-HDMI. Otherwise identical, the Ripple similarly runs Linux 4.4x. The Ripple was originally announced with an optional Lightspeeur AI chip, but this is no longer mentioned. See also the very similar new HummingBoard Mate farther above, which instead provides an AI-enabled i.MX8M Plus.

I-Pi SMARC PX30

  • Rugged industrial board built around a Rockchip PX30-based SMARC module
  • Company/project — Adlink
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip PX30 (4x Cortex-A35)
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3L RAM; 32GB microSD card
  • Price — $125

The I-Pi SMARC PX30 is one of two maker-friendly SBCs launched by Adlink in 2020 built around SMARC modules and offering compact dual-GbE carrier boards. While the Vizi-AI (see farther below) uses an Apollo Lake based LEC-AL module, the more ruggedized I-Pi taps Adlink’s LEC-PX30 module, which runs Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or Yocto on a quad -A35 Rockchip PX30. (Rockchip does not list a clock rate, but we have seen citations of 1.5GHz.) Like the Vizi-AI, this is not an open-spec board, but is included here due to its robust community and support features, in this case via a separate I-Pi site. In addition, Intel and Adlink have posted on GitHub Intel’s hardware abstraction layer (HAL) for low-speed I/O called MRAA. (See LinuxGizmos link above for more on the software.) The LEC-PX30 on the I-Pi is equipped with 2GB soldered DDR3L, and although there is no eMMC, the $125 price includes a 32GB microSD card plus a power adapter and micro-USB cable. The I-Pi was announced with dual HDMI, dual Fast Ethernet, and a 40-pin header, but the shipping model switches to a single HDMI 2.0b and dual GbE ports and replaces the 40-pin with multiple serial, CAN, SPI, I2C, and GPIO headers. The 116 x 81mm carrier board also provides 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and a micro-USB 2.0 OTG port. Other features include LVDS, 4-lane MIPI-DSI, 2-lane MIPI-CSI, and I2S audio. The 12V SBC has a 0 to 60°C or optional -40 to 85°C operating range. Shock and vibration resistance are compliant with IEC 60068-2-64 and IEC-60068-2-27.

Jalapeno DVK

  • Dev kit for Wave2 WiFi enabled Jalapeno module has dual GbE ports
  • Company/project — 8devices
  • Product page
  • Processor — Qualcomm IPQ4018 (4x Cortex-A7 @ up to 700MHz)
  • Memory — 256MB DDR3L RAM; 128MB NAND
  • Price — $99

The Jalapeno DVK preceded the similar Habanero DVK and offers a lower price and fewer GbE ports. The headless, sandwich-style board incorporates a 47 x 32mm Jalapeno module that runs OpenWrt on a quad -A7 Qualcomm IPQ4018. The SoC lacks a 3D GPU but has NEON and crypto support plus built-in Wave2: dual-band 802.11ac with support for simultaneous connections to multiple devices. The DVK is equipped with 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2x USB 3.0, and a micro-USB port. I/O includes I2S, SPI, UART, GPIO, and JTAG. See also 8devices’ MIPS-based Komikan DVK.

Khadas Edge / Edge-V

The Khadas Edge was announced in July 2018 and launched on Indiegogo that November along with a similar Edge-V model and an RK3399Pro based Edge-1S. The Edge and Edge-V are available on the Khadas shopping page, with all the Pro and Max models greatly reduced in price since a year ago. You can order numerous options, although the $45, gaming-oriented Captain Carrier is out of stock. The Edge has an MXM3 connector for deploying the board like a compute module on a cluster or carrier board such as the Captain. It also offers FPC connectors for hooking up options like the Edge IO serial debug and GPIO board. The Edge-V replaces the MXM3 and FPC links with a Khadas Vim-like 40-pin RPi connector and adds a GbE port, microSD, and M.2 2280 with NVMe support. The Edge-V also adds MIPI-CSI and -DSI, eDP 1.3, touch support, RTC, IR, gesture sensor, and 6-axis IMU. (The RK3399Pro based Edge-1S has still yet to appear and likely never will.) The RPi-sized Edge models include single USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, 4K-ready DP and HDMI 2.0a, and a DisplayPort via one of the two USB Type-C ports. The Basic model (2GB/16GB) offers dual-band WiFi-ac and BT 4.1 while the Pro and Max boost the Bluetooth to 5.0 and add RSDB WiFi. There is a wide-range DC input and support for Android Oreo, Ubuntu 18.04, Debian 9.0, and more, as seen at the Khadas GitHub page.

Khadas Vim1

  • 64-bit Amlogic based board focuses on video
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Wesion; Khadas project
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Amlogic S905X (4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 2GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB (Basic) or 16GB eMMC (Pro)
  • Price — $44.90 (Basic) or $54.90 (Pro)

This original Khadas Vim board, which was followed by Vim2 and Vim3 and 3L models, is built around an Amlogic S905X, a lower-cost upgrade to the quad-core, -A53 Amlogic S905 found on the Odroid-C2. OS support includes Android 9.0, Android TV, Ubuntu 18.04, Armbian, LibreELEC, and mainline Linux 5.0. The 82 x 58mm Vim1 offers 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, Fast Ethernet, and 3x USB 2.0 host ports, one of which is a Type-C OTG with power. Other features include HDMI 2.0a, IR, microSD, and 40-pin expansion. Shenzhen Wesion’s Khadas project also offers a $79.90 Khadas Tone Board (Tone1) audio add-on for all the Vim boards and recently released a greatly improved, $199.90 Tone2 Pro model. The Khadas community is a lively one with numerous software updates and new add-ons to play with.

Khadas Vim2

  • Advanced, octa-core version of Vim1 with GbE and Pogo Pad controllers
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Wesion; Khadas project
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Amlogic S912 (8x Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5GHz); Mali-T820 MP3 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB (Basic), 3GB (Max) DDR4 RAM; 16GB (Basic), 64GB (Max) eMMC
  • Price — $79.90 (Basic); $99.90 (Max)

The Khadas Vim2 has the same 82 x 58mm footprint as the Vim1 but advances to an octa-core Amlogic S912 and Mali-T820 GPU. OS support is the same as the Vim1 except for the older Android 7.1 build. Like the Vim1, the Vim2 is equipped with HDMI 2.0a with [email protected] decoding, 2x USB 2.0, a micro-USB OTG Type-C with 5V input, and 40-pin expansion. The Vim2 advances to GbE with WoL and adds an FPC link and two Pogo Pad I/O connectors, one of which controls an STM8S003 MCU for a programmable EEPROM. Other features include microSD, RTC, IR, and an acrylic case. The mid-range, $99.90 Pro model is no longer available, but the Max model with 3GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, and 802.11ac with BT 5.0 (in place of 802.11n/BT 4.1) has dropped in price by $20. A v1.4 hardware update to the Vim2 has brought a fan header, improved air flow, and the Max’s 802.11ac module.

Khadas Vim3 / Vim3L

  • Latest Vim showcases hexa-core Amlogic A311D with Cortex-A73 and a 5-TOPS AI chip
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Wesion; Khadas project
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor:
    • Vim3: Amlogic A311D (4x Cortex-A73 @ 2.2GHz, 2x Cortex-A53 @ 1.8GHz); Mali-G52 GPU; Cortex-M4; 5-TOPS NPU
    • Vim3L: Amlogic S905D3-N0N (4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.9GHz); Mali-G31 GPU; Cortex-M4; 1.2-TOPS NPU
  • Memory — 2GB (Vim3 Basic and Vim3L), 4GB (Vim3 Pro) LPDDR4 RAM; 16GB (Basic and Vim3L), 32GB (Pro) eMMC
  • Price — $69.90 (Vim3L); $99.90 (Vim3 Basic); $139.90 (Vim3 Pro)

The Khadas project’s Vim3 may well be the fastest Arm-based SBC in the roundup. Its 12nm Amlogic A311D SoC features 4x 2.2GHz -A73 cores, 2x 1.8GHz -A53 cores, a high-end Mali-G52 GPU, and a 5-TOPS neural processor. There is also a cheaper Khadas Vim3L that shifts down to a quad -A55 Amlogic S905D3 with a Mali-G31 and a 1.2-TOPS NPU that supports deep learning frameworks such as TensorFlow and Caffe. The $69.90 Vim3L is limited to the same 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC of the basic Vim3 but is otherwise identical. The Khadas Vim3 boards have the same, somewhat Raspberry Pi-like 82 x 58 x 11.5mm footprint and layout as the earlier Vim boards. They similarly offer a 40-pin GPIO and support all the Vim accessories. An M.2 2280 socket lets you load NVMe modules. Dual simultaneous displays are available via the [email protected] ready HDMI 2.1 and 4-lane MIPI-DSI. Other features include WiFi/BT, 4-lane MIPI-CSI, GbE, USB Type-C OTG, and 2x USB 3.0 host ports. You also get an RTC, IR, an accelerometer, and a 5-20V input. OS support includes Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Kernel 5.0, Armbian, LibreELEC, and Android 9.

Komikan DVK

  • Headless, sandwich-style OpenWrt-on-MIPS board features Wave 2 WiFi
  • Company/project — 8devices
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Realtek RTL819FS (1x MIPS 24Kc @ 1GHz)
  • Memory — 128MB RAM; 32MB flash; empty eMMC socket
  • Price — $59

In 2019, 8devices, which is known for MIPS-based modules such as the Carambola, released an open-spec Komikan DVK board that features a not-so-open Komikan compute module. The module runs OpenWrt on a MIPS-based Realtek RTL819FS SoC accompanied by a Realtek RTL8822BEH chipset with Wave 2 WiFi and BT 4.1. Wave 2 provides concurrent 2.4GHz/5GHz, MU-MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac for up to 1.166Gbps throughput. Unlike most Wave 2 devices, the Komikan can operate without a heatsink with low 6W consumption. The Komikan DVK adds an eMMC socket, microSD slot, 10/100 and 10/100/1000Mbps ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports, and a USB Type-C for power and console duty. You also get antennas and a 20-pin GPIO. See also 8devices’ Habanero DVK and Jalapeno DVK for an Arm-based spin of Wave 2.

LattePanda Delta

  • Relaunched Gemini Lake SBC also has an Arduino Leonardo MCU
  • Company/project — Hardkernel, Odroid project
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Celeron N4100 (4x Gemini Lake cores @ 1.1GHz/2.4GHz); Intel UHD Graphics 600; Arduino Leonardo MCU
  • Memory — 4GB DDR4 RAM; 32GB eMMC
  • Price — $188; $228 with Windows preactivated

DFRobot’s original, Intel Cherry Trail based LattePanda Delta was left out of our catalog due to insufficient open source support or high prices. In Nov. 2019, the board relaunched with a quad-core Gemini Lake processor for only $188, supporting Linux or Windows. Taking a closer look, we see that DFRobot has improved its community resources and Linux support, and has posted 3D files, although we see no schematics. Since this is roughly the same kind of support you get with Seeed’s new Gemini Lake based Odsyssey-X86J1405800 board (see farther below) and the price is now under $200, we decided to include it. As with the Odyssey, there are also more expensive Windows-loaded SKUs, and DFRobot also sells a higher-end, Intel Kaby Lake-based LattePanda Alpha board. The older, Intel Cherry Trail based LattePanda Delta v1 still sells for $176.25 at Digi-Key. The second-gen Delta, which is almost identical to the original aside from the CPU and a new LiPo battery connector, integrates HDMI, eDP with touch, DP via USB Type-C, GbE, and 3x USB 3.0 host ports. Other features include WiFi-ac with BT 5.0 and dual 50-pin GPIO connectors, including one with an Arduino pinout for the included Arduino Leonardo compatible MCU. The SBC provides M.2 B- and M-key slots, with the latter supporting NVMe, plus an RTC and a fan. In early December, a Gemini Lake based Hackboard 2 SBC launched on Crowd Supply available with Ubuntu for $99 or Win 10 Pro for $140 and due to ship April 30. There is no indication this is an open-spec or community-backed board.

LeMaker Guitar

  • The typical mid-range Arm hacker SBC…if this was 2016
  • Company/project — LeMaker
  • Product page
  • Processor — Actions S500 (4x Cortex-A9 @ up to 1.6GHz); PowerVR SGX544 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB or 2GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $69

LeMaker’s aging, sandwich-style Guitar SBC integrates a COM with a quad-core Actions S500. Images are available for Android 5.0, Ubuntu Mate, Ubuntu Core, Lemuntu, Armbian, ArchLinux, and a LeMaker XBMC (Kodi) media playing variant called LeMedia. The 88 x 81mm baseboard offers WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, HDMI, micro-USB 3.0, and dual USB host ports. There’s also a MIPI-CSI interface and an RPi-compatible 40-pin connector.

Libre Computer Board ALL-H3-CC (Tritium )

  • RPi lookalike comes with choice of three Allwinner SoCs
  • Company/project — Libre Computer
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H2+, H3, or H5 — 4x Cortex-A7 (H2+/H3) or -A53 (H5) cores with Mali-400 MP2 (H2+/H3) or Mali-450 MP2 (H5) GPU
  • Memory — 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB DDR3 RAM; empty eMMC socket
  • Price — $15 (H2+ with 512MB), $20 (H3 with 1GB), or $30 (H5 with 2GB)

Libre Computer’s Kickstarter-backed Tritium, which was renamed the Libre Computer Board ALL-H3-CC, taps the Allwinner H2+, H3, and H5. Libre sells the H2 model from the Product Page link above. The H3 model sells on Amazon and the quad -A53, 4K-ready Allwinner H5 version is available on LoverPi. The ALL-H3-CC runs Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Android 7.1, Debian 9 Stretch, Armbian, Raspbian, and more, with upstream device drivers from the linux-sunxi community. Like the Amlogic S905X based AML-S905X-CC (Le Potato), the ALL-H3-CC has a Raspberry Pi 3-like form factor, layout, and 40-pin expansion interface. The only I/O difference we can see is the Tritum’s addition of an IR receiver. Not much seems to be shaking at Libre Computer these days — the last blog post was from Feb. 2019.

Libre Computer Board AML-S805X-AC (La Frite)

  • Smaller, less powerful spin of Le Potato has 40-pin GPIO
  • Company/project — Libre Computer
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Amlogic S805X (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-450 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB or 1GB DDR4 RAM
  • Price — $15 (512MB) or $20 (1GB)

Libre Computer Kickstarter back La Frite, which became the Libre Computer Board AML-S805X-AC, us available on LoverPi for $5 less than a year ago. The AML-S805X-AC is a smaller, stripped-down version of the Libre Computer Board AML-S905X-CC (Le Potato) described in the following blurb and is billed as a replacement for the Raspberry Pi Model A. Since it launched, an improved, $25 RPi 3 Model A+ arrived, which Libre Computer compared to La Frite in a Dec. 2018 update post. La Frite has a lower-powered, 1.2GHz S805X compared to the 1.5GHz S905X model on Le Potato. Coastline ports include a low-profile 10/100 Ethernet, an HD-ready HDMI, 2x USB 2.0, and a micro-USB OTG port with power input. There is also an RPi-style 40-pin header, an IR receiver, and a boot button. The board supports mainline Linux with Ubuntu, Debian, LibreELEC, Lakka, RetroPie, Android Oreo, and more.

Libre Computer Board AML-S905X-CC (Le Potato)

  • RPi 3 lookalike that adds HDMI 2.0 and optional eMMC
  • Company/project — Libre Computer
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Amlogic S905X (4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 2GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3 RAM; optional 8GB to 64GB eMMC
  • Price — $50 (2GB)

Launched on Kickstarter as Le Potato, the Raspberry Pi-like Libre Computer Board AML-S905X-CC is now available at LoverPi, although the $35 1GB model is sold out. The SBC is equipped with the same quad -A53 S905X SoC found on the original Khadas Vim, and has the same size, port layout, and basic features as the RPi 3, including 4x USB host ports, Fast Ethernet, and 40-pin expansion. There is no WiFi/BT, but you get optional eMMC, IR, and an ADC + I2S header. Compared to the RPi 3, the HDMI port is upgraded to v2.0 with 4K. The board ships with schematics and source code for Linux 4.14 LTS, Buildroot with Linux 4.9, Armbian Debian and Ubuntu, LibreELEC 9, and Android builds up 8.0 (Oreo). Libre also launched an AML-S805X-AC (La Frite) board, which is like a stripped-down Le Potato.

Lindenis V5

  • Camera and AI oriented board showcases Allwinner V5 V100 SoC and its visual analytics accelerator
  • Company/project — Lindenis Tech
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner V5 V100 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.5GHz); VPU, ISP, and AIE analytics acceleration engine
  • Memory — 1GB or 2GB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $92 to $202

In Aug. 2018, a startup founded by former Allwinner employees launched an open-spec, 139 x 85mm SBC that debuted a 1.5GHz Allwinner camera SoC called the V5 V100. Instead of the usual Mali GPU, the SoC offers a custom VPU, a dual-core ISP, and an “AIE” acceleration engine for visual analytics. The Lindenis V5 runs Linux 4.4, as well as a homegrown Debian 9 stack called Linbian that supports the V5 V100 SoC and its AIE engine with OpenCV, Compute Library, Tensorflow, and GStreamer with hardware acceleration. Taobao has the lowest, $92 and up price and it is also available for $95 at AliExpress, presumably with the base 1GB RAM. Features include GbE and 4K-ready HDMI ports, 4x USB 2.0, and a micro-USB port. Other features include 2x MIPI-CSI2 interfaces with an optional camera module plus MIPI-DSI, audio, mic, optional WiFi/Bluetooth, and an RPi 40-pin header. In January, Lindenis launched a Lindenis V536 board (see below).

Lindenis V536

  • Sandwich-style camera board runs on dual -A7 Allwinner V536
  • Company/project — Lindenis Tech
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner V536 (2x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); VPU, ISP
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; empty eMMC module
  • Price — $83

Lindenis has followed up its Lindenis V5 with slightly more affordable camera-oriented SBC called the Lindenis V536. The 130 x 85mm SBC runs OpenWrt or Lindenis Video OS with Linux 4.9 on a dual -A7 Allwinner V536 via a Lindenis V536 SoM. Like the quad-core Allwinner V5 on the earlier board, the V536 lacks a 3D GPU, but offers an ISP and 4K-ready VPU. It also appears to lack the V5’s “AIE” acceleration engine for visual analytics. Features include GbE, a WiFi/BT header, HDMI 1.4, 4-lane MIPI-DSI + TP, LCD, MIPI-CSI, 2x audio jacks, and analog and digital mics. You also get micro-USB and battery headers for power plus 2x USB 2.0 ports and various I/O headers. The SBC sells for a low of $83 on AliExpress.

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MaaxBoard

  • Raspberry Pi-like i.MX8M board
  • Company/project — Embest (Avnet)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M Quad (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.4GHz); Vivante GC7000Lite GPU; Cortex-M4 MCU
  • Memory — 2GB LPDDR4; empty socket for up to 16GB eMMC
  • Price — $85.95

Avnet is selling the i.MX8M-based MaaxBoard, which is manufactured by its Embest subsidiary, for $85.95, an increase in price of $26 from its debut. This does not appear to be a fully open source SBC, but the Dropbox wiki offers extensive hardware and software documentation, as well as an image and source code for a Yocto build based on Linux 4.14.78. There is also support for Android 9.0. The Raspberry Pi-like board has a 40-pin GPIO header with “partial” HAT compatibility. Other features include a microSD slot and 802.11ac with Bluetooth 4.x plus GbE, HDMI, power-only USB Type-C, and 2x USB 3.0 ports. You also get MIPI-DSI and -CSI, SPDIF and SAI digital audio interfaces, and 0 to 70°C support.

MaaxBoard Mini

  • Raspberry Pi-like i.MX8M Mini board
  • Company/project — Embest (Avnet)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M Mini Quad (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.8GHz); Vivante GCNanoUltra (3D) and GC320 (2D) GPU; Cortex-M4 MCU
  • Memory — 2GB LPDDR4; empty socket for up to 16GB eMMC
  • Price — $72.50

The MaaxBoard Mini is loosely based on the MaaxBoard design, with an i.MX8M Mini that is faster, but limited to HD video. The SBC, which like the MaaxBoard is not fully open source but focused on markers, is even more like the Raspberry Pi 3 than the MaaxBoard. The SBC offers 4x USB 2.0 ports versus 2x USB 3.0 ports and removes the HDMI port and some of the digital audio headers. Yet, there are MIPI-DSI and -CSI interfaces and an optional $55 LCD display. Other features include an 802.11ac/BT 4.2 module plus GbE, USB Type-C for power, and an RPi HAT compatible 40-pin connector. Images are available for Yocto and Debian 10, both with Linux 4.14.98, and Android 9.0. The SBC also supports Windows 10 IoT Core

MYS-6ULX SBC

  • Compact, low-power i.MX6 UL boards with optional -40 to 85°C support
  • Company/project — MYIR
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX6 ULL or i.MX6 UL (1x Cortex-A7 @ 528MHz or 696MHz, respectively); 2D PXP GPU
  • Memory — 256MB DDR3 RAM; 256MB NAND
  • Price — $28.80 (i.MX6 ULL) or $29.80 (UL)

MYIR is primarily a commercial board vendor, but it has spun several open-spec hacker boards like the MYS-6ULX SBC that have crossover appeal to makers. Others include the Sitara-based Rico Board and Zynq-based Z-turn boards (see farther below). The MYS-6ULX offers a choice of i.MX6 UL (UltraLite) or its almost identical sibling, the i.MX6 ULL. Each SBC model has its own unique super-power: The i.MX6 UL version provides -40 to 85°C support instead of 0 to 70°C, and the i.MX6 ULL model features a USB-powered WiFi radio. Otherwise, the 70 x 55mm boards are identical. You get a microSD slot, Fast Ethernet, USB host, and micro-USB 2.0 OTG ports, as well as a debug connector and an LCD interface for optional touchscreens. The dual 20-pin expansion connectors can be used to attach an optional baseboard. The MYS-6ULX comes with a Linux BSP with a 4.1.15 kernel and either Debian or Yocto Project with Qt. There is no forum or dedicated community site, but you get full schematics, support, and extensive documentation.

NanoPC-T3 Plus

FriendlyElec (AKA FriendlyARM) is known for its many NanoPi SBCs, but it also offers some NanoPC models, a ZeroPi, and a SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit (see farther below). The NanoPC-T3 Plus replaced the NanoPC-T3, which was similarly equipped with an octa-core S5P6818. (The earlier, almost identical NanoPC-T2, which has a quad-core S5P4418, is still available for $49). The T3 Plus doubles the RAM and flash of the T3 and adds -40 to 80°C support. The SBC is slightly larger at 100 x 64mm, and switches one of the USB headers to a Type-A port so there are 3x coastline USB 2.0 host ports instead of two. Like the T3, the T3 Plus supplies WiFi, BT 4.0, and a GbE port, as well as microSD and micro-USB client connections. Media ports include HDMI, LVDS, LCD, MIPI-DSI, MIPI-CSI, and audio. In place of the 40-pin RPi connector found on NanoPi boards, the NanoPC-T3 Plus provides a 30-pin GPIO header. OS support includes Android 7.1.2, Debian, and the Ubuntu Core 16.04 based FriendlyCore. Available images for each of FriendlyElec’s open-spec boards may be found here and a common wiki index is here. Like most of the NanoPi and NanoPC SBCs boards, the NanoPC-T3 Plus is available with extensive options ranging from cases to heat sinks to camera modules.

NanoPC-T4

  • Compact RK3399 hacker board with 40-pin GPIO
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 at up to 1.5GHz); Mali-T860 GPU
  • Memory — 4GB DDR4 RAM; 16GB eMMC
  • Price — $110

When it debuted in early 2018, the 100 x 64mm NanoPC-T4 was the smallest RK3399 SBC around, an honor that in the summer fell briefly to FriendlyElec’s Raspberry Pi like NanoPi M4 and in the fall to the smaller, 1GB RAM only NanoPi Neo4 (see below). The relatively high price is due to a standard allotment of 4GB of RAM. FriendlyElec’s first Rockchip-based SBC is also its most powerful, combining the hexa-core RK3399 with advanced features like M.2 and native SATA. Display interfaces include HDMI 2.0, DP, eDP, and MIPI-DSI. You also get MIPI-CSI with dual-camera support, an RPi-compatible 40-pin interface, and a 0 to 80°C operating range. OS support includes Android 8 and 10, Armbian, Buildroot, Lubuntu 16.04, and the similarly Ubuntu based FriendlyCore 18.04 and FriendlyDesktop Bionic 18.04. Like most of the NanoPi and NanoPC SBCs boards, the NanoPi K1 Plus is available with extensive options ranging from cases to heat sinks to camera modules.

NanoPi Duo2

  • Tiny, affordable, quad -A7 SBC can be plugged into an optional 2G carrier
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H2+ (Duo) or H3 (Duo2) with 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz, Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB RAM
  • Price — $18

The tiny (50 x 25.4mm) NanoPi Duo was launched in Aug. 2017 as the first of several headless, COM-like NanoPi boards, including the more recent, 40 x 40mm NanoPi Neo Core and Core2 spins of the Neo and Neo2. The Duo was replaced by the NanoPi Duo2, which switches the HD-ready Allwinner H2+ to the similar, but 4K ready, H3 model. The NanoPi Duo2 provides an optional IoT-2G Application Carrier Board (currently out of stock) that replaces the Duo’s optional Mini Shield carrier. The only other differences include the addition of Bluetooth and a narrower -20 to 70°C range. The Duo2 has 32x I/O pins via a dual-in-line interface designed to plug into the IoT-2G carrier or a 2.55mm pitch breadboard. Unlike the Core boards, the Duo2 supplies WiFi, a microSD slot, and a micro-USB port, qualifying it as standalone SBC. Headers supply 10/100 Ethernet, 2x USB host, audio, CVBS, and serial debug. The 85 x 56mm IoT-2G carrier offers dual USB 2.0 host ports, a quad-band, 2G GSM/GPRS module, a microSIM slot, and a 2G antenna. The NanoPi Duo2 is available with FriendlyCore 16.04 Xenial and FriendlyWrt 19.07.10 (OpenWrt), both with Linux 4.14. Despite the low prices, shipping to the U.S. is fairly expensive on all the NanoPi and NanoPC boards — single-unit prices range from $16 to $20, compared to $5 or under for most Banana Pi and Orange Pi boards.

NanoPi M1 Plus

  • Upgrade to NanoPi M1 adds wireless and GbE
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H3 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $38

This more feature-rich update of the discontinued NanoPi M1 retains the Allwinner H3 but is slightly smaller at 64 x 60mm. The higher price of the NanoPi M1 Plus reflects the standard 1GB RAM and 8GB eMMC, as well as new features like WiFi, Bluetooth, a mic, and Gigabit Ethernet. One of the three USB 2.0 host ports, however, has moved to an onboard header. Other features include HDMI, DVP camera, CVBS A/V, IR, and a microSD slot, plus a 40-pin RPi header. OS options include FriendlyCore Xenial, OpenWrt, and Debian.

NanoPi-M4 / M4V2

  • Affordable RK3399 based RPi pseudo-clone is joined by V2 model with 4GB RAM and faster WiFi
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 at up to 1.5GHz); Mali-T864 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB (M4) or 4GB (M4V2) DDR4 RAM; eMMC socket
  • Price — $50 (M4); $80 (M4V2)

The NanoPi-M4 with 2GB RAM has dropped in price by $50 but is listed as out of stock. Instead of the old 4GB model, there is an $80 NanoPi-M4V2 with 4GB, which is sold on a separate shopping page. The MV42 model is otherwise the same except for the addition of power and recovery buttons and an WiFi upgrade to 2×2 MIMO. The other FriendlyElec boards based on the RK3399 include the $110 NanoPC-T4 with 4GB and the smaller, but currently out of stock NanoPi Neo4, which sells for $50 with 1GB. Unlike the NanoPC-T4, the NanoPC-M4 has a Raspberry Pi form factor, layout and 40-pin header. It also has a 24-pin header with 2x PCIe lanes. Other features include native GbE, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, HDMI 2.0a, USB Type-C, and 4x USB 3.0 ports. You also get audio I/O, an RTC, -20 to 70°C support, and two configurable MIPI-DSI/CSI interfaces. OS support includes Android 7.1.2, Lubuntu 16.04, FriendlyCore 18.04, and FriendlyDesktop 18.04.

NanoPi Fire3-LTS

  • Affordable octa-core -A53 board features RTC and advanced power management
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Samsung S5P6818 (8x Cortex-A53 @ 400MHz to 1.4GHz); “3D” GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $35

In Nov. 2017, FriendlyElec replaced its NanoPi 2 Fire with two fiery new models: the NanoPi Fire3 with an octa-core S5P6818 and 1GB RAM and a $25 NanoPi Fire2A with the same quad -A9 S5P4418 found on the defunct NanoPi 2 Fire. The two boards are otherwise identical. FriendlyElec has now added “LTS” to the name of both the $30 Fire3 and $20 Fire2A to indicate long-term support. The chief differences between the new Fire3 and earlier 2 Fire include a realignment of the USB 2.0 port into a vertical position, and the replacement of the HDMI port with a micro-HDMI, enabling it to sit side-by-side with the GbE and USB ports. You also get a microSD slot plus RGB LCD, DVP camera, serial debug, and a RPi 40-pin interface. The 5V board is powered by a micro-USB OTG, and there is an RTC with battery and PMIC. The 75 x 40mm Fire3 runs Android 5.0 and Linux distros including FriendlyCore. With the discontinuation of the NanoPi M2A, this is the only Samsung-driven NanoPi around. The Fire3 is also part of a 12-board, 96-core compute cluster.

NanoPi Neo-LTS

  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • Headless, IoT-focused quad -A7 boardlet is smaller than an RPi Zero
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H3 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 256MB or 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $10 or $15 (512MB)

The Neo was the first of a sub-series of tiny NanoPi boards such as the wireless enabled Neo Air, quad -A53 Neo2-LTS and the Neo Plus2 (see below). The Neo boards are among the world’s smallest and most affordable quad-core ARM SBCs. At 40 x 40mm, they occupy only 1,600 square millimeters, compared to 1,950 sq. mm for the 65 x 30mm Raspberry Pi Zero. The NanoPi Neo, which has now been given LTS status, is equipped with microSD, USB 2.0 host, and micro-USB OTG ports, but like the other Neo variants, it lacks a display interface. You get 36 GPIO pins instead of the usual RPi connector. The board runs Ubuntu Core or Mate on the Allwinner H3.

NanoPi Neo2

  • Quad -A53 version of Neo
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H5 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-450 GPU)
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3
  • Price — $20

In early 2017, the quad -A7, 40 x 40mm NanoPi Neo was joined by a quad -A53 near twin called the NanoPi Neo2, and later dubbed the Neo2-LTS (long-term support). There is no longer a Neo2-LTS listing and the Neo2 is listed as out of stock. The similar NanoPi Neo2 Black which added 1GB RAM and eMMC, appears to have been discontinued. The Neo2 is the same as the Neo except for the faster H5 SoC, a switch to GbE from 10/100 Ethernet, two more USB headers, and the lack of a 256MB RAM option. In Dec. 2017, FriendlyElec launched compute module versions of the Neo and Neo2 called the NanoPi Neo Core and NanoPi Neo Core2. The former is now called theNeo Core-LTS and sells for $17 or $20 depending on RAM. The Neo Core2-LTS goes for $28 to $36 but is out of stock. Both are designed to work with an optional, $11, RPi-like Mini Shield carrier board. The sandwich-style design is much like the NanoPi Duo and its own Mini Shield variant except that the Core boards are true COMs rather than SBCs.

NanoPi Neo3

  • Tiny, headless RK3328 based IoT board
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3328 (4x Cortex-A53 cores @ up to 1.4GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB or 2GB DDR4 RAM
  • Price — $20 or $25; add $2 for case

The NanoPi Neo3-LTS was announced in July and is available with the new long-term LTS designation starting at $20. Although the Neo3 followed the RK3399-based Neo4 (see below), it is the heir to the Allwinner H5-based Neo2 (see above). The NanoPi Neo3 is equipped with a microSD, GbE, USB 3.0, and a power-only micro-USB port. Other features include some USB and serial debug headers, a user key, 2x LEDs, and 26-pin GPIO. The -20 to 70℃ tolerant board can be enhanced with an optional case and heatsink for only $2 and runs Ubuntu Core 18.04 and FriendlyWrt (Linux kernel 5.4 LTS).

NanoPi Neo4

  • The smallest RK3399 SBC around is super affordable but limited to 1GB of RAM
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 at up to 1.42GHz); Mali-T860 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; eMMC socket
  • Price — $50

When it launched in Oct. 2018, the $50 Neo4 was the world’s smallest, cheapest RK3399 based SBC. Although the Rock Pi 4 and then the Orange Pi 4 have since edged it out on price, it is still the puniest. It is listed as out of stock, but we expect it to return. Although rich with features, the Neo4 offers only 1GB of RAM, which may be just barely enough for the high-powered RK3399 SoC. At 60 x 45mm, the SBC is larger than other Neo boards, which lack its HDMI 2.0a port with [email protected] support and 4-lane MIPI-CSI. Other features include GbE, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 ports, a USB Type-C OTG port, and a USB 2.0 header. You also get WiFi/BT, a 40-pin header, and -20 to 70°C support. From the microSD slot or eMMC socket (add $13 for 16GB), you can boot Linux 4.4 LTS, Lubuntu 16.04, FriendlyCore 18.04, FriendlyDesktop 18.04, Armbian, and Android 7.1.2 or 8.1. FriendlyElec also sells two other RK3399 SBCs: the high-end, SATA-ready NanoPC T4 and the mid-range, RPi style NanoPi M4.

NanoPi Neo Air-LTS

  • Wireless version of Neo adds eMMC and a camera connector, but loses the LAN and USB ports
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H3 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $20

The NanoPi Neo Air-LTS is a wireless variant of the NanoPi Neo. This headless IoT board has the same 40 x 40mm footprint, and similarly runs Ubuntu Core and Mate on an Allwinner H3. The Neo Air adds WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a DVP camera connector, but sacrifices the Neo’s Ethernet port and the sole USB host port, leaving you only a micro-USB OTG for power and data. You can derive more USB ports or a power connection via the split bank of 36 GPIO pins. Now an LTS (long-term support) product, the Neo Air no longer offers an eMMC option beyond the standard 8GB.

NanoPi Neo Plus2 V2.0

  • As if a Neo Air mated with a Neo2, but then expanded
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H5 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $29

In 2019, the NanoPi Neo Plus2 was replaced with a V2.0 model that removes the 512MB option, but which is currently out of stock. The SBC combines the WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 8GB eMMC of the Neo Air with the quad -A53 Allwinner H5 of the Neo2. It is not a Neo drop-in replacement, however, as the dimensions have grown to 52 x 40mm. Like the other Neo boards, the SBC offers a GbE port, dual USB 2.0 ports, and a micro-USB for 5V power. As before, you get debug and audio interfaces, as well as two expansion connectors: a high-speed 12-pin interface and a 24-pin low-speed connector. A $7, I2C-driven NanoHAT OLED display add-on with 128 x 64-pixels features an open source driver and NanoHAT Motor Python Library. The add-on can be stacked on any of the Neo boards, with the combo housed in an optional aluminum casing.

NanoPi R1 / R1S-H3

  • Tiny IoT gateway SBCs with dual Ethernet ports and enclosures
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H3 (R1/R1S-H3) (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB or 1GB (R1 only) DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $25 (512MB) or $32 (1GB) for R1; $20 for R1S-H3

The NanoPi R1 mini router board was joined last year by two cheaper and similarly headless models that lack the R1’s optional 1GB RAM SKU, but it no longer includes 8GB eMMC. The Allwinner H3-based NanoPi R1S-H3 is still available, but the Allwinner H5-based NanoPi R1S-H5 has already disappeared. The R1S-H3 loses one of the R1’s two USB 2.0 host ports, as well as the RTC and UART interface, and the dual-band WiFi/BT module has been changed to a 2.4GHz WiFi chip without Bluetooth. On the other hand, you get dual GbE ports instead of 10/100Mbps and 10/1000/1000Mbps on the R1. (The new second GbE is a slower, USB-driven model.) The NanoPi R1S-H3 is smaller at 55.6 x 52mm compared to the 60 x 55.5mm R1 and both the board and free case are redesigned. Common features for both include a microSD slot, micro-USB port, and -20 to 70°C support. OS support includes FriendlyCore (Ubuntu Core) with Linux-4.14-LTS, Armbian, and FriendlyWrt (OpenWrt). For an even cheaper FriendlyElec board with an H3 SoC and a tiny footprint, see FriendlyElec’s single-GbE ZeroPi SBC at the end of the roundup.

NanoPi R2S

  • RK3328 based dual GbE gateway
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3328 (4x Cortex-A53 cores @ up to 1.4GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR4 RAM
  • Price — $22 ($30 with case)

The NanoPi R2S is one of two dual-GbE NanoPi router boards that launched in 2020 along with the RK3399-based NanoPi R4S (see item below). The 60 x 60mm SBC can’t quite match the throughput of the native and PCIe-based GbE ports on the larger R4S but offers higher bandwidth on one of the ports than the smaller, Allwinner H3 based NanoPi R1 and R1S-H3 boards covered above. In addition to the native GbE port, there is GbE port based on USB 3.0, thereby providing up to 941Mbps bandwidth rather than 334Mbps. Other features on the headless board include USB 2.0 host and micro-USB 2.0 power/device ports, serial and GPIO headers, LEDS, heatsink, and optional plastic case. The 0 to 80℃ tolerant board runs FriendlyWrt 19.07 and Ubuntu Core 18.04 with Linux 4.4.

NanoPi R4S

  • RK3399 based dual GbE gateway
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 at up to 1.42GHz); Mali-T860 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 or 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Price — $45 (1GB); $55 (4GB); add $14 for case

The NanoPi R4S was revealed in November and started shipping a few weeks ago with the unusual pairing of the media-oriented RK3399 with a headless networking board. The 66 x 66mm SBC is larger than the recent NanoPi R2S and earlier R1S boards and has a new layout. The RK3399 enables native and PCIe-based GbE ports for maximum throughput. Other features include a microSD slot, 2x USB 3.0 ports, a debug UART, and headers for USB 2.0, SPI, and I2C. A USB Type-C port inputs 5VDC, and there is a PMIC, RTC with battery connector, 4x LEDs, a user key, and a 5V fan connector. The operating range is -20 to 70℃ and a metal case costs $14 more. OS support includes FriendlyCore 20.04 with Linux 4.19.111 and FriendlyWrt 19.07.4 based on Linux 5.4.

Nitrogen8M_Mini

  • First i.MX8M Mini-based hacker board has a PCIe slot and optional PoE
  • Company/project — Boundary Devices
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M Mini Quad (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz to 2.0GHz); Cortex-M4F @ 400MHz; GCNanoUltra for 3D, GC320 for 2D GPUs
  • Memory — 2GB LPDDR4 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $135; $155 with WiFi/BT; $155 with dev kit but no WiFi/BT; $175 with dev kit and WiFi/BT

The Nitrogen8M_Mini features NXP’s i.MX8M Mini, which is faster than an i.MX8M, but is limited to HD video. The 114.3 x 88.9mm board offers a choice of pre-certified WiFi-ac/BT with or without a dev kit, which includes a 5V power supply, an 8GB microSD card with Linux, a battery, and a serial console cable. The Nitrogen8M_Mini board provides a GbE port with optional PoE, USB 2.0 host, and a micro-USB OTG port. You also get MIPI-DSI and -CSI. The SBC offers dual audio jacks, a PCIe slot, an RTC, a PMIC, and a choice of 0 to 70°C or -40 to 85°C ranges. OS support starts with Linux 4.9x and includes Yocto, Ubuntu 18.04, Debian Buster 10, and Android 9. Boundary Devices also sells a more expensive, sandwich-style offering based on its Nitrogen8M_Mini SOM, but it starts at $299. Also note that CompuLab is pairing a Mini-based UCM-iMX8M-Mini module with an open-spec carrier, but the combo costs $201 in single units.

Odroid-C1+

  • A Raspberry Pi lookalike with optional eMMC and full-size HDMI
  • Company/project — Hardkernel, Odroid project
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Amlogic S805 (4x Cortex-A5 @ 1.5GHz); Mali-450 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; optional 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $35

The Odroid-C1+, which is out of stock but expected to return in February, upgrades the earlier Odroid-C1 with features like a full-size HDMI port, a standard heatsink, I2S audio, and micro-USB OTG. The C1+ has a price, footprint, and feature set that is almost identical to the original, 32-bit Raspberry Pi 2, but has a faster processor and supports Android 4.4 in addition to Ubuntu 14.04. The C1+ is further equipped with a microSD slot and optional eMMC, as well as GbE, serial console, ADC, and a Pi-compatible 40-pin connector.

Odroid-C2

  • RPi 3 pseudo clone with 2GB RAM and up to 64GB (but no built-in WiFi)
  • Company/project — Hardkernel, Odroid project
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Amlogic S905 (4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3 RAM; optional 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $46

The Odroid-C2 has the same 85 x 56mm size and layout as the Odroid-C1+ and Raspberry Pi 3 and advances to a quad -A53 Amlogic S905. It’s faster than the RPi 3 or 3+, but there’s no WiFi or Bluetooth, and the price is higher. The C2 doubles the RAM of the C1+ to 2GB and offers a choice of optional storage between up to 64GB of eMMC or an 8GB or 16GB SD 3.01 compatible UHS-1 microSD card. The SBC can output 4K @ 60Hz video, and has almost everything the C1+ has, including GbE and HDMI ports, four USB host ports, and a 40-pin RPi connector. Images are available for Android 5.8 or Ubuntu 20.04, based on a Linux 3.16.82 LTS kernel.

Odroid-C4

  • RPi 4 pseudo clone with quad -A55 Amlogic S905X3
  • Company/project — Hardkernel, Odroid project
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Amlogic S905X3 (4x Cortex-A55 @ up to 2.0GHz); Mali-G31 GPU
  • Memory — 4GB LPDDR4 RAM; optional 8GB to 64GB eMMC
  • Price — $50

The new flagship Odroid was one of the more significant SBC announcements of 2020. The $50 Odroid-C4 continues the tradition of closely matching the features and performance of the latest Raspberry Pi. Although the Raspberry Pi 4 has more powerful Cortex-A72 cores, they are clocked to 1.5GHz compared to 2GHz on the Odroid-C4. Hardkernel offers benchmarks showing superior performance over the RPi 4. Unlike the RPi 4, there is an open eMMC socket and 4x USB 3.0 ports instead of a mix of USB 3.0 and 2.0. You also get wide-range power, an IR receiver, and full open hardware support. However, it lacks the RPi 4’s second HDMI port, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and built-in WiFi/Bluetooth. Supported distributions include CoreELEC, Android 9, LineageOS, and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

Odroid-H2+

  • Slight upgrade to Odroid-H2 has a faster Gemini Lake SoC and dual 2.5GbE ports
  • Company/project — Hardkernel, Odroid project
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Celeron J4115 (4x Gemini Lake cores @ 1.8GHz/2.5GHz); 10W TDP; Intel UHD Graphics 600
  • Memory — 0GB to 32GB DDR4 RAM; eMMC socket for up to 128GB
  • Price — $176 (approx.) with 8GB DDR4 and 16GB eMMC ($111 without either)

The Odroid-H2 stood out as the world’s first Intel Gemini Lake hacker board, but it was often out of stock due to lack of CPU availability. It was replaced in July with an Odroid-H2+ model with a slightly faster and much more available Celeron J4115. The H2+ also improved the 12V power input, added some GPIO pins, and upgraded the 2x GbE ports to 2.5GbE ports, a feature that is unique to this roundup. The board is listed for $111 without RAM or eMMC. The cheapest 8GB eMMC module in the Hardkernel store costs $12.90, and a list of compatible RAM modules includes an under $57 Kingston/Corsair module with 8GB DDR4, which sounds like a good starting point. Therefore, an 8GB/16GB combo would add about $70 for a total of $176. The Odroid-H2+ runs Ubuntu 19.04 on a 2.3GHz Celeron J4105 from Intel’s recent Gemini Lake family. The 110 x 110mm SBC offers 2x SATA 3.0, HDMI and DP, 4x USB (2x 3.0), and an M.2 slot for NVMe storage. Other features include a 14-20V DC input, RTC, and a heatsink that supports 70°C temperatures at full load. Scroll down a bit to see Seeed’s new, Gemini Lake based Odyssey — X86J4105800 SBC.

Odroid-HC4

  • NAS board with dual PCIe-driven 2.5- or 3.5-inch SATA slots
  • Company/project — Hardkernel, Odroid project
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Amlogic S905X3 (4x Cortex-A55 @ up to 1.8GHz); Mali-G31 GPU
  • Memory — 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • Price — $65; $75 for Plus/OLED version

The latest in Hardkernel’s HC (Home-Cloud) line of NAS boards is available for $50 or $75 for an Odroid-HC-4 with OLED. Originally announced as the Odroid-HC4-Plus, the latter model adds an OLED screen and an RTC. Whereas the Odroid-HC1 and -HC2 were based on the Odroid-XU4 and its octa-core Samsung Exynos5422, the Odroid-HC4 uses the same quad -A55 Amlogic S905X3 as the new Odroid-C4 but clocks it to 1.8GHz instead of 2GHz. Compared to the Odroid-HC2, the -HC4 gives you a second SATA slot. Both slots support 3.5- or 2.5-inch drives, which are driven by PCIe instead of USB, thereby providing faster and more reliable operation. The SBC ships with a pop-up, translucent toaster case for air-cooling the drives. The Odroid-HC4 is equipped with 4GB DDR4 — twice the capacity of the HC2 — plus a UHS-1 compatible micro-SD slot. Other features include HDMI with 4K, USB 2.0, GbE, an IR receiver, and serial debug. OS support includes Ubuntu 20.04 with Linux 4.9.230, or optionally, mainline Linux 5.8+. CoreELEC, OMV, and Android should come soon.

Odroid-N2+

  • Enhanced version of Odroid-N2 with speedier Amlogic S922X SoC could be fastest Arm board in our roundup
  • Company/project — Hardkernel, Odroid project
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Amlogic S922X (4x Cortex-A73 @ up to 2.2GHz; 2x -A53 @ up to 2.0GHz); Mali-G52 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB or 4GB DDR4 RAM; empty eMMC socket
  • Price — $63 (2GB) or $79 (4GB); add $4 for fan; $123 for Odroid-N2+ CoreELEC Edition and $155 for Odroid-N2+ Home Assistant Blue, both with 4GB RAM

The Odroid-N2 has been replaced with a faster Odroid-N2+, thereby likely edging out the Khadas Vim3 as the likely performance champ among the Arm-based SBCs in our catalog. Unlike this year’s replacement of the Odroid-H2 with the H2+, there are no major new features aside from a faster CPU. Hardkernel replaced the Amlogic S922X with a faster model using the same name. The SoC boosts the 2x -A53 cores to 2.0GHz and the 4x -A73 cores to 2.2GHz, with overclocking up to 2.4GHz. Available with 2GB or 4GB RAM for only slightly more than the N2, the SBC has slimmed down to 90 x 90 x 29mm thanks to a new heatsink. The Odroid-N2+runs Android 9 Pie and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Linux 4.9.162 LTS. The board has a GbE port and optional USB WiFi adapter that fits into one of the 4x USB 3.0 host ports. Other features include micro-USB OTG, composite A/V, and an HDMI 2.0 port with [email protected] with HDR, CEC, and EDID. There is also an RPi-like 40-pin header and a 7.5-20V DC input plus RTC, IR, console, and options including SPDIF and a cooling fan. As with the Odroid-N2, there is an Odroid-N2+ CoreELEC Edition, which bundles the board with CoreELEC, an Amlogic-optimized fork of LibreELEC. Hardkernel recently launched an Odroid-N2+ Home Assistant Blue bundle with preloaded Home Assistant automation software that is available for $155 at Ameridroid.

Odroid-XU4 / -XU4Q

  • Versatile octa-core SBC is also available in “Q” model with heatsink
  • Company/project — Hardkernel, Odroid project
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Samsung Exynos5422 (4x Cortex-A15 @ 2.0GHz and 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz); Mali-T628 MP6 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB LPDDR3 RAM; opt. eMMC
  • Price — $49

The aging, but ever-popular Odroid-XU4 uses the same octa-core Exynos5422 and Mali-T628 GPU as the earlier XU3, and provides a GbE port, audio-enabled HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, and a single USB 2.0. A similarly priced Odroid-XU4Q model is identical except that the fan is replaced with a heatsink. The XU4 has a 12-pin GPIO header and 30-pin expansion connector. Options include USB-based SATA 3.0, an I/O board, and various wireless add-ons. The Odroid-XU4 ships with several versions of Android up to 7.1 Nougat, as well as Ubuntu 16.04, based on a Linux kernels up to 4.9. A lightweight version of the board powers a $49 Odroid-HC1 mini-PC. Up to four XU4 SBCs can be loaded onto an XU4-based, $220 Odroid-MC1 cluster computer. Hardkernel also offers a stackable, single-unit Odroid-MC1 Solo version that sells for a low of $49 on Amazon, and the XU4 powers the Odroid-HC2 NAS platform, which sells for $54.

Odyssey–STM32MP157C

  • Sandwich-style, Pi-sized devkit for Cortex-M4-enhanced STM32MP1
  • Company/project — Seeed
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — ST STM32MP157 (2x Cortex-A7 @ 650MHz) with Cortex-M4 @ 209MHz
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3 RAM; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $58.63

The open-spec, sandwich-style Odyssey–STM32MP157C is one of two maker-friendly Odyssey SBCs introduced by Seeed in 2020 along with its Gemini Lake based Odyssey–X86J4105800, covered directly below. The SBC is out of stock at Seeed for $54.90, but you can order it at Mouser for $58.63, with shipments due in March. The SBC joins other STM32MP157 based boards including ST’s own STM32MP157A-DK1 devkit and Shiratech’s Stinger96 (see farther below). The wiki includes schematics, 3D files, a forum, tech support, and extensive documentation and tutorials. The SBC’s SOM-STM32MP157C module uses the top-of-the-line STM32MP157C version of ST’s Cortex-M4-equipped SoC, which adds hardware encryption and secure boot. It also includes 512MB DDR3, 4GB eMMC, and a PMIC. The Pi-sized baseboard adds GbE, WiFi/BT, 2x USB 2.0, USB Type-C (power), microSD, MIPI-DSI, DVP camera, and an audio jack. You also get 40-pin GPIO and 2x Grove interfaces for expansion. The 0 to 75°C tolerant Odyssey–STM32MP157C offers images for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Debian 10 with Linux kernels including Linux 5.4.x.

Odyssey-X86J4105800

  • Gemini Lake board with 2x M.2, 40-pin, and Arduino/Grove expansion
  • Company/project — Seeed
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Celeron J4005 (2x Gemini Lake cores @ 2.00GHz/2.7GHz); 10W TDP; Intel UHD Graphics 600; Cortex-M0+ based ATSAMD21G18 MCU
  • Memory — 8GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Price — $188; $218 to $258 for Windows models with 64GB eMMC

Like the Odroid-H2+ and the LattePanda Delta, the 110 x 110mm Odyssey–X86J4105800 runs on Intel’s Gemini Lake platform, in this case a dual-core Celeron J4005. Unlike with the Odyssey–STM32MP157C covered above, we did not see any schematics, but the maker-oriented board is supported by 3D files, a wiki, forums, tech support, and extensive documentation and tutorials, including instructions on how to install OpenWrt, Ubuntu, and Arduino Core, which runs on a Cortex-M0+ MCU. The versions with pre-installed Windows add 64GB eMMC and sell for over $200. The Odyssey-X stands out with its multiple expansion interfaces, including M.2 M- and B-key slots for storage and wireless, as well as a SIM slot, 40-pin GPIO and an Arduino/Grove slot. Other highlights include 2x GbE, 802.11/ac with BT 5.0, SATA III with power, and both HDMI and USB Type-C with DP support. You also get 3x USB ports, audio I/O, TPM, RTC, 12-19VDC input, and an optional case.

Omega2 Dash

  • Sandwich-style MIPS boardlet with a 3.2-inch touchscreen on the flipside
  • Company/project — Onion
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — MediaTek MT7688 (1x MIPS core @ 580MHz)
  • Memory — 128MB RAM
  • Price — $75; $105 for Essentials and $145 for Ultimate Collections

In 2019, Onion ramped up production of its open-spec, OpenWrt-on-MIPS SBCs, following up on its year-old Omega2 Pro with an Omega2 LTE SBC released in August. In Dec. 2019, it returned to Crowd Supply to launch its Omega2 Dash, which shipped in May 2020. The Dash uses the same Omega2s+ module with built-in 2.4GHz WiFi found on the Omega2 LTE. Although it lacks that model’s 4G link, it features a 3.2-inch, 320 x 240 resistive touchscreen mounted on the bottom. The 82 x 70mm, Dash expands upon the Omega2S+ with a microSD slot, a USB 2.0 host port, and a micro-USB port with power and serial debug. There’s also 30-pin header that can load the same expansion modules available for other Omega2 products. Prices are a bit higher, now, especially for the $105 Essentials Collection that adds Ethernet and ADC expansion modules. A $145 Ultimate Collection adds LAN and ADC plus NFC/RFID, Servo (PWM), and “Proto” modules. Onion recently launched an open source, but not Linux-based, Onion Tau LiDAR Camera for $179.

Omega2 LTE

  • Omega variant with LTE Cat 4 and GNSS
  • Company/project — Onion
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — MediaTek MT7688 (1x MIPS core @ 580MHz)
  • Memory — 128MB RAM
  • Price — $105; $145 for Essentials and $219 for Ultimate Collections

Designed for remote sensor hubs and real-time asset and fleet tracking gizmo, the Omega2 LTE features a Quectel EC25 LTE Cat 4 chipset with GNSS. It runs OpenWrt on Onion’s Omega2s+ module with a MediaTek MT7688, 128MB RAM, 32MB flash, and 2.4GHz WiFi. The 80 x 50mm Omega2 LTE supports a battery and is equipped with a USB Type-C port with power and serial communications. A 30-pin GPIO connector supports the same add-on modules that debuted on the Omega2 Pro. These include 10/100 Ethernet, 1-inch OLED, 16-signal servo, ADC, NFC/RFID, and a breadboard. Various mixtures of these are available in Essentials and Ultimate Collections.

Omega2 Pro

  • First SBC form-factor Omega board runs OpenWrt on MIPS
  • Company/project — Onion
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — MediaTek MT7688AN (1x MIPS core @ 580MHz)
  • Memory — 512MB RAM; 8GB flash
  • Price — $55

In Dec. 2018, Onion released an Omega2 Pro SBC that runs OpenWrt on the same MIPS-based, WiFi-equipped MediaTek MT7688AN SoC as its Omega2 compute module, but with real-world USB and micro-USB ports. The SBC is still available for $55 on Crowd Supply along with an $88 package that adds Ethernet and OLED expansion modules via the new 30-pin expansion connector. A $175 package gives you all eight modules, including GPS, servo, relay, NFC/RFID, ADC, and prototyping options. Unlike the MT7688AN-equipped LinkIt Smart 7688 Duo board, which is out of stock, there is no Arduino companion chip. The 73 x 44mm SBC boosts RAM to 512MB (128MB RAM with 384MB flash swap file) and flash to 8GB compared to the Omega2 module. The 2.4GHz WiFi radio comes with AP support and antenna.

Orange Pi 3

  • Allwinner H6 SoC enables HDMI 2.0, GbE, 4x USB 3.0, and mini-PCIe
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H6 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.8GHz); ARM Mali-T720 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB or 2GB LPDDR3 RAM; zero or 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $53.98 (1GB/8GB); $43.30 (2GB); $48.50 (2GB/8GB)

Like most of Shenzhen Xunlong’s Orange Pi boards, the Orange Pi 3 has a 40-pin, Raspberry Pi compatible connector and a low price matched with low, $4.27 shipping prices to the U.S. Linux and Android OS images vary widely by board. The Orange Pi 3 touched down in Jan. 2019 with the same Allwinner H6 SoC and 26- rather than 40-pin GPIO header as the $20 Orange Pi One Plus and $25 Orange Pi Lite2. Unlike those smaller boards, the 90 x 64mm SBC supplies a mini-PCIe slot pus 2GB RAM and 8GB eMMC options. Other features include microSD, GbE, 802.11ac, BT 5.0, HDMI 2.0a, audio AV, mic, IR,and micro-USB 2.0 host and OTG ports. OS support includes Android 7.0, Ubuntu, and Debian. The lowest price we could find was $43.40 for the 2GB/no eMMC model on AliExpress, which was cheaper than the only 1GB model we could find: the $53.98 1GB/8GB model on Amazon Prime. There is also a $48.50 2GB/8GB model on AliExpress, which offers other pages with various bundles with a case, cables, and power supply. All the prices have jumped by at least $10 since Jan. 2020. In Oct. 2019, Shenzhen Xunlong launched an Orange Pi AI Stick Lite USB add-on designed to work with the Orange Pi 3 and other Allwinner based Orange Pi boards. The device is equipped with a GTI Lightspeeur SPR2801S NPU with 2.8-TOPS performance at 0.3 Watts, which is also found on the new Orange Pi 4B.

Orange Pi 3G-IOT

  • Low-cost 3G cellular board also offers WiFi, BT, GPS, and FM
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — MediaTek MT6572 (2x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-400 MP1 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB DDR2 RAM; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $25.80

Thanks to its budget smartphone oriented, dual -A7 MediaTek MT6572 SoC, the Orange Pi 3G-IOT offers built-in support for 3G GSM, WiFi, BT, GPS, and FM. The 68 x 52mm board provides an LCD interface, MIPI-CSI, audio jack, and mic. You also get USB 2.0 host and micro-USB power ports and a 40-pin expansion connector. Ubuntu 16.04 and Android 4.4 images are available. The Orange Pi 3G-IOT-A model with 256MB RAM and 512MB eMMC was not available at publication time. The 512MB/4GB 3G-IOT-B sells for a low of $25.80 on AliExpress. Amazon sells the SBC for $30 plus $11 shipping.

Orange Pi 4 / 4B

  • Affordable RK3399 board offers optional 2.8-TOPS NPU
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 at up to 1.42GHz); Mali-T860 GPU; GTI Lightspeeur 2801S 2.8-TOPS NPU on 4B model
  • Memory — 4GB DDR4 RAM; optional 16GB eMMC
  • Price — $81 for 4B model with 16GB eMMC and NPU

The Orange Pi 4 is similar in layout and features to the Allwinner H6-based Orange Pi 3, which preceded it by about six months, but advances to a more powerful, hexa-core Rockchip RK3399 backed up with 4GB DDR4 and an optional, 2.8-TOPS GTI Lightspeeur 2801S NPU. When it launched, the SBC started at $50 and was cheaper than the 4GB configurations of other RK3399 price leaders such as FriendlyElec’s NanoPi M4V2, Radxa’s Rock Pi 4, and Pine64’s RockPro64. It has since jumped in price and is hard to find. When we started researching this story on Dec. 21, the only price we could find was on Amazon for $81 plus $26 shipping for the 4B model with 4GB/16GB and NPU. However, by New Year’s Day it was no longer available. Both the A and B models provide 4GB DDR4, WiFi/BT, GbE, HDMI, USB 3.0 Type-C with DP, and 2x USB 2.0 host ports. The A model without the eMMC or NPU offers a USB 3.0 host port not available on the B model. Common features include dual LCD/MIPI-DSI, dual MIPI-CSI, serial debug, a mic, and an audio jack. For expansion you get a 40-pin GPIO connector and a 24-pin PCIe interface. The latter can be converted into a standard mini-PCIe slot with a $3.90 expansion board. Android 8.1, Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04, and Debian 9 images are available.

Orange Pi 4G-IOT

  • 4G LTE board runs Android 8.1 on a quad -A53 SoC
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — MediaTek MT6737 (4x Cortex-A53); Mali-T720 MP1 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $38.07

Despite the similar names, the new Orange Pi 4G-IOT has little in common with the lower-end 3G-IOT except for the presence of integrated cellular modem, which in this case is 4G LTE. There is no Ethernet port, but you also get WiFi, BT, FM, and GPS. The 4G-IOT is typical of many Orange Pi boards in that it has a Raspberry Pi footprint (85 x 55mm) and 40-pin header. An HDMI port is available along with LCD, camera, and audio connectors. Other features include 3x USB OTG host ports, a micro-USB port, an IR receiver, and fingerprint reader support. Ubuntu 16.04 and Android 8.1 are available. The SBC sells for $44.55 on AliExpress.

Orange Pi i96

  • Linux-based 96Boards IoT Edition SBC with a tiny footprint and price
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — RDA RDA8810PL (1x Cortex-A5); Vivante GC860 GPU
  • Memory — 256MB LPDDR3 RAM; 500MB NAND flash
  • Price — $10.30

The 60 x 30mm Orange Pi i96 was the only 96Boards IoT Edition (IE) board to run Linux until Geniatech’s more COM-like Developer Board 4IoT came around. The SBC, which sells for $10.30 on AliExpress, uses the same 1GHz, Cortex-A5 based RDA8810PL SoC used on the apparently defunct Orange Pi 2G-IOT, but without the 2G GPRS baseband. The SBC implements the “Standard Micro” IE format’s 40-pin low-speed expansion connector option required by the “Extended” format, rather than the 30-pin subset used on the Carbon board. The Orange Pi i96 offers Android, Ubuntu, Raspbian, and Debian images. Features include WiFi/Bluetooth with external antenna, as well as microSD, USB host, and micro-USB OTG ports. There are no LCD or audio interfaces, but you get a CSI camera interface, 3x GPIO, and a 40-pin connector.

Orange Pi Lite / Lite 2

  • Faster, H6-based Lite2 upgrade to the Lite adds WiFi-ac and BT 4.1, but loses the 40-pin link
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H3 (Lite) or H6 (Lite2) with 4x Cortex-A7 or -A53 (H6); Mali-400 MP2 (H3) or Mali-T720 MP2 (H6) GPU
  • Memory — 512MB (Lite) or 1GB (Lite2) DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $16.30 (Lite); $24.75 (Lite2)

AliExpress has the lowest prices for the Orange Pi Lite and more recent Orange Pi Lite2. The Lite is a WiFi variant of the Orange Pi One, offering the slower, 1.2GHz version of the quad-core Allwinner H3. The Lite2 swaps out the quad -A7 H3 for a quad -A53 H6 and doubles the RAM to 1GB. The Lite2 has the same 69 x 48mm footprint and much the same layout and feature set as the Lite. The Lite2 switches one of the two USB host ports to USB 3.0 and swaps out the WiFi-only chip for a faster 802.11ac with Bluetooth 4.1 module with antenna. Other enhancements include a PMU and an upgrade to Android 7.0. Ubuntu and Debian are also supported. However, the Lite2 swaps out the 40-pin header for 26-pin GPIO.

Orange Pi One Plus

  • A high-end video SoC plus HDMI 2.0 and GbE for only $20
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H6 (4x Cortex-A53); ARM Mali-T720 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • Price — $19.79

Selling for $19.79 on AliExpress, the Orange Pi One Plus essentially replaces the Allwinner H3-based Orange Pi One, which is still available for $11.87 at AliExpress. The One Plus has as an almost identical feature set, layout, and 68 x 48mm footprint as the One, and advances to Allwinner’s quad-A53 H6 SoC with Mali-T720 GPU. The H6 features [email protected] (H.264) or [email protected] (H.265) decoding, both with 10-bit HDR. The One Plus doubles the RAM to 1GB, switches from 10/100 to GbE, and supplies HDMI 2.0a instead of 1.3. On the other hand, there is an old-school 26-pin connector instead of a 40-pin link. Other features are identical, including USB host, micro-USB OTG, microSD, IR, mic, and MIPI-CSI I/O. Debian Jessie Ubuntu, and Android 9.0 are on tap.

Orange Pi PC / PC Plus

  • RPi 2 lookalikes keep it simple
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H3 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.6GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC (PC Plus only)
  • Price — $15.93 (PC), $28.60 (PC Plus)

The Orange Pi PC provides an Allwinner H3, a Raspberry Pi-like 85 x 55mm footprint, and RPi-compatible 40-pin expansion. It has twice the RAM of the Lite and the original One models, and provides microSD, HDMI, CVBS, CSI, and 10/100 Ethernet connections. You also get 3x USB host ports and a micro-USB OTG. A newer Orange Pi PC Plus model adds 8GB of eMMC flash. The Orange Pi PC and PC Plus provide images for Android 7.0, Ubuntu 16.04, Debian, and Armbian. A more advanced, Allwinner H5 based version of this design called the Orange Pi PC 2 no longer appears to be available and was removed from the catalog.

Orange Pi Plus 2E

  • RPi-like replacement for Plus2 is cheaper but loses the SATA
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H3 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.6GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $41.48

In 2017, the Orange Pi Plus 2E replaced the Orange Pi Plus 2. The Plus 2E swaps out the four-port USB hub for three separate USB ports and removes the SATA interface. The 2E similarly runs distros including Lubuntu, Raspbian, and Android on a quad-core, Cortex-A7 Allwinner H3 clocked to 1.6GHz. The 108 x 67mm SBC provides GbE, WiFi, micro-USB, microSD, HDMI, CVBS, CSI, and an RPi-compatible 40-pin connector.

Orange Pi R1

  • Compact, headless $14 SBC has dual 10/100 LAN ports and WiFi too
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H2 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 256MB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $16.60

Not to be confused with the Banana Pi BPI-R1 or NanoPi R1 router boards, the Orange Pi R1 combines a tiny 60 x 45mm footprint and low price with dual 10/100 Ethernet ports, one of which is USB-based. Aimed at tiny gateways like the similarly Allwinner H2 based Orange Pi Zero boards, the headless R1 is equipped with WiFi with antenna, plus a microSD slot and micro-USB 2.0 OTG port with power input. You get a 26-pin header compatible with old RPi boards, plus GPIO, serial debug, and a 13-pin interface that includes TV out. Android 5.1, Ubuntu Xenial, Debian, Armbian, and OpenWrt are on tap. The R1 sells for $16.60 on AliExpress. See also the similar new Orange Pi R1 Plus directly below based on the Rockchip RK3328.

Orange Pi R1 Plus

  • Upgrade to Orange Pi R1 goes head-to-head with similarly RK3328-based NanoPi R2S
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3328 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR4
  • Price — $22

This upgrade of the still available Orange Pi R1 (see above) advances to a faster RK3328 SoC, quadruples the RAM to 1GB, and switches the dual LAN ports to Gigabit Ethernet. Like the Orange Pi R1, the 57 x 56mm Orange Pi R1 Plus is a headless board except for the CVBS pin on the 13-pin GPIO, which has removed pin assignments for the mic and dual USB 2.0. The micro-USB OTG port has switched to USB Type-C and adds a USB 2.0 host port. Gone are the wireless module and 26-pin GPIO link. Amazon has the lowest price at $22 unless you factor in the $11 shipping fee. AliExpress sells it for $25 plus the usual $4.27 shipping fee, saving you a few dollars overall. Amazon also offers various bundles, including a $32.55 SKU that adds a heatsink and an expansion board for the 13-pin connector with Composite, IR, and more. Images include Android 9, Ubuntu, Debian, and OpenWrt.

Orange Pi RK3399

  • RK3399 board has high-end features like mini-PCIe, mSATA, and an HDMI input
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 at up to 1.42GHz); Mali-T860 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $100

The first RK3399-based Orange Pi has increased in price to $100 plus $26 shipping at Amazon and $104 plus $8.33 shipping at AliExpress. The Orange Pi RK3399’s high-end feature set is close to that of the Firefly-RK3399, with GbE, WiFi-ac, BT 4.1, and a wide array of display, camera, and audio features. The only major difference is that all four of its USB 2.0 connections are coastline ports. There are also USB 3.0 Type-C, and HDMI 2.0 ports plus an HDMI input, DP 1.2, eDP, and 2x MIPI-DSI and -CSI interfaces. Audio features include SPDIF, I2S, and a 3.5mm jack. For expansion you get both a 40-pin connector and a mini-PCIe slot with mSATA support and a SIM slot. A second mSATA interface is standard. The 129 x 99mm SBC provides an array of sensors and runs Android 6.0 or Debian 9.

Orange Pi Zero LTS / Zero Plus

  • Tiny Orange Pi Zero boards target IoT with Allwinner H2+ and H5
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H2+ (Zero LTS) or H5 (Zero Plus) with 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz with Mali-400 MP2 or 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz with Mali-450 MP2
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3
  • Price — $13.90 (Zero LTS) or $14.75 (Zero Plus)

There are a variety of tiny (48 x 46mm) Orange Pi Zero boards with slightly different processors or features and names that seem to change from year to year. (See below for the Zero Plus2 and Zero2 boards.) Here, we combine the Orange Pi Zero LTS and Orange Pi Zero Plus. The boards are slightly enhanced versions of the Orange Pi Zero, an SBC that can still be found for $10.19 on AliExpress, but which has disappeared from the Orange Pi product list. The long-term supported LTS model, which appears to have launched originally as the Orange Pi Zero H2+, has the same features as the Zero, but with a slightly improved Allwinner H2+ and double the RAM. The Zero Plus advances to an Allwinner H5, but is otherwise almost identical to the LTS, Common features include 26- and 13-pin expansion interfaces, 2.4GHz WiFi with antenna, USB 2.0 host and OTG ports, a microSD slot, and a serial debug port. They also offer 10/100 Ethernet ports. The LTS model lists PoE as an option, but as “default off.” Images include Ubuntu, Debian, Armbian, and Android.

Orange Pi Zero Plus2 H3 / Zero Plus2 H5

  • More advanced Orange Pi Zero boards that add HDMI, CSI, eMMC, and BT, but subtract USB and LAN ports
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H3 (H3) or H5 (H5) with 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz with Mali-400 MP2 or 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz and Mali-450 MP2
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3 RAM (H3); 2GB DDR3 (H5); both with 8GB eMMC
  • Price — $30 (H3); $62 (H5)

The Orange Zero Plus2 H3 sells for $30 plus $11 shipping on Amazon and the Orange Pi Zero Plus2 H5 can only be found on NewEgg for $62, but with free shipping and an allotment of 2GB RAM, which was not available originally. Aside from RAM and processor, they are identical. The boards are based loosely on the Zero Plus boards listed above. The Zero Plus2 H3 is equipped with the Allwinner H3, which adds 4K support compared to the H2+. The Orange Pi Zero Plus2 H5 advances to a quad -A53 Allwinner H5, also with 4K video. Compared to the Zero Plus, the Plus2 boards remove the mic, USB 2.0 host, and 10/100 Ethernet port, but add an HDMI, MIPI-CSI, 8GB eMMC, and Bluetooth 4.2, which is provided on an Ampak AP6212 module along with WiFi. See also the new Allwinner H616 based Orange Pi Zero2 listed below.

Orange Pi Zero2

  • Latest Orange Pi Zero that adds faster SoC, GbE, and 802.11ac
  • Company/project — Shenzhen Xunlong
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H616 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); Mali-TG31 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB or 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $18.80

The latest Orange Pi Zero board is larger than the earlier models at 60 x 53mm and advances to a faster Allwinner H1616, a scaled-back, 1.5GHz version of the H6. The Orange Pi Zero2 moves up to a GbE port, compared to 10/100Mbps on the Zero LTS and Zero Plus (and no LAN on the Zero Plus2). The Zero2 offers 802.11ac with BT 5.0 compared to 2.4GHz WiFi on the Zero LTS and Zero Plus and 802.11n with BT 4.2 on the Zero Plus2. Other features include micro-HDMI, USB 2.0 host, and USB Type-C ports, 13- and 26-pin GPIO headers, and serial debug. The SBC lacks the MIPI-CSI interface found on the Zero Plus2. Android 10, Ubuntu, and Debian are supported. The Zero2 sells for $18.80 plus $4.27 shipping on AliExpress with 1GB RAM and $21 plus $11 shipping on Amazon with 512MB.

Pepper 43R / 43C

  • Customizable Cortex-A8 SBCs feature optional 4.3-inch touchscreens
  • Company/project — Gumstix (Altium)
  • Product page
  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3354 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 800MHz); PowerVR SGX530 3D GPU
  • Memory — 512MB RAM
  • Price — $152.10

The original Pepper from 2013 was replaced with three new models, two of which are covered here. The Pepper boards have a TI AM3354 SoC that lacks the PRU MCUs of the original AM3359 but provide a 3D-ready PowerVR GPU. The $169 Pepper 43R and 43C are similar, but the Pepper DVI-D is sufficiently divergent to deserve its own blurb below. The Pepper 43R can drive resistive touchscreens while the Pepper 43C supports capacitive. Both are available with optional 4.3-inch Newhaven touchscreens, which are also included in Pepper Handheld Development Kits that cost $251.10 with the 43R or $269.10 with the 43C. The Pepper 43R SBC adds a level shifter and a TI step-down converter. Both have a GbE port, microSD slot, dual micro-USB ports, a USB console port, and a TI WiLink 8 WiFi/BT 4.1 LE module. The Pepper 43 boards are further equipped with 20-pin GPIO, an audio jack, LiPo battery support, a PMIC, and LEDs. The boards can be customized in the Gumstix Geppetto online design and manufacturing service.

Pepper DVI-D

  • HDMI-focused Cortex-A8 SBC supports online customization
  • Company/project – Gumstix (Altium)
  • Product page
  • Processor — TI Sitara AM3354 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 800MHz); PowerVR SGX530 3D GPU
  • Memory — 512MB RAM
  • Price — $107.10

The Pepper DVI-D has the same size, TI AM3354 SoC, and 512MB RAM as the Pepper 43R and 43C (see above), but with a much lower price and a different layout and purpose. Instead of supporting touchscreens, the Pepper DVI-D features an HDMI port (via DVI-D) to support HD output instead of 720p. Other features include a microSD slot, GbE port, audio jack, console port, USB host port, and dual micro-USB device ports. As with the Pepper 43 boards, images are available for Yocto, Ubuntu, and Android. A community portion of the site shared with other Gumstix developers provides projects and tutorials. Like the other Peppers, the SBC is designed with the Gumstix Geppetto DIY design service.

Pine A64+ / A64-LTS

  • Oversized, $15 and up RPi 3 imitator
  • Company/project — Pine64, Inc.
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner A64 (4x Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.2GHz and Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB (A64+ 1GB); 2GB (A64+ 2GB and A64-LTS) LPDDR3 RAM; optional up to 128GB eMMC on A64-LTS
  • Price — $21 (A64+ with 1GB); $32 (A64-LTS 2GB)

This Raspberry Pi imitator from the robust Pine64 community provides microSD, HDMI, Fast Ethernet, audio, dual USB 2.0 host, and micro-USB ports. The 127 x 79mm board offers a Pi-compatible, 40-pin connector, a 14-pin Euler connector, an RTC, and -20 to 70°C support. Compared to the original and apparently discontinued A64 model with 512MB RAM, both the 1GB and 2GB A64+ models and newer 2GB A64 LTS boost Ethernet to GbE and add MIPI-DSI and -CSI with touchscreen and camera options. The LTS board adds a 5-year longevity guarantee, microSD bootability, SPI boot flash, and up to 128GB eMMC. The Pine A64+ 2GB model is out of stock, but the 1GB model is still available. At publication time, the A64-LTS was listed as out of stock, and only the 1GB version of the A64+ was available. A 2GB version was previously available. There are several dozen OS images listed for the A64+ here and a smaller list for the A64-LTS here. Pine64 also sells a SODIMM-style SoPine A64 COM featuring the guts of the Pine A64 with a baseboard for $35 to $40. Pine64 recently launched a $100 and up, open source PineTab tablet based on the Allwinner A64 with a 10.1-inch touchscreen.

Pine H64 Model B

  • Latest rev of Allwinner H6 board adds WiFi/BT and SPDIF
  • Company/project — Pine64, Inc.
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H6 (4x Cortex-A53 cores); Mali-T720 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB or 4GB LPDDR3 RAM; eMMC interface for up to 128GB
  • Price — $36 (2GB) or $45 (3GB)

The Pine H64, went on sale in Feb. 2018 as a limited-edition developer model that quickly went out of stock. In early Mar. 2019, it was replaced by a Model B version that similarly features the video-focused H6, which features a Mali-T720 GPU and can push out [email protected] with HDR video over the SBC’s HDMI 2.0 port. The Model B adds a 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 module with antenna, as well as SPDIF audio. It also trims down to 86 x 54mm and adjusts the layout so that it can use the cases for Pine64’s Rock64 SBC (see farther below). The previous, dysfunctional mini-PCIe slot and 1GB RAM option were removed. The Pine H64 is equipped with GbE, 2x USB 2.0, and optional eMMC. Like the Pine A64, it offers 40-pin and 14-pin Euler expansion connectors. OS support includes Android 9.0, Armbian Debian Buster, LibreELEC, and AOSC (Anthon Open Source Community). Pine64 also sells an open source, $150 PinePhone based on the Allwinner H6.

PineCube

  • Camera board with 5MP OmniVision sensor
  • Company/project — Pine64, Inc.
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner S3 (1x Cortex-A7 @ 800MHz)
  • Memory — 128MB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $30

Pine64’s 55 x 51.5 x 51mm, double-board PineCube camera dev kit arrived in October for $30 with specs that are scaled down considerably compared to the prototypes. The open-spec kit runs Linux, including NixOS Linux, on an Allwinner S3 camera SoC and offers a 5-megapixel OmniVision OV5640 sensor with 1080p @ 30fps video and up to 15fps at 5MP. The sensor has IR night vision plus a 3.5-inch focal length, 10cm-to-infinity focus distance, and a 65-degree FoV. The board provides Fast Ethernet with passive PoE, 2.4GHz WiFi, a microSD slot, and USB 2.0 host and micro-USB power ports. You also get a mic and speaker plus options including a battery pack, 4.5-inch display, and M12-compatible lens attachments.

PocketBeagle

  • Tiny, minimalist BeagleBone variant can be plugged into a PC’s USB port for programming
  • Company/project — BeagleBoard.org
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Octavo Systems OSD335x SiP with TI Sitara AM3358 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz) with PRU MCU chips and PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB RAM
  • Price — $22.56

BeagleBoard.org’s tiny PocketBeagle, which sells for a low of $27.81 at Mouser, barely qualifies as an SBC thanks to its microSD slot and micro-USB port. Like the BeagleBone Blue and BeagleBone Black Wireless, the PocketBeagle is built around an Octavo OSD335x SiP, which includes the BB Black’s AM3358 SoC with PRUs and PowerVR GPU along with 512MB RAM. The 56 x 35mm SBC is about the same size as the Raspberry Pi Zero. There is no eMMC, wireless, or Ethernet port. However, you can plug this COM-like board into a laptop as a USB key-fob and program the device using a web browser that provides access to the Linux command line and text editor. The PocketBeagle is not a true BeagleBone clone since it lacks dual 46-pin connectors for Cape add-ons, and it has 72 pin headers instead of 92. Yet, the Debian-driven SBC should run any BB Black software that does not require access to the unavailable pins.

Quantum Mini

  • World’s smallest Linux hacker board runs Ubuntu Core on Allwinner H3
  • Company/project — Seeed, Zhihui
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H3 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.0GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3 RAM; 16GB eMMC
  • Price — $49.90

In November, Seeed launched the Quantum Mini in collaboration with renowned maker Zhihui and built with Seeed’s design and PCB prototyping and manufacturing services. It is already out of stock but should be back soon. The GPL 3.0 licensed SBC features an M.2 form-factor “Quark-N” module that runs Ubuntu Core on an Allwinner H3 plus a 40 x 35mm “Atom-N” carrier, making it the smallest Linux hacker board we have seen. The Quark-N module provides the 512MB DDR3 and 16GB eMMC along with a 26-pin GPIO with USB OTG, USB-Serial, I2C, UART, SPI, I2S, and GPIO. The Atom-N carrier adds a microSD slot, dual USB 2.0 host ports, a Type-C port for power, and some golden finger pads for I/O. A small TFT display is mounted on the board along with a motion sensor, user buttons, and a microphone. For communications, you get 2.4GHz WiFi with Bluetooth 4.0.

Raspberry Pi Zero

The tiny, $5 Raspberry Pi Zero costs $14 to $30 or more when you include the various cables and adapters you would likely need for SBC duty. The 65 x 30mm Zero upgrades the same old-school ARM11 processor found on the Raspberry Pi A+ and B+ to 1GHz. The COM-like SBC ships with a microSD slot, a pair of micro-USB ports, and a mini-HDMI port with audio support, as well as an unpopulated composite video header for the VideoCore IV GPU. Missing are all the USB ports, DSI and CSI ports, and audio jacks found on the RPi 3 or 4.

Raspberry Pi Zero W / Zero WH

  • Wireless versions of RPi Zero include WH model with soldered 40-pin header
  • Company/project — Raspberry Pi Foundation
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Broadcom BCM2835 (1x ARM1176JZFS core @ 1GHz) with FPU and VideoCore IV dual-core GPU
  • Memory — 512MB SDRAM
  • Price — $10 to $25 ($19 typ. config.); $14 base price for Zero WH

The Raspberry Pi Zero W is identical to the RPi Zero except for the addition of the same Cypress CYW43438 wireless chip found on the Raspberry Pi 3, providing 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 with BLE. The Zero W is available starting at only $10 but you need the same add-ons as the Zero to get real-world video and USB ports. The newer Raspberry Pi Zero WH model adds a soldered 40-pin GPIO header to the Zero W for easier prototyping and access to the GPIO Expander tool. The Zero WH is available for a low of $14 at Adafruit.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

  • Compact, Model A reboot with RPi 3B+ specs, but with only 512MB RAM, one USB, and no LAN
  • Company/project — Raspberry Pi Foundation
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Broadcom BCM2837B0 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.4GHz); VideoCore IV GPU
  • Memory — 512MB RAM
  • Price — $25

In Nov. 2018, an update to the retired, $20 Raspberry Pi Model A+ arrived with the same 65 x 56mm footprint, but also a raft of new features indicated by the “3” in the middle of the name. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ has the same 1.4GHz quad-A53 SoC, dual-band WiFi-ac, and 40-pin, HAT-compatible GPIO of the larger, higher-end RPi 3B+. Other similar features include the HDMI port, microSD slot, DSI and CSI interfaces, and composite port. The biggest sacrifice is the halving of RAM to 512MB. Although this is twice the allotment of the earlier A and A+ models, a 64-bit SoC like this deserves better. The SBC lacks a LAN port, and instead of 4x USB 2.0 host ports, you get one.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

  • The first superstar Pi model been eclipsed by its newer 3+ and 4 siblings
  • Company/project — Raspberry Pi Foundation
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Broadcom BCM2837 (4x Cortex-53 @ 1.2GHz); Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU @ 400MHz
  • Memory — 1GB SDRAM
  • Price — $35

Most buyers will want to skip over the RPi 3B for the 3B+ and 4 models covered below, but this was the Pi that first put the Raspberry on the map. Many if not most Raspberry Pi imitators are more open source than the Raspberry Pi boards, in part due to RPi Trading’s exclusive license for its Broadcom SoCs. However, the VideoCore GPUs are more accessible than most, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation has in recent years started posting reduced, if not full schematics. In addition, the Pi boards offer guaranteed Raspberry Pi add-on compatibility, the widest range of software support, and membership in a thriving community. You can also buy a Raspberry Pi Model B 2 v1.2 for $42.31, but with a slower, 900MHz quad -A53 Broadcom SoC and no WiFi or Bluetooth.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

  • RPi 3 upgrade offers faster CPU, WiFi, and GbE with PoE
  • Company/project — Raspberry Pi Foundation
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Broadcom BCM2837B0 (4x Cortex-53 @ 1.4GHz); Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU @ 400MHz
  • Memory — 1GB LPDDR2 RAM
  • Price — $35

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is still relevant in the RPi 4B era for users who want to avoid the potential need for heatsinks, fans, and special cases associated with the 4B. The 3B+ has the same price and much the same layout and feature set of the RPi 3 Model B, but with both major and minor improvements. The 3B+ provides a faster, 1.4GHz Broadcom SoC and pre-certified, dual-band 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. The LAN port moved from a 10/100 port to a USB-powered, up to 300Mbps Gigabit Ethernet port, and there is even a $20 Power-over-Ethernet POE HAT option. Other RPi 3B+ improvements include a better PMIC, a heat spreader, and 0 to 50°C support.

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

  • The RPi 4 jumps to a quad -A72 SoC with 4GB RAM, native GbE, and USB 3.0
  • Company/project — Raspberry Pi Foundation
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Broadcom BCM2711 (4x Cortex-A72 cores @ 1.5GHz); Videocore VI 3D GPU
  • Memory — 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Price — $35 (2GB); $55 (4GB); $75 (8GB)

The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B arrived unexpectedly at the end of June 2019 with enhancements including up to 4GB RAM and a faster, 28nm fabricated Broadcom SoC with 4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A72 cores. The SoC also offers an enhanced VideoCore VI GPU with up to 4Kp60 support. In early 2020, RPi Trading discontinued the 1GB RAM model and the 2GB model dropped by $10 to $35. A few months later, it added an 8GB model that continues to sell for $75. The RPi 4 steps up to a native PCIe Gen2 based GbE port, once again with optional PoE. Two of the four USB host ports are USB 3.0, and the micro-USB switches to a more versatile Type-C port. There is still no M.2 slot with SATA, but the faster USB 3.0 ports make USB storage for feasible. Like the RPi 3B+, the RPi 4 offers a WiFi-ac/BT module, 40-pin GPIO, microSD slot, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and a composite video/audio jack. The RPi 4 has had a few growing pains, led by overheating problems, but various fans and cases have helped out ease the way. Although the dual-display capability is useful to some, many users might have preferred a single HDMI instead of dual micro-HDMI ports. Yert, the RPi 4 is a hit and reigns among the most powerful Arm SBCs in the catalog. An 8GB RAM option is also available on the new and similarly Broadcom BCM2711 based Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4). In November, RPi Trading launched a Raspberry Pi 400 keyboard computer with a faster version of the BCM2711 that clocks to 1.8GHz. Unlike the CM4, the RPi 400 tops out at 4GB RAM.

ReSpeaker Core v2.0

  • Upgraded far-field voice control SBC with 6x mic array and a 16-meter wake-word range
  • Company/project — Seeed
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3229 (4x Cortex-A7 @ up to 1.5GHz); Mali-400MP
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $99

In 2018, Seeed upgraded its ReSpeaker far-field voice control board with a v.2.0 model that moved from running OpenWrt on a single-core MIPS CPU to running Debian on a quad -A7 RK3229. The RK3229 is implemented along with 1GB DDR3 via an “Axol Core” module. The hexagonal ReSpeaker v2.0, which is currently out of stock but tagged with a notification box to request restock info, features a 6x mic array with 8-channel ADC and a 16-meter wake-word range. Unlike the original, audio is processed directly on the RK3229 with a mix of open source and proprietary algorithms, and you get 3.5mm and JST 2.0 audio outputs. Other features include 4GB eMMC, a microSD slot, a fast Ethernet port, and WiFi/BT. You also get HDMI 2.0, 2x USB 2.0, and micro-USB OTG and device ports plus GPIO and Grove expansion. The ReSpeaker has some competition in an open-spec, Allwinner backed Hichips-Parrot mic array board SBC, which only costs $80, but is disqualified here for its 10+ minimum purchase requirement.

Rico Board

  • Sitara based board with dual 40-pin expansion connectors
  • Company/project — MYIR
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — TI AM437x (1x Cortex-A9 core @ up to 1GHz); PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3 RAM (alternatively 256MB or 1GB); 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $89 ($129 for full kit with cables etc.)

MYIR’s open-spec, 100 x 65mm Rico Board, which dropped in price by $10 since a year ago, runs Linux on TI’s single-core, Cortex-A9, Sitara AM437x SoC. The SBC integrates HDMI, GbE, and dual USB ports, as well as a 24-bit LCD interface that supports optional 7-inch touchscreens. You also get camera interfaces and dual 40-pin expansion connectors with support for CAN and industrial I/O. There is no open source community, but you get online tech support, schematics, and detailed documentation.

ROC-RK3308-CC

  • RK3308-based Raspberry Pi clone aimed at voice apps offers PoE and a mic array
  • Company/project – T-Firefly
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3308 (4x Cortex-A35 @ 1.3GHz)
  • Memory — 128MB to 512MB DDR3; 128MB to 256MB NAND; 4GB to 128GB eMMC
  • Price — $54.42

In 2020, T-Firefly launched an upgraded version of the ROC-RK3308-CC called the ROC-RK3308-CC Plus (see next item). Yet, unlike the Plus version, which is currently sold only by T-Firefly, the original model is only sold elsewhere. The lowest prices are at Seeed ($36 but currently out of stock) and Mouser ($54.42). We imagine the ROC-RK3308-CC is on the way out, but perhaps not since it is only two years old and shares a product page with the Plus model. It also adds SPDIF and offers a smaller, RPi like form factor, dual-band WiFi/BT instead of 2.4GHz WiFi, a 6-mic versus a 4-mic array, and a wider -20 to 80°C range. The SBC taps the headless, audio-focused RK3308 with 4x -A35 cores, which is found on boards like Radxa’s Rock Pi S (see farther below). The Raspberry Pi-like, 85 x 56mm SBC provides 40-pin GPIO, WiFi/BT, a 10/100 Ethernet port with PoE, and USB 2.0 host and Type-C OTG ports. Audio features include I2S, SPDIF, and the 6-mic far-field array, which has a 63dB SNR. The board also offers a “phone” jack plus I2C, ADC, UART, and debug I/O. An LCD interface supports a tiny, optional (but unpriced) 480p “MCU display”. The unusual, Linux-based OS support includes ROS, Alexa, Baidu’s DuerOS voice assistant AI stack, and coming soon, Alibaba’s AliOS Things.

ROC-RK3308-CC Plus

  • Variant of original mic array board with dual LAN with PoE and an improved LCD interface
  • Company/project — Firefly
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3308 (4x Cortex-A35 @ 1.3GHz)
  • Memory — 256MB DDR3 RAM; 128MB NAND; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $40

It is unclear if the new ROC-RK3308-CC Plus (or ROC-RK3308-CC-plus) is replacement for the ROC-RK3308-CC (above) or an alternative. This larger, 85.15 x 60mm board, which sells for $40 at T-Firefly, offers the same RK3308 CPU and memories, but implements them via a new Core Board RK3308B compute module, which starts on its own at $23. The module and Plus board support twice the RAM and NAND listed above on the $40 SBC SKU, and can extend the 4GB module to 128GB. Additional storage is available via the SBC’s pre-existing microSD slot and USB host and Type-C OTG ports. The biggest improvements on the Plus include a second 10/100 Ethernet port, once again with PoE, and a 720p instead of 480p LCD interface. On the other hand, the 6-mic far-field array has been replaced with a 4-mic array, once again with far field capability, and SPDIF has been removed. The dual-band WiFi-ac/BT module has been replaced with 2.4GHz WiFi and there is a narrower 0 to 60°C operating range. The other audio features appear to be similar, but there are now dual 40-pin connectors instead of a single 40-pin with separate mic array and GPIO headers. OS support is similar, although we saw no mention of DuerOS.

ROC-RK3328-CC (Renegade)

  • RK3328-based Raspberry Pi clone built by Libre Computer
  • Company/project — Libre Computer, T-Firefly
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3328 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB DDR4; empty eMMC slot
  • Price — $30 (1GB), $40 (2GB), $60 (4GB)

The ROC-RK3328-CC is the commercial name of Libre Computer’s Renegade SBC, which launched on Indiegogo in 2017. T-Firefly currently offers only the 4GB RAM version for $80 from the product page link above. Libre Computer sells the 1GB model for $35 and the 2GB SKU for $50 and Amazon currently appears to have the best prices at $30 (1GB), $40 (2GB), and $60 (4GB). Like Pine64’s Rock64 SBC, this is an RK3328-based Raspberry Pi clone with an RPi 3-like footprint, layout, and 40-pin interface, and many similar features. The main differences from the RPi 3 include the lack of WiFi, Bluetooth, and MIPI-CSI and -DSI, as well as the presence of 3x USB host ports (one of them 3.0) instead of four. Like the Rock64, you get GbE instead of 10/100 Ethernet, and HDMI 2.0 with 4K instead of an HD-only HDMI 1.4. Firefly and Bay Libre assisted Libre Computers with software support, which includes Android 8.1 and Ubuntu, with the latter offering a choice of Rockchip’s Linux 4.4 Kernel or Mainline Linux 4.14 LTS.

ROC-RK3399-PC (Renegade Elite)

  • RK3399 board with HDMI 2.0, 2x DP, and GbE with optional PoE
  • Company/project — Libre Computer, Firefly
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 at up to 1.5GHz); Mali-T860 GPU
  • Memory — 4GB DDR4 RAM; opt. eMMC
  • Price — $100

The Renegade Elite launched on Indiegogo in July 2018, and although it did not meet its flexible funding goal, Libre Computer sells the board as the ROC-RK3399-PC with the price rising to $100 on LoverPi. Libre’s partner T-Firefly sells it for $89 but it is out of stock. Co-developed with Firefly and touted for its excellent mainline Linux support, the 120 x 72 x 11.9mm SBC updates the RK3328 powered ROC-RK3328-CC (Renegade). The ROC-RK3399-PC offers all the high-end features you would expect from an RK3399 board. You get 4GB RAM, HDMI 2.0, and 2x USB Type-C ports with DP support. Standout features include a GbE port with optional Power-over-Ethernet, as well as dual 60-pin expansion headers. The high-speed connector supports PCIe x4 2.1, which can be expanded to a mezzanine with an M.2 slot, although we did not see this listed as an accessory option.

Rock64

  • RPi 3 lookalike adds USB 3.0, bootable storage, and 4K-ready HDMI 2.0
  • Company/project — Pine64
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3328 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB DDR3L; empty eMMC slot
  • Price — $24.95 (1GB), $34.95 (2GB), or $44.95 (4GB)

Like Firefly’s ROC-RK3328-CC SBC, Pine64’s Rock64 combines Rockchip’s mid-range, quad -A53 RK3328 with a Raspberry Pi like 85 x 56mm footprint and expansion. The Rock64 lacks the RPi 3’s WiFi/BT module, except for an optional, $7 to $22 USB dongle, and there is no MIPI-DSI or -CSI. The Rock64 is limited to 3x USB ports instead of four, although one is a faster USB 3.0 and another is an OTG. The microSD slot and eMMC loaded into the empty socket are bootable. Other features include GbE and HDMI 2.0 with 4K HDR support. Options include $8 or $13 enclosures, a variety of $9 power supplies, and a $15 audio DAC board. The extensive OS support includes Android 9 and Linux distros including Debian, Armbian, Bionic, and more. The 2GB model is out of stock, but the 1GB and 4GB models can be found here.

Rock Pi 4A, 4B and 4C

  • Raspberry Pi lookalike is one of the cheapest RK3399 boards around
  • Company/project — Radxa
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 1.8GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.4GHz); Mali-T864 GPU
  • Memory — 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB LPDDR4; empty eMMC slot
  • Price — $39 (1GB), $49 (2GB), or $65 (4GB) for Rock Pi 4A; $49 (1GB), $59 (2GB), or $65 (4GB) for Rock Pi 4B ($75 with WiFi/BT); $59 for 4GB Rock Pi 4C

The Rock Pi is one of the most affordable RK3399 based SBCs around. The “new” button here refers to the Rock Pi 4 Model C, which arrived last July, as reported in the LinuxGizmos link above. The Model C adds a 2-lane, 2560 x 1440 @ 60Hz mini-DisplayPort to the Rock Pi 4 Model A and B feature set and switches the HDMI 2.0 port to a still 4K-ready micro-HDMI, thereby enabling the RPi 4 trick of dual simultaneous displays. The 4C, which is available only with 4GB RAM, sells for $59 while the 4A starts at $39 and the 4B at $49, all at Allnet China. The 4B with 2GB is currently out of stock. The SBCs are also available at Seeed, but the only models in stock are the 4A with 4GB ($65) and the 4B with 2GB ($59). Both the 4A and 4B models are available in starter kit bundles with a power adapter, case, heatsink, and USB cable, and there are accessories on models including an antenna connector, heatsink, and microSD card. Like the RK3399-based NanoPi M4, the Rock Pi 4 closely matches the Raspberry Pi layout and feature set, including the 40-pin connector. There is a native GbE port and unlike the NanoPi M4, an M.2 slot for SSDs. However, it lacks the M4’s 24-pin GPIO interface. You get a pair each of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, 2-lane MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and the HDMI and/or DP ports. Other features include an audio jack with mic, an RTC, and a USB Type-C port. The SBC has a 0 to 80°C range, a 5.5-20V input, and support for Android 9.0. Debian, and Ubuntu Server. The v1.4 updates for the 4A, 4B, and now 4C, add 4MB SPI to enable NVMe support on the M.2 module along with other minor tweaks. Also available is Radxa’s $25 Rock Pi Poe HAT for the Rock Pi 4, which joins other accessories such as a $14.40 Rock Pi 4 Prototyping HAT and a $49.90 Rock Pi 4 Cluster Set. In Dec. 2019, Radxa launched Dual ($25) and Quad ($35) SATA HATs that work on the RPi 4 or Rock Pi 4 at up to 400 MB/s via USB 3.0. There is also a faster, 800 MB/s $49 “Penta SATA HAT” that uses PCIe to support 5x drives. The SATA hats can be found on this Allnet China page, but are out of stock. Finally, note Radxa’s Rock Pi N10, below, which is based on the AI enhanced RK3399Pro.

Rock Pi E

  • Tiny, dual-LAN board runs on quad -A53 RK3328
  • Company/project — Radxa
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3328 (4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5GHz); Mali-450 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB DDR3 RAM; empty eMMC socket
  • Price — $15 (256MB) to $40 (2GB with WiFi-ac and PoE support) for various combos of RAM, WiFi/BT, and PoE

The Rock Pi E launched on pre-order in July and some models are now shipping. The 65 x 56mm networking board competes with some of the smaller dual-LAN boards like the Orange Pi R1 Plus and NanoPi R2S, which similarly run Linux on an RK3328. Unlike those dual-GbE models, the Rock Pi E gets by with 10/100 and GbE ports, both with optional PoE connectors. Other features include USB 3.0 and Type-C ports, an audio AV out jack, and 40-pin GPIO. The Rock Pi E supports Debian 10 Buster, Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic, and OpenWrt. The only model currently available (on pre-order) at Seeed is a 512MB SKU with 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2. Allnet Chinahas more combinations with choices offered for RAM, PoE connector for an optional HAT, and a choice of no wireless, 2.4GHz WiFi/BT, or dual-band 802.11ac with the same BT 4.2. Some of these combinations are unavailable and most of the others are out of stock. Since the July launch, Radxa has added 256MB and 2GB RAM versions. For 256MB, all but the no-WiFi, no-PoE model are unavailable, and even that is “sold out,” and all the 2GB models are sold out. Available models include 512MB with PoE ($21), 512MB with 2.4GHz WiFi but no PoE ($22), and 1GB with WiFi-ac and PoE ($28).

Rock Pi N10

  • Built around SMARC module with RK3399Pro with 3-TOPS NPU and up to 8GB RAM
  • Company/project — Radxa, Vamrs
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399Pro (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz); Mali-T860 GPU; 3-TOPs NPU
  • Memory — Model A: 5GB LPDDR3 (3GB CPU, 1GB NPU), 16GB eMMC; Model B: 6GB (4GB/2GB), 32GB eMMC; Model C: 8GB (4GB/4GB), 64GB eMMC
  • Price — $99 (MA); $129 (MB); $169 (MC)

Radxa’s Rock Pi N10, which runs Debian or Android 8.1 on an AI-enhanced RK3399Pro, starts at $99 at Allnet China and Seeed, which is out of stock. The RK3399Pro is essentially the same as the RK3399, but with slightly higher clock rates and an up to 3-TOPS NPU. The SBC is built around Vamrs’ SMARC form-factor VMARC RK3399Pro SoM, which Vamrs’ 96rocks project pairs with its new 96Boards Enterprise Edition Ficus2 carrier board. The Ficus2 with VMARC is available now as the $199 VMARC RK3399Pro SoM Ficus2 Evaluation Board (see farther below). Despite the different layout, the 100 x 100mm Rock Pi N10 has almost the same specs as the RPi-style, RK3399-based Rock Pi 4, including 40-pin GPIO and an NVMe-ready M.2 slot. It has one less USB 3.0 port and there is a second M.2 slot for an optional WiFi/BT module. Like other RK3399Pro based boards, the Rock Pi N10 has a maximum RAM allotment beyond the RK3399’s 4GB limit to feed the NPU. Since the board debuted in late 2019, it has upgraded to a v1.2 model that boosts the low-end 4GB RAM version to 5GB. The other RK3399Pro entries include Vamrs’ $299 (6GB RAM/32GB eMMC) Toybrick RK3399Pro and Geniatech’s unpriced DB3399 Pro (up to 6GB/32GB). Asus’ Tinker Edge R (up to 6GB/16GB), has finally shipped, but is above our $200 limit ($219 at Amazon.)

Rock Pi S

  • Tiny, headless RK3308 board focuses on IoT and voice control
  • Company/project — Radxa
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3308 (4x Cortex-A35 @ up to 1.3GHz)
  • Memory — 256MB or 512MB RAM; opt. 1GB NAND
  • Price — $10 to $27 for various combos of RAM, NAND, WiFi/BT, and PoE (512MB only)

The Rock Pi S runs Debian Buster, Ubuntu Bionic, and Slackware on the headless, audio-focused RK3308, which is also found on Firefly’s ROC-RK3308-CC and CC-Plus boards. Despite the Allnet China and Seeed (out of stock) shopping pages listing the board at 38.1 x 38.1mm, these pages, as well as the wiki, also list it as 1.7-inch sq., which comes out to a still tiny 43.18 x 43.18mm. Now available in a v1.3 model, the Rock Pi S offers flexible pricing for both the 256MB or 512MB models, with or without 1GB NAND and/or WiFi/BT. The 512MB version also offers a PoE option. Features include 10/100 Ethernet, USB 2.0 host, and USB 2.0 Type-C OTG ports, as well as a microSD slot and dual 26-pin GPIO headers. Audio interfaces include a VAD (Voice Activity Detector).

Rock Pi X Model B

  • Most affordable x86 board in roundup combines Intel Cherry Trail with Pi-like features
  • Company/project — Radxa
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Atom x5-Z8350 (4x Cherry Trail @ 1.44GHz/1.84GHz burst); Intel HD 400 Graphics
  • Memory — 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB LPDDR3 RAM; 8GB to 128GB eMMC
  • Price — $49 (1GB/8GB) to $99 (4GB/128GB)

Now that the $28-and-up Atomic Pi has gone bye bye, the Rock Pi X Model B is the most affordable Intel-based board in the roundup. Like the Atomic Pi, the RPi-like SBC deploys the Atom x5-Z8350 from Intel’s Cherry Trail SoC, which is still around in great numbers and low cost thanks to Intel’s doomed experiment in targeting the 14nm SoC for the smartphone market. (More beer for us!) The 85 x 54mm SBC, which supports Ubuntu 20.04 and Windows 10, went on pre-order in October and a few models are now available. Seeed sells the 4GB/32GB model for $75 and Allnet offers the 2GB/16GB model for $59, the 4GB/32GB for $75, and the top-of-the-line 4GB/128GB SKU for $99. All these prices include 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and an antenna. (The Model A without WiFi/BT is not yet available.) They also offer GbE with PoE support via the optional Rock Pi PoE HAT or Raspberry Pi PoE HAT, which work with the SBC’s 40-pin GPIO. The Rock Pi X is further equipped with HDMI 2.0 with audio and [email protected], as well as USB 3.0 OTG, 2x USB 2.0 host, and a Type-C port for 9-20V input. You also get an RTC and optional battery connector and heatsink.

RockPro64

  • One of the most affordable RK3399 SBC has loads of media links and a full-size PCIe x4 slot
  • Company/project — Pine64
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 1.8GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.4GHz); Mali-T864 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4; empty eMMC slot
  • Price — $60 (2GB) or $80 (4GB)

Pine64’s RockPro64 is one of the more affordable RK3399 boards on the market and stands out with its full-size PCIe x4 expansion slot. The RockPro64 has the same 127 x 79mm dimensions and many of the same features found on Pine64’s Allwinner H6 based Pine H64. You get HDMI, eDP, MIPI-DSI, 2x MIPI-CSI, Parallel camera, USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and DisplayPort 1.2 via USB Type-C. For communications, there is a GbE port and optional, $16 WiFi-ac with Bluetooth 4.1. Audio links are available along with a 40-pin RPi-style connector. Images are available for Armbian, Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Slackware, DietPi, and more.

Seeeduino Cloud

  • One of the last available Linux-driven Arduino clones
  • Company/project — SeeedStudio
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Qualcomm Atheros AR9331 (1x MIPS 24kc @ 400MHz); Atmel ATmega32u4 MCU @ 16MHz
  • Memory — 64MB RAM; 16MB flash; 32KB flash for MCU
  • Price — $49.95

Seeed’s Seeeduino Cloud is a clone of the rebooted Arduino Yun (see farther above) and one of the few Linux-ready SBCs with full Arduino compatibility remaining on the market. The Cloud is a variation on its earlier Seeeduino Arduino clone, and similarly adds Arduino support and the ability to connect the company’s Grove sensor and I/O add-ons. By integrating Dragino’s HE computer-on-module, the Seeeduino Cloud provides a Yun-like Atheros AR9331 WiFi subsystem that runs OpenWrt Linux. Other features include 10/100 Ethernet, USB host, micro-USB, 20x DIO pins, 7x PWM channels, and 12x analog inputs. Like the Seeeduino, the Seeeduino Cloud eases the interface between Arduino firmware and complex web services, in this case via a YunBridge library.

Sipeed TANG Hex

  • Low-cost, Raspberry Pi like Zynq-7020 board
  • Company/project — SeeedStudio
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Xilinx Zynq-7020 (2x Cortex-A9 @ 667MHz plus FPGA)
  • Memory — 1GB LPDDR3 RAM; 256MB NAND
  • Price — $67.20

Sipeed’s low-cost, Raspberry Pi-like FPGA board is referred to by different names depending on the shopping venue, including TANG Hex, Lychee Hex, and Lychee Sugar. Sipeed has posted schematics and a PetaLinux image on GitHub, but there are no community resources or tech support we could see and no product page on the website. The board sells for a low of 439 Yuan ($67.20) on Taobao and can be had for $72.47 at AliExpress (see Product Page link above). The SBC is “currently unavailable” on Amazon where it sold for $124. The TANG Hex is more affordable than MYIR’s similarly Zynq-7020 equipped, $119 Z-turn board covered farther below). The SBC is equipped with 10/100Mbps Ethernet port (compared to GbE on the Z-turn) plus 4x USB 2.0 ports, 26-pin GPIO, a microSD slot, and a few headers. Sipeed previously launched a nominally Linux-ready, but more suitably FreeRTOS-driven Sipeed MaixCube based on a RISC-V architecture Kendryte K210 RISC-V with 1-TOPS NPU. In November, Alibaba’s T-head subsidiary revealed a single-core, RISC-V-based XuanTie C906 SoC collaboration with Allwinner that will appear on a sandwich-style, Linux-driven Sipeed SBC in 1Q 2021. The $12.50 board will offer HDMI, RGB, DVP, MIPI, GbE, microSD, and USB host and OTG ports.

SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit

  • Feature-rich, sandwich-style RK3399 alternative to NanoPi M4 and Neo4 with SBC-like COM
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 1.8GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.4GHz); Mali-T860 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB DDR3 RAM; 16GB eMMC
  • Price — $99; $70 for SOM-RK3399 module on its own

The SOM-RK3399 Dev Kit, which has dropped in price by $20 over the last year, is the only other FriendlyElec board here aside from the ZeroPi without NanoPi branding. Larger and more feature-rich than the similarly RK3399-equipped NanoPi M4 and NanoPi Neo4, the kit combines a carrier board with an open-spec SOM-RK3399 module that costs $70 on its own. The module, which supports up to 64GB eMMC, but here ships with 16GB, can even be considered an SBC on its own due to its pair of USB Type-C ports: one for power and the other supporting USB and DP. It also provides WiFi-ac with BT 4.1. Android 8.1 and various Ubuntu-derived distros with Linux 4.4-LTS are available. The carrier is equipped with GbE, 4x USB 3.0, HDMI in and out, and eDP, MIPI-DSI, MIPI-CSI, and more. Options include a 7-inch touchscreen ($26) and a Quectel LTE module that plugs into a mini-PCIe slot with micro-SIM. An M.2 slot supports NVMe storage.

Stinger96

  • 96Boards IoT Edition SBC aimed at NB-IOT communications
  • Company/project — Shiratech, Arrow
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — ST STM32MP157 (2x Cortex-A7 @ 650MHz) with Cortex-M4 @ 209MHz
  • Memory — 256MB DDR3 RAM; 1GB NAND
  • Price — $164.04

Our Jan. 2020 catalog included Arrow’s STM32MP157-based, 96Boards CE Extended form-factor Avenger96, but the DH Electronics built SBC is no longer available. In early 2020, Arrow teamed with Shiratech for a STM32MP157-based, 96Boards IoT Edition form-factor Stinger96 board, which is selling for $164 at Arrow. (See also ST’s official STM32MP157 devkit, directly below, and Seeed’s Odyssey-STM32MP157C farther above.) The Stinger96 ships with a Quectel BG96 NB-IOT modem, which operates at 200kHz with 300Kbps downlink and 375Kbps up. The GPS-equipped modem also supports higher bandwidth CAT-M1 and is accompanied by a micro-SIM slot and dual u.FL connectors. The SBC supplies a Yocto Linux image for the MCU-equipped STM32MP157 and provides microSD, GbE, and camera links. Other features include 2x micro-USB ports — serial debug and OTG — and the IoT Edition 40-pin GPIO header. The Stinger96 joins other IoT Edition boards such as the Orange Pi i96, which uses the smaller 60 x 30mm Standard Micro variant instead of the Stinger96’s 85 x 54mm IE Extended spec. In Feb. 2020, Arrow launched a security-enhanced Shield96 Trusted Platform SBC with the same IoT Edition IE Extended spec that runs Linux on a Cortex-A5 Microchip SAMA5D27. The Shield96 launched at $159, but now sells for $241. Last May, Shiratech and Arrow teamed up on an SRT-96B-MAIN-SC20-E/A 96Boards CE Extended SBC that runs Android on a Quectel SC20 module equipped with a quad -A7 Snapdragon 210, 4G LTE, GNSS, and WiFi/BT. The SBC, which still has an unpopulated Arrow shopping page, supplies a CSI cam, a MEMs mic, an accelerometer, and a photometric sensor.

STM32MP157A-DK1 / DK2

  • Dev boards unlock Cortex-M4-enhanced STM32MP1 with RPi and Arduino GPIO
  • Company/project — STMicroelectronics
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — ST STM32MP157 (2x Cortex-A7 @ 650MHz) with Cortex-M4 @ 209MHz
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3L RAM
  • Price — $67.62 (DK1); $97.49 (DK2)

STMicroelectronics launched four development boards in 2019 to support its new MCU-enabled, IoT-focused STM32MP1 SoC. The two high-end models — the STM32MP157A-EV1 and STM32MP157C-EV1 — exceed our price limit at $383 (and the latter is out of stock), but the STM32MP157A-DK1 and STM32MP157A-DK2 sell for $67.62 and $97.49, respectively, both with 4-Gbit (512MB) of DDR3L. The DK2 model adds a WiFi/BT module and a 4-inch, 800 x 480, capacitive touchscreen. In the Feb. 2019 announcement, ST said the STM32MP1 SoC would offer an optional Vivante 3D GPU, but the HDMI port and MIPI-DSI interface on the DK1/DK2 boards appear to be limited to 2D graphics and VGA. Other coastline ports include USB Type-C, USB Type-A OTG, and GbE ports. You also get an audio jack, debug, and both RPi-style 40-pin and Arduino GPIO connectors. The dev boards run the “mainlined, open-sourced” OpenSTLinux distro based on Yocto and OpenEmbedded. Schematics and other resources are available.

Tinker Edge T

Asus released the Raspberry Pi-like Tinker Edge T in Jan. 2020 and it is now available for a low of $180 at Amazon and B&H. This 85 x 56mm pseudo-clone of Google’s Coral Dev Board runs Linux on the same Coral SOM module equipped with an i.MX8M SoC and Google’s Edge TPU AI chip. Compared to the Coral Dev Board, the Tinker Edge T advances to 3x USB ports (2x USB 3.2 Gen1 and a Type-C OTG) and adds a wide-range a 12-19V input and a second 4-lane MIPI-CSI interface. Yet it lacks the Coral Dev Board’s audio features, including the 3.5mm audio jack, 2x digital PDM mics, and speaker header. Common features include GbE and HDMI ports, MIPI-DSI, and a 40-pin GPIO header. Like the other Tinker Boards, the Tinker Edge T is supported with schematics, forums, documentation, and tech support. It runs Google’s Edge TPU focused, Debian-based Mendel Linux. It is unclear what happened to the more industrial CR1S-CM-A variant of the Tinker Edge T that was announced with the SBC back in May 2019.

Tinker Board S

  • RPi 3 pseudo clone has a quad -A17 Rockchip SoC with Mali T760 GPU
  • Company/project — Asus
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3288 (4x Cortex-A17 @ 1.8GHz); Mali-T760 GPU
  • Memory — 2GB LPDDR3 RAM; 16GB eMMC
  • Price — $100

Asus’ Tinker Board is still the only open-spec hacker SBC from a major PC manufacturer. The original Tinker Board, which is still available on Amazon for $70 was superseded by the pricier Tinker Board S, which adds 16GB eMMC, HDMI-CEC support, a smart audio jack, and improved power management. Like the original, the S model offers a Raspberry Pi style size, layout, feature set, and 40-pin connector. Compared to the RPi 3 B+, the SBC has a faster, although 32-bit, processor with a more powerful Mali T760 GPU with upscaled 4K/30fps playback and twice the RAM. The SBC is equipped with WiFi, BT 4.0, a GbE port, and 4x USB 2.0 ports. You also get microSD, micro-USB, HDMI, MIPI-CSI, and MIPI-DSI. A community site is available with a forum, schematics, and other resources. Asus provides Debian and Android versions of its homegrown TinkerOS distro. Prices have risen to a low of $100 at B&H Photo and $101.79 at Amazon, both with free shipping. Asus finally shipped its RK3399Pro based Tinker Edge R SBC, available on Botland and Welectron, but it is over our limit, starting at 229 Euros (about $280). In November, Asus announced an RK3399-based Tinker Board 2, which should ship in the first half of 2021.

VMARC RK3399Pro SoM Ficus2 Evaluation Board

  • 96Boards EE SBC built around an AI-enabled, RK3399Pro-based SMARC module
  • Company/project — Vamrs
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Rockchip RK3399Pro (2x Cortex-A72 @ up to 1.8GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.4GHz); Mali-T860 GPU; 3-TOPs NPU
  • Memory — Model A: 4GB LPDDR3 (3GB CPU, 1GB NPU), 16GB eMMC; MB: 6GB (4GB/2GB), 32GB eMMC; MC: 8GB (4GB/4GB), 64GB eMMC
  • Price — $199 (MA); $219 (MB); $249 (MC)

While Vamrs’ RK3399-based, 96Boards Rock960 Model B and Model C appear to have been discontinued, and Vamrs’ 96Rocks community site is looking pretty sleepy, the newer VMARC RK3399Pro SoM Ficus2 Evaluation Board is still available starting at $199. Like Radxa’s Rock Pi N10, the dev kit is a sandwich style-SBC featuring Vamr’s SMARC form-factor VMARC RK3399Pro SoM. The module is equipped with the RK3399Pro, a version of the RK3399 with an up to 3-TOPS NPU. Vamrs pairs the module with its new 96Boards Enterprise Edition Ficus2 carrier board, which is based on a board announced back in 2018 called the Rock960 Enterprise Edition (Ficus). Vamrs offers the same RAM/eMMC configurations as the Rock Pi N10, with up to half the RAM dedicated to the AI chip. Vamrs also offers a $299 (6GB RAM/32GB eMMC) Toybrick RK3399Pro, which is over our price limit. The only version of the Ficus2 that makes the cut is the $199 4GB/16GB version. The 160 x 120mm carrier board offers more features than the Rock Pi N10, including GbE and Fast Ethernet, WiFi-ac/BT 5.0, RTC, IR, HDMI, eDP, LVDS, MIPI-DSI, audio I/O, USB 3.0 OTG, and 2x USB 2.0 host ports. For expansion, there is a mini-PCIe slot with an optional 4G module and SIM slot, as well as a 4-lane PCIe connector and 96Boards EE 40-pin low- and 60-pin high-speed slots. Vamrs uses OS images from its partner Rockchip, which include a dual-boot Fedora 17/Android 8.1 and a beta version of Debian Stretch.

Udoo Neo

  • Compact, i.MX6 SoloX board taps Cortex-M4 for Arduino compatibility
  • Company/project — Udoo (Seco)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX6 SoloX (1x Cortex-A9 @ 1GHz); Cortex-M4 MCU; Vivante GPU
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3L RAM (1GB on Plus version)
  • Price — $49.90 (Basic) $59.90 (Extended), $64.90 (Full)

Like the larger Udoo Quad/Dual SBCs, the IoT-focused, 85 x 59mm Udoo Neo runs Linux or Android on a Cortex-A9 based i.MX6. The Neo, however, is optimized for the single-core i.MX6 SoloX variant and uses its Cortex-M4 MCU to mimic an Arduino. The specs differ slightly from the Kickstarter package referenced in the LinuxGizmos link above. The Udoo Neo Basic provides Ethernet, microSD, USB host, micro-USB OTG, micro-HDMI, LVDS with touch, and a Parallel camera interface. You also get an Arduino connector, as well as GPIO, UART, CAN, PWM, I2C, and SPI interfaces. For $10 more, the Neo Extended bumps the RAM to 1GB, adds 3-axis motion sensors, and replaces Ethernet with a WiFi/Bluetooth module. The Neo Full is identical to the Extended but offers both Ethernet and wireless.

Udoo Quad / Dual / Dual Basic

  • Arduino compatible i.MX6 SBC supplies WiFi and GbE on most models and SATA on the Quad version
  • Company/project — Udoo (Seco)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX6 Quad or DualLite (4x or 2x Cortex-A9 @ 1GHz with Vivante GPUs); Atmel SAM3X8E Cortex-M3 MCU
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $99 (Dual Basic); $115 (Dual); $135 (Quad)

Seco’s Udoo project offers three SKUs for its flagship, 110 x 85mm Udoo SBC. The Udoo Dual Basic and Udoo Dual provide the dual-core i.MX6 DualLite while the Quad has the quad-core i.MX6 with a higher-end Vivante GPU. All three boards integrate a Cortex-M3 based Arduino Due subsystem. The boards offer microSD, HDMI, LVDS with touch, audio, and CSI connections. You also get dual USB host and dual micro-USB ports, one of which is OTG. There are 76 GPIO pins in addition to the Arduino interface. The Udoo Dual adds WiFi and GbE connections, and the Quad also adds SATA.

Udoo X86 II

  • High-end Intel Braswell board has M.2 and SATA III
  • Company/project — Udoo (Seco)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Braswell quad-core SoCs (Advanced Plus: Celeron N3160 @ up to 2.24GHz; Ultra: Pentium N3710 @ up to 2.56GHz); Intel Gen 8-LP GPU
  • Memory — 4GB (Advanced Plus) or 8GB (Ultra) DDR3L RAM; 32GB eMMC on Advanced Plus and Ultra
  • Price — Advanced Plus $174; Ultra $267

The Udoo X86 II is one of the more fully open source entries among the small crop of under-$200 x86 hacker boards. Only the $174, Celeron N3160 based Advanced Plus version is eligible under our $200 limit. Although the Udoo X86’s Intel Braswell SoCs are several generations old, having been followed by Apollo Lake and Gemini Lake, they similarly use a 14nm process and have a low, 5-6W TDP. An extensive feature list includes M.2, GbE, SATA III, HDMI, 2x DP, wireless, and 20x GPIO. Other features include 3x USB 3.0 ports, analog and digital audio I/O, plus an RTC, IR, and an IMU. There are loads of options, including a heatsink, case, cables, and an M.2-based dual Ethernet module. The 120 x 85mm board runs Linux, Android, and Windows 7/8.1/10. In 2018, Seco’s Udoo Project launched the Udoo Bolt hacker board on Kickstarter, featuring AMD’s x86-based Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC. It’s currently available at Udoo and is on pre-order at Mouser, starting at $340, well over our $200 limit.

UP board

  • Intel Cherry Trail based Raspberry Pi lookalike offers GbE and up to 64GB eMMC
  • Company/project — Aaeon; UP Community
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Atom x5-Z8350 (4x Cherry Trail @ 1.44GHz/1.92GHz burst); Intel HD 400 Graphics
  • Memory — 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB DDR3L RAM; 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB eMMC
  • Price — $99 (1GB/16GB), $109 (2GB/16GB); $119 (2GB/32GB); $149 (4GB/32GB); $169 (4GB/64GB)

Like the later UP boards, the original UP is not backed up with full schematics. Yet, the UP Community now supplies far more extensive documentation, including some 2D and 3D files, open-source downloads, tutorials and support. The UP board runs Ubuntu 16.04, Ubilinux 4.0 Beta 2, OpenBSD 2.0, or Windows 10/8.1 on a quad-core, 1.44GHz/1.92GHz Atom x5-Z8350 of the 14nm Cherry Trail generation. Other Cherry Trail based SBCs include the smaller UP Core and Radxa’s lower cost Rock Pi X. The 85.6 x 56.5mm UP board, which starts at $99, not only looks like a Raspberry Pi, but it provides a 40-pin expansion bus via an Altera MAX V CPLD that is said to provide RPi 2 compatibility. The UP is equipped with a GbE port, a USB 3.0 OTG port, 4x USB 2.0 ports, and two USB 2.0 headers. Other features include HDMI, DSI, CSI, I2S, and eDP. Accessories on all the UP boards include heatsinks, fans, enclosures, wireless kits, cameras, touchscreens, cables, UPS batteries, and more. In early 2019, Aaeon introduced a line of second-gen AI Core X M.2 and mini-PCIe modules for its UP boards that advanced to Intel’s Movidius Myriad X VPU. These were followed by AI Edge Computing Modules with Kneron’s KL520 AI SoC, which offers 0.3 TOP NPU performance on only half a Watt.

UP Core

  • Smaller version of UP board with up to 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC
  • Company/project — Aaeon; UP Community
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Atom x5-Z8350 (4x Cherry Trail @ 1.44GHz/1.92GHz burst); Intel HD 400 Graphics
  • Memory — 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB DDR3L RAM; 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB eMMC
  • Price — $99 (1GB/16GB); $109 (2GB/16GB); $119 (2GB/32GB); $149 (4GB/32GB); $169 (4GB/64GB)

The UP Core, which began shipping to the public in Mar. 2018 after its 2017 Kickstarter launch, is a smaller, 66 x 56.5mm version of the UP board. It runs the same Linux and Windows software and offers a similar feature set except that you get WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 BLE instead of a GbE port. The UP Core is limited to 2x USB 2.0 headers, compared to 4x USB 2.0 ports and 2x USB headers on the UP board. It similarly offers a single USB 3.0 and HDMI ports. Other features include dual MIPI-CSI, eDP, I2S audio, and a 100-pin docking connector with RPi HAT compatibility. The board has the same five configurations of RAM and eMMC as the UP board, with the same prices.

UP Core Plus

  • Smaller version of UP board with up to 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC
  • Company/project — Aaeon; UP Community
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Atom x5-E3930, x5-E3940, or x7-E3950(4x Apollo Lake @ 1.3GHz/1.8GHz, 1.6/1.8GHz, and 1.6/2.0GHz); Intel HD Graphics 500/505
  • Memory — 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB DDR3L RAM; 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB eMMC
  • Price — $149 (2GB/32GB, E3930); $209 (4GB/64GB, E3940); $289 (8GB/64GB, E3950); $329 (8GB/128GB)

Aaeon launched an UP Core Plus SBC on Kickstarter in 2018 as the centerpiece of an UP AI Edge family that includes optional, AI add-on boards. The family also includes a higher end UP Squared AI Vision Kit based on the UP Squared board, which like most of the UP Core Plus configurations is beyond our $200 limit. The 90 x 56.5mm UP Core Plus is larger than the Intel Cherry Trail based UP Core and has a choice of three quad-core “Apollo Lake” Atom SoCs. OS support is the same as the UP Core except that it also supports XenServer 7.2. The UP Core Plus is equipped with a DisplayPort, eDP, and 2x MIPI-CSI interfaces plus USB 3.0 host and OTG ports and 2x USB 2.0 ports. Dual 100-pin high speed GPIO connectors are compatible with UP board add-ons. The SBC lacks an Ethernet port, but there is a GbE port on the optional $49 high-speed I/O carrier board option, as well as standard 802.11ac and Bluetooth. Aaeon offers a $49 low-speed I/O carrier board add-on, among many other options including cooling systems, enclosures, mini-PCIe based 3G and LTE cards, and the UP AI Core module.

UP Squared

  • High-end Apollo Lake SBC with mini-PCIe, M.2, SATA, and a pair each of GbE and HDMI
  • Company/project — Aaeon; UP Community
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Celeron N3350 (2x Apollo Lake @ 1.1GHz/2.4GHz) or Atom x5-E3940 (4x Apollo Lake @ 1.6GHz/1.8GHz); Pentium N4200 (4x Apollo Lake @ 1.1GHz/2.5GHz); Intel Gen9 HD 500/505 graphics; Altera Max 10 FPGA
  • Memory — 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB LPDDR4; 32GB eMMC 5.0, expandable to 128GB
  • Price — $149 (Celeron with 2GB/32GB), $179 (Celeron with 4GB/32GB); $239 (Pentium with 4GB/32GB), $239 (Atom x7-E3950 with 4GB/64GB); $249 (same config with Ubuntu/OpenVino); $289 (Atom x7-E3950 with 8GB/64GB); $299 (Pentium with 8GB/64GB); $339 (Pentium with 8GB/128GB); $369 (Atom x7-E3950 with 8GB/64GB)

The Up Squared shipped to Kickstarter backers in mid-2017 and is now a bit pricier — only three models fit under our $200 limit. The 90 x 86mm UP Squared offers 4K encode and decode, dual GbE ports, dual HDMI outputs, and SATA, M.2, and mini-PCIe. You also get eDP, dual MIPI-CSI, 3x USB host, a micro-USB 3.0 OTG port, and a 60- and 40-pin GPIO tied to an Altera Max 10 FPGA. OS support is the same as on the UP Core Plus, and the extensive hardware options also appear to be similar. In late 2019, Aaeon opened public sales for its KS-backed UP Xtreme board with an Intel 8th Gen Whiskey Lake-U CPU. Announced in Mar. 2019, the UP Xtreme starts at $299. Aaeon also launched an UP Xtreme based UPX Edge computer with -20 to 70°C support and preloaded Ubuntu 18.04, starting at $499. Last July, Aaeon unveiled a slightly stripped down UP Xtreme Lite model that has yet to be priced. The SBC removes the STM32 MCU, FPGA, 100-pin connector, and eMMC slot of the Xtreme and moves from soldered to single-socket RAM. In November, Aaeon unveiled an UP Xtreme i11 with 11th Gen Tiger Lake with up to 64GB DDR4, 3x M.2, 1GbE and 2.5GbE, 4x USB 3.2 Gen2, and a USB 4.0 Type-C port. When it ships in 1Q 2021, it will likely be priced way over our price limit. Aaeon is also working on an UP Squared Pro 2 board covered in our Xtreme i11 report. The SBC will feature Intel’s latest Elkhart Lake Atom CPUs and an M.2 3042/3052 slot designed for 4G or 5G.

Vizi-AI

  • Community supported, but not open-spec, Apollo Lake AI devkit with Myriad-X VPU and dual GbE
  • Company/project — Adlink
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Intel Atom x5-E3940 (4x Apollo Lake @ 1.3GHz/1.8GHz; Intel HD Graphics 500; Intel Myriad X VPU
  • Memory — 4GB to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • Price — $199 (4GB)

Despite its lack of open specifications — not even the 2D/3D files offered by the UP boards — Adlink’s first maker board is included here thanks to its fully featured GOTO50.ai community site, which is packed with tutorials, a forum, and other resources. Like Aaeon’s UP Core Plus, the Vizi-AI Industrial Machine Vision AI Developer Kit combines a quad-core Apollo Lake SoC running Debian 9.9 and an Intel Movidius Myriad-X VPU. Intel’s AI chip is supported with Intel’s OpenVINO toolkit and the Adlink Edge edge-to-cloud middleware platform. Unlike Aaeon’s entry, the VPU is included with the base price, although the Vizi-AI lacks the 64GB eMMC of the 4GB UP Core Plus. The Vizi-AI is an x86-based sibling to Adlink’s new Rockchip PX30-based, Myriad X-equipped I-Pi SMARC Dev Kit covered farther above. Both SBCs use a sandwich-style design that integrate SMARC mdoules. The Vizi-AI dev kit uses a slightly different carrier board and is built around Adlink’s LEC-AL SMARC module. The module’s 4GB RAM can be upgraded to 8GB, although we saw no price for this. The Vizi-AI is equipped with 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and micro-USB client and HDMI ports. A 40-pin GPIO header is available along with an audio jack and an optional, ribbon connected single-channel LVDS or eDP interface. In addition to the US version linked to in the Product Page link above, Adlink offers a similarly $199 European model.

Wandboard

  • One of the earliest open-spec Linux hacker boards showcases the i.MX6
  • Company/project — Wandboard.org; TechNexion
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX6 Solo, DualLite, or Quad (1x, 2x, or 4x Cortex-A9 @ 1GHz); Vivante GPU
  • Memory — 512MB (Solo) 1GB (Dual), 2GB (Quad and QuadPlus) DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $89 (Solo and Wandboard i.MX6 9377); $109 (Dual); $129 (Quad and QuadPlus); $139 (WB-IMX6Q-9377)

Technexion’s Wandboard.org was of the earliest open hardware communities. The Wandboard received a “Reload” update in early 2017 that added the i.MX6 QuadPlus and brought an improved Vivante GC2000+ GPU, SPDIF audio, and faster WiFi/BT. Features include dual microSD slots plus GbE, HDMI, camera, serial, USB, and USB OTG. The Dual lacks the Quad’s SATA connection, and the Solo also foregoes the WiFi and Bluetooth found on the Quad and Dual. The Quad and QuadPlus models have both dropped in price to $129. Over the last year, Technexion has added an enhanced version of the Solo model called the Wandboard i.MX6 9377 at the same $89 price that adds support for up to 2GB RAM but appears to start at the same 512MB. The 9377 model boosts MIPI-CSI to 4-lane, increases video decoding and encoding to 1080p30, and switches to a Qualcomm wireless module with the same 802.11ac and Bluetooth but a new antenna connector. It also adds 1Grms vibration resistance and various certifications. Similarly, there is a new Quad variant for $10 more called the WB-IMX6Q-9377. It also switches to the Qualcomm wireless chip and 1Grms resistance but replaces the Quad’s 3D GPU with a 2D Vivante GC320. Technexion offers some similarly sandwich-style, but more commercial dev kits based on NXP processors. The i.MX7-based PICO-PI-IMX7 lists a $149 price, but the only currently available option appears to be a $199 kit version with 5-inch, VGA touchscreen and optional camera and VoiceHAT. The PICO-PI-IMX7 has the same RPi-like, 85 x 56mm footprint and almost all the same features as the i.MX6 UL-based PICO-PI-IMX6UL which is still available for $82.35 at Digi-Key. The rugged PICO-PI-IMX7 supports Linux, Yocto, Ubuntu, and Android. There is also a $175, i.MX8M-based PICO-PI-IMX8M board with an RPi-like footprint, layout, and 40-pin header. Other features include GbE, 4K-ready HDMI 2.0, micro-USB debug, and 2x USB 2.0 ports. A similar i.MX8M Mini based PICO-PI-IMX8M-Mini dev kit starts at $240, as does a similar FLEX-IMX8M-Mini. Other kits include the $250 XORE-WIZARD-IMX8M-MINI, which is built around a 30 x 30mm, i.MX8M Mini based XOREIMX8MM module. Over the last year, Technexion has launched its AXON-IMX8M-Mini SBC for $81.25.

Wandboard IMX8M-Plus

  • The latest, sandwich-style Wandboard moves up to the AI-enabled i.MX8M Plus and offers M.2 for NVMe
  • Company/project — Wandboard.org; TechNexion
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — NXP i.MX8M Plus (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.8GHz); Vivante GC7000UL 3D and GC520L 2D GPUs; 2.3 TOPS NPU; 800MHz Cortex-M7; 800MHz HiFi4 DSP, 2x ISPs
  • Memory — 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4 RAM; 32GB eMMC
  • Price — $199 (2GB); $224 (4GB)

If you were lucky enough to jump on the Wandboard IMX8M-Plus pre-order round back in August, you picked up the 2GB version for $134 and the 4GB for $159, both with 32GB eMMC. Now, the 2GB model linked to above goes for $199 and the 4GB model, which adds WiFi-ac with Bluetooth, is over our limit at $224. Those are still likely to be good prices for a feature-rich board with the i.MX8M Plus. NXP’s first AI SoC is like the speedy, Cortex-M7 equipped i.MX8M Mini, but with a 2.3 TOPS NPU, an 800MHz HiFi4 DSP, and dual ISPs. This first major new Wandboard in years continues the sandwich-style tradition, in this case using Wandboard IMX8M-Plus-2G and Wandboard IMX8M-Plus-4G EDM SOM modules. Although Technexion has yet to post an image of the carrier board aside from a detail sketch, the boards were expected to ship by the end of 2020. The SBC includes GbE, 3x USB 3.0, and a micro-USB OTG with power input. For expansion, you get M.2 with NVMe support — a rarity on an Arm-based board — plus a nano-SIM slot and 40-pin GPIO. HDMI, LVDS, and MIPI-DSI connections provide up to HD video, and you get dual-channel MIPI-CSI and an audio jack. Linux, Yocto Linux, and Android 10 support will be available, and the demo suggests that mainline Linux will be supported.

ZeroPi

  • Tiny headless IoT board with a single GbE port
  • Company/project — FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM)
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Allwinner H3 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $10

The first FriendlyElec SBC without a “Nano” in the name combines the quad -A7 Allwinner H3 of the NanoPi Neo with the Gigabit Ethernet port of the Allwinner H5-based NanoPi Neo2. The $10 ZeroPi shares the 40 x 40mm footprint, USB 2.0 host, micro-USB, and debug header of these earlier models, and it offers the -20 to 70℃ range of the Neo. However, it lacks a GPIO header. Aside from the GbE upgrade, the only improvement we can see from the Neo is a connector for adding SPI flash. For $5 more, there’s a metal case that also includes a heatsink. Images are available for Ubuntu Core 16.04 and OpenWrt, both with Linux-4.14, as well as Armbian.

Z-turn Board

  • Built on a Zynq FPGA SoC, this SBC has a CAN interface and onboard sensors.
  • Company/project — MYIR
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Xilinx Zynq-7010 or -7020 (2x Cortex-A9 cores @ 667MHz, plus FPGA)
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Price — $99 (7010) or $119 (7020), incl. 4GB microSD card

The Z-turn Board, which spun off a Z-turn Lite model (see below), runs Linux on a choice of two Xilinx Zynq SoCs, which combine dual Cortex-A9 cores with two FPGA choices: the Zynq-7010 (28K logic cells) or Zynq-7020 (85K). The 102 x 63mm SBC features HDMI, GbE, and dual mini-USB ports, as well as a CAN port and a variety of sensors, buzzers, switches, buttons, and LEDs. Dual 80-pin expansion connectors express the FPGA signals and can be configured as LVDS pairs. A $139 (7010) or $159 (7020) kit version adds a power adapter, cables, and a 4GB data card. For software, you get a customized Linux 3.15 BSP. For another spin on the Zynq-7020, check out the Sipeed TANG Hex farther above. Digilent offers an open-spec, Zynq-7020 based Eclypse Z7 SBC that sells for $499 and launched a Genesys ZU board based on the higher-end Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC that cost $1,149, but it is now listed as unavailable. Avnet offers an updated Ultra96-V2 96Boards CE with the UltraScale+ MPSoC, but it starts at $249.

Z-turn Lite

  • Smaller, cheaper version of Z-turn, but with lower-end Zynq options
  • Company/project — MYIR
  • LinuxGizmos report
  • Product page
  • Processor — Xilinx Zynq-7007S or -7010 (1x or 2x Cortex-A9 cores @ 667MHz, plus FPGA)
  • Memory — 512MB DDR3 RAM; 4GB eMMC
  • Price — $69 (7010) or $75 (7020), incl. 4GB microSD card

This cheaper, smaller (91 x 63mm), stripped-down version of MYIR’s Z-turn board offers a different mix of ARM/FPGA Xilinx Zynq options. The previous low-end model — the Zynq-7010 (28K logic cells) — is the Lite model’s high end, and the new low end is the Zynq-7007S with 23K FPGA logic cells and only one Cortex-A9 core instead of two. RAM has been halved, but unlike the original Z-turn, you get 4GB eMMC in addition to the 4GB microSD card that ships with both boards. The Lite reduces the number of programmable I/O lines to 84 and omits features such as the HDMI and CAN ports, as well as temperature and motion sensors. Expanded kits cost $89 or $95, and MYIR also offers a $29, 91 x 63mm Z-turn Lite IO Cape designed specifically for the Lite that gives you a real-world HDMI port, as well as camera, LCD, Pmod, and GPIO interfaces.

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One response to “Catalog of 150 open-spec, community-backed Linux SBCs under $200”

  1. Sean says:

    How come you guys don’t include any of the Jetson Nano boards in your list?

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