Intel launches pricey Minnowboard to compete with Raspberry Pi

By on July 31, 2013, 3:30 PM

We’ve seen a number of barebones budget boards hit the market following the resounding success of the Raspberry Pi. Intel is next in line to try and claim a stake of the emerging market with a hobby board known as the Minnowboard. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

Intel’s x86 system is powered by a 1GHz Atom E640 processor with integrated graphics alongside 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 4MB of flash firmware. Chipzilla also managed to stuff UBS, microSD and 10/100/1000 Ethernet onto the single circuit board which measures just four-by-four inches.

As we’ve seen with others, expansion boards can be added to Minnowboard to expand its capabilities, like adding wireless connectivity, for example. Intel is also banking on the hope that hobbyists and developers will design other expansion boards for the system. It’s worth pointing out that Minnowboard is also compatible with the Yocto Project which could be a viable market for the board.

Scott Garman, embedded Linux engineer at Intel’s Open Source Technology Center, said Minnowboard really shines in its I/O performance. It can be used as a file server or network appliance as users can make full use of SATA disk support and gigabit Ethernet for high throughput.

Whether or not Intel’s Minnowboard will make a noticeable splash in the market is up for debate. That’s because the board costs a whopping $199 versus the much more affordable (albeit less powerful) Raspberry Pi at just $35 each.




User Comments: 9

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wastedkill said:

Would love to see the comparison with benchmarks as well

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Why oh why didn't they go with the Atom N550 1.5GHz Dual-Core 64-bit of course no embedded option but only with the E640 32-bit both CPU from 2010 era. To pricey is right for these options.

Nima304 said:

I think you mean "USB," not "UBS."

1 person liked this | Guest said:

It is because Intel is greedy.

1 person liked this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

Why oh why didn't they go with the Atom N550 1.5GHz Dual-Core 64-bit of course no embedded option but only with the E640 32-bit both CPU from 2010 era. To pricey is right for these options.

Because Intel has got shitpiles of those in a warehouse, and nobody would buy them now, but they won't give up sucking consumers in, 'cos it's all just about money.

We should thank AMD for all the ballsy kicks, or we would be paying $1000 for a Pentium 4 today.

JC713 JC713 said:

So many awesome cheap Linux based CPU kits...

misor misor said:

199$ ?

lol, that's the cost of a cheap intel Pentium (sandy bridge) computer with a 14" led monitor included. the power consumption though will likely be a lot, lot less.

if the price is about 50-100$, I'll consider buying it as raspberry pi is not available in the Philippines (afaik).

1 person liked this | Guest said:

The whole point behind Raspberry was to provide a low cost product. How is Intel's product even considered a competitor? You won't see it poping up in a poor 3rd world country anytime soon. Some people just don't get it.

Railman said:

It cannot be aimed at the enthusiast market. Maybe it is aimed at industry. Such a unit could be used in many circumstances and I dare say industry is more interested in reliability than cost.

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