(see attachment in previous post)
$199, 4.2” computer is Intel’s first Raspberry Pi competitor Ars Technica
It's notable that the MinnowBoard is an open hardware platform, a distinction that Arduino and BeagleBone can claim but Raspberry Pi cannot. Users could create their own MinnowBoards by buying the items on the bill of materials—all the design information is published, and CircuitCo chose components that can be purchased individually rather than in the bulk quantities hardware manufacturers are accustomed to, Anders said. Users can also buy a pre-made MinnowBoard and make customizations or create their own accessory boards to expand its capability.
And being an open hardware platform means that the source code of (almost) all the software required to run the platform is open.
That is a big plus. Especially from a large company like Intel.
In a keynote address, Intel CTO Dirk Hohndel told the LinuxCon crowd that the MinnowBoard was "specifically designed as the first open hardware board based on x86, and that allows you to build derivatives without an NDA. All the pieces are open and available, all the blueprints you need, all the source files you need. You can create your own embedded platforms without Intel, without any of the vendors involved."
There's just one exception: with the graphics processing unit, only the binary files required to drive the GPU are available, as the source code remains closed. Anders said that's a sticking point for some purists, but he's hoping that "as long as we continue to keep pressure on companies like Intel, Texas Instruments, and Freescale… eventually they'll see the light and say, 'we'll make these open as well.'"
The lack of transparency in the video drivers is, well, not great, but depending on what you're doing, it's unlikely to be a deal breaker.
Although it's more than four times the price of the BeagleBone Black, the MinnowBoard is also four or five times more powerful, according to Anders. "If you look at optimizing a few things, you can get it up to 10 times more powerful," he said.
The most likely use cases today aren't hobbyist applications but industrial uses, Anders said. "The BeagleBone is a very small, low-power device, and it's targeted for some very specific applications for hobbying. You know, developing small proof-of-concept designs," Anders said. "Our initial offer for the MinnowBoard is actually more targeted toward industrial automation, industrial controls. What you'll find is a lot of manufacturers, companies creating products, if they want to create an x86 design, they have to buy a third-party reference platform which is closed. They have to buy large software support packages, support contracts, and they generally don't get the right to use the existing design as it is. They have to buy additional licenses and things to create the product."
Meh, more on the market is good. It's not what I'm looking for, but looks like it has a definite market. Just not competing with the Raspberry Pi.