We’ve got a whole generation of makers and builders thanks to the likes of the Raspberry Pi, BBC Micro, and Atmel devices – and they are great for those kinds of things. But they lack a few things which are connectivity and horsepower for anything graphical. Even small tasks such as running Kodi on a Raspberry Pi will bring them to their knees and result in sluggish input and navigation. The poor connectivity such as the network connectivity also prevents you from creating more advanced things, but due to only being one network port available, but also due to it only being a 100Mbit port. Those things keep the costs down which is their core principle, but that also prevents you from building more advanced things with them.
But thanks to SolidRun, we get a completely new line-up of Intel Braswell powered MicroSoMs that solves this. They do cost a little more than the above mentioned, but in return, you get something which doesn’t limit your ideas.
At 53mm by 40mm, these new MicroSoMs provide unheard of design flexibility while also eliminating the headache of having to design complicated power-delivery subsystems thanks to its single power input rail design. They’re available with between 1GB and 8GB RAM and support up to 128GB eMMC storage. They also come with dual Gigabit Ethernet connectivity which is something that I personally have been missing a lot on the previous mentioned SoMs such as the Raspberry Pi. The onboard Intel Atom E8000 processor is a quad-core with 1.04GHz which can push 4K visuals too, although that might be pushing it a bit far – still, it is possible. USB 3.0 is also included in these small DIY systems which are another thing missing on the Raspberry Pi. Both HDMI and DisplayPort outputs are onboard while IR receivers and provisions for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are present too.
Overall, these System on Module offer everything you could want to build your own and compact home theater systems to router or firewall, just to mention a few things. They’re powerful enough to run Windows 10 and they’re fully compatible with it which is something that might speak to the more novice users who aren’t familiar with Linux.
They are available now through SolidRun directly where the Braswell-based MicroSoMs can be purchased separately starting at $139 USD, or bundled with the SolidPC Q4 carrier board, starting at $179 USD.
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