SolidRun HummingBoard is a Raspberry Pi Compatible Board Powered by Freescale i.MX6

Yesterday, I wrote about Banana Pi, an AllWinner A20 powered development board that’s mechanically and electrically compatible with the Raspberry Pi so that you can keep using your existing R-Pi accessories. It turns out another company is working on a similar concept. Solidrun who has brought us Cubox and Cubox-i in the past, will soon launch HummingBoard, a Raspberry Pi compatible board powered by Freescale i.MX6 solo/dual/quad SoC, bring even more power than the AllWinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 SoC found in the Banana Pi.

HummingBoardThe HummingBoard, previously known as Carrier One, is composed of a baseboard and SolidRun microSOM (micro System-on-Module) have comes with the followings specifications:

  • SoC = Freescale i.MX6 Quad @ 1 GHz with Vivante GC2000 3D GPU. The microSoM also comes in solo and dual flavors, and although it’s likely the HummingBoard will be sold with these variants too, it’s not 100% confirmed
  • System Memory – 2 GB RAM
  • Storage – micro SD card slot, mSATA connector, and optional eSATA (shared with USB?)
  • Video output – HDMI, and LVDS
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm stereo jack, and Coax S/PDIF output
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet + Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module (BCM4329)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB for power
  • Expansions
    • Raspberry Pi compatible headers (26-pin P1 header only), Camera connector (CSI), LCD connector (DSI)
    • 8-pin header for FlexCAN
    • mini PCIe connector
  • Misc – RTC, IR receiver, LEDs
  • Dimensions – Not explicitly specific, but they should be the same as the Raspberry Pi.

The microSOM features i.MX 6Q SoC, 2GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet PHY and BCM4329 Wi-Fi + BT module, and there may be different microSOM configurations, so these may end up being optional. You’ll lose one feature from the Raspberry Pi: composite video output, which has been replaced with coaxial S/PDIF. All other hardware features appear to be present with faster hardware. You’ll gain a much faster CPU, 2GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth,SPDIF, an IR receiver, and a RTC. As with the Banana Pi, not all Raspberry Pi accessories, such as the camera, will work out of the box, as there’s some serious work to make them compatible. But enclosures should be re-usable, and most boards that simply connect via the 26-pin connector should work with just a little bit of work.

The good news is that software made for the Cubox-i will be compatible with HummingBoard, so various Linux distributions (Arch Linux ARM, Debian, Ubuntu, etc..), Android, and XBMC (Linux) should pretty much work out of the box. You can find some details about the hardware on the Wiki.

The board are not available yet, and pricing has not been announced either.  However, I’d expect the launch to take place some time in May, as the company is launching a competition to give away HummingBoards to the 30 best projects using the Cubox (or Cubox-i). You’ll need a 90-minutes (max) video demonstrating your project, and submit it before the 25th of April to get a chance to win. Winners will be notified on May 10.

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