UDOO Neo was unveiled last February as the first hobbyist board features Freecale i.MX6 Solox Cortex A9 + Cortex M4 processor. I was expecting UDOO to design support board since their earlier UDOO board combined Freescale i.MX6 processor with an Atmel MCU, and the new processor allowed for integrating the same functionality into a single chip. The board is now on Kickstarter where you can pick UDOO Neo Basic for $49 (Early bird is $35), or UDOO Neo for $59 (Early bird was $45) adding an Ethernet port, some sensors, and 1GB RAM, instead of 512 MB for the Basic version.
But both versions of the board basically share the same specifications:
- SoC – Freescale i.MX 6SoloX ARM Cortex-A9 core @ 1GHz with 2D/3D GPU and ARM Cortex-M4 Core @ 166 MHz
- System Memory – 512MB (Basic) or 1GB DDR3
- Storage – micro SD slot, 8-bit SDIO interface (on expansion headers)
- Video Input/Output
- micro HDMI port
- LVDS interface + touch (I2C signals)
- Analog camera connection supporting NTSC and PAL
- 8-bit Parallel camera interface (on expansion headers)
- Audio – HDMI, I2S and S/PDIF (on expansion headers)
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 Type A ports, 1x USB OTG (micro-AB connector)
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (Wi-Fi Direct supported), Bluetooth 3.0 / 4.0 Low Energy
- UDOO Neo only – 10/100Mbps RJ45 connector
- Arduino UNO compatible and extended GPIOs headers giving access to the following:
- Serial – 3x UART ports, 2x CAN Bus
- 8x PWM
- 1x I2C interface, 1x SPI interface
- 36 GPIOs
- 6 Analog inputs
- Sensors (UDOO Neo only) – 9-Axis Accelerometer, Magnetometer, & Gyroscope
- Misc – Coin Cell RTC Battery Connector, Green Power Status LED, Configurable Red LED
- Power Supply – 5V DC Micro USB; 12V DC power jack
- Dimensions – 85mm x 59.3 mm
The board features Arduino compatible headers, and can be programmed with an Arduino IDE running on a separate PC or in the board itself. It has similar functionalities as the Raspberry Pi as it runs Linux (and Android), and offers similar interfaces, but adds Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Smart, and 9-axis motion sensors. So if you have a project that requires the power of Linux, and the I/O flexibility of Arduino, UDOO Neo boards should cost a little bit less than competing solutions, be easier to configure, and provide a more compact solution.
The ARM Cortex A9 core will run Android 4.4.3 + Linux 3.10, with UDOObuntu distribution to become available before the board ships, and the ARM Cortex M4 should run MXQ RTOS. Android and Linux source code will be provided. They also claim UDOO Neo will be open source hardware like the original UDOO. However, a Google search for the older board only shows UDOO schematics in PDF format, but after checking a bit more, I found the documentation page where the Gerber files, BoM, and mechanical files are also freely downloadable. Since the original schematics are not available, it’s not 100% open source hardware, but it’s still better than what is provided for the Raspberry Pi boards.
Since it’s UDOO project team have been around for a while, there’s already an active community, and several example projects for the older boards, but many should be adaptable to the Neo boards, and since it’s Arduino compatible, you can also leverage existing Arduino libraries and sketches.
The Kickstarter campaign started yesterday, and they already raised over $40,000 out of their $15,000 goals. Beside the pledges for UDOO Neo boards, they also have various kits including one with a 7″ LCD touchscreen display, a power supply, and cables, and bundles with up to 5 boards. Delivery is scheduled for September 2015.
A few more details may also be found on UDOO Neo product page.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
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