Saying that the market now provides a wide range of development boards is probably an understatement, but Code Ing has found out that most hobbyist boards had limited on-board wireless connectivity with WiFi and Bluetooth basically the best you could expect, with any extra wireless functionality requiring USB dongles. So the company designed PixiePro single board computer powered by NXP i.MX6Q quad core Cortex A9 processor with on-board wireless connectivity including WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS/GLONASS, NFC and a 3G module.
PixiePro board specifications:
- SoC – NXP i.MX6Q quad core Cortex A9 processor @ 1 GHz with Vivante 2D and 3D GPUs
- System Memory – 2GB 64-bit DDR3
- Storage – 2x UHS-I micro SD card slot up to 104 MB/s
- Video Output – micro HDMI up to 1080p60
- Audio Output – HDMI and 3.5mm mini TOSLINK optical port/Line Out
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO with two antenna connectors
- Bluetooth 4.2 LE, 2.1 + EDR
- NFC – ISO 14443A/B, 18092, 15693, NFCIP-1, NFC Forum with one antenna connector
- Cellular – UMTS/HSPA+ 3G module (Quectel UC20) with SIM card slot and 2x 3G antenna connectors (main and RX diversity)
- GPS/GLONASS with antenna connector
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Sensors – 9-axis IMU (accelerometer, gyro and magnetometer)
- Expansion – Two 60-pin expansion connectors for Gigabit Ethernet, 1x PCIe, SDIO, 2x MIPI, SATA-II, RGB666, USB 2.0 HS, CAN, SPI, 2x UART, 2x I2C, and GPIOs
- Debugging – 4-pin debug port for serial console
- Misc – Reset button, RTC + battery
- Power Supply – 5V DC input
- Dimensions – 91 x 52 mm
Since the two expansion headers are not exactly convenient for experimentation, the company will design a low cost adapter called PinsBoard that will fit into the 60-pin connector and provide a Raspberry Pi compatible header.
The board currently supports Arch Linux ARM, and they have a Wiki with some documentation, including guides for WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G, as well schematics in PDF. You can also get support via their Forums.
The board was first showcased at FTF 2015 last year, where it was called PixieBoard, so there should already be some out in the wild. The company has launched the board in mid December for $99.50 + shipping, which unless you are based in the US, will add $30 to $50 to the cost. You can find all details on Treats4Geeks.com.
Thanks to Guillaume for the tip.