At the very end of last year, I covered Atomic Pi single board computer powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor which was mostly interesting because of its incredibly low price: $34 and up. Getting an Intel board fof the price of a Raspberry Pi looked too good to be true, and being launched via a Kickstarter, the crowdfunding campaign raised suspicions. The board would also only ship to the US.
Shipping was scheduled for January 2019, backers received their board around two months ago, and most people appear to be satisfied with the main struggle being powering the board since it requires some manual wiring for people who did not purchase the breakout board.
So it’s real, it works, and the good news is that the board now sells on Amazon US for $34.50 with the company (DLI – Digital Logger Inc.) shipping worldwide.
Here’s a reminder of the specifications:
- SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 quad core processor @ up to 1.92GHz with Intel HD graphics
- System Memory – 2GB DDR3L-1600
- Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, slot for SD expansion up to 256GB
- Video Output – HDMI port
- Gigabit Ethernet via Realtek RTL8111G transceiver
- Dual band 802.11b/g/n WiFi 4 via RT5572 with IPX connectors on board
- Bluetooth 4.0 via CSR8510
- USB – USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports
- Sensor – 9-axis inertial navigation sensor with compass (BNO055)
- Expansion – JST style connectors and a 26-pin header for power & GPIO
- Debugging – TTL serial debug and expansion serial ports up to 3.6Mbps
- Misc – Real time clock & battery
- Power Supply – 5V/4A recommended. 4-15 watts typ. power consumption
- Dimensions – 130 x 100 x 50 mm
The board is pre-loaded with Linux, and the company provides both Debian and Ubuntu images for the SBC using LXDE desktop or the bare minimum (minimal image). The board may not be suitable for non-technical people as you need to provide you own 5V/4A power source, and the power requirements are explained in the FAQ, or you may want to read the Getting Started Guide (PDF) dealing mostly with power supplies.
Shopping on Amazon from overseas can be fairly expensive due to the cost of shipping, and Amazon will often add a custom duty guarantee on top. So I tried to see what it would cost to ship the board to Thailand, and shipping adds only $8.80 bringing the total to $43.30 with the estimated taxed being zero. Again that’s only for the board itself, and you need to add power supply, and potential a case depending on your project.
Thanks to Brad for the tip.