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Enhanced, open-source MinnowBoard makes a splash at IDF

Aug 18, 2015 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 3,842 views

[Updated: Aug. 20] — ADI announced a “Turbot” version of the MinnowBoard MAX hacker SBC at IDF, featuring a slightly faster CPU, regulatory compliance, and a few other tweaks.

While crawling the expo at the Intel Developer Forum held in San Francisco this week, we were treated to a sneak preview of a new “MinnowBoard Turbot” single-board computer at ADI Engineering’s IDF booth.

Two views of the MinnowBoard Turbot
(click images to enlarge)

ADI Founder and CEO Steven Yates told us that, while maintaining full compatibility with the MinnowBoard MAX, the Turbot (a fishy play on “turbo”) implements the following enhancements:
  • Upgraded the Atom SoC to a dual-core, 1.46GHz E3826
  • Increased PCB layer count from 10 to 12 layers for EMI reduction
  • Added previously unpopulated 2-pin fan power connector
  • Added previously unpopulated RTC coin cell battery holder
  • Qualified for regulatory compliance (FCC Part 15 and CE Class B; IEC-60950; RoHS/WEEE)
  • Various design tweaks and bug fixes (complete list [PDF])

MinnowBoard Turbot (left) compared to MinnowBoard MAX
(click images to enlarge)

While the original MinnowBoard MAX is fully functional and continues to be a great platform for maker projects as well as product development prototypes, the Turbot’s more robust design makes it more suitable for incorporation into high volume products, says Yates.

Open source hardware and software

The MinnowBoard Turbot is an “open source” hardware project, according to Yates. The board’s schematics, BOM, layout, and other documentation will be released under a Creative Commons license and posted on within several weeks. This will enable individuals, organizations, or companies to manufacture boards themselves using the existing design, or modify and adapt the design as required for integration into their own custom products.

The Turbot is shown as “pending” on’s new “MinnowBoard Compatible” page, which deteails the requirements for projects to secure MinnowBoard compatibility status.

Summary of specs

These specifications are supported by the MinnowBoard Turbot:

  • Processor — Atom E3826 (Bay Trail-I) with Intel HD Graphics (2x cores, @ 1.46GHz, 7W TDP)
  • RAM — 2GB DDR3L 1333MT/s
  • Flash — 8MB SPI boot flash (for TianoCore UEFI, Coreboot, SeaBIOS, etc.)
  • Coastline I/O:
    • MicroSD slot
    • Micro-HDMI port
    • Gigabit Ethernet port (RJ45)
    • Dual USB ports — 1x USB 3.0 host; 1x USB 2.0 host
    • 1x SATA 3Gb/sec port
  • Expansion connectors:
    • 26-pin low-speed connector (LSE) — SPI, I2C, I2S audio, 2x UARTs (TTL-level), 8x GPIO (2x supporting PWM), +5V, GND
    • 60-pin high-speed connector (HSE) — 1x PCIe Gen 2.0 lane, 1x SATA 3Gb/sec, 1x USB 2.0 host, I2C, GPIO, JTAG, +5V, GND
  • Other features — serial debug port (header); firmware flash port (header); heatsink; ACPI 5.0 support
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C
  • Power:
    • 5VDC input via coaxial jack
    • 5VDC output via 2-pin header
  • Dimensions — 99 x 74mm (3.9 x 2.9 in.)
  • Regulatory compliance — FCC Part 15 Class B, CE Class B, IEC-60950, RoHS/WEEE
  • Operating system — Debian GNU/Linux; Yocto Project Linux; Ubuntu; Android 4.4; Windows 10

Further information

ADI expects the MinnowBoard Turbot to begin shipping through distributors Arrow, Avnet, and Netgate in mid-September. Further details may be found at ADI Engineering’s MinnowBoard Turbot page, and at the wiki’s MinnowBoard page. Pricing is expected to be roughly on par with current MAX rates; for example, Netgate will launch Turbot pre-sales on Aug. 19 at $140.

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One response to “Enhanced, open-source MinnowBoard makes a splash at IDF”

  1. jezra says:

    Hopefully there will be an OS available for this device that has GPIO enabled “out of the box”

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