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Latest HummingBoard SBC drops price, supports Click add-ons

Sep 21, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 1,981 views

SolidRun unveiled a $50 and up “HummingBoard-Gate” SBC for IoT that runs Linux or Android on an i.MX6 SoC, and expands with mikroBUS Click add-on modules.

The HummingBoard-Gate is SolidRun’s fourth and most affordable community-backed HummingBoard SBC. Like the other HummingBoards, it’s a sandwich-style SBC based on replaceable computer-on-modules running Linux or Android on a Cortex-A9-based Freescale i.MX6 SoC, with a choice of Solo up to Quad models. Key features include support for up to 4GB DDR3 RAM, as well as optional WiFi/Bluetooth, four USB ports, MIPI-DSI and CSI, plus GbE, HDMI, and Mini-PCIe interfaces.

Two views of the HummingBoard-Gate
(click images to enlarge)

Compared to the $102 and up HummingBoard-Edge, announced in July, this $50 and up board lacks features like LVDS, analog audio, or eMMC or M.2 storage. However, it is otherwise almost identical, with the same 102 x 69mm footprint, wide-range 7-36V power supply, and optional metal enclosure.

HummingBoard-Gate block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The HummingBoard-Edge offers almost all the features of the $85 and up HummingBoard Pro, and both the Edge and the new Gate models are more advanced than the original $70 and up HummingBoard. Therefore, it would seem the Edge and the Gate are the featured products going forward, although the Pro and Base models may continue to be sold by virtue of their smaller 85 x 56mm dimensions.

HummingBoard-Gate front and back detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The HummingBoard-Gate has one key feature missing from the Edge: an integrated mikroBUS socket that accepts MikroElektronika’s wide range of Click add-on daughterboards. More than 150 Click boards are said to be available, including I/O, wireless, sensors, transceivers, displays, encoders, pushbuttons, and advanced GPS modules.

HummingBoard-Gate with examples of mikroBUS Click add-ons
(click image to enlarge)

The HummingBoard-Gate is the first advanced application processor board to support the open mikroBUS standard, says Isreal-based SolidRun. Previously, the Click boards have been aimed at microcontroller platforms like PIC, AVR, TIVA, and STM32.

MikroBUS Click boards collage
(click image to enlarge)

The HummingBoard-Gate is billed as a front-line Internet of Things (IoT) aggregation system. “You can expand the data you can collect by easily adding sensors using microBUS click boards, then deploy your Node-Red flows to act on the data collected,” says SolidRun. The board is also said to “run your MQTT broker to consolidate and route your IoT messaging.”

SolidRun MicroSOM
(click image to enlarge)

When equipped with a “4×4 MicroSOM” — a HummingBoard COM with a quad-core i.MX6 and 4GB of RAM — the board is capable of providing real-time visualization of data points stored in Elasticsearch or MongoDB, says SolidRun. In addition, the board is fully supported by the open source OpenHAB home automation project, says the company.

Summary of HummingBoard-Gate specs

Specifications listed for the HummingBoard-Gate include:

  • Processor -– Freescale i.MX6 (1x, 2x, or 4x Cortex-A9 cores @ up to 1.2GHz)
  • Memory -– Up to 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage -– MicroSD slot with optional blank 8GB card
  • Wireless –- Optional WiFi/Bluetooth module
  • Networking –- Gigabit Ethernet port; limited to 470Mbps bandwidth “due to internal chip buses”
  • Multimedia I/O:
    • HDMI out
    • MIPI-DSI
    • MIPI-CSI-4
    • Parallel camera
  • Other I/O and expansion:
    • 4x USB 2.0 ports
    • 36x GPIO header
    • mikroBUS expansion socket with 150x optional add-ons
    • Mini-PCIe slot with SIM card holder
  • Other features – Reset button; optional metal enclosure
  • Power — 7-36V, 5.5mm “in”
  • Dimensions -– 102 x 69mm
  • Operating system -– Android KitKat; Debian, GeexBox XBMC, and OpenElec (Kodi) Linux downloads; also compatible with Arch Linux, Fedora, OpenSUSE and more

“We’re excited to see click boards making their way to platforms with powerful application processors, like the Hummingboard is,” stated Aleksandar Nikolic, Product Manager at MikroElektronika. “This will unlock an entirely new potential for developers coming up with new solutions for the emerging IoT world.”

Further information

The HummingBoard-Gate is available now starting at $50, which is $10 off the regular $60 price, for a model with an i.MX6 Solo with 512MB RAM and no wireless module. A fully loaded 4×4 model goes for $235. Shipments will arrive in two weeks. More information may be found at SolidRun’s HummingBoard-Gate product page.

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One response to “Latest HummingBoard SBC drops price, supports Click add-ons”

  1. Björn says:

    I like my Hummingboard, but the HummingBoard-Gate and HummingBoard-Edge have the same old i.MX6 and the price is to high.

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