Embest Technologies plans to offer a new dev board/mini-computer with a low power processor in May. It’s called the MarS Board and it’s sort of like a Raspberry Pi, but it costs more than twice as much as delivers far more power.
The $99 MarS Board packs a 1 GHz Freescale i.MX6 Dual ARM Cortex-A9 processor, Vivante GC2000 graphics, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of store. It also has a range of expansion ports and headers.
The MarS Board has 2 full-sized USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, and an HDMI port built in. There’s also a microSD card slot for extra storage, and 2 mini USB ports.
It also has headers for UART, GPIO, SPDIF and more. In other words, while you could just buy this little device for use as a $99 Android or Linux-powered media center, it’s really designed for use as a hardware prototyping system.
You can hook up peripherals including a keyboard, mouse, WiFi dongle, camera, or other devices. There’s also a connector for an optional 4.3 inch or 7 inch LCD.
The whole device measures just about 4 inches by 2.6 inches.
This isn’t the first developer board to feature a Freescale i.MX6 processor. The Wandboard is is available with an i.MX6 Solo or i.MX6 Duallite CPU. But the MarS Board has a more powerful i.MX6 Dual processor with more powerful graphics.