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Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice? 183

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-should-I-get? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I'm a Solaris user which is not well supported by the OSS toolchains. I'd like to have a dedicated Linux based dev system which has good support for ARM, MSP430 and other MCU lines and draws very little (5-10 watts max) power. The Beaglebone Black has been suggested. Is there a better choice? This would only be used for software development and testing for embedded systems."
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Ask Slashdot: Best Dedicated Low Power Embedded Dev System Choice?

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  • UDOO (Score:5, Informative)

    by danomatika (1977210) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @12:27AM (#47422053)

    Check out the UDOO: http://www.udoo.org/ [udoo.org]

    A pretty capable machine at a decent price and low power draw. Yes more than a Raspberry PI, but multi cores and real USB controller is worth it (at least for my realtime audio needs).
     

  • Buy a netbook (Score:4, Informative)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:19AM (#47422223) Homepage Journal

    You can get a netbook that will draw around 5-10W. If you get one with intel cpu and chipset you will have the advantage of massive compatibility, especially if you skip the original Atom chip. Once the dual cores came out it was pretty well abandoned by everyone.

    That, or get one of these ~$100 android units which also runs Debian. But I don't really recommend that. The only one which seems very performant and yet inexpensive is the mk908 which is a bit of a turd reliability-wise and which doesn't yet have complete hardware support, e.g. http://www.cnx-software.com/20... [cnx-software.com]

    I stand by the netbook

  • Shuttle DS437! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ravyne (858869) on Thursday July 10, 2014 @01:25AM (#47422237)
    Finally, an Ask Slashdot I can answer with personal experience and some authority!

    Do yourself a favor and order a Shuttle DS437, I bought one myself and cannot think of a better little box for playing with embedded systems. Here's why:
    • Its small -- about the size of a 5.25" disk drive.
    • Its low-power -- not as low as you'd like -- but less than 20watts under load for the system. Its passively cooled.
    • It takes a 12v barrel-plug from a standard 65watt laptop power adapter (included) -- easy to replace anywhere in the world. Also good if the impetus for your low-power requirement is an exotic wish, like being able to run the system from battery or solar.
    • Its relatively inexpensive -- about $200 from Amazon.com, and qualifies for Prime shipping. You'll need to add storage and RAM, but maybet have some DDR3 so-dimms and a spare 2.5" drive kicking around from an old laptop.
    • Its got two DB9 Serial ports, right on the front. Handy!
    • Its a modern system: 64bit, dual-core, Ivy Bridge, SSE 4.2, supports up to 16GB ram.
    • Connectivity: VGA/HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, dual gigabit NICs, Wireless N WiFi
    • Storage options: you've got one mSata slot and one 2.5" sata drive. I've got a 128GB SSD in the mSata slot, and a 500GB magnetic drive installed
    • It took Ubuntu 14.04 without any significant fuss. Most things worked out of the box. I'm not a linux super expert, but got the rest working within an hour or so.

    It's "only" 1.8Ghz, but we're talking Ivy Bridge here, not some wimpy Atom or ARM core. Plus, in my experience you really want x86 for your host machine. Not every compiler or tool you might want to use is going to be supported on, say, a lower-powered ARM system.

    I considered a lot of exotic ARM boards as my development host, including BeagleBone, Jetson-K1, and a handful of others. I think the D437 leads by a wide margin, but for what its worth I considered the Jetson-K1 board a distant runner-up.

"One Architecture, One OS" also translates as "One Egg, One Basket".

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