You’d think the world of hobbyist mini computers would be full, considering that you’ve got a choice of Arudino, Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone, and even Intel’s NUC. That hasn’t deterred SolidRun, which is releasing the HummingBoard as a more powerful alternative to the Raspberry Pi. Built on the same platform, the HummingBoard promises faster silicon while fitting into the same third-party cases as its education-centric rival. It also lets you switch out the CPU and memory module, should you need some more grunt further down the road. The base unit with 512MB RAM will set you back $45 plus $10 for a power adapter, while the top-spec model with 1GB RAM and a faster chip is priced at $100.
SolidRun is now taking orders for its tiny, ARM-powered HummingBoard computer. The system looks a bit like a Raspberry Pi single-board computer, but it has a faster processor and comes in 3 different configurations. The HummingBoard sells for between $45 and $100 and it’s available for pre-order from the SolidRun website. The entry-level HummingBoard-i1 features a Freescale i.MX6 Solo ARM Cortex-A9 processor, Vivante GC880 graphics, 512MB of RAM, 10/100 Ethernet, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card slot, HDMI and SPDIF ports, and GPIO headers. For $75 you can opt for a HummingBoard-i2 with a dual-core i.MX6 Dual processor, and 1GB of RAM. SolidRun also offers a HummingBoard-i2eX model for $100 which adds Gigabit Ethernet, GC2000 graphics, 2 more internal USB 2.0 ports, a mic input, an mSATA II connector, PCI Express connector, and IR port. All three models are designed to run a variety of operating systems including Android, Ubuntu, and Debian and can be used for Internet of Things applications, home media server duties, or even home media center functionality with the XBMC application. While SolidRun and the HummingBoard aren’t exactly as well known as the Raspberry Pi, the team made the HummingBoard the same size as the what might be the world’s most popular single-board computer for hobbyists and educators. That means it can fit into any third-party case designed for the Raspberry Pi.