Boards/Backplanes

Single-board computer gives IoT developers a head start

28th July 2020
Mick Elliott

Avnet is adding the MaaXBoard Mini, a new single-board computer, to its portfolio of hardware designed to accelerate time-to-market and reduce costs for IoT developers.

Based on NXP’s i.MX 8M Mini processor, the production-ready MaaXBoard Mini is ideal for embedded computing and smart edge IoT applications.

The product is Avnet’s latest addition to its end-to-end product development ecosystem, helping to bring projects from idea to design, and design to production.

The MaaXBoard Mini joins Avnet’s range of single-board computers for IoT developers, following the release of the MaaXBoard in 2019.

The new board builds on the success of the original MaaXBoard and adds a hardware video encoder to power versatile video applications such as monitoring, visual inspection and video conferencing.

The MaaXBoard Mini is also available at a reduced price point, giving developers more flexibility in their budgets when building IoT devices.

“When developers build IoT solutions, two of the greatest pressures are prototyping and actual deployment,” said Jim Beneke, vice president of products and emerging technologies, Avnet. “Avnet provides hardware, software, expertise and support to relieve this pressure. In particular, the MaaXBoard Mini has been designed specifically to provide flexibility to design and implement IoT concepts more quickly and efficiently.”

The MaaXBoard Mini has been designed to deliver everything a developer needs to support and create a Linux, Android, Windows 10 IoT Core, or other OS based system.

The platform offers several on-board peripherals including 2 GB of DDR4 memory, a Gigabit Ethernet port, quad USB 2.0 host ports, MIPI-DSI, MIPI-CSI, WiFi, Bluetooth Low Energy, and MicroSD card slot.

A Raspberry Pi hat compatible expansion connector also provides interfaces for UART, SPI, I2C, and GPIO. These combined capabilities make it an ideal platform for investigating AI, IoT, and multimedia applications.

Avnet designed the MaaXBoard Mini to take advantage of NXP’s i.MX 8 family of application processors, which are based on the Arm Cortex-A53 and Cortex-M4 cores. These chips provide industry-leading audio, voice, and video processing for applications that scale from consumer home audio to industrial building automation and embedded computers.

Each MaaXBoard Mini is shipped with a custom passive heatsink and Quick Start guide to assist developers with getting started on their hardware or software development project.

A user-supplied 5V/3A USB Type C power supply is required to power the board, and a 16 GB microSD card and a UART USB Serial translator are recommended for booting the MaaXBoard Mini Out of Box experience.

To further assist with development, Avnet offers supported Android 9.0 and Yocto images available for download, and connectivity into Avnet’s IoTConnect cloud platform.

For software debugging, an optional Microchip USB-to-UART evaluation board is recommended, allowing USB terminal access through a UART port on the 40-pin expansion connector.

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