Groboards has launched an open-spec, Adafruit Feather-like “Giant Board” starting at $50. The 51 x 23mm SBC runs Linux on Microchip’s Cortex-A5-based SAMA5D SoC and can load more than 60 FeatherWing add-ons.
In January, Groboards showed off a Giant Board SBC that adopts the Adafruit Feather form factor and supports FeatherWing add-on boards. Instead of the usual MCU, you get a beefier Cortex-A5-based Microchip SAMA5D27 SoC that runs Debian Linux. Now, the company has gone to Crowd Supply to sell the 51 x 23mm board starting at $50.
Groboards is halfway to its $12,250 goal with 37 days left. In addition to the $50 package, there’s a $70 version that adds WiFi. You pay $10 more for either package to get a beta version that arrives Oct. 9, over a month before the general Nov. 13 ship date.
The Giant Board uses a Microchip ATSAMA5D27C-D1 System-In-Package (SiP) version of its SAMA5D SoC that the chipmaker first used in its SAMA5D27 SOM1 compute module. The SiP used on the Giant Boards uses the mid-range SAMA5D27 variant and includes 128MB DDR2.
Adafruit’s stackable Feather form factor has been used in products such as the Feather nRF52 Bluefruit LE board. The Giant Board has the same pinout, enabling it load Adafruit’s 60+ FeatherWing add-on boards. The WiFi version of the Giant Board uses a 2.4GHz WiFi FeatherWing that Groboards built itself based on a Microchip ATWILC1000 chipset.
Specs include a microSD slot and micro-USB OTG port, as well as 6x ADC and 4x PWM, both with external triggers. There are also I2C, SPI, UART, and I2S interfaces. Like other Feather boards, there’s 3.7V LiPo battery support.
Giant Board developers can take advantage of Adafruit’s release of its Blinka libraries, which add CircuitPython support to Linux. Giant Board compatibility has been merged and committed to the Adafruit repo, offering access to over 100 hardware compatibility libraries. As a result, most sample code involving FeatherWings works with little or no modification, says Groboards.
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