Argon Boards enters the IoT hardware market with two new boards, the i.MX6 Multi-Purpose IoT Gateway Reference board and the LS1021A community boards.
Earlier today, Argon Boards issued a press-release announcing their two new hardware boards for IoT and Smart Home solution enthusiasts. One of them, the i.MX6_SL integrates the i.MX6 quad-core processor and features multiple low energy connection chips for easier connectivity. The other, the LS1021A, is aimed to be a low-cost open source solution for IoT projects.
The i.MX6_SL Board
The i.MX6_SL board is an IoT gateway designed to integrate some wireless connectivity protocols into one single board. The board supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Bluetooth and Zigbee. It also has an ethernet port and two USB ports for the ultimate connectivity solutions. This gateway board is powered by the lite version of NXP’s i.MX_6, known as the NXP i.MX6_SL. To top it all off, the board also has Wi-Fi connectivity and can achieve high-performance processing at an optimized level for the lowest power consumption. With this board ArgonBoards aims to enter the broader hardware IoT market, delivering a low-voltage system with a small footprint and a reduced system cost, making it a wise choice for some projects. The board also features a Micro SD Card slot for expandable storage.
The i.MX_6 board solution from Argon Boards can indeed be used in a wide range of projects. Adding the multiple connectivity options, the board seems like an excellent choice. However, as the company is just entering the market, their documentation is still not ready, and there certainly aren’t any useful guides one can use for their projects, making it difficult to do something with the board, unless you have the proper knowledge.
The LS1021A Community Board
While the i.MX_6 is advertised to be a perfect solution for bigger projects, the LS1021A community board series are focused more on the end-users and customers. With a rich IoT gateway reference based on the LS1021A embedded processor, the board features 1x SATA interface, a Micro SD Card slot and a QSPI Flash for storage. The board also has some peripherals, including an accelerator, gyroscope, temperature sensor, LED, Switch and an EEPROM. Other ports on the board include a USB3.0 port, a Mini PCI-e slot, a GPIO Expander and 2 x Ethernet Ports. Arduino enthusiasts would also be happy to know that the LS1021A Community board from Argon Boards features an Arduino header and an Expansion header as well as an option for HDMI support.
The LS1021A has almost everything you’d need from a reliable IoT, fully functional board. However, this comes at a price. Currently, the board comes at a cost of $499.00 and is available through the official Argon Boards website. The company also announced that they would also release a lite version of the board, which should come at a lower price.
The Future of Argon Boards
The i.MX6SL IoT Reference Board is also not as cheap as you might expect with its price being $199.99. Having this in mind it’s hard to see how Argon Boards will get into the market. Nonetheless, the i.MX6SL processor is quite powerful, especially in graphical rendering and to have it on a ZigBee, BLE, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi ready board is an excellent option to have.
As for the LS1021A, you might not need all of the chips on the board, but the board is a great powerhouse option for a broad range of IoT projects. Moreover, it’s nice finally to see NXP products available on a wider range of boards.
Another excellent choice done by Argon Boards is their aim for a great open source experience. For more information on their boards, be sure to visit the Argon Boards website.
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