Avnet recently released the MaaXBoard Mini which is based on the NXP i.MX 8M Mini Processor.
The MaaXBoard Mini is a low-cost, NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor-based, single-board computer ideal for embedded computing and smart edge IoT applications. The i.MX 8M Mini family of application processors are based on the Arm Cortex-A53 and Cortex-M4 cores, which provide industry-leading audio, voice and video processing for applications that scale from consumer home audio to industrial building automation and embedded computers. The MaaXBoard Mini is production ready, FCC, CE and RoHS certified. It is available in quantities from one to thousands.
The MaaXBoard Mini contains everything necessary to support and create Linux, Android or other OS-based systems. The platform offers several onboard peripherals including 2GB of DDR4 memory, a gigabit Ethernet port, quad USB 2.0 host ports, MIPI-DSI, MIPI-CSI, WiFi, Bluetooth low energy and a 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, Industrial and multimedia applications.
Lets see how the MaaXBoard Mini stacks up to the MaaXBoard and the Raspberry Pi 4 B!
MaaXBoard Mini Vs the MaaXBoard
Lets take a look at how the MaaXBoard Mini stacks up to the MaaXBoard, above you will see a rough stack up of both boards. Lets just point out the main key differences that may affect your application. Starting off the processor capabilities are very similiar with slight lead in Cortex-A53 and Cortex M4F processor speed given to the MaaXBoard Mini. The MaaXBoard Mini supports quad USB 2.0 ports while the MaaXBoard supports the dual USB 3.0 ports. The MaaXBoard supports HDMI output at 4k resolution while the MaaXBoard Mini does not support HDMI out. The MaaXBoard Mini offer a hardware video encoder 1080p60, while the MaaXBoard only offers this feature available via software. Along with the features, the MaaXBoard Mini is $13.45 cheaper than the existing MaaXBoard.
So dependent on your end application each board can have their own advantage of disadvantage. Dependent on your end application requirmeents, each provide their own value.
MaaXBoard Mini Advantages vs MaaXBoard
- Cost - $72.50
- Hardware Video Encoder 1080p60
- Quad USB 2.0
- i.MX 8M Mini Processor Speed
MaaXboard Advantages vs MaaXBoard Mini
- Dual USB 3.0
- HDMI Out (4kp60)
MaaXBoard Mini Vs the Raspberry Pi 4 B
Similiarly to above lets take a look at the differences between the MaaXBoard Mini and the Raspberry Pi 4 B. Starting off with the proccessors, the MaaXBoard which has the NXP i.MX 8M Mini processor features Quad Cortex A53 corese and a single Cortex M4F, while the Raspberry Pi 4 B based on nthe BCM2711 features Quad Cortex A72 cores. The Raspberry Pi has an optional configuration of up to 8GB DDR4 SDRAM, while the MaaXBoard Mini upon a custom build request is only capable of 4GB DDR4. The Raspberry Pi 4 offers both Dual USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. The operating system support between these two platoforms differ out of box, the MaaXBoard Mini supports both an Android/Yocto/Debian release while the Raspberry Pi 4 B supports Raspberry Pi OS based on Debian Buster. In addition, the MaaXBoard Mini offers superior security features. Finally cost, the MaaXBoard Mini retails for $72.50 in one piece quantities while the Raspberry Pi 4B offers various DDR4 configurations ranging from $35 - $75.
Another aspect to think about when comparing the MaaXBoard Mini to the Raspberry Pi 4 B is the support infrastructre behind it. The Raspberry Pi 4 B, has an excellent makers community behind it, while the MaaXBoard Mini has the Avnet FAE ecosystem along with dedicated technical support engineers whom support this product line. The Avnet ecossytem tends to set the MaaXBoard Mini up for Production and Industrial applications through the distribution and design services offered by Avnet. For instance with the MaaXBoard Mini, if you need adiditional hardware features, Avnet can customize the MaaXBoard Mini design to fit your end application through the design services available.
Lets highlight the advantages of each platform.
MaaXBoard Mini Advantages vs Raspberry Pi 4 B
- NXP i.MX 8M Mini Processor
- Higher Speed Quad Cortex-A53 at 1.8GHz
- Real Time Cortex- M4F at 400 MHz
- Secutiry Features
- Hardware Video Encoder Speed (1080p60)
- Quad USB 2.0 ports
- Android/Yocot operating systems
- Avnet Support ecosystem
- Avnet FAEs
- Technical Support Engineers
- Avnet Distribution Ecosystem
- Avnet Design Services
Raspberry Pi 4 B Advantages vs MaaXBoard Mini
- Newer Quad Cortex-A72 at 1.5GHz
- Dual USB 3.0
- micro HDMI Out
- Cost dependent on configruation
- Pi Support Ecosystem
If you have any questions please post them below!