Recommended Electronics Development Boards & IoT Cloud Platforms

Getting started with connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) is much easier than before because have many choices of development boards. In the last few years, the market was boomed with the availability of different boards. Engineers will have to choose from microcontroller-based boards, System on Chip (SOC) boards, Single-board Computers (SBC), and purpose-built boards with support for BLE, ZIGBEE, LORA, and WiFi. Due to the wide competition in the market development boards are comes with a wide range of features and specs for cheaper price wich benefits the makers and engineers.

From the last few years, i used and tested different type microcontrollers and development boards for both my personal & Hobby projects and also for my professional works. So here are my best picks and my favorite development boards which i recommend to anyone. I also listed a few of the IoT development platforms which i also recommend. However, I am not going to compare any of the boards because every board have their own features and use case scenario. It depends on person to person and where we are using the boards.

MICRO CONTROLLER DEVELOPMENT BOARDS

In this section i will wrap it up all the microcontroller based development boards which is used for basic purpose and also some serious functionalities. Some of them are open-sources and few of them are not open-source that much. Also few of them are comes with built in network systems such as BLE & WIFI.

ARDUINO UNO R3 / NANO / PRO MINI

The Arduino is the 101 for Makers and hardware enthusiasts. Arduino UNO is an open-source microcontroller board based on the Microchip ATmega328P microcontroller (Former ATMEL) and developed by the Arduino.cc. The Development boards are available for a pretty cheaper price as low as 5USD in some regions. The Arduino NANO & Arduino Pro mini also comes with the same microcontrollers with less add on components with a smaller footprint that helps to suits in smaller dimension projects.

The board is equipped with sets of digital and analog input/output (I/O) pins that may be interfaced with various expansion modules and boards and other circuitry. It comes with 14 digital pins and 6 analog pins. The Board clocked with 16 MHz quartz crystal. But the microcontroller can even handle up to 20Mhz. A USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button are available on the board which is pretty enough for any beginners to play with it. Since it has everything required for supporting the microcontroller, one can simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with an AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
MicrocontrollerATmega328P
Operating Voltage5V
Input Voltage (recommended)7-12V
Input Voltage (limit)6-20V
Digital I/O Pins14 (of which 6 provide PWM output)
PWM Digital I/O Pins6
Analog Input Pins6
DC Current per I/O Pin20 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin50 mA
Flash Memory32 KB (ATmega328P) of which 0.5 KB used by bootloader
SRAM2 KB (ATmega328P)
EEPROM1 KB (ATmega328P)
Clock Speed16 MHz
LED_BUILTIN13
Length68.6 mm
Width53.4 mm
Weight25 g

ARDUINO MICRO & LEONARDO

Further going a little bit up. If you need to communicate your microcontroller with your PC without Using a USB to TTL. Like the normal HID (Human Interaction device). Then the Arduino Micro or Leonardo should be a good option. Personally, this is one of my favorite microcontroller(ATMEGA32u4/16u4) and i used a lot of time for both my personal and professional works. I also designed my own wearable feature-rich development board called Pixelpad Indian using ATMEGA32u4 (Featured in Make Magazine and few online blogs).

The Micro is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega32U4 (datasheet). It has 20 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a micro USB connection, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a micro USB cable to get started. It has a form factor that enables it to be easily placed on a breadboard.

The Micro board is similar to the Arduino Leonardo in that the ATmega32U4 has built-in USB communication, eliminating the need for a secondary processor. This allows the Micro to appear to a connected computer as a mouse and keyboard, in addition to a virtual (CDC) serial / COM port.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
MicrocontrollerATmega32U4
Operating Voltage5V
Input Voltage (recommended)7-12V
Input Voltage (limit)6-20V
Digital I/O Pins20
PWM Channels7
Analog Input Channels12
DC Current per I/O Pin20 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin50 mA
Flash Memory32 KB (ATmega32U4) of which 4 KB used by bootloader
SRAM2.5 KB (ATmega32U4)
EEPROM1 KB (ATmega32U4)
Clock Speed16 MHz
LED_BUILTIN13
Length48 mm
Width18 mm
Weight13 g

ARDUINO MEGA 2560 REV3

When you have a lot of sensors & peripherals needed to connect on to your microcontroller. Using a microcontroller with limited I/O pins were not ideal. My recommended choice is Arduino MEGA 2560 REV3. The Arduino Mega 2560 is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega2560. It has 54 digital input/output pins (of which 15 can be used as PWM outputs), 16 analog inputs, 4 UARTs (hardware serial ports), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with an AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started. The Mega 2560 board is compatible with most shields designed for the Uno and the former boards such as Duemilanove or Diecimila.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
MicrocontrollerATmega2560
Operating Voltage5V
Input Voltage (recommended)7-12V
Input Voltage (limit)6-20V
Digital I/O Pins54 (of which 15 provide PWM output)
Analog Input Pins16
DC Current per I/O Pin20 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin50 mA
Flash Memory256 KB of which 8 KB used by bootloader
SRAM8 KB
EEPROM4 KB
Clock Speed16 MHz
LED_BUILTIN13
Length101.52 mm
Width53.3 mm
Weight37 g

ARDUINO NANO EVERY

If you used Arduino Nano in your projects in the past, the Nano Every is a pin-equivalent substitute. The main differences are a better processor and a micro-USB connector. It allowing you to embed the Nano Every inside any kind of inventions, including wearables. The board comes with tessellated connectors and no components on the B-side. These features allow you to solder the board directly onto your own design, minimizing the height of your whole prototype.

The Arduino Nano Every is an evolution of the traditional Arduino Nano board but features a lot more powerful processor, the ATMega4809. This will allow you to make larger programs than with the Arduino Uno (it has 50% more program memory), and with a lot more variables (the RAM is 200% bigger).

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
MicrocontrollerATMega4809 (datasheet)
Operating Voltage5V
VIN min-MAX7-21V
DC Current per I/O Pin20 mA
DC Current for 3.3V Pin50 mA
Clock Speed20MHz
CPU Flash Memory48KB (ATMega4809)
SRAM6KB (ATMega4809)
EEPROM256byte (ATMega4809)
PWM Pins5 (D3, D5, D6, D9, D10)
UART1
SPI1
I2C1
Analog Input Pins8 (ADC 10 bit)
Analog Output PinsOnly through PWM (no DAC)
External Interruptsall digital pins
LED_BUILTIN13
USBUses the ATSAMD11D14A (datasheet)
Length45 mm
Width18 mm
Weight5 gr (with headers)

TEENSY 3.2

Need Something more powerful in a smaller footprint with enough digital & analog I/Os. Consider Teensy 3.2, Which is also my favorite development board due to its smaller footprint, Powerful 32bit Cortex M4 microcontroller which can be overclockable, and more than enough pinouts. The Teensy series is much smaller than Arduino pro mini.

The Teensy is a breadboard-friendly development board with loads of features in a, well, teensy package. Each Teensy 3.2 comes pre-flashed with a bootloader so you can program it using the on-board USB connection: No external programmer needed! You can program for the Teensy in your favorite program editor using C or you can install the Teensyduino add-on for the Arduino IDE and write Arduino sketches for Teensy!

The processor on the Teensy also has access to the USB and can emulate any USB device(HID) you need it to be, making it great for USB-MIDI and other HID projects. The 32-bit processor brings a few other features to the table as well, such as multiple channels of Direct Memory Access, several high-resolution ADCs, and even an I2S digital audio interface! There are also 4 separate interval timers plus a delay timer and all pins have interrupt capability. Also, it can provide a system voltage of 3.3V to other devices at up to 100mA.

All of this functionality is jammed into a 1.4 x 0.7-inch board with all headers on a 0.1″ grid so you can slap in on a breadboard and get to work! The Teensy 3.2 adds a more powerful 3.3V regulator, with the ability to directly power an ESP8266 Wifi, WIZ820io Ethernet, and other 3.3V add-on boards that require a little more power.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
FeatureTeensy 3.2
Microcontroller
    Core
    Rated Speed
    Overclockable
MK20DX256VLH7
Cortex-M4
72
96
Flash Memory
    Bandwidth
    Cache
256
192
256
RAM64
EEPROM2
Direct Memory Access16
Digital I/O
    Voltage Output
    Voltage Input
34
3.3V
5V Tolerant
Analog Input
    Converters
        Resolution
            Usable
        Prog Gain Amp
    Touch Sensing
    Comparators
21
2
16
13
2
12
3
Analog Output
    DAC Resolution
1
12
Timers
    FTM Type
        PWM Outputs
    PDB Type
    CMT (infrared) Type
    LPTMR Type
    PIT (interval) Type
    Systick
    RTC (date/time) **
12 Total
3
12
1
1
1
4
1
1
Communication
    USB
    Serial
        With FIFOs
        High Res Baud
        Fast Clock
    SPI
        With FIFOs
    I2C
    CAN Bus
    I2S Audio
    FIFO Size

1
3
2
3
2
1
1
2
1
1

ESP8285 Microcontroller & Development Modules

If you need a powerful microcontroller that suits your smaller IoT products or projects. Consider ESP8285, A 32-Bit Microcontroller has built-in Wifi.

Ai Thinker ESP-01F ESP8285 Serial WiFi Module has a highly competitive package size and ultra-low technology. ESP-01F can be widely used in a variety of networking, for home automation, industrial wireless control, baby monitors, wearable electronic products, wireless location sensing devices, wireless positioning system signals, and other networking applications.

The core processor ESP8285 integrates the industry-leading Tensilica L106 ultra-low-power 32-bit micro MCU in a small package with 16-bit Lite mode, clocked at Supports 80 MHz and 160 MHz, supports RTOS, and integrates Wi-Fi MAC/BB/RF/PA/LNA. The ESP-01F WiFi module supports the standard IEEE802.11 b/g/n protocol, a complete TCP/IP protocol stack. Users can use this module to add networking capabilities to existing devices or to build separate network controllers. The ESP8285 is a high-performance wireless SOC that offers maximum utility at the lowest cost and unlimited possibilities for embedding WiFi functionality into other systems.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
  • Ultra-small size;
  • Onboard UFL connector for external antenna
  • Support serial to WiFi;
  • Wireless transparent transmission;
  • Long distance transmission with ultra-low power;
  • Support outboard antenna;
  • Bearing high temperature to 125 ℃, compared to the 85℃ for ESP8266.
  • Built-in Tensilica L106 ultra-low power 32-bit CPU, main frequency supports 80MHz and160MHz, and RTOS;
  • Built-in TCP/IP protocol;
  • Built-in one-channel 10-bit high precision ADC;
  • Outboard interface: HSPI, UART, I2C, I2S, IR Remote Controk, PWM, GPIO;
  • Deep sleep current is 10uA, the cut-off current is smaller than 5uA;
  • Wake,connect and transmission data package within 2ms;
  • The consume power is smaller 1.0Mw (DTIM3) when at stand by status;
  • Built in 1M byte for SPI Flash.

ESP8266 (NodeMCU/Adafruit Huzzah)

The ESP8266 is the higher variant of espressif’s ESP series. The ESP8266 is a low-cost Wi-Fi microcontroller, with a full TCP/IP stack and microcontroller. ESP8266 Microcontroller got its global attention when the Third party manufacturer AI-Thinker in introduced their cheapest wifi module (ESP01) in 2014.

There are plenty of development boards available from different third party manufacturers like Wemos, NodeMCU, Adafruit, Sparkfun. I recommend boards from NodeMCU or Wemos. they are cheaper and have wide community around the internet.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION (ADAFRUIT HUZZAH)
  • ESP8266 @ 80MHz or 160 MHz with 3.3V logic/power
  • 4MB of FLASH (32 MBit)
  • 3.3V regulator with 500mA peak current output
  • CP2104 USB-Serial converter onboard with 921600 max baudrate for uploading
  • Auto-reset support for getting into bootload mode before firmware upload
  • 9 GPIO pins – can also be used as I2C and SPI
  • 1 x analog inputs 1.0V max
  • Built in 100mA lipoly charger with charging status indicator LED
  • Pin #0 red LED for general purpose blinking. Pin #2 blue LED for bootloading debug & general purpose blinking
  • Power/enable pin
  • 4 mounting holes
  • Reset button

ESP32(NodeMCU/ Adafruit Huzzah)

ESP 32 is the latest microcontroller series from Espressif. ESP32 is a series of low-cost, low-power SoC with integrated Wi-Fi and dual-mode BLE. The ESP32 series comes with Xtensa LX6 microprocessor in both dual-core and single-core variations and includes built-in antenna switches, RF balun, power amplifier, low-noise receive amplifier, filters, and power-management modules. ESP32 is created and developed by Espressif. The ESP32 is the successor of ESP8266 microcontroller and have a lot fan base due to its low cost and feature rich architecture.

Wide range of ESP32 development boards are available from different third party companies like NodeMCU, Wemos, Sparkfun, Adafruit.

NODEMCU TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
Pin CategoryPin NameDetails
PowerMicro-USB, 3.3V, 5V, GNDMicro-USB: ESP32 can be powered through USB port5V: Regulated 5V can be supplied to this pin which is we be again regulated to 3.3V by on board regulator, to power the board.3.3V: Regulated 3.3V can be supplied to this pin to power the board.GND: Ground pins.
EnableEnThe pin and the button resets the microcontroller.
Analog PinsADC1_0 to ADC1_5 and ADC2_0 to ADC2_9Used to measure analog voltage in the range of 0-3.3V.12-bit 18 Channel ADC
DAC pinsDAC1 and DAC2Used for Digital to analog Conversion
Input/Output PinsGPIO0 to GPIO39Totally 39 GPIO pins, can be used as input or output pins. 0V (low) and 3.3V (high). But pins 34 to 39 can be used as input only
Capacitive Touch pinsT0 to T9These 10 pins can be used a touch pins normally used for capacitive pads
RTC GPIO pinsRTCIO0 to RTCIO17These 18 GPIO pins can be used to wake up the ESP32 from deep sleep mode.
SerialRx, TxUsed to receive and transmit TTL serial data.
External InterruptsAll GPIOAny GPIO can be use to trigger an interrupt.
PWMAll GPIO16 independent channel is available for PWM any GPIO can be made to work as PWM though software
VSPIGPIO23 (MOSI), GPIO19(MISO), GPIO18(CLK) and GPIO5 (CS)Used for SPI-1 communication.
HSPIGPIO13 (MOSI), GPIO12(MISO), GPIO14(CLK) and GPIO15 (CS)Used for SPI-2 communication.
IICGPIO21(SDA), GPIO22(SCL)Used for I2C communication.
AREFAREFTo provide reference voltage for input voltage.
ESP32 Technical Specifications
MicroprocessorTensilica Xtensa LX6
Maximum Operating Frequency240MHz
Operating Voltage3.3V
Analog Input Pins12-bit, 18 Channel
DAC Pins8-bit, 2 Channel
Digital I/O Pins39 (of which 34 is normal GPIO pin)
DC Current on I/O Pins40 mA
DC Current on 3.3V Pin50 mA
SRAM520 KB
CommunicationSPI(4), I2C(2), I2S(2), CAN, UART(3)
Wi-Fi802.11 b/g/n
BluetoothV4.2 – Supports BLE and Classic Bluetooth

PARTICLE PROTON

The Particle Proton is one of my favorite development board for designing IoT projects. the Particle proton is not that much user friendly when it comes to the opensource environment. However, the company provides for industrial scale-up for startups and tech companies who needed to scale up their product using particle framework. The Particle Photon is a tiny Wi-Fi IoT Development board for creating connected projects and products for the Internet of Things. It’s easy to use, it’s powerful, and it’s connected to the cloud. The board itself uses a Cypress Wi-Fi chip (one that can be found in Nest Protect, LIFX, and Amazon Dash) alongside a powerful STM32 ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
  • Particle PØ Wi-Fi module
    • Broadcom BCM43362 Wi-Fi chip
    • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
    • STM32F205RGY6 120Mhz ARM Cortex M3
    • 1MB flash, 128KB RAM
  • On-board RGB status LED (ext. drive provided)
  • 18 Mixed-signal GPIO and advanced peripherals
  • Open-source design
  • Real-time operating system (FreeRTOS)
  • Soft AP setup
  • FCC, CE, and IC certified

PARTICLE ARGON

Need something powerful, flexible, and more reliable. Try particle Argon, which comes with NRF52840 as the main processor and ESP32-D0WD 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi coprocessor. You have access to both BLE & Wifi.

The Argon is a powerful Wi-Fi enabled development board that can act as a standalone Wi-Fi endpoint. It is based on the Nordic nRF52840 and has built-in battery charging circuitry so it’s easy to connect a Li-Po and deploy your local network in minutes.

The Argon is great for connecting projects to the Particle Device Cloud or as a gateway to connect an entire group of local endpoints.  It’s everything you love about the Photon, with more features like Bluetooth.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
Main processor:

Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 SoC

  • ARM Cortex-M4F 32-bit processor @ 64MHz
  • 1MB flash, 256KB RAM
  • Bluetooth LE (BLE) central and peripheral support
  • 20 mixed signal GPIO (6 x Analog, 8 x PWM), UART, I2C, SPI
  • Supports DSP instructions, HW accelerated Floating Point Unit (FPU) calculations
  • ARM TrustZone CryptoCell-310 Cryptographic and security module
  • Up to +8 dBm TX power (down to -20 dBm in 4 dB steps)
  • NFC-A radio
Argon Wi-Fi network coprocessor:

Espressif ESP32-D0WD 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi coprocessor

  • On-board 4MB flash for the ESP32
  • 802.11 b/g/n support
  • 802.11 n (2.4 GHz), up to 150 Mbps
Argon general specifications:
  • On-board additional 4MB SPI flash
  • Micro USB 2.0 full speed (12 Mbps)
  • Integrated Li-Po charging and battery connector
  • JTAG (SWD) Connector
  • RGB status LED
  • Reset and Mode buttons
  • On-board 2.4GHz PCB antenna for Bluetooth (does not support Wi-Fi)
  • Two U.FL connectors for external antennas (one for Bluetooth, another for Wi-Fi)
  • Meets the Feather specification in dimensions and pinout
  • FCC, CE and IC certified
  • RoHS compliant (lead-free)

ARDUINO MKR1000

Official Arduino.cc is more renowned for its microcontroller development board. Most of them are not comes with built-in Wifi/BLE. Arduino MKR1000 has been designed to offer a practical and cost-effective solution for makers seeking to add Wi-Fi connectivity to their projects with minimal previous experience in networking. It is based on the Atmel ATSAMW25 SoC (System on Chip), which is part of the SmartConnect family of Atmel Wireless devices, specifically designed for IoT projects and devices. However, the ATSAMW25 is a far more complicated design when we compare it with ESP8266 or ESP32. So i don’t recommend this SoC for production purposes due to its high price.

The ATSAMW25 is composed of three main blocks:

  • SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ 32bit low power ARM MCU
  • WINC1500 low power 2.4GHz IEEE® 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • ECC508 CryptoAuthentication
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
MicrocontrollerSAMD21 Cortex-M0+ 32bit low power ARM MCU
Board Power Supply (USB/VIN)5V
Supported Battery(*)Li-Po single cell, 3.7V, 700mAh minimum
Circuit Operating Voltage3.3V
Digital I/O Pins8
PWM Pins12 (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, A3 – or 18 -, A4 -or 19)
UART1
SPI1
I2C1
Analog Input Pins7 (ADC 8/10/12 bit)
Analog Output Pins1 (DAC 10 bit)
External Interrupts8 (0, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, A1 -or 16-, A2 – or 17)
DC Current per I/O Pin7 mA
Flash Memory256 KB
SRAM32 KB
EEPROMno
Clock Speed32.768 kHz (RTC), 48 MHz
LED_BUILTIN6
Full-Speed USB Device and embedded Host
LED_BUILTIN6
Lenght61.5 mm
Width25 mm
Weight32 gr.

ARDUINO NANO 33 IOT

In 2020 Arduino introduced their updated Wifi &BLE enabled development boards. The Board design is pretty excellent. We can relate the design inspired by Nordic Semiconductors. However, i am happy to see this design which more helpful to integrate the development board into a PCB using the castellated Vias.

The board’s main processor is a low power Arm Cortex M0 32-bit SAMD21. The WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity is performed with a module from u-blox, the NINA-W10(Better than built-in Wifi & BLE in ESP32) , a low power chipset operating in the 2.4GHz range. On top of those, secure communication is ensured through the Microchip® ECC608 crypto chip. Besides that, you can find a 6 axis IMU, what makes this board perfect for simple vibration alarm systems, pedometers, relative positioning of robots, etc.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

MicrocontrollerSAMD21 Cortex®-M0+ 32bit low power ARM MCU (datasheet)
Radio moduleu-blox NINA-W102 (datasheet)
Secure ElementATECC608A (datasheet)
Operating Voltage3.3V
Input Voltage (limit)21V
DC Current per I/O Pin7 mA
Clock Speed48MHz
CPU Flash Memory256KB
SRAM32KB
EEPROMnone
Digital Input / Output Pins14
PWM Pins11 (2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 / A2, 17 / A3, 19 / A5)
UART1
SPI1
I2C1
Analog Input Pins8 (ADC 8/10/12 bit)
Analog Output Pins1 (DAC 10 bit)
External InterruptsAll digital pins (all analog pins can also be used as interrput pins, but will have duplicated interrupt numbers)
LED_BUILTIN13
USBNative in the SAMD21 Processor
IMULSM6DS3 (datasheet)
Length45 mm
Width18 mm
Weight5 gr (with headers)

SINGLE BOARD COMPUTERS

If you have any bulky processing and feels microcontrollers are bottlenecking the needs. Then consider using SBC(Single Board Computers. SBCs are fully-featured microprocessor boards designed to be used individually or as part of a bigger product (as embedded computers). It is a product by itself. The SBCs can be used as a standalone computer and can be used for Machine learning and other heavy tasks. here are a few of my recommended SBCs.

RASPBERRY PI 3 MODEL B+

Everyone knows and loves the Raspberry Pi, but what if the wireless capabilities only got better? The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ is here to provide you with the same Pi as before, but now with gigabit and PoE capable Ethernet, as well as better overheating protection for the 64-bit processor. The credit-card-sized computer is capable of many of the things your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word processing and playing high-definition video and games. It can run several flavors of Linux (and even Windows 10 free-of-charge) and is being used to teach kids all over the world how to program… Oh yes, and it does all comes under a cheaper price!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

  • Broadcom BCM2837B0 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 Quad Core Processor SoC running @ 1.4GHz
  • 1GB RAM LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • 4x USB2.0 Ports with up to 1.2A output
  • Extended 40-pin GPIO Header
  • Video/Audio Out via 4-pole 3.5mm connector, HDMI, CSI camera, or Raw LCD (DSI)
  • Storage: MicroSD
  • Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0 (maximum throughput 300Mbps)
  • 2.4GHz and 5GHz IEEE 802.11.b/g/n/ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2, BLE
  • H.264, MPEG-4 decode (1080p30); H.264 encode (1080p30); OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0 graphics
  • Low-Level Peripherals:
    • 27x GPIO
    • UART
    • I2C bus
    • SPI bus with two chip selects
    • +3.3V
    • +5V
    • Ground
  • Power Requirements: 5V @ 2.5A via micro-USB power source
  • Supports Raspbian, Windows 10 IoT Core, OpenELEC, OSMC, Pidora, Arch Linux, RISC OS, and More!
  • 85mm x 56mm x 17mm

RASPBERRY PI 4

With the Raspberry Pi 4, the one-size-fits-all approach of previous releases is gone. It’s available with either 1, 2, 4 or 8 gigabytes of RAM. (This is the first time it’s been possible to get a Pi with more than 1 GB of memory.) The extra RAM opens a new world of functionality for the Pi, including running desktop software—but the Raspberry Pi 4 is still the same great little DIY machine.

ProcessorBroadcom BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz
RAM8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM
BluetoothBluetooth 5.0, BLE
Wifi2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11ac wireless
USB2 USB 3.0 ports; 2 USB 2.0 ports
EthernetGigabit Ethernet
HDMI2 × micro-HDMI ports (up to 4kp60 supported)
StoragemicroSD Card Slot
Power Supply5.1V 3A USB Type C Power (Recommended)

RASPBERRY PI ZERO W

The Raspberry Pi Zero W is still the Pi you know and love, but at a largely reduced size of only 65mm long by 30mm wide and at a very economical price. With the addition of wireless LAN and Bluetooth, the Raspberry Pi Zero W is ideal for making embedded Internet of Things (IoT) projects. The Pi Zero W has been designed to be as flexible and compact as possible with mini connectors and an unpopulated 40-pin GPIO, allowing you to use only what your project requires.

At the heart of the Raspberry Pi Zero W is a 1GHz BCM2835 single-core processor with 512MB RAM. Quite frankly, this Pi is about four times faster that the original Raspberry Pi and is only a fraction of the cost of the current RPi3.

The setup for the Raspberry Pi Zero W is a little more complicated than on other Pis. Because of the small size, many of the connectors on the Pi Zero are not standard.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
  • 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • 1GHz, single-core CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • Mini HDMI and USB On-The-Go ports
  • Micro USB power
  • HAT-compatible 40-pin header
  • Composite video and reset headers
  • CSI camera connector

BEAGLE BONE BLACK

BeagleBone Black is a low-cost, open-source, community-supported development platform for ARM Cortex -A8 processor developers and hobbyists. Boot Linux in under 10-seconds and get started on Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor development in less than 5 minutes with just a single USB cable.

BeagleBone Black ships with the Debian GNU/Linux in onboard FLASH to start evaluation and development. Many other Linux distributions and operating systems are also supported on BeagleBone Black including:

  • Ubuntu
  • Android
  • Fedora

BeagleBone Black’s capabilities can be extended using plug-in boards called “capes” that can be plugged into BeagleBone Black’s two 46-pin dual-row expansion headers. Capes are available for, VGA, LCD, motor control, prototyping, battery power, and other functionality. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
  • Processor: AM335x 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A8
  • 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • 4GB 8-bit eMMC onboard flash storage
  • 3D graphics accelerator
  • NEON floating-point accelerator
  • 2x PRU 32-bit microcontrollers

Connectivity

  • USB client for power & communications
  • USB host
  • Ethernet
  • HDMI
  • 2x 46 pin headers

LATTEPANDA ALPHA

Need a SBC that candle even bigger tasks and threads. Then Lattepanda Alpha is a best option. You can run a fully activated windows 10 or any desktop Linux OS without any issues or lag. Generally refers to the leader in a wolf pack, α / Alpha. It will also be the leader in the LattePanda series, the most powerful in performance. Known as the leader of the Pandas, or “AlphaPanda” for short.

The Alpha Edition uses the same Intel 7th generation Core m3 processor as the latest MacBook. The Core m3 processor is the perfect choice for superior performance and low power consumption. We have shrunken this computing monster from a laptop to the size of a phone.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

  • CPU:Intel 7th Gen Core m3-7y30
  • Core: 1.6-2.6GHz Dual-Core,Four-Thread
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615, 300-900MHz
  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 1866MHz Dual-Channel
  • Connectors:1x M.2 M Key, PCIe 4x, supports NVMe SSD and SATA SSD. 1x M.2 E Key, PCIe 2x,supports USB2.0, UART, PCM
  • Connectivity: WIFI 802.11 AC, 2.4G & 5G Dual Band. Bluetooth 4.2. Gigabyte Ethernet
  • USB Ports: 3x USB 3.0 Type A. 1x USB Type C, supports PD, DP, USB 3.0
  • Display: HDMI Output Type-C DP Support Extendable eDP touch displays
  • Co-processor:Arduino Leonardo
  • GPIO & other features:2x 50 GPIOs including I2C, I2S, USB, RS232, UART, RTC. Power Management. Extendable power button
  • .OS Support:Windows 10 Pro, various Linux

NVIDIA JETSON NANO

If you need an SBC dedicated to AI/ML tasks then, NVIDIA Jetson Nano enables the development of millions of new small, low-power AI systems. It opens new worlds of embedded IoT applications, including entry-level Network Video Recorders (NVRs), home robots, and intelligent gateways with full analytics capabilities. At just 70 x 45 mm, the Jetson Nano module is the smallest Jetson device.

This production-ready System on Module (SOM) delivers big when it comes to deploying AI to devices at the edge across multiple industries—from smart cities to robotics.  One of the biggest advantages is that it is an AI computing platform offering GPU-accelerated parallel processing. The Jetson Nano has a 128 CUDA core GPU based on the Maxwell architecture. Also, Nvidia has an open-source project called Jetson Inference; it runs on all its Jetson platforms, including the Nano. Jetson Interference demonstrates various machine learning techniques such as object recognition and object detection. This makes the Nano an ideal starting point for developers looking to build real-world machine learning projects.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

  • GPU: 128-core NVIDIA Maxwell™ architecture-based GPU
  • CPU: Quad-core ARM® A57
  • Video: 4K @ 30 fps (H.264/H.265) / 4K @ 60 fps (H.264/H.265) encode and decode
  • Camera: MIPI CSI-2 DPHY lanes, 12x (Module) and 1x (Developer Kit)
  • Memory: 4 GB 64-bit LPDDR4; 25.6 gigabytes/second
  • Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet
  • OS Support: Linux for Tegra®
  • Module Size: 70mm x 45mm
  • Developer Kit Size: 100mm x 80mm

IOT CLOUD PLATFORMS

A reliable & cost effective cloud platform is necessary for any IoT products/projects for its maximum performance. Here is my most-recommended cloud platforms used for IoT development.

BLYNK IoT CLOUD PLATFORM

The most popular IoT platform to connect your devices easily to the cloud and design apps to control them, analyze telemetry data, and manage your deployed products at scale. However, Blynk is ideal for developers, makers, and small and medium businesses. But not ideal for big business. Blynk is user friendly and you can build a rapid prototype of your product/project within minutes.

THINGER.IO

Thinger.io provides a scalable cloud base for simply connecting devices. You can deal with them quickly by running the admin console or combine them into your project logic using their REST API. It supports all types of development boards such as Raspberry Pi, Intel Edison, ESP8266. Thinger can be integrated with IFTT, and it provides real-time data on a beautiful dashboard.

KAA IoT PLATFORM

Kaa is a production-ready, flexible, multi-purpose middleware platform for establishing end-to-end IoT solutions, connected applications, and smart devices. It gives a comprehensive way of carrying out effective communication, deals with, and interoperation capabilities in connected and intelligent devices.

It mounts from tiny startups to a great enterprise and holds advanced deployment models for multi-cloud IoT solutions. It is primarily based on flexible microservices and readily conforms to virtually any need and application

THINGSBOARD

Thingsboard is my favorite IoT cloud and dashboard platform and i mostly used for my opensource projects. But thingsboard can be even considered for production. ThingsBoard is mostly for data collection, processing, visualization, and device management. It upholds all standard IoT protocols like CoAP, MQTT, and HTTP as quickly as cloud and on-premise deployments. It builds workflows based on design life cycle events, REST API events, RPC requests. Take a look at the features of thingsboard.

  • A stable platform that is combining scalability, production, and fault-tolerance.
  • Easy control of all connected devices in an exceptionally secure system
  • Transforms and normalizes device inputs and facilitates alarms for generating alerts on all telemetry events, restores, and inactivity.
  • Enables use-state specific features using customizable rule groups.
  • Handles millions of devices at the same time.
  • No single moment of failure, as every node in the bundle is exact.
  • Multi-tenant installations out-of-the-wrap.
  • Thirty highly customized dashboard widgets for successful user access.

GOOGLE IOT CLOUD PLATFORM

Google’s platform is among the best platforms we currently have in the market. Google has an end-to-end platform for Internet-of-Things solutions. It allows you to easily connect, store, and manage IoT data. This platform helps you to scale your business.

Their main focus is on making things easy and fast. Pricing on Google Cloud is done on a per-minute basis, which is cheaper than other platforms.

Google Cloud’s IoT platform provides features, including:

  • Provides huge storage
  • Cuts cost for server maintenance
  • Business through a fully protected, intelligent, and responsive IoT data
  • Efficient and scalable
  • Analyze big data

MICROSOFT AZURE IOT CLOUD PLATFORM

MICROSOFT Azure IoT Cloud is also an industry-leading cloud platform. Microsoft Azure provides multiple services to create IoT solutions. It enhances your profitability and productivity with pre-built connected solutions. It analyzes untapped data to transform business. This provides the solutions for a small PoC to Rolling out your ideas. Azure Suite can easily analyze and act on new data.

Azure IoT Suite provides features like:

  • Easy Device Registry.
  • Rich Integration with SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, etc
  • Dashboards and visualization
  • Real-time streaming
  • Offers third-party services
  • Secure and scalable
  • High availability

AWS IOT CLOUD PLATFORM

Amazon made it much easier for developers to collect data from sensors and Internet-connected IoT devices. They help you collect and send data to the cloud and analyze that information to provide the ability to manage devices. You can easily interact with your application with the devices even they are offline.

Main features of the AWS IoT platform are:

  • Device management
  • Secure gateway for devices
  • Authentication and encryption
  • Device shadow
  • Good integration with laas offering.
  • Price cheaper compared with Azure Google Cloud
  • Open and flexible

These are my recommended hardware development platforms and IoT cloud platforms that i personally used for project and product prototyping purposes. However, I used to design and build custom hardware boards for product prototyping and even for my personal projects rather than relying on development boards.

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