When it comes to developing a project or learning a concept of electronics or programming development boards helps a lot.
Development boards help in speeding up the learning and prototyping process by eliminating the low-level stuff such as assembling components, wiring up, debugging ICs, making a PCB, etc.
Development Boards provide you assembled and tested working board with electronics you might need when making a prototype.
Hence, accelerating the process of prototyping.
There are thousands of development boards in the market but only some of them get the attention and popularity among the maker community.
Below are some of the famous Development Boards that can help you make prototypes and learn programming and electronics concepts.
The most famous and loved microcontroller development board in the maker community. Arduino opened the doors of electronics and prototyping for people who didn’t even heard about electronics or programming. Arduino became so popular because of its plug and play easy to program feature which was made possible by its amazing IDE ‘ARDUINO IDE’. Also, Arduino now has a very large community of makers who constantly develop new projects to inspire others and support the young makers to join the makers moment
Raspberry PI 3B+
Unlike Arduino UNO Raspberry pi is a microprocessor-based development board. Which means it has more processing power than Arduino. Raspberry PI is a small computer which can be loaded with an operating system and can be used like any other computer by connecting mouse, keyboard and a display. Raspberry Pi also provides external pins which can be programmed using python and can be used to connect external electronics peripherals such as sensors, input devices, output devices, etc.
Overall you can your raspberry pi when you need more processing power for example in application like image processing, AI, Machine learning, Portable server, etc.
The latest Version Raspberry Pi 4 is worth checking it more powerful than its predecessor 3B+.
NVIDIA is famous for making high-performance GPU (Graphics Processing Unit ) which are specialized to render graphics on a display.
CUDA is a parallel computing platform which enables GPUs to be used for general-purpose processing. This feature is being used now to accelerate AI models.
NVIDIA Jetson is a development board similar to Raspberry Pi 3B+ but with better processing power to perform tasks focused on AI, machine learning and image processing.
So, If you are planning to make a project based on AI you can go for JETSON NANO or Raspberry Pi 4.
ASUS TINKER BOARD
Asus Tinker Board is a single-board computer developed by ASUS. It has its own OS ‘TINKER OS’ to acheive max performance out of the hardware. Tinker Board is packed with a GPU Mali™-T764 GPU which make it powerful in AI based application and graphics processing.
HIKEY Development Boards
Hikey Development boards are less popular but are worth having a look. These development boards come in different variants and packed with powerful CPU and GPU which makes then suitable for AI, Machine Learning and Image Processing Applications.
HIKEY development boards claims to be the best for AI processes.
Paricle Photon Boards are best suited when tyou are developing prototypes around IOT. They have inbuilt WIFI , Bluetooth, Cellural capabilities which makes them best for IoT solutions.
Yet another deveopment board focused on IoT prototyping. Intel Edison is manufactured by Intel but i am afraid it has been discontinued as per there website.
ARDUINO MKR FAMILY
Arduino MKR family is focused on developing development boards for IoT prototyping. These boards as onboard wifi and advance Atmel SOCs ATSAMW25 which are worth learning and tinkering with.
Focused on implementing AI and Machine learning algorithm google coral is a development board developed by Google specially for AI applications.
It has inbuilt support for TensorFlow which is an AI framework developed and maintained by google to facilitate AI prototyping.
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If you are building your IOT network using the Microsoft Azure cloud you can consider AZURE SPHERE.
Azure Sphere is a ecosystem of hardware (ICs) it uses the Media Tek 3620 processor and additionally have Avnet Wi-Fi Module, AI-Link Wi-Fi Module, USI Dual Band Wi-Fi Module to choose from.
Also, Microsoft has a dedicated module Avnet Guardian Module to ensure extra security for your IOT ecosystem.
ESP8266 & ESP32
If You are making a IOT system using WIFI you might have came across the most affordable WIFI moduels ESP8266 and ESP32.
Node MCU is one of the easy to use plug and play prototyping module which use ESP8266.