$5 Linux IoT compute module targets connected hardware applications

August 21, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Omega 2 is a Linux compute module designed specifically for building connected hardware applications. It combines, say Onion, its designers, “the tiny form factor and power-efficiency of the Arduino, with the power and flexibilities of the Raspberry Pi.”

Omega 2 development is the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, that closes on August 23 rd 2016 ( here). The projects starts with the base module, which is an SoC-based board with built-in Wi-Fi, and extends through levels of added connectivity, and peripherals – for example, there is a ‘dock’ card that provides compatibility with Arduino-format hardware. Part of Onion’s offering is a cloud service, so that an Omega 2-based project can be fully cloud connected and enabled.

The chipset is the MediaTek MT7688, which uses a MIPS 24K core. Specifically, a 580 MHz MIPS

24KEc CPU with 64 KB I-Cache and 32 KB D-Cache. The SoC includes the 802.11n Wi-Fi among numerous other peripheral functions. Omega 2 (the one with the base price of $5) includes 64 MB of memory and 16 MB of storage; the $9 Omega 2 Plus ups this to 128/232 MB and adds an SD card slot. Both have USB 2.0, 15 GPIOs, 2 PWM and 2 UART channels, I ²C, SPI and I ²S.

There is already a range of third-party add-ons, for example a company called Hologram has a cellular radio expansion car, itself based around a u-blox radio module.

Deliveries of the Omega 2 and associated hardware are scheduled to begin in November 2016.

Onion: https://onion.io/