What I like and what I don’t like about the Galileo Gen 2 board

I consider the Intel Galileo Gen 2 board like a serious step in the direction of prototyping things. Regardless the features of the board, the single board computer is the first Intel development board that feels like it has been made for do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

Here is why I like the Intel Galileo Gen 2

No development board will satisfy all makers all of the time, and this is a fact already proven by Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black. But even so, there should be some reasons that make the makers and hackers to wish this board.

1. The Gen 2 board is engineered with a processor based on Pentium architecture, which is a very familiar architecture for programmers. With such feature, the single board computer allows users to dig deeper into the embedded programming with a Linux operating system running on it.

2. The prototyping board demonstrates that is fully capable of running the Linux operating system, which is a hit among developers. More than that, altering the Linux OS for a full support of Arduino IDE attracts software developers.

3. From now on, you can count on running a stripped-down version of Windows 8 on the Intel Galileo Gen 2 developer board. This Windows version is part of Microsoft program to put the well-known operating system on small and power-constrained devices.

4. Everyone agrees that the robots need huge codebases, and the low-power X86 processor is powerful enough to play with a large amount of code that can be ported with a minimal effort.

5. The single board computer is featured with a large variety of I/O connectivity, up to 2GB memory and a powerful processor. All these features make me think that it has a high power consumption. But no, it has a lower power consumption.

6. There are many different ways to supply with power the Intel board. Beside all these alternatives, you have the possibility to supply the Gen 2 with 12V power input from Ethernet. This is a simple and useful method to extend the capabilities of the platform.

7. The Intel Galileo Gen 2 is engineered with a power regulator system able to support an input from 7V to 15V.

8. Featured with an analog-to-digital converter, you can interface easily analog sensors to the Gen 2 board.

9. The Galileo board is compatible with hardware that is designed for the Arduino. The pin header is fully compatible with the Arduino UNO R3 shields.

10. If you already use any version of the Raspberry Pi board, you already know that the Pi boots only from an SD card. The Galileo board can boot from on-board memory, which is a great way to avoid a lot of problems.

11. Galileo has a real time clock on it that allows special operations. This feature is helpful if you have a project that required monitoring the current time.

What I don’t like about the Intel Galileo Gen 2 board

I really like the Galileo Gen 2 board, but there are few things about it that can irritate any owner. And, to be honest, many of these things that bother the makers are reasonable.

If you already passed the good things about Gen 2 and don’t want to get annoyed, you should quit reading now.

1. The board has new dimensions, and this could be a nightmare for owners who try to replace the old board with Gen 2. The Gen 2 is 27.5 percent larger than the original. More than that, the mounting holes of the Gen 2 are incompatible and has another location of connectors.

2. The price is a real problem. With the cost around $60, the single board computer is expensive than any other alternative such as Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black. Compared with BeagleBone Black, the price is higher, but not substantially higher. Compared with Raspberry Pi, the price is almost twice as much as the Pi model B+ if are not included the hidden costs of the Pi. To have a fully functional Pi, you need an SD card with the operating system installed on it, a USB power supply, a keyboard, mouse, and an HDMI-to-DVI cable.

3. Even the Galileo Gen 2 is not a cheap single board computer, the performances are poor and it lacks video and audio output. It’s featured with a 3.5mm jack instead offering RS232-level serial connectivity.

4. Galileo Gen 2 is a great prototyping board, but without a CAN bus, it could be a nightmare to interface some industrial networks such as WiFi. However, the WiFi can be interfaced with an adapter on the PCIe slot.

This article was last modified on 25 March 2015.


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