Intel has shipped its first “open source PC,” a bare-bones computer aimed at software developers building x86 applications and hobbyists looking to construct their own computer.
The PC, called the MinnowBoard, is basically a motherboard with no casing around it. It was codeveloped by Intel and CircuitCo Electronics, a company that specializes in open-source motherboards, and went on sale this month for US$199 from a handful of retailers.
It’s the first open-source PC to be offered with an Intel x86 processor, and the board’s schematics and design files are published and can be replicated under a Creative Commons license.
MinnowBoard includes 1GB of DDR2 memory, an HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet, USB ports, and a micro-SD slot for expandable storage. The board’s open-source UEFI firmware allows for the development of custom secure boot environments.
The board comes pre-loaded with the Angstrom Linux distribution and is compatible with Yocto Project, which enables the creation of hardware agnostic Linux-based systems.