The HummingBoard has been announced. It will come in three different variants, at three different price points: $45, $75 and finally $100.
The processor doing the grunt work is of an ARM-make, so it consumes less power while sacrificing performance. It has an ARM v7 processor clocked at 1GHz, accompanied by 512MB of RAM for the base version. The $75 version doubles the RAM from the base version and also gives you more USB Ports. The top-end $100 variant offers a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and more ports.
As the processor is of an ARM-Make, it can’t run Windows. It can, however run Linux. This means that many popular Linux Distros like Android, XBMC, etc could be used on the HummingBoard.
The interesting thing is its modular nature: The CPU and the Memory Modules can be swapped out with more beefy ones if you wish.
It looks pretty similar to the Raspberry Pi, another cheap computer with a small form-factor. The Raspberry Pi costs only $35, while the HummingBoard costs $45 for the base version. But when you consider the fact that the HummingBoard has a faster, more modern processor architecture, it seems to be worth it.
Cheap and Compact computers like the Raspberry Pi and the HummingBoard aren’t meant to run complex apps and games. They aren’t powerful enough to handle that. These computers were originally used for education, as they were very cheap. But the combination of price, portability, low Power Consumption and Software was perfect for projects and so the Raspberry Pi became a staple of every DIY Enthusiast.