Since shipping in 2012, Raspberry Pi boards have found themselves the brains of such diverse DIY projects as a mobile phone, a touchscreen computer or even a treat dispenser for the family dog. Now there are three new boys in town that promise faster processing, more system memory and more connectivity options. Yes indeed, SolidRun's new HummingBoard family has all the makings of a serious Pi killer.

SolidRun, the firm behind the CuBox-i mini computer, says that the palm-sized HummingBoards can help create the next generation of Internet of Things gadgetry. They've been designed to "fit inside and utilize many of the existing enclosures and accessories available to members of the open source community" – which means that you'll likely be able to snap open your aging Pi project and throw in a HummingBoard without too much modification.

The baby of the bunch is the basic i1 board, which features a SolidRun scalable micro System-on-Module (microSOM) that's home to a Freescale i.MX6 1 GHz single-core processor based on the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture, GC880 graphics with support for OpenGL and 512 MB of DDR3 RAM. There's no internal storage, but the computer comes with a microSD slot for loading in platforms like Ubuntu, Android, freeBSD or XBMC.

It also boasts HDMI 1.4 for cabled connection to a TV or monitor, powered USB for peripherals and more, and 10/100 Ethernet. Rounding off the specs are digital and analog audio outputs, a CSI-2 interface for connecting camera modules and a 26-pin GPIO expansion header.

The i2 version is the i1's more powerful sibling, with a microSOM module sporting a 1 GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM. The i2eX model ups the ante again, coming with better graphics, 1 GB of faster RAM, and mini-PCIe and mSATA II connectivity. Gigabit Ethernet is also on offer, along with internal powered USB, an LVDS display out (with support for LCD and touchscreen panels), stereo analog out and microphone input to go with the SPDIF coax digital output, real-time clock support, and an IR receiver.

The basic HummingBoard is available now and prices start at US$45, not including power adapter and microSD card. The other two models are expected to ship later this month.

The basic features are outlined in the overview video below.

Product page: HummingBoard

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