This Linux-based system supports 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity and is one of the industry’s lowest power consumption SoC of its kind, sporting a MIPS CPU clocked at 580MHz. In addition, the module includes 32Mb of flash memory, 128Mb of RAM, a USB host, and a microSD card slot.
Recently, MIPS developer extraordinaire Serge Vakulenko ordered a unit ordered from Seeed Studio, and managed to install a fully featured Debian version on it. He used the microSD card as a root filesystem, and found the 128Mb of RAM enough to run all the system software, including the C/C++ compiler and debugger, a web server, and several other applications.
He also ran a few performance tests to see how fast the board runs – and the results have been quite impressive – for example, the Dhrystone test delivered 633 DMIPS. The microSD card is also very fast: write speeds are around 6.7Mbytes/sec, while read throughput is at 14.3Mbytes/sec. Finally, power consumption ranges from 130mA at idle (Wi-Fi receive mode) up to 230mA with active disk scanning (Wi-Fi transmit mode).
For developers looking to build IoT devices, this development board offers more advanced features and increased performance in comparison to some of the other commonly-used, low-cost IoT solutions available these days. The new LinkIt Smart 7688 joins the growing ecosystem of MIPS developer boards for IoT which includes products using chipsets from Microchip, Qualcomm Atheros, Ingenic, Ineda and Creator.