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What is HIO Project

HIO Project is a development effort to create 3D expandable modular hardware platforms for building embedded systems and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.  The goal is to provide affordable embedded computer building blocks that can be used across the entire product development cycle – from evaluation, development, prototyping to finish product.  It is based on the bottom up approach, enabling developers to build a custom embedded computer tailored to their applications starting with the minimal building block and adding modules as needed.

What OS HIO Platform support

HIO Project supports Open Source embedded Linux created by the Yocto Project development environment.  The Yocto Project is an open source collaboration project that provides templates, tools and methods to help you create custom Linux-based systems for embedded products regardless of the hardware architecture. It was founded in 2010 as a collaboration among many hardware manufacturers, open-source operating systems vendors, and electronics companies.  HIO Project provides resources, instructions, open source BSP, recipes, image examples for both new and experienced developers.  Sample images range from minimal with basic filesystem which boots up to a console login to Qt Fremebuffer, Qt X11, Qt xfce and more.  Android BSP is also available for some HIO development kits.

Visit HIO Project GitHub page for details.


Is HIO core-board a System on Module (SOM)

HIO core-board is not a System on Module (SOM).  It is a fully functional minimal single-board computer with its own power input, on-board RAM, Flash storage, HDMI, digital audio, audio codec, USB ports, Ethernet PHY and power outputs.  You can run the HIO core-board as a stand-alone computer, connecting to a power adapter, HDMI monitor, USB keyboard/mice and USB WiFi adapter for network connection.  System on Module (SOM) will usually need to be mounted on a carrier board (or “baseboard”) which brings out standard peripheral connectors and provides power input and outputs.  In some designs, HIO core-board can also be mounted to a custom design module acts like a carrier board.

What is the difference between HIO Platform and PC/104

Both HIO Platform and PC/104 are modular and stackable.  However, HIO Platform allows for much more flexibilities for module expansion in different size and directions.  It also accepts multiple modules to stack to the core-board in the same plane and allows butterfly expansion for add-on modules.  In addition, PC/104 is limited to the Bus Structures (ISA, PCI, PCI Express and USB, SATA) expansion for it boards vs HIO core-board’s expansion headers are not limited to those bus standard.  The form factor of the HIO core-board is defined, but the expansion header pin definition can be vary by multiplexing definition or processor architecture.  This are not allowed on a PC/104 platform.

What is HIoTX form factor

The HIoTX form factor is developed for the HIO Project’s modular platform. Measuring just 72mm x 80mm, the HIoTX core-board is a fully functional single board computer with on-board processor, RAM, flash, HDMI, USB and power input from the core-board or add-on modules. It is 80% smaller than the mini-ITX form factor and 20% smaller than the tiny PICO-ITX standard. The HIoTX form factor leverages the different processor architechture’s rich I/Os and flexibility. The unique modular design of the HIoTX form factor allows 3-dimensional expansion utilizing its 200-pin female header on the top and bottom of the board. The HIoTX form factor is designed to enable rapid prototyping, quick application module development and fast time to market.

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