Intel’s open source computer hits the shops

Intel has released its Galileo open-source computer for the hacker and do-it-yourself crowd.

According to PC World, the computer can be ordered for $69.90 and ships at the end of November.

Galileo is an unenclosed circuit board which is a little larger than a credit card. Intel’s low-power Quark processor is plugged in. Quark chips draw less power than Chipzilla’s Atom chips and are targeted at those who want to build wearable devices and microelectronics.

The 32-bit chip runs at a clock speed of 400MHz and has 512KB of RAM. Features on the Galileo board include 8MB flash, 256MB DRAM, 100Mbps  ethernet port, a micro-SD connector slot, a mini PCI-Express slot, RS-232 serial port and a USB 2.0 port with support for up to 128 host devices.

 It is being seen as a competitor to the $25 Raspberry Pi open-source PC, and is targeted at the community of makers and enthusiasts who make computing devices ranging from robots and health monitors to home media centres and PCs.

Intel hoped to get the board out for under $60 by the end of November now it seems that it will only get that cheap if you bulk buy 100 boards.

Chipzilla has already released Galileo to some projects to test it out. There is a YesYesBot foam-filled robot and a project called Lyt employs the board in a lighted panel that can be controlled from smartphones or tablets.

The board is open source, meaning that Intel will release its schematics and design for others to replicate and manufacture. Intel reached out to the enthusiast community for the first time in July when it started selling its first open-source PC called MinnowBoard, which is priced at $199.

However, Intel has an uphill battle trying to take on the rivals out there. Galileo is more expensive than the Arm based Raspberry Pi, which has better graphics capabilities. It is also pricier than the $45 BeagleBoard.