Dec 10, 2013

Improv - low cost powerful open hardware engineering board

Improv is very powerful and affordable electronics board that could replace Raspberry Pi in 3d printers and provide much more processing strength. connectivity and control options.  I have not found any 3d printer projects with it. If you know any, let me know.

Technical specifications from product page:

Open, Modular Design
The Improv is a modular engineering kit that comes with a CPU card and a separate feature card to connect it to. The CPU card powers the device while the feature card provides convenient access to the on-board capabilities of the CPU card through a variety of ports and pins on it.
This unique design allows one to have multiple CPU cards for different projects, upgrade the kit by ordering new CPU cards for additional features or feature cards for different sets of ports and off-board components.
Improv comes pre-installed with the Linux-based Mer operating system. We chose Mer because it has been designed specifically for device development, has a thriving community of both companies and enthusiasts and has a proven open governance model directing development. You aren't locked into this, however: you can install the operating system of your choice.
Included CPU card capabilities
Processor: ARM® Cortex™-A7 1Ghz dual core (Allwinner A20)
GPU Mali400MP2 with OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1
Storage 4GB NAND flash
Micro SD card reader
Video Micro HDMI (video + audio)
USB2 host
Networking 10/100 Mbit Ethernet
Other buses i2c, 8 GPIO, UART0
Weight Under 40 grams
Dimensions 85.6x54 mm
Feature board ports
USB Fullsize USB2 host port
Ethernet 10/100/1000 RJ-45
1: GND
2: 5VDC
3 TX
4: RX
EEPROM 32K Serial EEPROM (i2c address 0x54)
SATA SATA II interface connector
Casing Sturdy metal case with guides for docking with the feature board
Power 6-12VDC, up to 2.5A. Recommended 9VDC or less.
Green power status LED.
Energy consumption (these numbers are for guidance only; exact draw will vary depending on use case):
At idle: 3.1-3.4 Watts (344mA @ 9V).
With a SATA drive, flash drive connected to OTG port,
keyboard and 2.4Ghz mouse via USB2 Host Port,
Ethernet active, playing a 720p movie: 4.4Watts (488mA @ 9v).
44 PIN DIL Pins:
1-29: RGB/TTL interface
30-31: i2c SDA/SCL lines
32-39: 8 GPIO for user's choice
40: uBoot (Short to GND to enable)
41-42: TX/RX UART0
43-44: GND/5VDC
Dock 68 pin header with guide rails and push-button ejector
Weight Under 60 grams
Dimensions 100x74 mm
Mounting holes 3mm diameter
92x67mm center-to-center
Manufacturer suggested retail price: US$75 
Pre-installed operating system
Distribution Mer OS
Kernel Linux 3.x: SunXI 3.4, upstream Linus tree merge ongoing
Init systemd
Userspace GNU
Package format RPM
Software management zypper
Build service dedicated OBS farm
Display, Wayland, framebuffer, Linux console
Toolkits Qt4 with QtQuick1, Qt5 with QtQuick2, KDE Platform Libraries 4
Graphical environments KDE Plasma Desktop and Plasma Active
Developer SDK Mer Platform SDK