Atomic Pi: Muscled version of the Raspberry Pi for the most demanding

Atomic Pi

There are many SBC boards on the market to rival the original Raspberry Pi. Some are also based on ARM, but there are others that use x86 chips, like the Atomic Pi. This allows them to have superior performance in some cases, as well as being able to use all the binaries and operating systems that you can use on a normal PC. However, they continue to maintain a small footprint and an affordable price.

Specifically, the Atomic Pi of DLI Direct Use a Intel Atom X5-Z8350 microprocessor. That allows you to have a performance superior to the Raspberry Pi official. Therefore, if you are looking for a superior performance that the Raspi does not give you, you can buy this other plate ...

Atomic Pi technical characteristics

Atomic Pi, features

Atom Pi has some pretty cool hardware. Their technical characteristics are the following:

  • CPU: Intel Atom x5-z8350 of 1.92 Ghz frequency (in most cases it does not exceed 1.4 Ghz) and capable of simultaneously developing 4 threads (one for each of its cores). This QuadCore only has a 2w SDP (Scenario Design Power).
  • But by the full GPU acceleration tech: Intel HD Graphics integrated and with clock speed of 480 Mhz.
  • Refrigeration- Uses a large heatsink block that covers the main chips to dissipate heat through passive air cooling. Enough to maintain the temperature of this SBC between 50-60ºC. Another point in its favor, since the Raspberry Pi does not include this as standard (although you can buy them separately).
  • RAM: the main memory of this board rises up to 2GB low-consumption DDR3L-1600 type RAM.
  • Storage- It has internal storage, something the Raspberry Pi lacks, which is simply limited to SD cards. In this case, you have 16GB of flash memory built into an eMMC chip.
  • Expansion: It has a microSD card slot if the internal capacity seems small. Supports up to 256GB capacities.
  • Connectivity: HDMI, audio, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, WiFi b / g / n / ac 2.4 / 5Ghz thanks to the integrated Realtek RT5572 IPX. It also has Bluetooth 4.0 CR8510 connectivity, and an RJ-45 port (Gigabit Ethernet with the Realtek RTL8111G chip). Also includes serial TTL for debugging, and 3.6 Mbps serial port expansion.
  • GPIO: 26 pins that you can program for a multitude of projects.
  • Sensors: internal motion sensor for 9-axis peripherals with compass BNO055.
  • Firmware: UEFI BIOS, the same as that of PCs. Includes RTL clock and battery to maintain data when it is turned off.
  • Others: It has a preamplifier and 2 physical connectors for speakers (XMOS secondary output as class-D). It also has various connectors across the PCB frames to connect webcam, JST, etc.
  • Consumption and feeding: it is powered by 5V 2.5A and consumes approximately 4-15w in normal use. It does not have any type of power connector, you must use one of the 3 options available through its physical connection interface:
    • Use a Large Breakout Board, or large extension board as an addon to add new Arduino-like inputs and interface, as well as power connector through a adapter like Arduino.
    • Use a Small Adapter Board, or small extension board. A mini board that only includes the connector for the power adapter.
    • Or use a power adapter that you have to adapt at your own risk to the 4-pin connector that this board includes ... That is, buy a standard charger, put 4 cables Dupont and thus connect to the pins (2 positive + 2 negative).

An extremely complete plate for its size. However it has some problems, like it is not as popular as the Raspberry Pi, that its form factor is a bit strange and you will not find cases in a simple way, or that the power connector is highly atypical ...

Boot and Software

Ubuntu 20.04

The boot is quite delicate on this Atomic Pi. It is nothing serious, but it easily stops recognizing the installed operating system. The problem is not coming from the eMMC drive, as you might think. The default is your BIOS / UEFI, which is not too good. In addition, sometimes the startup can be up to 6 times slower, going from the usual 30s to 180s.

Now, regardless of that, you can use any operating system that you use on a PC. That happens by installing Microsoft Windows 10, if you want, or using one of your favorite GNU / Linux distros, like Ubuntu. And of course, it supports many other operating systems like FreeBSD, etc. Being x86 and having BIOS / UEFI makes it somewhat easier than the Raspberry Pi in this sense ...

Android it also has its x86 version, as you know. Therefore, if you prefer to install the Google operating system, you can also do it. This will allow you to access a multitude of services and apps on Google Play to do almost anything you can do with a mobile device.

What can I do with an Atomic Pi?

Basically almost the same as with a PC or with a Raspberry Pi official. You can use it as a mediacenter if you want and connect it to your living room TV, or use its GPIOs to do various DIY electronics projects, etc. You could also use the many existing projects to transform it into an entertainment center, or more than you can imagine ...

By exampleIf you install Android, you can connect it to your TV and transform it into a "smart" TV, with the possibility of installing apps like Netflix, Disney +, Movistar +, etc., and watch streaming content.

Buy the Atomic Pi and prices

Well, finally, if you've made up your mind to buy itYou should know that the Atomic Pi is priced somewhat higher than the Raspberry Pi. It is obvious because its hardware is somewhat superior. Until recently, the only way to buy the Atomic Pi was to order it directly from the United States, but now you have more options.

La Atomic Pi has arrived on Amazon, where you can buy it for just over € 60. So you will not have to order it abroad from stores like ameriDroid, etc., or pay too high shipping costs or customs that would have to be added. Amazon makes it much easier for you and with all the guarantees that this online store has.

Moreover, Amazon will deliver it to you faster than the typical 2 weeks it took to get to Spain by the previous purchase method.

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