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DART-6UL Intel Edison Alternative

Variscite 16 Lip 2017 14:57 1092 5
  • Intel recently announced it will discontinue manufacturing and selling all SKUs of the Intel® Edison compute modules and developer kits.
    The initial version of Edison was released in the beginning of 2014, with a second version being released by the end of 2014. It was intended for the IoT market, with dimensions of 35.5x25x3.9mm. The Edison features an Intel Atom processor, consisting of two Atom Silvermont cores running at 500MHz. It includes a fixed configuration of 1GB integrated RAM, and 4GB eMMC flash onboard. Dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB controllers complete the package.

    According to Intel’s announcement, the last shipment of Edison family boards is planned for December 2017. This announcement will have a critical impact on companies that already integrated the Edison board in their products, as well as the many companies that engaged in the development process of integrating the Edison board into their products.

    While some of these companies are rushing to place their orders by the end of the year, other companies are already looking for an alternative candidate to replace the Edison module. Naturally, the Edison alternative should be somewhat similar to the original selection, at least in terms of interfaces and connectivity. But if you are looking for an alternative solution, you should take into account that this is a rapidly evolving market, so the alternatives offered today can deliver higher performance solutions than those delivered in 2014 when Intel launched Edison.

    One suitable alternative for the IoT segment is the DART-6UL System on Module platform, developed by Variscite. The DART-6UL, measuring only 25x50mm, is a highly flexible SoM based on NXP i.MX 6UltraLite / i.MX 6ULL ARM Cortex™-A7 processor, with frequencies up to 900MHz.

    The following comparison table will help you see the similarities and the upgraded features (see attachment):

    Intel Edison DART-6UL
    CPU NameIntel® Atom™ Silvermont CPU and Intel® Quark™ microcontrollerNXP i.MX6 UltraLite / i.MX 6ULL (Cortex™-A7)
    CPU Cores2 1
    CPU Clock 500 MHzUp to 900 MHz
    RAM1 GB LPDDR3128 - 512 MB DDR3L
    SLC NAND -128 - 512 MB
    eMMC4 GB eMMC4 - 32 GB
    2D Graphics Acceleration-2D pixel acceleration engine (PxP)
    Camera Interfaces-1x 24bit CPI
    Parallel RGB-1366 x 768 24-bit
    Ethernet-2x 10/100 Mbps Ethernet
    Wi-FiBroadcom* 43340 802.11 a/b/g/n; Dual-band (2.4 and 5 GHz) DART-6UL: 802.11 b/g/n, DART-6UL-5G: 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n Dual-band (2.4 and 5 GHz), Certified Laird/LSR sterling LWB /LWB5
    BluetoothBluetooth 4.04.1 / BLE
    Headphone driver-Yes
    Digital audio serial interface-SSI(AUDMUX)/SPDIF
    Line In/Out-Yes
    SD / MMCx1x1
    USB Host / DeviceUSB 2.0: 1x OTGUSB 2.0: 1x Host, 1x OTG
    UARTx2 x8, up to 3.6 Mbps
    SPI1 controller with 2 chip selectsx4
    OS Support
    LinuxYoctoYocto, Debian
    Mechanical Specifications
    Dimensions 35.5 × 25.0 × 3.9 mm25 mm x 50 mm x 4.0 mm (SoM)
    Electronic Specifications
    Supply voltage3.3 to 4.5 V3.3 V
    Environmental Specifications
    Operating temperature0 to 40°CCommercial temperature (0 to 70°C), Industrial temperature (-40 to 85°C)

  • #2 16 Lip 2017 15:05
    Administrator Systemowy

    Intel Edison was based on on x86 architecture and this module what you are showing is based on ARM architecture? So I don't understand what is differnce beetwen DART-6UL System on Module and Raspberry Pi? Looks like this a another Rapsberry Pi clone, we have a lot of clons with Cortex ex. Orange Pi. And I don't think this is Intel Edison Alternative.

  • #3 16 Lip 2017 15:48
    Poziom 2  

    Edison users that need to open their design in order to replace the Intel Edison will consider the DART-6UL as it is small size, attractive costs and with better feature set than the Intel Edison.
    We can’t compare the Raspberry Pi to the DART-6UL as the first one is a complete product (SOM+ Carrier) that requires the customer to build his product to meet the size and connector location as the Raspberry Pi defines as with the DART-6UL he can add it to his existing carrier or define a carrier that better fits his design.
    Also, keep in mind that Variscite is committed to providing up to 15 years longevity, unlike Raspberry Pi, and as you can see now with the Edison case, longevity is a very important factor:

  • #4 17 Lip 2017 10:22
    Poziom 36  


    People who used Edison used it because it was x86. Thy didn't want it for its speed or memory capacity, but because it was easier to develop for them. There are so many ARM boards to choose from, that this one is just unnecessary and will fail, like many before. On related note Edison and its brethren failed for two reasons:
    1. They were overpriced.
    2. They lacked both documentation and software support.
    Why? Because Intel jumped on SBC bandwagon without understanding the needs of their target market. The same goes for many failed RPi wannabes, and this will happen to that "better Edison" not-a-clone...
    If someone wants to develop better Edison clone, he should start with x86 architecture, not ARM...

  • #6 17 Lip 2017 13:14
    Poziom 2  

    1. The DART-6UL feature set flexibility allows the user to purchase a defined configuration saving money on components/memory sizes he does not need.
    2. Variscite high level of product support allows the user smooth transition from the Intel Edison
    - Our Wiki pages include all relevant data providing the SW developers all the tools for a quick SW turnaround. http://variwiki.com
    - We provide complete HW files including schematics of our carrier board. Providing the HW developers a quick board turnaround.
    - We provide our customers access to an online support platform.

    Many companies already chose the DART-6UL as their Intel Edison replacement

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