The world's largest semiconductor company finds itself hooked on the mini computing craze that was, in part, popularized by the Raspberry PC and other tiny systems that would follow. Intel, along with CircuitCo Electronics, a company that knows a thing or two about open-source motherboards, shipped the chip maker's first open source PC known as MinnowBoard, which is essentially a slice of silicon powered by Intel's Atom E640 processor (1GHz).
At $199, the MinnowBoard is more than five times more expensive than a $35 Raspberry Pi, though there are certain advantages to Intel's approach. The biggest one is that it's a x86 mini PC, whereas Raspberry Pi is based on ARM's architecture. And while it's more expensive than Raspberry Pi, the MinnowBoard is cheaper than most x86 systems.
In addition to an Atom processor, it also rocks 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 4MB of SPI flash (system firmware memory), integrated GMA 600 graphics, microSD card slot, a single SATA 3Gbps port, two full-size USB ports, a micro USB port, GbE LAN, and a few other odds and ends.