Top 25 IoT Development Boards In 2023 And How To Choose The Right One

The rise of IoT is inevitable in this day and age. This article introduces you to the top 25 IoT development boards in the market, including Intel Edison, Jetson Nano, Omega 2, Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, and Giant Board, along with the key features to look for in an IoT board.

Published 16 Nov 2021Updated 29 Mar 2023

Table of Content

  • The rise of IoT is inevitable 
    • What are IoT development boards?
      • Key features to look for in an IoT board 
        • 1. Connectivity superiority
          • 2. Scalability options
            • 3. Peripheral support
              • 4. Processing power
                • 5. Board memory
                  • 6. Wireless capabilities
                  • Three types of IoT board categories
                    • 1. Microcontroller-based boards
                      • 2. System-on-Chip (SoC) boards
                        • 3. Single-board computers (SBC)
                        • 25 Best IoT development boards in 2023
                          • 1. Giant Board 
                            • 2. Particle Photon 
                              • 3. Discovery STM32MP157C Crypto Board
                                • 4. SeeedStudio NPi i.MX6ULL Dev Board
                                  • 5. OSD32MP1-BRK Flexible Prototyping Platform
                                    • 6. Intel Edison
                                      • 7. BeagleBone® Green Gateway
                                        • 8. Arduino Nano 33 IoT
                                          • 9. ESP32-SE2-Saola-1
                                            • 10. Omega 2
                                              • 11. SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3200 LaunchPad
                                                • 12. Jetson Nano
                                                  • 13. Raspberry Pi 4 Model B
                                                      • 14. Banana Pi
                                                        • 15. Particle Boron LTE CAT-M1
                                                          • 16. Pycom Fipy
                                                            • 17. Tessel 2
                                                              • 18. i.MX 8
                                                                • 19. Adafruit Feather M0
                                                                  • 20. Adafruit FONA
                                                                    • 21. Teensy 4.1
                                                                      • 22. Meadow F7
                                                                        • 23. Azure Sphere
                                                                          • 24. Google dev board
                                                                            • 25. Udoo Neo
                                                                            • Selecting the right IoT development board for your project
                                                                              • 1. Confirm the development board type
                                                                                • 2. Observe the programming language and community
                                                                                  • 3. Check the specifications of the board
                                                                                    • Over to you

                                                                                  The world of Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow and evolve at a rapid pace, comfortably and efficiently complementing the cloud capabilities. Generally speaking, IoT is a network of physical objects that exchange data via the internet.

                                                                                  Every advancement in the IoT market brings more businesses to benefit from the technology, which is getting increasingly sophisticated over time. Research shows that in 2022, there is more than 12.2 billion IoT devices in use worldwide.

                                                                                  This number is expected to reach $25.44 billion by 2030. Is it not great? From home automation and agriculture to medicine and supply chain, the benefits of IoT cannot be ignored. The technology has the potential to help different businesses with versatile requirements.

                                                                                  The rise of IoT is inevitable 

                                                                                  Not so long ago, human beings produced, processed and analyzed data themselves. They did not have fancy equipment or wearables to do it for them. Legacy hardware came in handy; however, it also had its limitations.

                                                                                  With the advent of the internet and subsequent technologies, a large amount of data can be collected to help any business grow or any human being with a task. Imagine if you have a device that could tell you the best time to water your indoor plants.

                                                                                  Or if a person had fallen down the stairs and needed immediate medical assistance. Or a shipping company wanted to keep track of its fleet and the status of their perishable containers in real-time. All of that can be possible with the Internet of Things.

                                                                                  What are IoT development boards?

                                                                                  As the IoT landscape expands so does the demand for IoT development boards as they can be used for prototyping or in full-scale production. So, what are they exactly?

                                                                                  A development board is simply a printed circuit board with circuitry and hardware designed to assist experiment with a specific microcontroller. Let us break it down.

                                                                                  You have a microcontroller capable of doing many cool things but before it can do all of that, you need to ensure the set up of a group of circuitry and hardware on the breadboard. Engineers mainly use them for prototyping before releasing the main product.

                                                                                  An IoT development board comprises:

                                                                                  Components of a Typical Development Board

                                                                                  • Programming interface: Lets you program the microcontroller from the desktop
                                                                                  • Power circuit: Helpful in running off of a 9V power supply
                                                                                  • Basic output: Buttons
                                                                                  • Basic input: LEDs
                                                                                  • I/O pins: Used for temperature sensors, motors, and LCD screens

                                                                                  Key features to look for in an IoT board 

                                                                                  Features For Your Development Board

                                                                                  1. Connectivity superiority

                                                                                  When choosing an IoT board, you must always focus on the connectivity options because — after all — IoT apps cannot function if they are not compatible with or adequately connected to the internet or other devices. So ask yourself the following questions:

                                                                                  • Does your development board have built-in WiFi?
                                                                                  • Does it have Bluetooth functionality?
                                                                                  • Does it support Ethernet?

                                                                                  Speak to multiple vendors and get a demo if possible to understand how the board will work for you and what customization you can do with it, if required.

                                                                                  2. Scalability options

                                                                                  If you are investing money to build a fantastic IoT development board, you must ensure that you can add more functionalities to it. Otherwise, the board will become obsolete faster than ever as the IoT technology advances and businesses need to upgrade their systems. 

                                                                                  3. Peripheral support

                                                                                  Another component to consider is the support for peripherals, including access to common ports like HDMI and USB or pin-outs for PWM devices such as servo motors and dimmable lights. Again, speak to your IoT board development team to narrow down the specifications so that the end product meets your project’s requirements.

                                                                                  4. Processing power

                                                                                  This could be in the form of a microcontroller, CPU, CPLD, or FPGA. The first option definitely comes in handy for programming the IoT-enabled devices as the majority of manufacturers provide the IDE you need for the job.

                                                                                  5. Board memory

                                                                                  Now that is an important feature because to store volumes of data, you need to ensure the board has a built-in Flash memory, which also allows it to connect a MicroSD or a MiniSD and enhance data storage as and when necessary.

                                                                                  6. Wireless capabilities

                                                                                  This feature provides wireless communication excluding an external transceiver module. Some of the common wireless protocols include WiFi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee.

                                                                                  Also verify if the board communicates through SPI, UART and GPIO to understand how the board will interact with other devices.

                                                                                  Three types of IoT board categories

                                                                                  Categories of IoT Boards

                                                                                  1. Microcontroller-based boards

                                                                                  Even if you are new to programming and electronics, you must have come across the term “microcontroller boards.” They comprise a small computer developed on a metal oxide semiconductor circuit chip, and are mainly used in implantable medical devices, office machines, power tools, automobile engine control systems and so on.

                                                                                  Programming enthusiasts use the same microcontroller-based boards for learning purposes and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects.

                                                                                  2. System-on-Chip (SoC) boards

                                                                                  A SoC board incorporates many system components into a single Si chip, primarily consisting of an audio receiver, memory, peripherals like USB, PCI and SATA, a microprocessor, and an application processor — basically all the required electronic components and circuits.

                                                                                  They find use in a number of industry niches, including medical care where SoC-based nano robots can perform as programmable antibodies to fight serious illnesses. SoC-based video and audio devices can be installed in the brains of blind and deaf people respectively.

                                                                                  Another benefit is that it can deliver high clock speeds while decreasing the power spent by a microchip, if used along with SoI or Silicon-on-Insulator.

                                                                                  Of course, SoC is an evolving technology and some of these examples might seem impossible at the time. However, it does hold a lot of promise in the years to come.

                                                                                  3. Single-board computers (SBC)

                                                                                  This is an easy one. As the name suggests, it is an entire computer developed on one circuit board. It comprises all the features of a functional computer such as memory, microprocessor(s), input/output (I/O) and so on.

                                                                                  SBCs are usually built as development or demonstration systems. A huge variety of portable computers and home computers integrate all their functions onto one circuit board easily. SBC designs are simple and they do not often rely on expansion slots for peripheral expansion.

                                                                                  Many other types of blade servers perform almost like server computers, although in a more compact format. 

                                                                                  IoT Boards

                                                                                  25 Best IoT development boards in 2023

                                                                                  1. Giant Board 

                                                                                  Giant Board

                                                                                  This is the first single-board computer to come in the Adafruit Feather form factor. It comes equipped with Debian Linux, giving developers access to a wide range of libraries from the get-go. It has a Microchip SAMA5D2 ARM Cortex-A5 Processor and supports USB.

                                                                                  The board has 128MB of RAM, can run up to 500 MHZ and has six 12-bit ADC channels. It supports SPI, UART and I2C communication. The power is supplied through USB, and it also supports LiPo batteries.

                                                                                  2. Particle Photon 

                                                                                  Particle Photon 

                                                                                  This board is one of the smallest prototyping boards available today. It is powered by a Cypress Wi-Fi chip as well as a STM32 ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller, which makes it super ideal for prototyping IoT projects.

                                                                                  It also has a VS code extension that supports large-scale projects. The board is designed for enterprise-level usage, which means that it can go from a few prototypes to a full fleet of devices with ease. It comes with a real-time operating system and a STM32F205 120 MHZ ARM Cortex M3 processor.

                                                                                  The board comes with 128KB RAM, 1MB flash memory and 18 GPIOs. Other features include an on-board RGB status LED, open-source design and advanced peripherals.

                                                                                  3. Discovery STM32MP157C Crypto Board

                                                                                  Discovery STM32MP157C Crypto Board

                                                                                  This board comes with a dedicated graphics processing unit that makes it perfect for those developing user-facing applications. It offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet connectivity, and is equipped with a STM32MP157 ARM dual Cortex-A7 processor.

                                                                                  The board has 4GB of RAM, can run up to 533 MHZ and comes with two GPIO expansion connectors for Raspberry Pi Shields and Arduino.

                                                                                  It also features an internal M4 MPU that facilitates a low-power mode, an audio codec, LCD display, touch screen and a headset jack with analog microphone. Power comes through a 5V/ 3A USB Type-C power supply.

                                                                                  4. SeeedStudio NPi i.MX6ULL Dev Board

                                                                                  SeeedStudio NPi i.MX6ULL Dev Board

                                                                                  This low power consumption board comes equipped with the i.MX6 applications processor, uniquely designed to handle multimedia applications such as video, voice, sound and touch.

                                                                                  The board can handle video conferencing and encode/decode in HD 1080p, as well as 3D video playback in high definition. It supports Ethernet connection and includes a 24-bit RGB display interface and a Raspberry Pi expansion header.

                                                                                  The board comes with 512MB DDR3L RAM and has a secondary 40-position GPIO, and supports I2C communication. Power is supplied through a USB port and a 5V barrel jack.

                                                                                  5. OSD32MP1-BRK Flexible Prototyping Platform


                                                                                  This board from Octavo Systems comes with a unique integrated circuit that combines the RAM, EEPROM storage, power management IC and other features into a single neat package.

                                                                                  It is ideal for developers looking to do rapid prototyping for a custom PCB involving the Octavo SiP. It comes equipped with a ST32MP15x ARM dual Cortex-A7 processor.

                                                                                  The board has 512MB DDR memory, supports UART communication and has 106 GPIOs and four user LEDs. Power is supplied through a MicroUSB.

                                                                                  6. Intel Edison

                                                                                  Intel Edison

                                                                                  It is a SoC module. It is offered by Intel as a development system enabled by Intel® Atom™ 500MHz dual-core CPU and an Intel® Quark™ 100MHz microcontroller. The module is ideal for designing wearable devices and IoT-enabled devices. 

                                                                                  This is a powerful single-board model designed for advanced IoT applications, particularly wearables that need to be compact and power-efficient. It is among the few boards certified by IBM, AWS and Microsoft for cloud connectivity.

                                                                                  The system was initially the size and shape of an SD card. It worked on a dual-core Intel Quark x86 CPU at 400 MHz to facilitate communication via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

                                                                                  Later, the CPU was changed to a 500 MHz Silvermont dual-core Intel Atom CPU and the board became bigger and thicker than an SD card. Intel Edison supports Arduino Sketch and Linux.

                                                                                  The board is available in two versions, an Arduino-compatible board and a smaller one for simpler uses, and is compatible with packages like Yocto Linux, Python, Node.js and Wolfram.

                                                                                  It supports Bluetooth, has integrated Wi-Fi which is certified in 68 countries and features a dual-core, dual-threaded Intel Atom CPU and an Intel Quark100MHz microcontroller.

                                                                                  Developers using the Intel Edison IoT board can benefit from the large library of software and resources available to enhance their project.

                                                                                  The Board I/O has 20 digital input/output pins, which include 6 pins as PWM outputs making it compatible with Arduino Uno.

                                                                                  The board comes with 1GB RAM and 4GB flash memory and supports UART, SPI and I2C communication. Power is supplied through USB, and the board comes with SD card support. It costs $49.95.

                                                                                  7. BeagleBone® Green Gateway

                                                                                  BeagleBone Green Gateway

                                                                                  Developed by BeagleBoard and Seeed Studio, this board comes with two 32-bit programmable real-time units (PRUs) and real-time Nerves functionality. This makes it perfect for industrial IoT applications that call for low latency for deterministic control.

                                                                                  It can boot Linux in less than 10 seconds and also includes ports for the Grove sensors by Seeed Studio for faster integration. It has Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and comes with a AM3358 ARM® Cortex-A8 processor.

                                                                                  The board has 512MB DDR3 memory and 92 GPIOs, and supports I2C and UART communication. It also has 4GB eMMC and 4KB EEPROM storage. Power is supplied through a MicroUSB or 5V DC input.

                                                                                  8. Arduino Nano 33 IoT

                                                                                  Arduino Nano 33 IoT

                                                                                  Arduino is an open-source software and hardware company. This is one of its newer launches and is a powerful dual-processor board that is ideal for IoT experimentation, particularly use cases where form factor matters.

                                                                                  Arduino Nano 33 IoT is compatible with the Arduino IoT Cloud, which enables developers to easily create IoT applications even without extensive prior experience.

                                                                                  By connecting with the Arduino Cloud, the board allows developers to create ‘Things’, which can have their own unique properties and allow users to read and set values as they need to.

                                                                                  It is also a low-cost option and supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, making it popular among developers. It comes with an ARM Cortex-M0 32-bit SAMD21 processor.

                                                                                  The board features 14 digital I/O pins and 8 analog input pins, is compatible with 12-bit ADC/PWM and 10-bit DAC resolutions, and supports Synchronous communication.

                                                                                  It also has an inbuilt real-time clock module, a 9-axis IMU and a crypto chip to store certificates and pre-shared keys securely. With 1 MB of Flash and 256 KB of RAM, this board uses TinyML to allow you to run Edge Computing applications (AI) on it.

                                                                                  It is a robust and powerful open-source hardware. It is an IoT board for enhancing your existing devices or even creating new ones for your IoT applications. This small board offers low-power architecture for cost-effectively driving connected projects.

                                                                                  Equipped with a Nordic nrf52840 chip, it has a clock of 64 MHz and a crypto Microchip® ECC608 which can securely store certificates and pre-shared keys. You can use the Arduino and Nordic software support for development. It costs $18.40.

                                                                                  The main feature of this board, it is embedded with a series of sensors which includes 6 axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), and others that detect humidity, temperature, barometric, microphone, proximity, and luminosity.

                                                                                  9. ESP32-SE2-Saola-1


                                                                                  This board from Espressif is perhaps the most popular among IoT development boards. It comes with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection and has a dual-core Xtensa microcontroller.

                                                                                  With low-power consumption and high resistance to temperatures, it is particularly ideal for consumer IoTs such as mobile and wearable devices, as well as smart home projects and data-logging projects.

                                                                                  Developers can develop with Arduino IDE or by using the board’s own SDK easily. ESP32-SE2-Saola-1 has 520K of RAM, can run up to 240 MHZ and has 46 GPIOs with a variety of 12-bit ADC channels.

                                                                                  It supports UART, SPI and I2C communication and also has 4MB external SPI flash storage. Power is supplied through a MicroUSB. Other features include built-in antenna switches, a power amplifier, power management modules, touch-sensitive pins and dynamic power scaling.

                                                                                  10. Omega 2

                                                                                  Omega 2

                                                                                  The Onion Omega 2 is a highly affordable modular IoT board, tiny enough to fit into any DIY project. It is essentially a computer that comes pre-installed with a Linux-based system, which means you can use a wider range of programming languages and libraries with it.

                                                                                  The board has 2G/3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet connection available and comes with a MT7688 SoC that features a 580 MHZ CPU. Its compact size and modular design make it suitable for a wide variety of applications.

                                                                                  It has 128GB of RAM, 32GM of Flash and has 18 GPIOs, as well as on-board flash storage. It supports UART, SPI and I2C communication. While it does not have analog input, an I2C converter or an extension board will do the trick.

                                                                                  SimpleLink Wi-Fi CC3200 LaunchPad

                                                                                  This development board is ideal for those working on IoT communication, and can support multiple protocols such as Zigbee and Thread. It is the industry’s first single-chip programmable MCU that features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.

                                                                                  It also comes with temperature sensors and on-board accelerometers, and is equipped with a ARM® Cortex®-M4 Core processor.

                                                                                  The board has 256KB SRAM, three LEDs and 40 GPIOs, and supports UART, I2C and SPI communication. Power is supplied through a MicroUSB or two AA batteries with BoosterPack. Other features include driver support and an SDK with 40 applications.

                                                                                  12. Jetson Nano

                                                                                  Jetson Nano

                                                                                  The NVIDIA Jetson Nano is a powerhouse option for those companies that are into developing an AI or robotics application.

                                                                                  Jetson Nano can run multiple neural network apps simultaneously and is also ideal for high-workload applications such as object detection, segmentation, image classification, machine learning and speech processing.

                                                                                  A big plus for developers working on machine learning projects is NVIDIA’s open source project called Jetson Inference, which demonstrates key machine learning techniques.

                                                                                  It comes with Gigabit Ethernet communication and supports Wi-Fi through an adapter. It is also equipped with 2GB RAM, quad-core ARM 1.53 GHZ and a 128-core NVIDIA GPU based on the Maxwell architecture.

                                                                                  The board has 40 GPIOs and supports UART, SPI and I2C communication. The JetPack development kit provides access to Linux as well as certain frameworks and libraries like TensorRT, VisionWorks, CUDA and OpenCV. It also has a 1/3″ AR0330 CMOS Image sensor with 2.2 µm pixels.

                                                                                  13. Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

                                                                                  Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

                                                                                  This is among the best known and most affordably priced options in IoT development boards. It gives you access to a credit card-sized mini PC board that also works as a personal PC.

                                                                                  The Pi 4 offers huge improvements in speed, memory and multimedia processing capabilities over the Pi 3, while retaining the power consumption levels and backward compatibility.

                                                                                  It is compatible with multiple operating systems, supports packages like Node.js and Java Python, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse.

                                                                                  It comes with dual-band wireless LAN, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet connection and is equipped with a Broadcom quad-core, 64-bit, 1.5GHz processor.

                                                                                  Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is often used to configure surveillance cameras and digital media systems. It can run almost any Debian-supported programme and enables developers to create programmes in just about any language. 

                                                                                  The board has 2GB RAM in the default version that can be upgraded to 4GB or 8GB. It has two micro-HDMI ports and 40 GPIOs and supports I2C, SPI and UART communication. It also has a CSI camera, DSI display, a combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video and four USB ports. 

                                                                                  Both the wireless LAN and the Bluetooth have modular compliance certification, which means end products can be sent out to market with much less time spent on compliance testing.

                                                                                  While Raspberry Pi 4 Model B lacks an analog input, an adapter will do the trick. Further, the board can boot directly from a USB-attached pen drive or hard drive. It also has PoE compatibility with a PoE HAT add-on.

                                                                                  A Guide On The Top 17 IoT Operating Systems For IoT Devices in 2023 And Beyond

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                                                                                  14. Banana Pi

                                                                                  Banana Pi

                                                                                  It is a low-cost credit-card-sized open-source hardware. This single-board is produced by Shenzhen SINOVOIP Co., Ltd., a Chinese company, and Guangdong BiPai Technology Co., Ltd. Banana Pi computers have a hardware design with a 40 pin I/O connector.

                                                                                  It is considered to be influenced by the Raspberry Pi. The board has an Amlogic S905X3 Quad-Core Cortex-A55 Processor and Mali-G31 GPU. It runs on NetBSD, Android 4.2, Arch Linux, Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, and Raspbian operating systems.

                                                                                  The CPU of the board complies with the requirements of the Debian armhf port. Most models of Banana Pi use a MediaTek or Allwinner A20 SoC (system on chip) with two or four ARM Cortex cores. Ideal for practical use, the board has two buttons — a reset and a clear button.

                                                                                  It has a storage of 16G eMMC flash on board along with a MicroSD slot that supports up to 256GB expansion. The RAM of the Banana Pi board is 1GB DDR3 SDRAM. The greatest strength of Banana Pi is its internet connectivity.

                                                                                  Banana Pi has a pre-installed Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity system. Beyond wireless connectivity it also provides a port for 10/100/1000 Mbit/s Ethernet, to facilitate the use of conventional network standards.

                                                                                  15. Particle Boron LTE CAT-M1

                                                                                  Particle Boron LTE CAT-M1

                                                                                  The Particle Boron is open-source and is the ideal low-cost choice for those looking to develop a cellular device. Its chief feature is the cellular module, that supports both 3G and 2G and has SIM card compatibility for more than 100 countries.

                                                                                  It comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection and is equipped with the Nordic nrf52840 chip. The board can work as a standalone cellular endpoint or as an LTE-enabled gateway for Particle Mesh networks, which is particularly useful in situations where Wi-Fi connection is not available or is patchy.

                                                                                  The board has 256KB RAM, 4MB on-board SPI flash storage and 20 GPIOs, including six analog channels, and supports I2C, UART and SPI communication.

                                                                                  Power is supplied through the microUSB, integrated Li-Po charging and battery. Other features include two SARA cellular modules and three months of free access to Device Cloud through a cellular gateway.

                                                                                  16. Pycom Fipy

                                                                                  Pycom Fipy

                                                                                  It is named so as it offers five networks on a single board. It can be used in IoT projects where you need to enhance RF sensitivity and signal quality. You may implement such projects in areas with poor cellular coverage.

                                                                                  The board reduces output power during transmission to improve battery performance. FiPy is a Micropython-programmable IoT board that offers LoRa, Sigfox, and dual LTE-M (CAT-M1 and NB-IoT). It gives access to Wi-Fi (up to 1 km range), Bluetooth, and global LPWAN networks.

                                                                                  This Powerful CPU fits in a standard breadboard and runs on ultra-low power compared to other connected microcontrollers. Fipy is enabled by a Dual processor and WiFi radio system on a chip coupled with an extra ULP-coprocessor.

                                                                                  These processors can monitor GPIOs and ADC channels while controlling the internal peripherals during the deep-sleep mode.

                                                                                  It is supported by 4MB RAM and 8MB Flash Memory. You must use an appropriate antenna for establishing your wireless connections except for WiFi and BLE. It costs €146.95.

                                                                                  17. Tessel 2

                                                                                  Tessel 2

                                                                                  It is a JavaScript-based connected hardware prototyping system. This open-source development board supports NPM features to build embedded systems. It also has the capacity to support languages other than JavaScript.

                                                                                  The board employs command-line tools to easily deploy code, set Wi-Fi credentials, and manage authentication. Tessel 2 has a collection of GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) pins to enable its 2 plug and play modules.

                                                                                  Coupled with high-level APIs, it makes prototyping simpler and quicker. The board also supports more flash storage through peripherals like cameras and 3G/4G dongles.

                                                                                  It has an ultra-reliable wired connection that supports 10/100 ethernet with 580MHz Mediatek MT7620n for faster execution.

                                                                                  The 64 MB DDR2 RAM & 32 MB Flash provides plenty of code storage space. 48MHz Atmel SAMD21 coprocessor facilitates real-time I.O. and power management.

                                                                                  Power and programming connections, communications, status lights, and reset buttons are supporting features of Tessel 2. The board is also called Single-Board Computers (SBC) as it is as powerful as the Raspberry Pi. It costs $44.45.

                                                                                  18. i.MX 8

                                                                                  i.MX 8

                                                                                  It is a series of applications processors that are feature-rich and performance-scalable multicore platforms. They are part of NXP's EdgeVerse™ edge computing platform.

                                                                                  The board uses advanced full-chip hardware-based virtualization and domain protection to offer fast multi-OS platform deployment.

                                                                                  You can deploy these proprietary microcontrollers for multimedia applications that are rich and fully independent. It incorporates Vision and Speech Recognition to deliver high-quality graphics and content across 4x HD screens or 1x 4K screens.

                                                                                  The underlying powerful vision pipeline and audio processing subsystem supports interactivity. The board allows rapid deployment of multiple products through software-friendly, copy-exact IP blocks.

                                                                                  It is powered by multiple connectivity options such as 2x PCIe 3.0 (2-lane or 2x 1-lane) and dual Gigabit Ethernet with audio-video bridging (AVB). The solutions are ideal for advanced graphics, imaging, and machine vision.

                                                                                  The high-quality audio, voice, and video functions are useful for building safety-critical applications. Safe and isolated execution of multiple systems on one processor is provided by resource partitioning and split GPU.

                                                                                  64-bit LPDDR4 RAM support helps in processing large amounts of data quickly and efficiently. It costs $1049.

                                                                                  19. Adafruit Feather M0

                                                                                  Adafruit Feather M0

                                                                                  It is a feather-light (only 4.6 grams) development board from Adafruit. It has been designed to set up a new standard for portable microcontroller cores. This thin IoT board is equipped with an ATSAMD21G18 ARM Cortex M0 processor.

                                                                                  It is clocked at 48 MHz and 3.3V logic. This chipboard has 256K of FLASH and 32K of RAM. The chipboard comes with a built-in USB to enable a USB-to-Serial program. It has a built-in debug capability that eliminates the need for an FTDI-like chip.

                                                                                  The 3.7V Lithium polymer batteries come with built-in battery charging to make them apt for use in portable projects. Besides, the battery also runs well on a micro-USB connector. It comes with a built-in prototyping space where you can directly attach a button or sensor, instead of a breadboard.

                                                                                  The board comes fully assembled and tested with an out-of-the-box USB bootloader and serial port debugging. It costs $19.95.

                                                                                  20. Adafruit FONA

                                                                                  Adafruit FONA

                                                                                  It is an all-in-one cellular phone module that runs a microcontroller. Measuring only 1.75"x1.25", the Adafruit FONA lets you add voice, text, and SMS features to your project. The GSM cellular module of this board has Quad-band 850/900/1800/1900MHz.

                                                                                  This enables it to connect onto any global GSM network with any 2G SIM. Its capabilities include facilitating incoming and outgoing voice calls, SMS messages, GPRS data (TCP/IP, HTTP, etc.), and FM radio broadcasts.

                                                                                  The onboard LiPoly battery supports the portability of your project. A Standard 4-pole TRRS headphone jack allows the use of a compatible headset (Android or iOS). Additionally, you can use the breakouts to connect to an external 8Ω speaker and electret mic.

                                                                                  Other interesting features include a vibrational motor (PWM/buzzer) driver for silent notifications, uFL or SMA connections for external antenna, power, and network connectivity LED indicators.

                                                                                  You can use a USB console cable to support a direct connection to the module and send commands directly from a terminal. It costs $39.95.

                                                                                  21. Teensy 4.1

                                                                                  Teensy 4.1

                                                                                  It is a development board offered by PJRC. It runs on Arduino's IDE software with the Teensyduino add-on as the primary programming environment. It is equipped with the advanced features of PlatformIO IDE which is a cross-platform development environment.

                                                                                  Its high performance is dedicated to the fastest microcontroller. Teensy 4.1 is supported by an expanded set of powerful peripherals in a 2.4 by 0.7-inch form factor. The board uses 5 Pins with power management as a USB host.

                                                                                  The Ethernet port is connected using a magjack and capacitor. Teensy 4.1 is enabled by a Flash memory of 8 Mbyte and QSPI memory of 2 chips along with locations to solder them. You can add a PSRAM chip to the smaller location and flash memory to the larger location.

                                                                                  Teensy 4.1 has a USB Host port enabling you to connect USB devices, such as keyboards and MIDI musical instruments. You need a 5 pin header and a USB Host cable for plugging in a USB device. It costs $30.85.

                                                                                  22. Meadow F7

                                                                                  Meadow F7

                                                                                  It supports development on real embeddable hardware. It is a Micro Development Kit (1.9"×0.9") powered by an STM32F7 microcontroller clocked at 216 MHZ. This full-stack kit is offered by Wilderness Labs, built on .NET and C#. It is a robust IoT platform.

                                                                                  Meadow F7 allows you to build out of the box as it comes with a breadboard and an integrated battery charger. It also includes a pre-integrated driver and hardware API library. These features allow users to quickly develop the application.

                                                                                  The board runs on an energy-efficient STM32F7 microcontroller with 32MB RAM and 32MB Flash storage, enabling you to run large programs. It also features an ESP32 co-processor onboard, for providing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities.

                                                                                  Besides the integrated LiPo battery, the board is also charged with solar power. You can access cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) services through NuGet packages and plugins that are easily available. It costs $50.00.

                                                                                  23. Azure Sphere

                                                                                  Azure Sphere

                                                                                  It is also known as the MediaTek MT3620 development kit. The kit features onboard LEDs and buttons, connectors, and integrated programming circuitry. These are all compatible with the Azure Sphere SDK, easing out the debugging process for you.

                                                                                  This IoT solution offers dual-band wireless network connectivity. The built-in connectivity is for 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and it can be extended to wired Ethernet (10 Mbps) through an external Microchip ENC28J60 controller.

                                                                                  An Azure Sphere MCU enables you to create secure, internet-connected devices. These devices can be updated, controlled, and monitored remotely. Its multi-core structure includes a Microsoft Pluton-driven security system.

                                                                                  It has 4 MB RAM and 16 MB Flash storage. Azure Sphere runs on a cross-over class of MCUs offering you the advantages of built-in Microsoft security technology and wireless network connectivity. It also leverages the versatility and power of an Arm Cortex-A7 processor. It costs $8.95.

                                                                                  24. Google dev board

                                                                                  Google dev board

                                                                                  It is also known as Coral Dev Board. This single-board module has a removable system-on-module (SOM) that contains eMMC, SOC, wireless radios, and the Edge TPU. It can be used as a single-board computer that accelerates ML processing in a small form factor.

                                                                                  You can also use it as an evaluation kit for the SOM or to prototype IoT devices and other embedded systems. It facilitates fast on-device ML inferencing. The Dev Board allows you to build and deploy fast as it is based on NXP's iMX8M system-on-chip (SOC).

                                                                                  The Edge TPU coprocessor is a small ASIC designed by Google that empowers the board to provide high-performance ML inferencing with a low power cost. You can use it to execute state-of-the-art mobile vision models in a power-efficient manner.

                                                                                  Google Dev Board includes all the peripheral connections needed for project prototyping. These include Ethernet and USB 2.0/3.0 ports, DSI display interface, CSI-2 camera interface, speaker terminals, and a 40-pin GPIO header. It costs $146.95.

                                                                                  25. Udoo Neo

                                                                                  Udoo Neo

                                                                                  It is an Arduino-powered all-in-one open hardware useful for wireless mobile IoT applications. This low-cost computer is equipped with a powerful 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A9 to run both Android Lollipop and UDOObuntu 2, and an ARM Cortex-M4 I/O real-time co-processor that allows easy access to an Arduino™ environment.

                                                                                  These processors are capable of running up to 200 Mhz and the powerful 1GB RAM supports most functions. It also comes with an NXP™ i.MX 6SoloX applications processor for Android and Linux. The board is enriched with 9-axis motion sensors along with Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy and Wi-Fi connectivity.

                                                                                  Fast ethernet RJ45 (10/100Mbps) is also supported. It also comes with an integrated 2D/3D graphics controller, audio transmitter, and a Micro HDMI interface constituting an LVDS interface and touch (I2C signals).

                                                                                  These features make the board ideal for creating robots, drones, and rovers. It is also useful for Mobile IoT projects. It costs $54.90.

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                                                                                  Selecting the right IoT development board for your project

                                                                                  There is no doubt that there has been a massive increase in the development of low-cost, low-power IoT development boards in the electronic industry. From Intel to open-source Arduino, all brands have stepped up their game to beat competition in the fast-paced IoT sector.

                                                                                  Regardless of what you decide to develop, it is important to choose the best IoT development board. Since it serves as the brains of your project, you cannot take this step lightly.

                                                                                  You must choose something that can communicate with all interconnected electronic components with rather ease. So here are the three key steps you must take to ensure you make the right decision. Good luck!

                                                                                  Selecting Right Development Board

                                                                                  1. Confirm the development board type

                                                                                  Your development board could fall under several categories as per design and specification. As discussed previously, it could either be a microcontroller board such as Mega and Arduino Uno or a SBC like the BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi.

                                                                                  Confirm your project type. Is it visual-focused or sensing-based? Whatever it is should dictate your choice. There is a possibility you might have to use more than one type of boards. For instance, pairing a Raspberry Pi with Arduino Uno would fetch you better results.

                                                                                  Therefore, research thoroughly before making any decision because it is going to stick with you throughout your project, and you do not want it to hamper your progress.

                                                                                  2. Observe the programming language and community

                                                                                  What programming language you use is an important factor to consider in the IoT development board. For example, you could need support for multiple languages, OS and IDEs to create a rich and wholesome experience.

                                                                                  C and C++ are universal programming languages and many boards support them or a similar language like them. On the other hand, IDEs for some boards will allow you to experiment with more than one programming language.

                                                                                  Then there are single boards that usually run on Linux. For instance, the most popular OS for the Raspberry Pi is Raspbian. You also need to ensure you have a strong community of the programming language to fall back on.

                                                                                  Otherwise, it will get pretty difficult to get help in case you hit a roadblock in your project and your programming language offers limited support. So, choose wisely!

                                                                                  3. Check the specifications of the board

                                                                                  The thing that the specifications of your development board have been to be larger is wrong. As long as they get the job done it is important.

                                                                                  Also, the board with more specifications usually costs more and second, it sometimes creates more problems if the development team is not that experienced in working with complicated boards before.

                                                                                  Therefore, it is best to find a medium spec board. Of course, if you plan on adding more functionalities to the board down the line, then opt for better specs. 

                                                                                  Over to you

                                                                                  In this guide, we studied everything there is to know about IoT development boards, and individually explored 25 awesome options for this year. Please note the list is comprehensive but not exhaustive. There are other options too. However, it is a good place to start for your IoT project.

                                                                                  Of course, technology will keep advancing and we will soon find more options to experiment with in years to come. Let us also not forget the creation of numerous products that can solve daily problems. So have fun exploring all the options and choose the one that is easy to use.

                                                                                  What IoT project are you working on? Do you need any assistance from experts who can take the headache from you and develop a product you are really proud of? Regardless of industry niche and project size, we can help! Simply book a free consultation with our IoT expert, and get in touch with us.

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                                                                                  Top IoT Development Boards & How To Choose The Right One

                                                                                  This guide introduces you to the top 25 IoT development boards in the market, including Intel Edison, Jetson Nano, Omega 2, Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, and Giant Board, along with the key features to look for in an IoT board.

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