Another Raspberry Pi Alternative Processor Emerges In The Form Of Pico-Pi-Imx8m, And It’s Out Now

Another Raspberry Pi Alternative Processor Emerges In The Form Of Pico-Pi-Imx8m, And It’s Out Now
Credit: Charbax via YouTube

WandBoard was supposed to release the Raspberry Pi alternative WandPi 8M in 2017. It had the same SBC-base with the NXP i.MX8M Quad processor, the Vivante GC70000 GPU, and an ARM Cortex-A53 + M4 architecture.

The board shared the same structure of the Pi form factor, including its capacity to deliver 4K UltraHD and HDR quality videos. It also had a pro audio fidelity capacity, making it one of the best lookalikes in the market. The board, though was never released.

Because of the power of the Raspberry Pi plugin, there are still designers trying to copy the same technology behind the computing hardware. Just recently, the PICO-PI-IMX8M was released with the same NXP i.MX8M Quad-core processor technology.

It almost has the same architecture as the previous WandBoard release, but with the addition of the Librem 5 for smartphones by Purism. So, simply put, you can create your own Linux-based smartphone if you add all the necessary components to build one.

On the baseline, this hacker’s board is every bit the Raspberry Pi and more. It can run with HATs, add-on boards, and breakthrough kits. The Wandboard site featured PICO-PI-IMX8M, or something similar, saying that the Raspberry Pi alternative is an open-source community mainly used for targeting multimedia and 4K HDR-capacity streaming apps.

PICO-PI-IMX8M is undoubtedly a stand-in for the WandBoard WandPi 8M. Though, most information relating to the previous board has been taken down from the website.

What is known is that the boards are made from similar processors containing the Armv8-A Cortex A53 running at 64-bit, and clocked at 1.3GHz. It also has a Cortex M4F core with a clocked speed of 266MHz. What’s also striking is that the PICO-PI-IMX8M comes in a total of five variants including the Lite, Basic, Pro, Dev, and Dev-Extreme.

On the other side, what makes both products different is the addition of the SoC chip head sink protector and the add-on chip. All the PICO-PI variants use eMMC 5.1 chip for bandwidth compliance and the LPDDR4 RAM Interposers.

PICO-PI-IMX8M is also capable of video playback at higher hardware acceleration and HEVC. The hardware also has two 4-lane CSI-2 MIPI port for cameras, and 20 32-bit channels for audio in/out with up to 284 kHz of sampling frequency and DSD512 support.

The base kit costs around $175, while the full kit sells for $345.