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Hardware for Internet of Things
Choosing the Hardware for your IOT Project
Internet of Things has become a very common term in Industry and Academia. IOT projects, prototypes and products are very common these days whether we talk about students, enthusiasts or professionals. Sites like KickStarter are full of IOT projects seeking funds and similarly Github has repositories of open source code written around IOT. Those who have not yet started their IOT project are also planning to start soon.But when it comes to choosing the hardware for your next IOT venture, it can be a tough job some times because of a myriad of choices available. In this article, our mission is to enlist 10 of the most commonly used hardware boards for developing IOT projects and we'll also list their benefits along with other most significant technical details so it can be helpful for you to decide what hardware platform is the right choice for your next IOT project.
So here we go, Let's get started with our list of top 10 hardware platforms for Internet of Things.
1. Raspberry Pi
With it's model A,B,Zero and Compute module Raspberry Pi is at the top of our list of hardware platforms to be used when developing Internet of Things projects. Here are the reasons why you should choose Raspberry Pi
  1. Cheap Raspberry Pi Zero start just at $5, whereas other models like the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is available for $35
  2. Broadcom System on Chip runs arm processor and linux OS
  3. GPIO general purpose input/output pins make it easy to interact with sensors and actuators
  4. Gen 3 boards come with onboard Bluetooth and Wifi making it easy to connect wirelessly
  5. Supports multiple programming languages because of underlying Linux OS
  6. Small Form Factor makes it suitable for small IOT devices and wearable devices

2. Intel Edison
Designed for expert makers, entrepreneurs, and some industrial IoT applications. Intel Edison offers some interesting features when it comes to performance.
  1. High Performance, dual core CPU and single core micro-controller
  2. Integrated Wifi and Bluetooth
  3. 4GB flash memory
  4. 40 multiplexed GPIOs

3. Mixtile LOFT-Q
Mixtile LOFT-Q by seeedstudio offers onboard connectivity options like Zigbee, Bluetooth and Wifi. It is more expensive than Raspberry Pi but offers a lot of functionality out of the box.

4. Beaglebone Black
Beaglebone is a low cost community supported development platform.
  • Boot Linux in under 10 seconds
  • AM335x 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A8
  • 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • 2x PRU 32-bit microcontrollers
  • 2x 46 pin headers
  • Can run Ubuntu, Debian and Android operating systems
5. Photon by Particle
Particle Photon is a small wifi-connected micro-controller
  • ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller and a Broadcom Wi-Fi chip
  • Supports Open, WEP, WAPI, WPA and WPA2-PSK WiFi security modes
  • 18 mixed-signal GPIO and advanced peripherals
  • Full toolkit of cloud device management tools

6. Arduino
Arduino is an open-source prototyping platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino comes with it's on IDE making it easier to program just by connecting it to a computer or laptop with a USB cable.
  • Inexpensive
  • Cross-platform
  • Simple, clear programming environment
  • Open source and extensible software
  • Open source and extensible hardware

7. Electric Imp
Electric Imp claims to provide a solution which makes it simple to connect nearly any sensor, device or service to the internet instantly. Electric Imp features include:
  • Module integrate Wifi and Compute power
  • the impOS provides secure cloud connectivity services to your product
  • impCloud allows you to run ‘agents’ — server-side code unique to each and every device in the field
  • imp provides other features like IDE, Code Libraries, Build API, and Scalability

8. Omega 2
Omega 2 is world's smallest Linux server, with Wi-Fi built-in.
  • cost only $5
  • runs Linux Operating System
  • inbuilt Wifi module

9. ARM mbed
The ARM mbed IoT Device Platform provides the operating system, cloud services, tools and developer ecosystem to make the creation and deployment of commercial, standards-based IoT solutions possible at scale.

10. Arduino GEMMA
Arduino Gemma is a miniature wearable microcontroller board based on the ATtiny85. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a battery to get started on your wearable projects.

This list is just a starting point to show you what exists in the market in terms of IOT hardware. You should select your hardware based on the needs of the project you're doing. In case you're not sure what hardware to choose, we recommend you ask by using comments.

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