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I am looking for a cheap but powerful dev board for an ARM9 processor. It needs to be able to run linux. I am unsure about the exact specifications for RAM and such(thats partly why I'm posting this question). I would however like it to have SD, Ethernet(or WIFI) and USB. Any suggestions?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ STMicroelectronics released a new STM32 discovery board st.com/internet/evalboard/product/250863.jsp, its $10. Pretty decent board to learn the basics at a very cheap price. \$\endgroup\$
    – user3748
    Apr 6 '11 at 13:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's got an ARM Cortex-M3, not an ARM 9! It won't run Linux. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 6 '11 at 13:24
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Another option is a mini2440 or a micro2440. I bought mine (including an LCD touch screen) for 85$ on Ebay.

Support is very extensive, it includes what you need/wanted (ethernet adapter)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Cool, hadn't seen these devices before, seem pretty reasonably priced. \$\endgroup\$
    – davr
    Jan 15 '10 at 17:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Phenomenal value, but I don't agree with the claim of it having "extensive" support - but I guess that makes you learn more about the hardware and kernel. I highly recommend using the angstrom distribution with this board. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jon L
    Jun 2 '11 at 5:26
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Does it have to be ARM9? The beagleboard is pretty powerful for the price. $150 gets you a 500MHz ARM Cortex A8 (two generations newer than ARM9), 256MByte of RAM, 256MByte of NAND Flash storage, DVI video output, SDHC card slot, USB (Host & Device), audio in & audio out, and a bunch of I/O ports. It doesn't have built in ethernet, but you can use an inexpensive USB Ethernet adaptor.

Sparkfun also has an ARM9 board, but it costs more and IMO is less powerful (180MHz ARM9 / 64MB RAM / 512MB storage / no video out / does have built in ethernet though)

Another option is to buy a Nintendo DS...you get a 66MHz ARM9 + 33MHz ARM7 + 4MB ram + 2D/3D graphics hardware rendering w/ ~0.75MB of VRAM (which you can reuse as RAM if you need it all for gfx) two 256x192 LCDs (one has a touchscreen), WiFi, and microSD card storage (with an inexpensive adapter, under $20 these days), built in battery + charger, speakers, mic. Downside is you have limited interfaces to the outside world...either SPI in Slot-1, or the GBA Cart Bus in Slot-2. There is a free gcc port + libraries available, you just compile a program, and drop it on the microSD card, put it in the adapter, and put it in the DS. Retail price is $130 these days, you can get the original (bulkier) NDS for probably around $50-70 used on ebay.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I need ethernet/wireless, but I don't really need graphics or video out is my issue with the beagleboard. \$\endgroup\$
    – zklapow
    Jan 13 '10 at 7:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Depends how much processing power you need, you can't really beat the beagleboard. And like I said, people have reported success using it with a USB ethernet/wireless adapter. I think there actually may be some beagleboard clones with on-board ethernet. \$\endgroup\$
    – davr
    Jan 13 '10 at 16:45

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