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There have been more than a few tiny computing boards released in the past few years, and this trend won’t be slowing down any time soon. So meet VoCore, which is quite possibly one of the smallest Linux computers ever made.
The tiny coin-sized board is kitted with 32MB SDRAM, 8MB SPI flash memory and a system-on-chip clocked at 360MHz. It features no video-out or GPU, so don’t expect to turn it into a retro-gaming station or home theatre PC. Although sluggish compared to a Raspberry Pi, versatility, portability and low wattage is the VoCore’s real aim.
But its secret weapon is its 10/100M Ethernet, USB and 802.11n Wifi support. In fact, VoCore can run the embedded devices Linux-distro OpenWrt, turning it into a little super VPN router that one could realistically take anywhere.
Chinese developers Qin Wei and Tong Wu have outlined a few additional uses for the VoCore, including transforming a printer or hard drive into a wireless device, a DIY wireless speaker system or using the VoCore as a wireless control for an Arduino project. In addition, for those generous funders who donate US$30, they plan to ship the VoCore with a dock and 16MB SPI flash. Not a bad deal.
The project began in December 2013 and is due to begin shipping by October 2014. In less than a week on Indiegogo, the developers have already quadrupled their US$6 000 funding goal with 55 days left in the campaign. At this rate, there’s no telling how much the project will raise by the end of its two month stint.