This Intel board computer can be a powerful Ubuntu 16.04 Linux PC

Intel's Joule now supports Ubuntu 16.04 desktop OS

If you want a PC with Ubuntu Linux, you can turn to Intel's Joule single-board computer instead of buying an expensive machine.

Support for Ubuntu 16.04 desktop OS has been added to the Joule board, according to developer notes for Intel IoT Developer Kit 5.0 released late last week.

Intel has two Joule boards: the 570x, which sells for $219 on Mouser, and the 550x, which is priced at $179 on the same retail site. The 550x, which started shipping recently, was priced at $349 until Monday, but was cut in half after a story by the IDG News Service pointed out the unusually high price.

The Joule boards are like Raspberry Pi 3, with all major components crammed on a circuit board. But Joule is tricked out with recently released components, memory and storage, making it the fastest board computer in its class.

The Joule boards have the latest Atom processors based on the Broxton architecture, GPUs capable of 4K video capture, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, LPDDR4 memory, USB 3.0 ports and internal storage up to 8GB. Raspberry Pi 3 has an ARM processor, no internal storage, USB 2.0, 1080p graphics processor and slower memory and Wi-Fi.

Intel designed the Joule board for the development of robots, drones and smart devices requiring heavy processing power. But like Raspberry Pi 3, which is also being used as a PC, the Joule is powerful enough to be a low-end PC or server.

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