Best IoT Development Boards for Building IoT Projects in 2020
Internet of Things (IoT) is a term used to describe devices that can connect to the internet and exchange data. IoT allows physical things to connect to the internet and can be used to monitor and control from remote locations. Today, the Internet of Things has become a mainstream topic and the technology world is striving hard to make key inroads towards the development of IoT. It is expected that spending on IoT will reach $772 Billion by 2020 resulting in the stratospheric development of IoT. We are already seeing many new companies coming into this space with very new and innovative ideas and products. Some of the best IoT development boards are listed below.
There has been a huge surge in the electronics and embedded industries for developing low power, low-cost IoT development boards. From open-source Arduino to giant Intel, everyone is trying to capture the ever-growing IoT market. It is also expected that by the end of 2020 there will be 21 billion connected devices. We have seen many new companies coming in IoT space in past years and building an end-to-end IoT platform from hardware to connectivity to the cloud. This is a golden opportunity for anyone to start work in the IoT domain that sees a very bright future.
Below is the list of some best IoT development board handpicked for you to get started with IoT development.
1. Arduino MKR Family Board
Arduino is always keeping pace with current development and MKR family is an example of such effort from Arduino. Arduino MKR GSM 1400 is a cellular-enabled IoT development board that supports 2G and 3G. Arduino MKR 1000 and MKR 1010 are wifi-enabled IoT development board. Arduino MKR NB 1500 is NB-IoT enabled board and MKR WAN 1300 is LoRa enabled board.
You can pick any board depending upon your choice and support of connectivity options. The base MKR board is the same that has all the needed features for quick and easy IoT prototype development. All the boards are based on the 32 bit Atmel ATSAMW25 SoC (System on Chip), which is part of the SmartConnect family of Atmel Wireless devices, specifically designed for IoT projects and devices. The board also has a LiPo charging circuit and equipped with ECC508 CryptoAuthentication chip for a secure connection.
2. Arduino Nano 33 IoT Board
Arduino Nano 33 IoT is an 18$ low power, feature-rich board. It is a direct upgrade of the Arduino Nano series of the board to support IoT development out of the box. The board’s main processor is a low power Arm® Cortex®-M0 32-bit SAMD21. The board has WiFi and Bluetooth® connectivity that is performed with a module from u-blox, the NINA-W10, a low power chipset operating in the 2.4GHz range. On top of those, secure communication is ensured through the Microchip® ECC608 crypto chip. Besides that, you can find a 6 axis IMU, which makes this board perfect for simple vibration alarm systems, pedometers, the relative positioning of robots, etc.
3. Raspberry Pi Zero W
The Raspberry Pi Zero W is a powerful mini-computer that comes with wireless LAN and Bluetooth connectivity. The Raspberry Pi Zero W extends the Pi Zero family. Launched at the end of February 2017, the Pi Zero W has all the functionality of the original Pi Zero but comes with added connectivity for developing IoT applications. If you want to build a more powerful IoT application like a gateway at the same time want to keep the cost and power consumption low than this might be the perfect board for you.
4. ESP32 Pico Kit
ESP32-Pico-Kit is an ESP32-based mini development board produced by well known Espressif. The core of this board is ESP32-PICO-D4 – a System-in-Package (SiP) module with complete Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionalities. Compared to other ESP32 modules, ESP32-PICO-D4 integrates many peripheral components in one single package like 40 MHz crystal oscillator, 4 MB flash, Filter capacitors, RF matching links, etc. which makes it very useful for building IoT product out of the box.
5. Particle Argon
Particle.io is a well known new age IoT company that is providing a full-stack IoT solution for anyone to get started and build a great IoT product. Particle.io provides hardware development boards, connectivity options from cellular to mesh, and power cloud to manage a fleet of devices, store data, and perform analytics.
Particle’s Argon is a powerful Wi-Fi enabled development board that can act as a standalone Wi-Fi endpoint. It is based on the Nordic nRF52840 and has built-in battery charging circuitry so it’s easy to connect a Li-Po. All Particle Hardware is designed from the ground up to work with the Device Cloud; a powerful set of tools and infrastructure to build, connect and manage your IoT fleet. All Particle customers get 10 free micro networks using a Wi-Fi or Ethernet gateway. A micro network is defined as a network with 10 total devices and a single gateway.
6. Pycom WiPy 3.0
Pycom WiPy 3.0 is an enterprise-grade micro-python enabled IoT development board by Pycom. It has a Wifi range of 1km and also supports Bluetooth capabilities. It works using a state-of-the-art Espressif ESP32 chipset and dual processor. Pycom is on a mission to remove barriers and speed up all aspects of IoT development. Pycom also provides end-to-end IoT platform support from hardware to connectivity to cloud, security, and dev tools. Everything under one umbrella.
If you are deciding to go with pycom or particle, however, the development board cost might be higher than other boards but they will provide you with full support to take your project to live in few days as compared to others. I would highly encourage you to try out these two options if you have money and want to quickly prototype and want to do a quick POC. Later you can optimize the cost with other dev boards or building your own niche solution.
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