We’ve written a fair amount about the Gumstix solution, as we believe it can be a very valuable tool in the designer’s arsenal. This includes adoption of IoT sensors for smart buildings, as well as support for various microprocessor architectures. If you’re not familiar with what Gumstix provides, the best way to describe it is as “design-to-order hardware.” You simply drag and drop your components onto a board in the easy-to-use Geppetto tool and hit “build.” Gumstix does all the rest, including shipping you working boards.
The latest news from these folks is that they’ve released the Chatterbox tool for the Colibri iMX7, a development board for Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service (AVS). With the momentum that’s building for AVS, this can provide an immediate jump-start to a design and put you on level footing with the competition.
Designed by Gumstix in Geppetto following the AVS Functional Design Guide, the Chatterbox can be deployed as a voice- or push-button activated Alexa device. The Chatterbox includes a 2.5-W speaker driver, an on-board microphone and line-in jack for high-quality audio I/O, and WiFi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet for connectivity.
In addition, a Toradex Colibri iMX7 COM connector module is now bundled into Geppetto. This is a powerful IoT SOM with an NXP i.MX7 SoC, which includes an ARM Cortex-A7 CPU and an integrated NXP Cortex-M4 microcontroller. Other features of the SoC include an audio codec, DDR3 RAM, and power regulation.
The Chatterbox development boards can be used for prototyping or they can be copied and modified in Geppetto D2O to create their own custom iMX7 AVS or IoT design in a short amount of time. Then, you go straight to ordering a board with virtually no engineering required, getting hardware with just about any popular networking connection.
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