Microsoft’s Michael Fourre announced on Tuesday that the company’s answer to the Raspberry Pi, the Sharks Cove developer board, is now ready for preorder for $299 on the Mouser Electronics online store. The board was first introduced and demoed by Peter Wieland and Viraf Gandi during Microsoft’s BUILD conference back in April.
“At $299, this is a board that we believe will find a home with Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) and hardware enthusiasts alike,” Fourre writes. “That price not only covers the cost of the hardware, but also includes a Windows 8.1 image and the utilities necessary to apply it to the Sharks Cove.”
The board, measuring just 4 x 6 inches, includes a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735G processor (1.33 GHz, 1.88 GHz), 1 GB of DDR3L-RS-1333 RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and an SD card slot for expanded storage. The board also has an Ethernet port, a full-size HDMI connector, a USB 2.0 type “A” connector, and a microUSB connector for debugging.
Also provided on this board are twelve (5x2) shrouded pin header connectors, one (2x10) header for sensors, two 60-pin MIPI connectors for display and camera, and five (2x2) pin headers for power. The audio is handled by a Realtek ALC5640 chip.
In addition to the board, the Sharks Cove team has launched a dedicated website for the developer board, providing the specifications, a developer’s guide, the UEFI firmware, and more. The site states that Sharks Cove is primarily used for the development of subsystems and Atom-based tablets and mobile devices. However, like the Raspberry Pi, there will likely be plenty of customers who have better plans.
“This board is the product of a lot of collaborative effort amongst various groups from Microsoft, Intel, and the product manufacturer, CircuitCo,” Fourre writes. “This ‘Windows compatible hardware development board’ is designed to facilitate development of software and drivers for mobile devices that run Windows, such as phones, tablets and similar System on a Chip (SoC) platforms.”
Mouser doesn’t provide an actual ship date for Sharks Cove. The SharksCove site says its will be available on July 28, 2014, but obviously the board has missed that launch date.