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Improv: An Open ARM Development Board Running Mer

KDE

Published on 25 November 2013 03:28 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in KDE
8 Comments

After dabbling with a KDE Plasma Active Tablet, Aaron Siego has announced today Make Play Live's first product as the Improv. The Improv is an open-source ARM development board that runs Mer OS and is compatible with Wayland.

The Improv is a low-cost low-end ARM development board that's open-source and described by the KDE developer as "the perfect board for prototyping and creating small, powerful devices." The Improv is powered by the Allwinner A20 SoC so sadly it's just a dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor; it would have been much more interesting to see an A9 or A15 SoC, but at least the cost on the Improv is okay at $75 USD.

This "Open Hardware" ARM development board will begin to ship in January and uses Mer OS as its Linux distribution and is compatible with X.Org and Wayland environments and has been tested with the KDE Plasma Desktop as well as Plasma Active. Aaron Siego is hoping that a community will grow around this development board.

The Improv board is plug-able and consists of the CPU card itself with the Cortex-A7 1GHz dual-core SoC plus ARM Mali 400 graphics, 1GB DDR2 RAM, and 4GB of NAND flash storage. There's also an included feature board that provides a full USB 2.0 port, Gigabit Ethernet, Serial ATA 2.0, and other connectivity options. The feature board at least makes the device more interesting.

More details on the Improv can be found via Aaron's blog post and MakePlayLive.com.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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