Arduino Launches Portenta X8, Announces Portenta Max Carrier Development Board for Rapid Prototyping

Portenta X8 launches at $239 with immediate availability, while the Max Carrier arrives later this month at $335.

Arduino has now launched its recently-unveiled Linux-capable Portenta X8 edge AI board, while also debuting an accessory designed to simplify the prototyping stage of your projects: the Portenta Max Carrier, turning it into a single-board-computer-style all-in-one gadget.

Arduino announced the Portenta X8 back in March as its first system-on-module to arrive running the Linux kernel — making the most of a powerful nine-core computing subsystem which combines four Arm Cortex-A53 application processors, three Arm Cortex-M4 real-time cores, and two Arm Cortex-M7 microcontroller cores. Targeting a range of use-cases including the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and edge AI, the Portenta X8 is a radical shift for Arduino — and is now up to order.

Those eager to get started with the board will be pleased to hear that Arduino is also launching a carrier board, the Portenta Max Carrier — a feature-packed device, compatible with both the Portenta X8 and the older Portenta H7 board designs, which offers the features of a single-board computer in a compact footprint.

The Portenta Max Carrier includes a range of connectors including two USB Type-A female ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, an RJ11 port exposing an FD-CAN bus, a mini-PCI Express (mPCIe) slot, an RJ12 with RS232/433/485 bus, stereo audio in and out plus a dedicated microphone input, a connector for an external speaker, and a microSD slot for additional storage. For debugging, there's an on-board JLink OB/Blackmagic probe, and support for an 18650 lithium-ion battery.

The carrier goes beyond physical connections, though. The board also offers two wireless communication modules pre-installed: The Murata CMWX1ZZABZ-078 offers LoRa connectivity, while the u-blox SARA-R412M-02B handles Cat M.1 and NB-IoT cellular connections.

The Max Carrier turns a Portenta into a single-board-computer-style development platform. (📹: Arduino)

"You can combine this Arduino Pro carrier with existing Portenta modules to turn them into single-board computers or reference designs for Industry 4.0 – bringing your deployment time virtually down to zero," the Arduino team boasts of the design.

"This allows you to swiftly prototype and develop high-performance projects such as remote control of industrial machinery and equipment, smart digital kiosks that enhance users’ experience, and custom HMI dashboards to control the smart appliances, lights and systems in your home or office remotely."

The Portenta X8 is available to order now on the Arduino Store at $239 per unit; the Portenta Max Carrier will launch later this month at $335, Portenta board not included, with interested parties invited to sign up to be notified when orders go live.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
Latest articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles
Latest articles
Read more
Related articles