EdgePro's Eponymous EdgePro1 Is a LuaJIT-Based Dev Board and DIY Portable Computer

Designed to be programmed in Lua with the speed of native C, the EdgePro1 can be converted into a portable PC via carrier board.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months agoHW101

Slovenian electronics company EdgePro is looking to launch its compact LuaJIT development board, the EdgePro1, via crowdfunding — and to showcase its capabilities has designed a carrier board to create a compact computer.

"The main advantage of the EdgePro1 is the full use of the LuaJIT interpreter to develop and execute programs written in the Lua scripting language," EdgePro's Jernej Turnsek explains of the board's features. "The LuaJIT interpreter uses just-in-time (JIT) techniques to approach the execution speeds of native C programming when possible."

Measuring just 32×16mm (around 1.26×0.63"), the breadboard-friendly EdgePro1 is built around an NXP Semi i.MX RT1064 "crossover microcontroller unit" with a single Arm Cortex-M7 core running at 600MHz, 1MB of RAM, plus 4MB of on-chip flash and 8MB external QSPI flash. A u-blox NINA-W102 module provides 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity alongside an Espressif ESP32 with dual-core Tensilica processor running at 240MHz, 520kB of static RAM, and 2MB of flash. The board's 17 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins are brought out to breadboard-friendly headers on either side. A Microchip ATECC608A security coprocessor, plus a user-addressable RGB LED, complete the board's feature set.

To demonstrate the flexibility of the compact development board, EdgePro has also designed the EdgeProMX carrier, which turns it into a functional portable computer — complete with mechanical keyboard. "It is a 231×132mm (around 9.1×5.2") PCB with through-hole technology and every footprint you need to build a complete DIY computer based on the EdgePro1," Turnsek explains. "It has been specifically designed for easy home soldering."

"The EdgeProMX footprint boasts easily identifiable areas to solder on your own 48-key mechanical ortholinear keyboard, a low-power sunlight-readable 400 by 240 monochromatic LCD module, a rotary switch, a toggle switch, exchangeable batteries, and a development area for prototyping," Turnsek continues. "For debugging purposes a standard JTAG/SWD connector can be added as well."

The company is seeking to bring the EdgePro1 and EdgeProMX to the masses via a soon-to-launch crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Supply, though at an as-yet undisclosed price point. Schematics and bills of material for the hardware, meanwhile, are available on GitHub under an unspecified open-source license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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