The number one question everyone is asking us is "Guys, but what is the difference between Black Swift and Raspberry Pi?". Both are very small computers running Linux, so why anyone should choose Black Swift instead of more popular and well-known Raspberry Pi?

Of course, they are different - and significantly different.

Raspberry Pi as most people and engineers know it - is, in fact, very small personal computer. It has all the corresponding features - in the first place, full set or I/O ports: full-sized USB connectors, HDMI, Ethernet, audio... It's ok if you want to build media player or smart home control center or simple NAS, but every magic comes with a price - RPi looks small only compared with conventional computers. But if you need an embedded computer, Raspberry Pi is quite big - 6x9 cm, including connectors.

(source: wikipedia)

It means that in most cases you just can't fit RPi in existing appliances nor use it as core computing module to develop something new - RPi is way too big for that. RPi is an external device, not embedded. Moreover, usually you don't need all those connectors nor huge computing power - at least because with embedded electronics you need to place user-accessible connector on the outer case of you device, not on the computing core deep inside it.

There's another version of Raspberry Pi - Raspberry Pi Compute Module — computing module in the size of laptop memory module. But it has its own limitations - mainly it is necessity to use some kind of motherboard with SODIMM connector, and then lack of wireless interface (though even the big RPi doesn't have Wi-Fi onboard).

With Black Swift we decided to try another way: create computing module, on the one part, close to the ideal for engineers (why, we are engineers and we made it for ourselves!), and on the other part, simple and easy to use - so even enthusiasts with a little experience in embedded electronics will be able to start with it without any hassle. And for professionals easiness matters too - it means shorter path between idea and first working prototype.

So Black Swift was born. Small (just a bit bigger than regular SD memory card and almost 2 times smaller than regular SODIMM), with onboard Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, very handy and convenient as central computing and communication core for wide range of electronics developments. And at the same time all you need to start using it is 5 V DC adapter with microUSB connector - smartphone charger will do.

There are solutions similar to Black Swift - not only RPi CM, but devices like Carambola, VoCore and Intel Edison. Unfortunately, they are not without weaknesses - for example, Carambola 2 and Edison can't work without some kind of motherboard and are not open source, and VoCore due to its Ralink chipset and SDR memory has limited performance.

Besides microUSB, Black Swift is equipped with two standard 2-rows 1.27 mm connectors (PLLD type), so it is not only undemanding to the motherboard's type and technology, but you can mount it in different ways - you can make it removable or solder to the motherboard, aligned with it or perpendicular, or even use thin wires to connect it instead of inflexible connectors.

Speaking of specs, Black Swift is ahead of most competitors as well - 16 MB NOR flash and 64 MB DDR2 RAM are enough for vast majority of projects, even the most complex ones.

Actually, we see Black Swift as the ideal choice for smart home automation and Internet of things, no matter are we talking about upgrading existing devices or creating something new. High performance, ready to use onboard Wi-Fi with PCB antenna, easiness of use and programming as well as possibility to gradually increase complexity of your project using the same computing module on every stage - all these features can hardly be overestimated.