We have a requirement for a new application that will be used fixed, portable, and mobile. The hardware requirements drive the need for networking as well as some general purpose and special purpose interfaces. The software requirements are quite simple in comparison to many of our much larger systems with similar hardware requirements. We are not significantly restricted in choice of storage peripherals or other devices that may be needed.
We believe that a small, single board computer will meet all requirements as long as it can run Linux. We have identified the need for approximately six prototyping units to support the initial production of about 200 to 300 operational systems. Our development and deployment time frame does not drive the need for an extremely rapid product decision, and there are pre-planned upgrade cycles over the next five years. An internal group has achieved a significant head of steam in support of using the Pi 2 Model B. The support enthusiasm may be partly technical and partly the hype associated with jumping into the Pi community. The number of suppliers does appear to support our supply chain and sustainment requirements, however the Linux available for the Pi 2 does not appear to be optimal. It would be better if there were choices that include a standard Linux distribution such as CentOS.
This certainly seems like one of those situations where a trade of single board computer products is appropriate and achievable. There are products similar to the Pi 2 capable of running a more standard Linux distribution that we might consider. Does anyone have an experience-based single board computer recommendation?
Thanks in advance for any product recommendations.