The Azure IoT Developer Kit is an Arduino compatible Internet of Things (IoT) board with quite a few sensors, buttons, and display all built-in. The board was initially announced at the Microsoft Build 2017 conference, and is manufactured by MXChip. The first boards were made available as a very limited “Preview” at first, and then Pre-Orders could be made starting in August 2017 from a couple of different online retailers with Pre-Orders expected to start shipping September 1, 2017. However, amongst all this anticipation, there was a manufacturing delay that moved the expected shipment date to September 21, 2017. That date also came and went, but then finally on October 2, 2017 my first shipment of these boards finally arrived; basically 1 month later than the initial expected shipping date.

At first sight, the Generally Available (GA) version of the Azure IoT DevKit looks pretty much identical to the “Preview” version. Clicking on the above links will bring you to more information as to what’s on the board and what the hardware specifications are. Here’s a short summary to save you time, but I encourage you to go read those articles too.

Azure IoT Developer Kit: General Specifications

  • Arduino compatible programability
  • 128×64 OLED display
  • Integrated Wifi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Motion sensor
  • Magnetometer sensor
  • Atmospheric pressure sensor
  • Temperature and Humidity sensor
  • 2x Buttons
  • 1 RGB LED light
  • Infrared emitter

The board is manufactured by MXChip in China. Also, the branding on the packaging is branded as such. However, this is the official Azure IoT Developer Kit board from Microsoft. As a result, it is also Microsoft Azure Certified too.

Overall, the Azure IoT Developer Kit board is approximately the size of a credit card, and is a complete package ready to be used for prototyping Internet of Things solutions. Visible on the board are markings telling you where the different sensors are located on the board. There is also a Micro:bit compatible connect on the end that can be easily connected to alligator clips and other Micro:bit prototyping adapters.

There are some subtle differences between the new v1.0 board and the original v0.8 Preview board. In the following screenshot, the v0.8 Preview board is on the left, and the v1.0 GA board is on the right. On comparison you can see a few subtle differences but overall nothing major.

To make this comparison more complete the following image shows the back of the boards compared as well. There’s not much different on the back either. The most notable difference here is that the version number for the board is printed on the back. So, if for some reason you’re unsure which board you have, you can look on the back and read the version number.

Now that the v1.0 version of the Azure IoT Developer Kit (AZ3166) from MXChip finally shipping, it’ll be exciting to see what people start building with it.

Posted by Chris Pietschmann

Chris is a Microsoft MVP and has nearly 20 years of experience building enterprise systems both in the cloud and on-premises. He is also a Certified Azure Solutions Architect (both MCSD and MCSE), a trainer, and Cloud Advocate. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.

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