With the first being the Hislicon Kirin620 Octa Core ARM Cortex-A53 based $129 HiKey development board, http://96Boards.org is a new open hardware specification for ARM 32bit and 64bit development boards, and a Community Program for software delivery to developers, makers and OEMs. In this video, Linaro CEO George Grey describes the standardized expansion buses for peripheral I/O, display and cameras allowing the hardware ecosystem to develop a range of compatible add-on products that will work on any 96Boards product over the lifetime of the platform.The 96Boards initiative is designed to offer a single software and hardware community across multiple vendor boards supporting a range of different features. A fixed set of minimum functions including USB, SD, HDMI and standardized low speed and high speed peripheral connectors are provided. Vendors may add customized hardware and feature sets provided the minimum functions are available. Linaro expects this to extend the platform life, increase the market for add-on hardware, and accelerate open source upstreaming of support for new SoC features.
Here is the session by Linaro CEO George Grey talking further about the 96Boards hardware at Linaro Connect Hong Kong 2015: