Edison is a headless Linux device that comes on a board that is slightly larger than an SD Card.

On the card is

  • 1 Phone SOC (with video and audio disabled),
  • 1 GB LPDDR3 memory,
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n  
  • Bluetooth LE 2.1 + HDR
  • 4GB eMMC storage
  • Power Control Module
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Antenna
  • Micro connector for a Wi-Fi Bluetooth antenna
  • 70 pin I/O connector:
    • 13 pins for power
    • 4 pins for USB2.0
    • 9 GPIO
    • 4 GPIO w/PWM
    • 4 pins for 2 seperate I2C busses
    • 4 pins for I2S bus
    • 2 pins for UART2
    • 5 pins for SPI 
    • 4 pins for UART1
    • 8 pins for SD Card
    • 9 MISC pins
    • 4 unused

So with just a power source, you can connect to this device and start controlling it from a Linux console. 

You can design a board which you can connect your Edison to. Or you can use one of the already developed Edison boards

Currently you can use Edison as a Linux device, or as an Arduino Device (if you have the Arduino breakout board).  More operating systems will be enabled in the future.