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BeagleBone

November 29th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Edit: The BeagleBone is now available for around $89 or ?79 – check out the distributor list at http://www.beagleboard.org/buy

BeagleBoard has recently announced an upcoming product in cooperation with Texas Instruments, which hopefully is going to help both of them to become a bigger part (and share) of the embedded hobby world, which has become pretty big recently and is currently led by the Arduino.

The BeagleBone


Their new upcoming product is called the BeagleBone

To those of you who are unfamiliar with the BeagleBoard company, they are a manufacturer of inexpensive but yet powerfull ARM development boards, capable of running embedded Linux. Their latest board, the BeagleBoard-xM, contains a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 powered board, 512MB RAM, HDMI interface, USB Host, 10/100 Ethernet, Audio and more. The price of their BeagleBoard-xM is $149.

But with their new announcement they are going to reduce the price of ARM development board, capable of running embedded Linux. With their BeagleBone, which is actually just a minimized version of the BeagleBoard-xM, the price is going to be only $89.
This new board will also contain an ARM Cortex-A8, though running only 700MHz. The board will have 256MB RAM which definitely is enough, even for doing OpenGL graphics rendering, which it can also handle.

In the table below you will find some more detailed specifications about the new board.

Features

Benefits

More than 1,400 Dhrystone MIPS using TI’s superscalar AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 microprocessors up to 720 MHz

Runs full Linux operating system with full-featured web servers, native compilers and scripting languages, video analytics libraries and much more

Two 46-pin, two-row, 0.1-inch spaced female expansion headers

Enables developers easily add off-the-shelf expansion hardware or directly breadboard connections to countless readily available peripherals

Multipurpose USB device connection with on-board hub, USB-to-serial/JTAG conversion device with software reset and reprogrammable high-speed USB device interface

Developers can plug in just one cable to power, debug and interface to their applications and not needing a JTAG emulator saves additional cost

Open GL® ES 2.0 capable 3D graphics accelerator

Achieves photo-realistic, real-time pixel-shaded graphics for gaming and 3D user interface acceleration

USB 2.0 host port that supports low, full and high speeds

Can be used for USB peripherals like keyboard, mouse, WiFi, Bluetooth®, Web cameras or USB hubs for additional expansion via on-chip USB PHY

microSD connector

Adds multiple gigabytes of storage for your boot image and data

On-chip 10/100Mbit Gigabit Ethernet

Network your network and the Internet with minimal software stacks

Four on-board LEDs

Provide user status without the need to add additional hardware

The board will be shipped with a 2GB microSD card with a preinstalled Angstrom Distribution (Linux). The Angstrom Distribution is a well known Linux distribution for embedded devices. The kernel is optimized for ARM processors, and it has a big repository (BitBaking) for checking out and making your own adjustments to everything from the Kernel to the Filesystem.
Together with the Angstrom Distribution, the SD card will also contain the Cloud9 programming IDE, which can be used to program applications for the board on the go – you simple log onto the board with a normal web browser.

The board itself will only have 4 connectors, as you see in the image. These connectors include the most usefull periphirals. Though as the board is able to generate image signals (DVI), BeagleBoard is also going to announce a “shield” which will fit right onto the board, adding a DVI port.

As this board is actually just a mini PC running Linux, this would make it a perfect and inexpensive choice for the homemaker, who want’s to make his own home-theater control system, fx by using XBMC
With the great number of I/O pins, this board stands out from all the other embedded Linux boards on the market, as this makes it possible for the embedded developer to get even closer to the hardware – which in my personal opinion is great.

We are definitely looking forward to the release of this board, which will be sometime next year (2012)

Please have a look at the video presentation by BeagleBoard.

Via: BeagleBoard and BeagleBoard flyer

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  1. December 6th, 2011 at 21:41 | #1

    The board is already at distributors. A couple of thousand have already shipped and perhaps a couple 10s of thousands by the end of January.

  2. December 6th, 2011 at 23:28 | #2

    @Jason Kridner
    Yup – I updated the post this afternoon too to inform our readers about it.

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