BeagleBoard.org has added the BeagleBone to its open source hardware platforms. The $89 development board is based on a Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 microprocessor.
It delivers bare bones hardware with access to interface signals for sensors and controls, while eliminating the need for additional equipment with a single cable development environment.
The BeagleBone uses a flexible Linux kernel that reduces complication of learning input/output (I/O) through the use of existing drivers and interface applications. It runs full-featured Linux, including native scripting and compilation tools. It also provides on-chip Ethernet–MAC, USB with PHY and A/D converters, along with other peripherals, to minimize the number of extraneous components needed and simplify design.
It can be used as a stand-alone development board or as an add-on to the existing BeagleBoard, BeagleBoard-xM or desktop computer to attach sensors and peripherals.
It has more than 60 configurable industry-standard 3.3 Volt I/Os, enabling five serial ports, two I2C buses, timers, power management modules, and SPI.
Developers also have access to the open source community, which provides a number of I/O references to help with programming.
BeagleBone simplifies hardware and software set up for the board, allowing developers to get started in five minutes with the pre-installed Angstrom Distribution and node.js with Cloud9 IDE. Using a single USB cable, developers can power their board and point the Web browser to the board for development and compatibility with Windows, Mac and Linux.
The integrated USB hub further enables additional, simultaneous low-level serial console and widely supported JTAG hardware debug connections, including TI’s Code Composer Studio integrated development environment (IDE). Starting public beta development now, on-board example libraries are available for education and rapid prototyping to further speed development.
Two 46-pin, two-row, 0.1-inch spaced female expansion headers enables developers to add off-the-shelf expansion hardware or directly breadboard connections to peripherals. A 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 provides photo-realistic, real-time pixel-shaded graphics for gaming and 3D user interface acceleration.
The USB 2.0 host port that support low, full and high speeds and can be used for USB peripherals like keyboard, mouse, WiFi, Bluetooth, web cameras or USB hubs for additional expansion via on-chip USB PHY. A microSD connector adds multiple gigabytes of storage for boot image and data. On-chip 10/100Mbit Gigabit Ethernet is also included.
Four on-board LEDs provide user status without the need to add additional hardware.