The aboriginal BeagleBone Black.
The bazaar for bargain single-board computers is acceptable one of the best decidedly aggressive spaces in the tech industry. On the heels of the million-selling Raspberry Pi, a array of companies and baby groups started creating their own tiny computers for programmers and hobbyists.
Today we accept a new aspirant that may accommodate the best blast for the blade for abounding types of users. It’s alleged the BeagleBone Black and it’s the latest in the band of “Beagle” accessories that aboriginal appeared in 2008, address of Texas Instruments. On auction now for $45, BeagleBone Black sports a 1GHz Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor from Texas Instruments, up from the 720MHz processor acclimated in the antecedent $90 BeagleBone appear in 2011. (Edit: While the acquirement articulation is live, the accessory may not be attainable until tomorrow morning. It will additionally be attainable at BeagleBoard.org/buy.)
Beagle’s “open” accouterments aesthetics agency all of the chips and designs are attainable to the public, so anyone with the appropriate accessories and ability could accomplish their own.
Using an ARMv7 processor instead of the Pi’s ARMv6 one, BeagleBone can run Ubuntu or added Linux distributions as able-bodied as Android. It additionally provides added inputs and outputs than the Pi for aing to sensors and added accessories bare to body robots and electronics projects. The BeagleBone Black has decidedly added inputs and outputs than an Arduino Uno, and agnate numbers as the newer Arduino Due.
“This has a lot added I/Os than an Arduino Uno would have,” BeagleBoard.org co-founder Jason Kridner told Ars. “It’s a abounding gigaherz Linux desktop computer, but it has all the I/O capabilities you’d accept in a archetypal microcontroller. It absolutely bridges that gap, accumulation those two worlds together.”
Beagle has a advancing development community. There are added than 30 “capes,” or constituent boards accordant with the BeagleBone Black. These acquiesce the accessory to affix to 3D printers, DMX lighting controllers, a Geiger counter, a telerobotic submarine, LCD blow screens, and more.
Beagle runs semi-independently of Texas Instruments, which sponsors the activity with technology and its employees’ time. Kridner is a TI employee, but spends about all of his time on Beagle projects.
100,000 boards will be fabricated in the aboriginal assembly run of BeagleBone Black. The antecedent bearing awash about 50,000 to 60,000 units “at alert the amount and beneath performance,” Kridner said. He has been afraid by what developers accept done with Beagle articles so far, and abstracts it can alone get bigger with the BeagleBone Black.
“You can body 3D printers, you can body rovers, you can body drones, you can body art projects, artery lighting,” Kridner said. Beagle users are “doing software-defined radio, analytical the spectrum and wardriving, and analytic for faults in the wireless communications systems. I cannot possibly accumulate up with what everybody’s accomplishing with this board.”
The processing ability and amount aren’t the alone affidavit Kridner thinks BeagleBone Black will affect alike greater heights of hacking. The lath will be added acceptable than the antecedent version, with a MicroHDMI hookup, a pre-installed Linux distribution, and an upgraded Web interface for authoritative Arduino-like functionality.
Here’s an at-a-glance attending at the BeagleBone Black’s specs (click for a beyond view):
Although BeagleBone Black costs $10 added than a Raspberry Pi, it comes with a ability accumulation and arrangement cable admitting the Pi does not. (UPDATE: the bodies abaft BeagleBone told us the artefact would appear with a ability supply, it turns out the absolute shipments do not accommodate one.) BeagleBone Black has 2GB of on-board accumulator that’s pre-installed with Ångström Linux, and the MicroSD aperture can be acclimated for added accumulator or to cossack addition operating system. BeagleBone Black upgrades the RAM over the antecedent adaptation from 256MB of DDR2 anamnesis to 512MB of DDR3L memory.
A MicroHDMI aperture allows absolute access to TVs or monitors, admitting the antecedent adaptation appropriate users to advance to the lath from addition computer, or angle up an add-on lath acceptance video capability.
Inputs ill-fitted for electronics projects accommodate 65 agenda I/O connectors, seven analog ones, four consecutive ports, and eight pulse-width modulators.
“If you appetite to do things like motor control, to drive a motor, acquaint it to go one administration or addition direction, or how fast to go, that’s about done with a pulse-width modulator,” Kridner said.
Users can affairs all these altered inputs from a acceptable Web browser interface that’s attainable back you bung the BeagleBone into a Windows, Linux, or Mac computer. The browser interface appearance BoneScript, “a node.js-based accent accurately optimized for the Beagle ancestors and featuring accustomed Arduino function.”
This is advised to accomplish Arduino-like functionality as accessible as possible:
This isn’t the aboriginal adaptation of BoneScript, but it now has new tutorials to advice bodies apprentice to drive motors and wire up sensors.
Kridner said BeagleBone Black additionally comes pre-loaded a C compiler, multimedia libraries, a GUI conception library with the Qt framework, and added development tools.
The possibilities are about endless.
“I can use Python, I can use C, I can use Perl, all the things I’m accustomed with in a desktop accretion environment,” Kridner said. “If I appetite to accept a tweeting apprentice that chases the cat about all day, I can accomplish that.”
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