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BeagleBone™ Black Wireless - BeagleBoard’s Latest Development Board

10/10/2016 | By Maker.io Staff

Based on the extremely successful open-source BeagleBone™ Black hardware design, BeagleBone™ Black Wireless is a high-expansion, maker-focused, community-supported open hardware computer created by the BeagleBoard.org Foundation. Leveraging a partnership with Octavo Systems, BeagleBone™ Black Wireless is the easiest to use and modify credit-card sized IoT Linux computer out in the market.

BeagleBone™ Black Wireless was designed with maximum connectivity in mind, taking in some of the features of the Seeed BeagleBone Green Wireless development board. BeagleBoard.org have traded in the 10/100 Ethernet port from BeagleBone Black for a high-performance 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz WiFi module with Bluetooth connectivity much like the BeagleBone™ Green Wireless from Seeed. Similar to the BeagleBone™ Black, Wireless keeps much of the original and popular features such as, HDMI output, serial debug port, PC USB interface, USB 2.0 host, reset and power buttons, and adds two more status LEDs for WiFi and Bluetooth. Also retained is the 4GB of onboard eMMC memory with the latest version of Debian Linux pre-installed, allowing BeagleBone™ Black Wireless to boot in around 10 seconds allowing an out of the box solution, developing through your web browser in less than 5 minutes using just a single USB cable.

BeagleBone™ Black Wireless also introduces the Octavo Systems OSD3358 SiP (system-in-package) which integrates BeagleBone™ functionality into one easy-to-use BGA package. The board is open source much like all the other family of boards and this is an important factor at BeagleBoard.org. This combination of an easy to use system-in-package and affordable design tools brings an entire new level of access for makers wanting to make their own customized variations for their projects or commercial use.

Octavo Systems OSD3358 SIP

Figure 1 : Octavo Systems OSD3358 SIP

BeagleBone™ Black Wireless is fully software, hardware and mechanically compatible with BeagleBone™ Black, and is even compatible with all existing BeagleBone™ Black capes for hardware expansion, integration, and peripherals.

Key Features

  • Utilizes Octavo Systems OSD3358 with integrated 1GHz TI AM335x processor, 512MB DDR3 RAM, power management and over 100 supporting passive devices in a single system-in-package device
  • Open hardware created in CadSoft EAGLE utilizing readily available components for easy and affordable customization
  • Electrical and mechanical compatibility with BeagleBone™ Black, but with the addition of a TI® WiLink™ 8 WL1835MOD 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz WiFi, Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart Module to enable maximum wireless connectivity and BeagleBone™ Black compatibility

Hardware Specification

  • Processor (Integrated in the OSD3358):
    • AM335x 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A8:
      • SGS530 3D graphics accelerator
      • NEON general-purpose SIMD engine with floating-point acceleration
      • 2x PRU 32-bit 200MHz microcontrollers
    • Memory:
      • 512MB DDR3 800MHz RAM (Integrated in the OSD3358)
      • 4GB 8-bit eMMC on-board flash storage with Debian pre-installed
      • microSD card slot
  • Software compatibility:
    • Debian pre-configured with Cloud9 IDE on Node.js with BoneScript library
    • Third-party support of Android, Ubuntu and many more upon open source Linux kernel
    • Non-operating-system-based peripheral support vi TI StarterWare library
  • Connectivity:
    • TI® WiLink™ 8 WL1835MOD 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz WiFi, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Smart Module
      • 2x2 MIMO
      • AP
      • SmartConfig
      • Wi-Fi Direct
      • Mesh over Wi-Fi based on 802.11s
      • Bluetooth 4.1 with Bluetooth Low-energy
    • High-speed USB 2.0 client port for serving files, network connections and more to a host PC providing both power and a development interface
    • High-speed USB 2.0 host port with type-A socket and support for 500mA HS/FS/LS devices
    • Serial port access for UART0 with populated 6-pin 3.3V TTL header
    • Audio/video output
      • HDMI type-D (microHDMI) connector
      • Stereo/multi-channel audio over HDMI
      • Parallel LCD interface, I2S digital audio signals and touch screen controller via cape expansion headers
  • Power management:
    • TPS65217C power-management IC and system LDO regulator (Integrated in the OSD3358)
    • Input via microUSB, 5V DC jack or 5V DC via expansion header
  • Debug support: optional 20-pin cTI JTAG header and serial header
  • User input/output:
    • Reset button
    • Boot button
    • Power button
    • 4 user configurable LEDs; WiFi and BT enable LEDs; power LED
  • Expansion header (cape header -- BeagleBone Black compatible):
    • 65 digital I/O with general purpose I/O, SPI, I2C, PWM, CAN, UART, SD, quadrature encoders and more
    • 7 analog inputs
    • Power in/out

The BeagleBone™ Black Wireless uses the same WiLink 8 technology as the BeagleBone™ Green Wireless development board by Seeed. The Wireless module offers advance power saving features as well as improved signalling and stable connectivity between devices. As previously mention when talking about the BeagleBone™ Green Wireless development board the additional wireless connectivity on the BeagleBone™ board is a much welcomed feature, allowing developers to be more creative when designing IoT projects.

The Octava SIP offers a better solution for manufacturing, reducing cost and improving design and efficiency in rapid prototyping. The Octava OSD3358 SIP is a multi-chip module made up of the memory, processor, LDO voltage regulator, and over 100 passive components.

Octavo OSD3358 SIP Block Diagram

Figure 2: Octavo OSD3358 SIP Block Diagram

OSD3358 Development Board

GHI OSD3358 Development Board

Figure 3: GHI OSD3358 Development Board

GHI Electronics, Octavo’s leading manufacturing partner have created a development board for getting started with the OSD3358 SIP. The board includes the OSD3358-512M-BAS devices as well as a number of peripherals, interfaces and a capacitive touchscreen making it the ideal starting point for any project. The development board can be powered through USB or by connecting a DC power jack to the board.

Summary

BeagleBoard.org have formed a great partnership with Octavo Systems and as a result have designed a development board that makers will love and developers will loath. With the maker market changing so rapidly its important form manufacturers to keep up with hardware trends and now the BealgeBone™ Black Wireless can be a great contender for the IoT market.

Jason Krinder, (09-26-16). Meet BeagleBone™ Black Wireless, the newest board in the BeagleBone™ family. Retreived from https://beagleboard.org/blog/2016-09-26-meet-beaglebone-black-wireless/