Introduction to BeagleBone Black

To start our journey to Linux Programming world, I will introduce you a very powerful and convenient ship which can bring us to that world with very high speed, the Beagle Bone Black board.

1. What is BeagleBone Black?

BeagleBone Black is an evolution on BeagleBone platform, which is a compact, low-cost, open-source Linux computing board that can be used to build complex complex applications that interface high-level software and low-level electronic circuits.

Even though the price is very low compare to other device in same line, the capability of the BeagleBone Black is really impressive.

We can summary the essential blocks inside a BeagleBone Black board.

2. Why do we choose BeagleBone Black?

As you can see, this powerful BeagleBone Black (BBB for short) includes a lot of useful thing for our working and researching.

  • With a powerful processor 1GHz TI Sitara AM3359 ARM Cortex A8, a large memory 512 MB DDR3L @ 400 MHz RAM, a 2GB on-board eMMC and Micro SD is supported the same time, this BBB can work easily with a lot kind of Operating System:
    • Angstrom (Default)
    • Ubuntu
    • Android
    • ArchLinux
    • Gentoo
    • Minix
    • RISC OS
    • Others…
  • With two 46 pin headers, the BBB has a total of 92 possible connection points. With such an impressive list of interfaces, the BBB is a real powerhouse in this category.
    • 3 I2C buses
    • CAN bus
    • SPI bus
    • 4 timers
    • 5 serial ports
    • 65 GPIO pins
    • 8 PWM output
  • The micro HDMI connection with supported resolution: 1280×1024 (5:4), 1024×768 (4:3), 1280×720 (16:9), 1440×900 (16:10) all at 16 bit is not so impressive, but it is very enough for our UI application based on Android or QT.

3. What can we do next?

Now we can imagine almost of thing in embedded programming world can be done by using BBB:

  • Linux Programming studying: bring-up, application and kernel driver
  • Internet of Things researching
  • UI application bases on QT and Android framework
  • Audio, Video streaming application
  • Real world projects

Let companion with me in other next posts to go deep into Linux Programming world by using BBB.

4. Reference

Thanks Dr. Derek Molloy very much for the amazing book “Exploring BeagleBone: Tools and Techniques for Building with Embedded Linux

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