TI launches the open source Beagle Board for £75
TI has officially launched the Beagle Board, a 3 inch by 3 inch USB powered 600MHz ARM-based system complete with DVI-D, S-Video, stereo audio in and out, SD/MMC slot and RS232 serial port, all for £75 ($149). TI is hoping to create an open source community around the Beagle Board, for professional or hobbyist engineers. To that end, they have published the hardware reference, board and layout, have brought Digikey on board to distribute the board globally, and are actively encouraging the BeagleBoard.org community.
Heise online UK saw the Beagle Board demonstrated at the LUGRadio Live event, where it was demonstrated running 720P HD video and desktop effects, which were designed to show the power of the graphics processor and DSP, above and beyond the 600MHz ARM processor all integrated into the single chip OMAP35 embedded processor. The board itself is very low power, with a maximum power consumption of 2W, the processor consuming less than half of that according to Jason Kridner of TI in our comments forum.
The Beagle Board developed from a desire within TI's engineers to make the OMAP35 more accessible. The TI commercial development kit costs around $1495, making the Beagle Board a magnitude less expensive. The difference between the two offerings is that the Beagle Board is exclusively supported by the community, rather than TI, but TI engineers do make up part of the 480 plus developer community.
Commenting on the announcement, Koen Kooi, a core developer of OpenEmbedded said, "Having access to a Beagle Board enabled me to implement support for the Cortex-A8 in the OpenEmbedded build system and the Ångström Distribution … I am eager to collaborate even more within the community to come up with some additional great applications with the Beagle Board."