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Watch Out Raspberry Pi, Here Comes The BeagleBone Black


Written by  Sorab Ghaswalla | 25 April 2013
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beagleboneFirst there was the world’s cheapest and smallest computer, the Raspberry Pi. Now there’s another called BeagleBoneBlack. Desktop computing may well be on its way out but sure looks like the era of cheap, single motherboard PCs has just begun.

BeagleBone in the latest in the line of Beagle computing devices, and is available for US $45, just about ten bucks more than the R-Pi. We at ToolsJournal have been avidly following the developments on the Raspberry Pi front but now we have two of them to follow.

The Beagle line of computers first appeared across counters in 2008. The latest baby, the petite BBB (BeagleBone Black) has under its hood a 1GHz Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor from Texas Instruments. As compared to its earlier version, the BeagleBone, this means faster computing since the latter had a 720MHz processor. Users can boot Linux OS in 10 seconds, these guys claim. Beagle has an "open hardware” philosophy, which means all of the chips and designs are in public realm allowing anyone with a decent knowledge of hardware to make their own Beagle.

BBB has 2GB of on-board storage that's pre-installed with Ångström Linux, and the microSD slot can be used for additional storage or to boot another operating system. This computer upgrades the RAM over the previous version from 256MB of DDR2 memory to 512MB of DDR3L memory.

The Beagle brand of devices was brought out by BeagleBoard.org, which is an all-volunteer activity started-up by a collection of individuals including several employees of Texas Instruments, interested in creating powerful, open, and embedded devices.

BeagleBone can run Ubuntu or other Linux distributions as well as Android. The BBB has more I/O capability than an Arduino Uno. In fact, it is a Linux desktop computer, but has all the I/O capabilities as in a typical microcontroller.

This small device can also connect to 3D printers, DMX lighting controllers, a Geiger counter, LCD touch screens, among other equipment.

According to a report in ARSTechnica, initially, 100,000 boards will be made of the BBB.

[Image Credits: Beagleboard

Sorab Ghaswalla

Sorab Ghaswalla

Sorab Ghaswalla is the Founder of India-based digital world consultancy firm, New Age Content Services LLP, an Internet Entrepreneur & Consultant, a journalist, and owner/Editor of 2 websites. In his free time, he contemplates the larger implications of digital life.

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