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BeagleBone Black Released With 1GHz Cortex-A8 For Only $45

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the waiting-for-eoma-68 dept.

Android 142

DeviceGuru tipped us to the release of the latest single board computer from Beagle Board. It's been two years since the previous BeagleBone was released, and today they've released the BeagleBone Black (including full hardware schematics) at a price competitive with the Raspberry Pi ($10 more, but it comes with a power brick). Powered by a Cortex-A8, it has 512M of DDR3 RAM, 2G of onboard eMMC, two blocks of 46 I/O pins, a pair of 32-bit DSPs, the usual USB host/client ports, Ethernet, and micro-HDMI (a much requested feature). Support is provided for Ångstrom GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, and Android out of the box. Linux Gizmos reports where some of the cost savings came from: "According to BeagleBoard.org cofounder Jason Kridner, interviewed in a Linux.com report today, cost savings also came from removing the default serial port as well as USB-to-serial and USB-to-JTAG interfaces, and including a cheaper single-purpose USB cable. (Three serial interfaces are available via the expansion headers.) In addition, the power expansion header for battery and backlight has been removed."

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142 comments

Already read about this on arstechnica.com (-1, Flamebait)

toygeek (473120) | about a year ago | (#43523595)

Is slashdot just mirroring arstechnica now? So often I find that /. has stories that ARS had at least a day before. Its becoming more common for me to read ARS before I read /. Sign of the times?

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (5, Insightful)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about a year ago | (#43523617)

Slashdot is an aggregation/discussion site. Of course it's going to have stories after site X, because that's the very nature of a site that aggregates news.

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (0)

Azmodan (572615) | about a year ago | (#43523693)

+1 Wow, High UID & excellent comment? Impressive

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#43523803)

+1 Wow, High UID & excellent comment? Impressive

In what way is 1056246 a high UID? It's up to over 2.5 million now. He's probably been hear for 6 or 7 years by now.

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (4, Funny)

deathlyslow (514135) | about a year ago | (#43523905)

Oh get off my lawn you young whipper snappers. :P

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about a year ago | (#43524107)

Here we go. Awaiting the 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 digit responses...

Thank god we don't have a postcount on this site.

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (1)

higuita (129722) | about a year ago | (#43524297)

On my time you would get a ping of dead just for that comment!! damn kids! ;)

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (2)

kraut (2788) | about a year ago | (#43524311)

Always happy to oblige the young ones.

I think you'll find that's _my_ lawn ;)

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (1)

rjstanford (69735) | about a year ago | (#43524157)

Kids today... what ever happened to dip switches with your chips?

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43524443)

Kids today... what ever happened to dip switches with your chips?

We'll have none of that smut here, thank you very much.

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (1)

Inda (580031) | about a year ago | (#43524357)

One day I'll get my chance to post that... and you'll all be sorry.

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (2)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about a year ago | (#43524011)

5, according to my user page, although I lurked for a number of years before I made an account. Regardless of that, the idea that a certain UID (or age) is necessary to have insight into this industry is ridiculous. I know a number of brilliant programmers and IT folks who are younger than me. Experience is great, but it's not the only factor that goes into making someone competent.

Re:Already read about this on arstechnica.com (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523717)

But Slashdot is mainly an aggregation-driven community site.

It is only every so often that there is product reviews, event reviews, interviews and the like.
And when there is, many people begin shouting viral or slashvertising. (not that either are bad when most times the product in question is actually pretty good and completely in line with what we love here)

slashdot is... (1)

mevets (322601) | about a year ago | (#43524055)

aggrandize ... enhance the reputation of (someone) beyond what is justified by the facts...

aggregate ... pieces of broken or crushed stone or gravel...

Seems either is appropriate.

Missing in action. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523597)

Still no SATA and no GigaE.

Re:Missing in action. (4, Informative)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year ago | (#43523721)

The inclusion of SATA and GigaE would presumably drive the price up to a point they don't think would let them compete with the Raspberry Pi. That will change though, and I'm very looking forward to that time. As soon as SATA and GigaE can be included at around the same price point, these devices suddenly become a viable basis for a whole wealth of serious storage and network devices. The only reason I don't use the Raspberry Pi for anything more serious than a media server on my network is because of the limitations of its USB throughput for both storage and networking.

Re:Missing in action. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523809)

Everywhere this is being discussed, there's an astroturfer popping up with the same GigaE complaint. They're working from a script.

Re:Missing in action. (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year ago | (#43523869)

That may be so but it does not stop it from being a very valid point, especially for a lot of slashdot users. I like my Raspberry Pi and I really like the look of this new Beagle device. If it had SATA and GigaE for around the same price, I'd love it even more.

Re:Missing in action. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43524091)

It's not a valid point. If you need those buy a micro iTX board..

What's next, you guys going to complain that Arduino doesnt have SATA, USB3.0 and GigaE? If you think that these boards need that, then you have no clue as to what you are doing.

Re:Missing in action. (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year ago | (#43524259)

You're misunderstanding what I said. I like the Raspberry Pi and this new Beagle device. Really, they're great, and I can see a gazzillion uses for them where they are just perfect, some of which I plan to use them for myself.

All I am saying with regard to SATA and GigaE is that when the time comes they can be included at that price point, the scope for these devices being used as more serious network / storage devices expands greatly. Yes, I know their intended use does not necessarily include some of the things I'm thinking of and that's just fine, they do what they do very well. I'm simply looking forward to when the natural evolution of these devices includes those extra features at a sub $50 price. That will most likely happen in the next 12 to 18 months.

Re:Missing in action. (2)

jockm (233372) | about a year ago | (#43525179)

So look, I will give you that eSata would be nice, but you couldn't do it for the same BOM. The connector and controller will drive the price up. So let us give up this fiction/pipedream that you could produce it for the same price. In the future, maybe, but right now? no.

But as for Gigabit Ethernet, just how much data do you think you can pump though a single core 1GHz ARM? What are you doing that 100Mbit isn't enough? Or is this just some kind of megapixel war thinking that bigger is better? I think you would have a hard time proving that GigaE has enough demand to make a difference for the fast majority of [BeagleBone] users.

Re:Missing in action. (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about a year ago | (#43525501)

So look, I will give you that eSata would be nice, but you couldn't do it for the same BOM. The connector and controller will drive the price up. So let us give up this fiction/pipedream that you could produce it for the same price. In the future, maybe, but right now? no.

If you read what I said, you'll notice I said I look forward to the time (as in, the future) when SATA and GigaE can be included at that price point. Not now, but in 12 to 18 months when it should be feasible.

But as for Gigabit Ethernet, just how much data do you think you can pump though a single core 1GHz ARM? What are you doing that 100Mbit isn't enough? Or is this just some kind of megapixel war thinking that bigger is better?

There are other devices with similar ARM processors that can handle gigabit. I don't know if the CPU in this Beagle device could do so, but again, in a year or so, a similar priced CPU would hopefully be able to. As for uses, there are many, but if you agree that SATA woud be useful then I'm sure you could understand why people may want faster than 100Mb/s network connectivity to go with it.

I think you would have a hard time proving that GigaE has enough demand to make a difference for the fast majority of [BeagleBone] users.

Yeah, I agree with this and that's why the Beagle / Pi is what it is for now. I've no complaints with that either, but future SoCs with GigaE and SATA will get down to the same price point eventually and no doubt we'll see these devices sporting that functionality in a year or so.

Re:Missing in action. (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about a year ago | (#43524523)

It's not a valid point. If you need those buy a micro iTX board..

What's next, you guys going to complain that Arduino doesnt have SATA, USB3.0 and GigaE? If you think that these boards need that, then you have no clue as to what you are doing.

I have a DNS-323 NAS device. It's an ARM based low power server with SATA and GigE. It's worked for years, but it is getting out dated. Even though it has GigE and a reasonable HDD I can only push 13MiB/s. Plus, it doesn't properly support 4k IO. I would really like to see an open source and open hardware version of this. I've searched around for SATA and GigE on ARM a couple years ago and you could find one or the other but not both.

The commercial alternatives are $200-800 without drives so there is room to bump the price.

By the way, if you'll never need more than 640k of memory why does this thing have 512MB?!!! Seems a little over kill already... so why not go one step further :)

Re:Missing in action. (1)

mk1004 (2488060) | about a year ago | (#43525891)

Can a Pi even utilize a GigaE anywhere close to its limits? I'd think that even 100M would be idle a good percentage of the time.

Re:Missing in action. (2)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about a year ago | (#43524421)

Everywhere this is being discussed, there's an astroturfer popping up with the same GigaE complaint. They're working from a script.

The other guys were given scripts!? I was freelancing the whole time... where can I join this "astroturfer" group you speak of?

Re:Missing in action. (1)

ardor (673957) | about a year ago | (#43524879)

Possibly, yes. I can see how the Beagleboard and the Pandaboard split up use cases, the Beagleboard for the lower end, the Pandaboard for the higher end.

BTW, the CuBox platform [solid-run.com] has Serial ATA and Gigabit Ethernet, and comes with a case. It does cost considerably more, though (about $120).

Re:Missing in action. (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#43523739)

Still no SATA and no GigaE.

OK I get the SATA but do you really need GigaE for a 1GHz cortex? I think it would be hard to find a real-life case where network throughput was a bottleneck.

Re:Missing in action. (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year ago | (#43524019)

The CPU the used has two 10/100/1000 ports built in. Consider that the BCM4716 running at 480mhz shifts over 100mbs acting as the firewall at my house. 100bt does not cut it these days.

Re:Missing in action. (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year ago | (#43524131)

The CPU the used has two 10/100/1000 ports built in. Consider that the BCM4716 running at 480mhz shifts over 100mbs acting as the firewall at my house. 100bt does not cut it these days.

Not a troll, seriously, but do you really push 100mbit through the firewall, at your house? It might have 100mbit ports on either side but how often do you (or can you even) draw down 100mbit from the public side?

Re:Missing in action. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43524681)

Well, at least one company in Germany advertises 100Mb/s internet. Assuming they deliver what they promise (I don't use them, 16Mb is enough for my purposes), it is indeed possible to draw 100Mb/s from the public side.

Re:Missing in action. (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year ago | (#43524707)

Well it's gigabit for starters. I have a 105mbs inbound plan that bursts to 210 for a short while. I run nightly backups from some remote servers and can hit 104 for hours. During the day it's just the odd spike to 200 ish. Sure I'm an outlying user but current gen cable plants can easily exceed 100mbs to a given end user, Google and others are pushing full gigabit.

My rarely used cable card tuner needs more than 100mbs (potentially not with the way they compress the hell out of it) to talk to my DVR. Granted that a8 is not going to decompress 1080i/p without some help but it could shift the bits about to do so.

All in all there is no real cost of gigabit in new hardware. At best 100mbs is barely adequate today this is a new CPU there is little to no nominal cost to gigabit (potentially a savings as 100bt mii and similar interfaces getting more expensive than there gig counterparts due to volume). Servers are starting to ship with 10ge standard, gigabit is the new desktop speed, and 100bt is relegated to legacy devices getting aged out of production.

Re:Missing in action. (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43524737)

I pay $38/month and have pulled down in excess of 52Mbs according to my logs. Now that's not 100... but if I'm looking to buy some hardware for my next firewall, I'm going to be thinking 5 or 10years down the road and exceeding 100Mbs seems likely. My current setup can do gigabyte transfers, why would I downgrade? I don't think me hitting Gig speeds is in the near future but going over 100 definitely is.

Re:Missing in action. (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | about a year ago | (#43525727)

Not a troll, seriously, but do you really push 100mbit through the firewall, at your house?

Depends on where you live, I guess. In these parts (northern Europe) it's pretty normal to have reasonably-priced >100mbps broadband connections that really do perform at >100mbps.

I get full speed when downloading things distributed via top-tier CDNs, like Apple/Microsoft/Firefox/Chrome updates and so on. Also the link is easily saturated by bittorrent.

Re:Missing in action. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43524345)

>The CPU the used has two 10/100/1000 ports built in.
They only have the Ethernet MAC inside the SoC, but don't have the Ethernet PHY which requires a separate chip (probably require a different process optimized for analog circuits). So it is not exactly free.

Re:Missing in action. (2)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year ago | (#43524701)

The Pi has set a new benchmark for how cheap this sort of device "should" be. Other than the slight processor upgrade and the addition of the emmc nearly every change had cost-cutting as at least part of the reason behind it to bring the device down from "twice the cost of a Pi" to "slightly more expensive than the Pi but in the same ballpark".

I suspect the extra cost of a gigabit phy and magjack over a 10/100 phy and magjack fitted neither the budget nor the goals of the device.

Re:Missing in action. (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about a year ago | (#43524119)

Still no SATA and no GigaE.

Why not complain that it has no 802.11n wifi OR bluetooth... I mean it's like they want you to just sit in a corner by YOURSELF all day with the damn thing.

rs-232 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523635)

Many , like i do , need the rs-232 for hardware control of LCD panels , projectors and related equipment.
Loosing a port like this disqualifies the controller for AV automation. Sign of times ? yeah it's a 10 cents chip .

 

Re:rs-232 (1)

Urban Garlic (447282) | about a year ago | (#43523785)

FTFS: "Three serial interfaces are available via the expansion headers." So it's a connector and a few minutes of soldering.

Re:rs-232 (1)

theMAGE (51991) | about a year ago | (#43523937)

No, the signals on the headers are TTL level, not 12V needed for RS-232. You need a TTL to Serial adapter or one of the FTDI CDC USB-to-TTL adapter such as this: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9873 [sparkfun.com]

Re:rs-232 (2)

ajlitt (19055) | about a year ago | (#43524727)

To be fair most people that need that serial port either are interfacing with 3.3V logic or have a pile of 3.3V->USB serial converters in their junk box. At least the BeagleBone follows the FTDI convention so that many of the off-the-shelf converters will Just Work, unlike the competition.

Re:rs-232 (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43524101)

If you use this for AV automation, you are already on the fail train. Buy a low end real controller designed for AV integration and call it done instead of cobbling things together.

The Pi - overpriced on this side of the pond (2)

MadX (99132) | about a year ago | (#43523649)

Coming from South Africa, I am disappointed that the Rasberry Pi is so expensive. Hopefully these boards will be better priced here ..

I had a ticket in the "queue" to order an RPi. When my turn came - would cost R 650-00 (Dollar was around 8.42 at the time so close to $ 80 USD) - I passed.

Re:The Pi - overpriced on this side of the pond (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#43523709)

Odd thing is, the RPi guys are on that same side of the pond.. unless you were talking about the Mediterranean Sea.

Re:The Pi - overpriced on this side of the pond (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523741)

If that was $80 delivered including taxes, then it doesn't seem such a terrible price.

Re:The Pi - overpriced on this side of the pond (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523787)

I'd say they're underpowered.
When are devices like these getting power over ethernet, Gigabit, and 2GB or more RAM?

Imagine the density you could achieve in 1U with a 48-port switch [netgear.com]. A cluster of those could achieve 48GB of redundant storage with 20Gbit sustained throughput for both reads and writes and only consume 110 watts of power (excluding the switch). It would be a *lot* cheaper than buying SSDs and work great for an object store like memcached.

Re:The Pi - overpriced on this side of the pond (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523957)

$25USD. Recommend you stop using shitty exchanges.

Re:The Pi - overpriced on this side of the pond (1)

The Pea! (323436) | about a year ago | (#43524555)

Have you seen if RS / Farnell ship to you?, Amazon resell directly from RS too (last time I purchased one it was in RS packaging).

PowerVR GPU == Closed Source (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523667)

It appears to have a PowerVR GPU, (SGX530) this means close source GPU driver goodness.

http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/sprs717f/sprs717f.pdf

Re:PowerVR GPU == Closed Source (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year ago | (#43523835)

Considering that there's not really any Open Source GPUs in the ARM SoC space (yet...), it's a valid complaint, but it shouldn't be a show stopper.

To be sure, I'm a bit surprised Qualcomm or ARM hasn't stepped up to that plate- they're selling hardware and the mojo is in the cores themselves. And, in the case of Qualcomm, I'm fairly sure the original IP rights holder (AMD) wouldn't be to touchy about them opening the Adreno up.

Re:PowerVR GPU == Closed Source (2)

Narishma (822073) | about a year ago | (#43524017)

Even though the interesting parts of the RPi's GPU drivers remain closed source (the parts that run on the GPU), they have opened up enough of it that the drivers can easily be ported to different operating systems, or even used without an OS. It's not much but it's still better than the rest of the ARM SoCs.

Re:PowerVR GPU == Closed Source (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43525051)

To be sure, I'm a bit surprised Qualcomm or ARM hasn't stepped up to that plate- they're selling hardware and the mojo is in the cores themselves. And, in the case of Qualcomm, I'm fairly sure the original IP rights holder (AMD) wouldn't be to touchy about them opening the Adreno up.

Except there's probably tons of third party IP still in the cores and tons of patented stuff in the drivers, so opening it up isn't possible.

I'm sure these guys would love to open things up - their main goal is to sell more chips, after all.

OTOH, other than the FOSS market, there isn't much demand - most users of these chips don't bother needing the specifics of the code - they'd just take it and lump it into their product as-is.

BUT WILL IT DRIVE CENTRONICS EQUIPMENT ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523691)

I need to know if My Daisy Wheel Will Rise Again !!

Re:BUT WILL IT DRIVE CENTRONICS EQUIPMENT ?? (3, Informative)

psergiu (67614) | about a year ago | (#43523775)

Yes it will ... it has 65x GPIO, you add the required level converters and use a bit-banging driver.

Or you can get a cheap USB-Parallel adapter if you just want to print.

Can we get a cluster board? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523715)

I know there's a kickstarter project for a 64 core parallel computer, (with Arm as the controller):
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/adapteva/parallella-a-supercomputer-for-everyone/

But that's micro-cores, I really want a finished scalable ARM Parallel computer, an OUYA for Parallel computing ARM. This Beagleboard looks a good spec and a good price, but can't you now make it stackable with a controller and OpenCL? (Or maybe Android can support it, it seems to have deep support for threading).

So I can buy and keep adding cores as I want?

LinuxGizmos and Beagleboard slashdotted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523729)

Well Beagleboard is at the time of writing, LinuxGizmos have put up a static page until the hit rate slackens.

It may be faster and cheaper, but its an ugly looking sod.

Not DSPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523747)

It has two real-time (in-order, non-pipelined) integer cores which both exclude multiply. These are not DSPs by any stretch of the imagination.

try hardkernel stuff instead (2)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43523753)

Price of the board doesn't matter much compared to accessories needed, your time, etc. There's a bunch of overpriced boards within $250-$450, but you can get a nice 4*2.0 GHz, 2GB ram [hardkernel.com] one for $89 (plus at least a $9 non-standard power brick). A wee bit better than 1-core 1.0GHz BeagleBone in this article.

The specs sheet says 1.7GHz that can be overclocked to 2.0, but one I got was already at 2.0 the first time I plugged it in.

There's only one big shameful downside: the graphics card supports only vertical resolutions of 720 and 1080, thus requiring a monitor of utterly useless proportions. My rasPi has seen around half an hour of monitor time total, so I guess this is not a big loss.

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year ago | (#43523903)

Uh, this is differing from the Beagle in only number of cores, etc. Power consumption's a concern- the fact that this needs a heatsink means it's producing a bit of TDP over the BeagleBone. I couldn't, for example, realistically use this with several of my projects I'm working on because it consumes entirely too much power. For some of the others, it rocks and I'm going to be speccing out one of the higher-end boards for purchase a couple of months from now. This only covers the TDP, there's other aspects of this you're discounting, for what it's worth. Claiming it's shameful is only revealing you're misunderstanding the goals here. Not everything is about compute power like in the Gaming PC world and they fill differing slots in the space.

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43524237)

The A9 cores in the Odroid boards get about 2x performance per cycle than the A8 (and more like 4x compared to the rpi) while only drawing slightly more power per cycle. For something that spends 99% of its time idle the beaglebone will likely do better power wise, for anything else the more efficient cores likely will.

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43523931)

Not sure if trolling??

No GPIO. No analog inputs and outputs. No PWM. no i2c. no.... anything.

Those are great for cyanogenmod TV... but useless for everything the Beaglebone is designed to accomplish.

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43523997)

How many people use GPIO on these boards? A small, small minority. Pretty much everyone else who's not content with a media center will want a decent CPU instead. It's a fully fledged general purpose computer. Not some android toy, but something that's good enough to be one's primary machine with a real OS.

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43524547)

Are you kidding me? The majority use-case for these things are hacker/maker stuff that absolutely need GPIO (as a better replacement for Arduinos).

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43524561)

A small, small minority which both the RPi and Beagle are squarely aimed at.

Take my low power ARM board with GPIO from my cold, dead hands.

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#43524723)

How many people use GPIO on these boards? A small, small minority. Pretty much everyone else who's not content with a media center will want a decent CPU instead. It's a fully fledged general purpose computer. Not some android toy, but something that's good enough to be one's primary machine with a real OS.

The entire target market on these things is for people who use GPIO. Sure, lots of people who don't care about that end up buying them because it's a cheap tiny low power computer (half the cost of your suggested replacement), but they are designed around being device controllers, not media center PCs.

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (1)

Robert Frazier (17363) | about a year ago | (#43525031)

I've always wanted a dedicated NTP server. I now have one using a Raspberry PI, using a GPS receiver with PPS (pulse per second) clock discipline. I use the on board UART to communicated with the receiver, a GPIO line for the PPS signal, and SDA/SDC (i2c) lines for the thermal monitor attached to the system crystal (allowing the time program, chrony, to compensate for the crystal running differently at different temperatures).

(I do wish that ethernet was separate from USB.)

In any case, it wasn't until I could have a cheap, low power computer with lots of lots of I/O options that I was in a place to get the thing up and running. It works well,

----- cut here -----

Reference ID : 80.80.83.48 (PPS0)
Stratum : 1
Ref time (UTC) : Tue Apr 23 14:58:27 2013
System time : 0.000000036 seconds fast of NTP time
Last offset : 0.000000053 seconds
RMS offset : 0.000000112 seconds

----- cut here -----

Best wishes,
Bob

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43525463)

I am looking at the Beaglebone black to replace my Arduino to drive my 3d printer. The PRU circuits sound exciting. Also it comes with a power brick so its pretty cheap as a package. With the cape design these were never intended as media centers. I could see these displacing Arduino in the future.

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43525987)

Not sure if trolling??

No GPIO. No analog inputs and outputs. No PWM. no i2c. no.... anything.

Those are great for cyanogenmod TV... but useless for everything the Beaglebone is designed to accomplish.

"IO PORTs 50pin IO expansion port for LCD/I2C/UART/SPI/ADC/GPIO interfaces"

http://www.hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G135235611947

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (2)

imroy (755) | about a year ago | (#43524047)

Those hardkernel boards sure are interesting but lack the GPIO of these boards. I think a better comparison is to the Cubieboard [cubieboard.org]. It also has a 1 GHz Cortex-A8 with lots of GPIO pins, but has 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of flash and a SATA port. It's also a bit more expensive, but I'm pretty sure TI has been subsidising the Beagle boards.

Thank you sir (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43524145)

I've been looking for an Android box I can run a server app on, that ODRIOD X2, (1.7ghz quad core, Exynos4 with 2GB or Ram and Android 4.x) looks nearly perfect. Well at least when I add a 64GB flash card to store the data its crunching it will be, I see it has a 64GB module that's a 200% faster than a card too.

1080 vertically doesn't matter to me, presumably it can drive 1920x1080, the standard HD res, but I want it headless anyway.

I guess 10/100 mbps ethernet is OK, I'm currently running this on a quad core Android tablet via Wifi, so it will be a step up from wifi.

Love the robot kit too ! I guess I'm looking at $250 for a 64GB SSD, + ODRIOD X2 Android server? Maybe add $20 for a case and add a psu and some delivery.

F*** that's cheap!

http://www.hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G135235611947

I haven't been excited about computers for decades, Pi came out and I started to imagine what I could do with a quiet solid state computer, and every month something fun comes out, that's open and programmable and can do stuff. Computing is fun again, it kinda sucked for ages, now its fun. Thank you sir for pointing that out.

Instead of waiting for my cluster, I'll buy this confident in the knowledge that a cluster of Android Arm devices will probably appear next month for half the price. BUt heck $250 is nothing.

Re:Thank you sir (1)

Organic_Info (208739) | about a year ago | (#43525109)

And like the Sirens beware what looks enticing from afar - the specs are great however the biggest problem with the Samsung Exynos processors appear to be that the largest consumer for Samsung ARM SoCs is Samsung and as such their external support, particularly for opensource projects is dire.

I don't have time to provide links but go and have a trawl through the Cyanogenmod and XDA developer forums in particular the comments from the developer Codeworkx.

http://www.google.com/search?q=codeworkx+cyanogenmod+Exynos [google.com]

Support for Exynos based devices is far behind that of Qualcomm and TI OMAP that are reputed to be much more friendly to (opensource) developers.

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year ago | (#43524479)

Afaict the only way to buy the thing is direct from hardkernel in korea so that means I have to pay a pretty steep shipping charge AND then pay the carrier a fee for collecting the VAT*. Also iirc the serial console port is somewhat strange** and AIUI while some people are working on framebuffer console support it doesn't work out of the box (and even if it did the thing uses the u-boot based bootloader which you can only talk to over serial) which pretty much makes their serial debug board mandatory if you want to do any tinkering with the OS (rather than just download someone else's media center build and run it). The PSU connector is also as you say relatively unusual and the HDMI connector is a micro type. So overall even if I already have a microsd card and regular perhipherals arround the real cost ends up substantially higher (on the order of double) than the advertised price.

Don't get me wrong, I have a U2 and if you want a reasonablly affordable arm board with lots of CPU power and 2GB of ram and are prepared to put up with using USB for everything the U2 is a good buy. That is not the goal of either the beaglebone or the Pi. The Pi was designed to provide a computer cheap enough that kids could own it themselves. The beaglebone was designed for hardware hackers who want to put an embedded linux system in their project. Their designs reflect those goals.

* I also have to pay the VAT itself of course but I have to pay that regardless.
** 1.8V and on a weird connector rather than a generic pin header.

Re:try hardkernel stuff instead (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43524615)

the thing uses the u-boot based bootloader which you can only talk to over serial) which pretty much makes their serial debug board mandatory if you want to do any tinkering with the OS (rather than just download someone else's media center build and run it).

Depends on what tinkering you have in mind. I for one don't mess with the bootloader, yet otherwise the system hardly resembles the pre-made Debian image I started from. I do have a number of chroots as well, including a raspbian one, which needs 5 minutes for a build that takes 8 hours on raspberry. Yes, 5 minutes vs 8 hours. No wonders I love this box.

Dual DSP's? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43523907)

What's the "pair of 32-bit DSPs" in the summary? The NEON unit is nice, but it's not exactly a separate processor (as I understand the architecture) and there is only one. There are 2 PRU-ICSS units, but they're I/O processors, not DSP's.

Re:Dual DSP's? (1)

muridae (966931) | about a year ago | (#43523965)

I think they mistook the 2xPRU as DSP chips. They are a good way to feed data quickly to a DSP, or get data from one, but they lack certain instructions that a DSP really needs.

Re:Dual DSP's? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43524057)

I think you're right, but the PRU's, while very nice for I/O, are not even close to DSP's. I find the lack of understanding in the summary disturbing (yes, I know this is /.).

Re:Dual DSP's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43524275)

It's an OMAP, they're talking about the TMS320c55 DSPs on it.

Re:Dual DSP's? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43524581)

Actually it's not an OMAP, but I get confused about the supposed differences between TI's ARM based SoC families (OMAP, da Vinci, etc.) anyway. I think TI does too. However, not all versions of the OMAPs and other families have DSP's on them. I don't see one on the data sheet [ti.com].

embedded controller applications (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#43523995)

My organization is looking at boards like this as system controllers for a variety of products. The form factor and specs are really attractive and the prices are cheap. Beaglebone is a pretty good fit to what we need, and the addition of on-board DSPs makes it better. The biggest barrier we run into on these kinds of devices is lack of industrial-rated parts and designs. Our products run in a variety of environments, many of them that can get hot (e.g. inside a chassis with other heat-producing stuff) or cold. I understand why they don't use industrial parts on stuff for hobbyists, but there's a market out there for tiny controller boards with the same kinds of interfaces and industrial ratings.

Re:embedded controller applications (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43524115)

on-board DSPs

What DSP's? They're in the summary, but I don't see them on either the board or the chip.

The biggest barrier we run into on these kinds of devices is lack of industrial-rated parts and designs. Our products run in a variety of environments

Aye, there's the rub. I've run into the same problem. It'd be nice if they offered an industrial temp version, but considering the small size of the potential market I doubt they will. That $45 price is obviously the result of big volumes. Still, even if they had to jack up the price a few times, they could offer the industrial temp version as a specialty item. In this day and age industrial temp is really not that hard to achieve.

Re:embedded controller applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43524339)

The author of the article seems to have confused the PRU IO processors for DSPs. No DSPs here.

This stuff will only get cheaper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43524001)

Everytime I see these boards coming out (obviously the RPi was advertised EVERYWHERE), all I can think is they're gonna get even cheaper soon! Long live embedded (if we can honestly still call a 1GHz+ 32-bit machine "embedded").

The end of the evil empire. (1, Offtopic)

kurt555gs (309278) | about a year ago | (#43524083)

Things like this and Raspberry Pi will continue to grow. Microsoft can't force their " Tax " on everyone produced as they have been able to with x86 PC's. I'm sure the greedy bunch at M$ are trying to figure out how to Patent Troll every new computer manufacturer that pops up, but there will just be too many. Finally, after 30 years of oppression in the computer industry, the vile and evil Microsoft is losing their fetted rotting grip.

Makes me happy.

Question (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year ago | (#43524493)

When the RPi came out, I was disappointed that it didn't have on-board flash. Since using them in a bunch of projects, however, my opinion has flip-flopped.

Does this new Beagle-board have the option to boot from the external flash card, or must it boot from the on-board flash? TFA says "The flash frees the microSD slot for storage or loading alternate OSes ..." but does load mean boot or just that you can mount the flash drive and copy files over?

  I _like_ the fact that the identity and configuration of my RPi's are fully contained on the external flash - I can back up everything about a particular system by yanking out the flash card and copying it. I can even swap hardware with zero configuration - the boards are identical and interchangeable (plus or minus the Ethernet address).

Re:Question (1)

ajlitt (19055) | about a year ago | (#43524871)

The BeagleBone's SoC can boot from microSD as well as from USB device and serial. The chip gets configured by straps as to what devices to boot and in which order to try booting them, much like a PC BIOS. It's nigh-unbrickable.

Re:Question (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year ago | (#43525323)

According to the reference manual there is a "boot button" which will force microSD boot and it will also boot from microSD if the eMMC is "empty" (they don't seem to define exactly what is meant by "empty".

https://github.com/CircuitCo/BeagleBone-Black/blob/master/BBB_SRM.pdf?raw=true [github.com]

Re:Question (1)

ajlitt (19055) | about a year ago | (#43525417)

"empty" means that the SoC's bootrom can't find a valid 2nd stage loader. For Sitara that's either a bootloader header near the beginning of flash or a file named "MLO" on the first FAT partition that has a valid header.

removing default serial port (1)

mako1138 (837520) | about a year ago | (#43524553)

The Beaglebone has (had) this weird procedure where you plug it into USB, then "eject" it to activate a different mode. The first time I installed Beaglebone drivers is the only time it went smoothly. Later on different machines, all sorts of odd devices came up. In the end it was just easier to interact with it over SSH, so I can understand the decision to remove the USB-serial interface.

Re:removing default serial port (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about a year ago | (#43524717)

Same boat; never quite got the whole eject thing. Update seems to solve a couple issues I was having...

Hardware acceleration. (1)

kurkosdr (2378710) | about a year ago | (#43525139)

Just out of curiosity, how many of those "Android single-board computers" have functional 3D and H.264 acceleration in the drivers? This is what drive me away from Raspberry Pi: You just bought a computer that doesn't have functional accelerated drivers for any OS (Android, Debian), which is critical for ARM. There is a difference between "some geekery may be required to set it up" and "drivers are missing". IMO, until the driver situation clears, you 'll be better of with an Ouya or Gamestick. Just sayin'
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