Open-source computer nonprofit introduces new, more powerful model

ROCHESTER—The BeagleBoard.org Foundation, the Oakland Township-based open-source computer nonprofit, has announced the availability of BeagleBone AI, the newest, fastest, most powerful BeagleBone low cost computer yet.

Built on the foundation’s open source Linux approach, BeagleBone AI fills the gap between small single board computers and more powerful industrial computers. Using the Texas Instruments Sitara AM5729 processor, developers have access to powerful machine learning capabilities with the ease of the BeagleBone Black header and mechanical compatibility.

The foundation says the new BeagleBone AI makes it easy to explore how artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used in everyday life. Through BeagleBone AI, developers can take advantage of the TI C66x digital-signal-processor cores and embedded-vision-engine cores on the Sitara AM5729 processor. Machine learning is supported by an optimized TI Deep Learning software framework and pre-installed software tools. Downloading and running the latest examples of edge inference algorithms and applications is only a few clicks away.

“This board is the answer to our community’s request to see the next major advancement in the BeagleBone family,” Jason Kridner, co-founder of the BeagleBoard.org Foundation, said in a press release. “Its feature set is jam packed and offers capabilities unparalleled by any other single board computer, open hardware or not.”

The computer features 1GB of RAM and 16GB flash hard drive with a high-speed interface, USB Type C capability, gigabit Ethernet, 2.4 and 5GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2/BLE, microHDMI video and audio output, and a zero-download out-of-box software experience. The TI processor features a dual 1.5GHz Arm Cortex-A15 microprocessor subsystem, advanced digital signal processing, graphics, and vision technology, and more.

“We believe this board will excel in everyday automation in industrial, commercial and home applications,” said Christine Long, executive director of the BeagleBoard.org Foundation. “And at an extremely competitive price point we’ve made this board available to everyone.”

BeagleBone AI is available to buy as a standalone board, heat sink and antenna included, from BeagleBoard.org’s distribution partners. The price is $125. Visit http://beaglebone.ai.

For information about BeagleBoard.org Foundation, contact Long at christi@beagleboard.org.

The BeagleBoard.org Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation existing to provide education in and collaboration around the design and use of open-source software and hardware in embedded computing. BeagleBoard.org provides a forum for the owners and developers of open-source software and hardware to exchange ideas, knowledge and experience. The BeagleBoard.org community collaborates on the development of open source physical computing solutions including robotics, personal manufacturing tools like 3D printers and laser cutters, and other types of industrial and machine controls.

BeagleBoard.org is the result of an effort by a collection of passionate individuals, including several employees of Texas Instruments, interested in creating powerful, open, and embedded devices. We invite you to participate and become part of BeagleBoard.org, defining its direction.

Support for BeagleBoard.org boards comes from the development community. Original production funding was provided by Digi-Key, a major international distributor, but distribution has now been opened up to dozens of distributors across the world. On-going funding for board prototypes has been provided by manufacturing partners. Texas Instruments generously allows Jason Kridner, community manager and software cat herder, to spend time to provide support and development of the BeagleBoard.org project as part of their duties at TI. Manufacturing partners pay volume prices for the TI (and all other) components. BeagleBoard.org licenses the use of BeagleBoard.org logos for use as part of the Manufacturer, Compliant and Compatible logo programs . BeagleBoard.org also participates as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code which pays a small fee for mentoring students. The first five BeagleBoard.org designs (BeagleBoard, BeagleBoard-xM, BeagleBone, BeagleBone Black and BeagleBoard-X15) were all executed by BeagleBoard.org co-founder Gerald Coley of EmProDesign.

All the designs are fully open source and components are available for anyone to manufacture compatible hardware. We do request contact and permission before considering the use of the BeagleBoard.org name on any products.

The boards are low-cost, fan-less single-board computers based on low-power Texas Instruments processors featuring the ARM Cortex-A series core with all of the expandability of today’s desktop machines, but without the bulk, expense, or noise. Initially, development was targeted at enabling Linux distributions to improve support for ARM devices. With tremendous success and support by numerous Linux distributions, development has become more focused on enabling simplified physical computing on advanced GUI-enabled or network-enabled devices with a simple out-of-box learning experience and support for development environments familiar to just about every developer, from Ubuntu, QNX, Windows Embedded, Android and web tools to bare metal and even Arduino/Wiring-style programming.

For additional background, visit the BeagleBoard brief.

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