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BeagleBone Black Wireless SBC taps Octavo SiP, has open design

Sep 26, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1,464 views

BeagleBoard.org’s “BeagleBone Black Wireless” SBC uses Octavo’s OSD3358 SiP module and replaces the standard BeagleBone Black’s Ethernet with 2.4GHz WiFi and BT 4.1 BLE.

BeagleBone Black Wireless is the first SBC to incorporate the Octavo Systems OSD3358 SiP (system-in-package) module, “which integrates BeagleBone functionality into one easy-to-use BGA package,” according to BeagleBoard.org. Announced on Sep. 26, the OSD3358 SiP integrates a TI Sitara AM335x SoC along with a TI TPS65217C PMIC, TI TL5209 LDO (low-drop-out) regulator, up to 1GB of DDR3 RAM, and over 140 passives devices including resistors, capacitors, and inductors, within a single BGA package. The Linux-driven hacker SBC also adds TI WiLink 8 WL1835MOD wireless module with 2.2 MIMO.



BeagleBone Black Wireless (left) and OSD3358 SiP
(click images to enlarge)

The use of a SiP module on this collaboration between BeagleBoard.org and Octavo Systems “brings an entire new level of access for people wanting to make their own customized variations,” says BeagleBoard.org. SiP’s are useful because they simplify PCB layout and reduce the number of components required by an SBC design, thereby reducing risks and accelerating the development of custom embedded platforms.


OSD3358 SiP simple and detailed block diagrams

The open source BeagleBone Black Wireless SBC is designed in CadSoft EAGLE, and is software, hardware, and mechanically compatible with the (presumably Rev. C) BeagleBone Black. The board’s dual 46-pin headers expansion interface supports all existing BeagleBone Black capes, says the project.


BeagleBone Black Wireless (left) compared to BeagleBone Green Wireless
(click images to enlarge)

The BeagleBone Black Wireless is an alternative to Seeed’s BeagleBoard.org-endorsed BeagleBone Green Wireless, a BeagleBone Black near-clone that similarly adds 2.4GHz 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 with BLE. Both the $44.50 BeagleBone Green Wireless and the earlier, $39 BeagleBone Green stripped out the micro-HDMI port, but also added a micro-USB 2.0 port and interfaces to Seeed’s Grove IoT add-on modules. The BeagleBone Green also adds two more USB 2.0 host ports for a total of four, along with the wireless capability.

Unlike the Seeed boards, the BeagleBone Black Wireless also drops the BeagleBone Black’s 10/100 Ethernet port.



BeagleBone Black Wireless (left) compared to original BeagleBone Black
(click images to enlarge)

The BeagleBone Black Wireless is otherwise identical to the BeagleBone Black, except that it adds two more status LEDs, for WiFi and Bluetooth. The SBC retains the 4GB eMMC flash with pre-installed Debian Linux, as well as the microSD slot, micro-HDMI, serial debug, and USB 2.0 host and mini-USB client ports. Other details are similar, including reset and power buttons. Additionally, like the BeagleBone Black, the BeagleBone Black Wireless has 512MB of DDR3 SDRAM, which in this case is part of its OSD3358 SiP module.

The presence of the BeagleBone Black Wireless SBC on BeagleBoard.org implies that its design documentation is released as open hardware. In fact, the board’s schematic diagram and PCB design files are already available now at GitHub.

 
Further information

The BeagleBoard Black Wireless is available for pre-order now and delivery in mid-November, from Mouser ($68.75) and Element14 ($99.25) in North America, and many other locations around the world, according to BeagleBoard.org’s BeagleBone Black Wireless page.
 

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